In this clip we hear why the the Legion must survive:
The Church needs us. It needs soldiers. It needs holy priests. That's what the Legion is made for. It makes holy priests.
In this Year of the Priest, I've read an awful lot about the Cure of Ars, especially in this paper which has a column dedicated to Saint John Vianney. Never once did I read -- or could I imagine -- that remarkably humble man ever thinking that the Church "needed" him. Those are sentiments that later generations carefully assess and offer, in gratitude for lives well-lived and vocations fully embraced. History has a way of sifting through events and personalities and showing how God's will was manifest for each age.
Beyond that, there's the old unapologetic view of Maciel that is jarring (I imagine this video won't last long once they notice our link). As for the photograph, can some exLegionary enlighten us as to who those men really are, since they can't all be professed seminarians, can they? If so, where are they now...?
UPDATE: While the video above is of 2004 vintage, the "we are holy men of God" mantra is still alive and well, as evidenced by this reaction to an earlier pro-Legion piece in a Philadelphia newspaper. The writer here deftly dissects the hubris expressed in the original piece
To make his commentary more shameful than it already was, in pointing a finger at two Popes in connection with the accused priest, the writer slanders the Company of Jesus with the following:By dramatic contrast (to the Legion of Christ), the Jesuits have become a rapidly diminishing, aging, heterodox, and largely homosexual order of priests. (The recent death of Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., reminds us that a convert of his caliber would be very unlikely today to enter the Jesuit order, whereas in his day - that is, the 1940s - such a vocational choice seemed inevitable.)
Count them: six statements intended as slurs in an unjustifiable non sequitur. Speak for yourself, writer. Do not include me in that “us.”
Evidently, the holy men of God forgot that their charism is supposed to be Gospel charity; and if they're serious about "believing only the good they hear and the evil they see," it indicates once more that they're hanging around in the wrong places (if they've actually witnessed the evidence offered above).
UPDATE II: The original link seems to have gone missing, but the editor wouldn't have run this response if the provokation wasn't there. We'll have to leave it to the imagination.
UPDATE III: OK, a sharp reader has found the original piece, which is a bi-polar paeon to the Movement. The author, Gregory J. Sullivan, agrees that MM is despicable and that there was always a cult of personality surrounding him, but regardless, thinks the members are the bees' knees [I added the bold]:
The Legion and Regnum Christi, both of which are very impressive organizations, will need to confront this problem openly, thoroughly, and honestly to have any chance to survive. One can only hope the very best for the many outstanding members of these groups.
Founded in Mexico in 1941, the Legion has been one of the most successful new ecclesial movements in the Church. It has ordained many competent priests (more than 700 currently with more than 1,000 seminarians) and recruited brilliant and committed lay people (the membership of Regnum Christi is approximately 70,000). What is more, these groups are distinguished by their sincere pursuit of sanctity and doctrinal orthodoxy. [snip]
Only time will tell whether the Legion and Regnum Christi can survive this examination in one form or other. As these problems are worked through, it is not unreasonable to ask: Why bother saving them at all? Would there be a loss? An immense loss. The Legion is filled with vibrant, young, intelligent and orthodox priests. A good example of these priests is Father Thomas Williams, L.C., who has recently published the very fine book, Knowing Right from Wrong: A Christian Guide to Conscience. Regnum Christi has the same sort of lay members. Where are these sorts of people — the sort who love Jesus Christ and seek to serve him and his Church with a totality of commitment — to go? With many traditional means exhausted, it is no surprise — and, in fact, it is a great blessing — that the Legion, Regnum Christi and comparable organizations flourish. [snip]
Throughout the history of the Church, new movements have emerged to carry on the work of what St. Paul called the more excellent way. Many of these movements have gone through complicated histories and thrived. Some have disappeared. One order has disappeared — more precisely, been suppressed — and then reappeared. The Legion and Regnum Christi are among the more remarkable groups of our time. To see the devastation wrought by the wicked appetites of Fr. Maciel is a real sadness. Whether they survive this catastrophe is a very open question. But, undeniably, there is a great deal of good to salvage from the wreckage.
Impressive. Outstanding. Successful. Competent. Brilliant. Committed. Distinguished. Sincere. Intelligent. Fine. More excellent. Remarkable. Good.
But who are you to call them good, sir? And did you need a thesaurus for that, or did you type it off the top of your head -- heavens, what a crew! And what did you say about that cult of personality...?