It would seem that Patrick Madrid and I share an "open-minded skepticism" about Medjugorje, which [pax!] is entirely allowed by the Deposit of Faith. (This thread is not to debate the good and bad element of that alleged apparition.) What is interesting about his latest post is its relevance to the Legion. There are, he notes:
those who attempt to bolster their own faith in Mejugorje, and that of others, by using the a fortiori argument about Pope John Paul II accepting its authenticity (take note that many now press Pope Benedict XVI into service using this tactic, as well) are setting themselves up for a serious difficulty.
It is a well known fact that Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, was a stalwart support of Fr. Marcial Maciel, the disgraced, recently deceased founder of the Legionaries of Christ religious order and its lay arm, Regnum Christi. I can only assume that John Paul was truly ignorant of the many frauds Fr. Maciel had perpetrated for decades. How is it that the pope did not know the truth about that dastardly man is beyond me, but I'm not focusing on that question here. It's sufficient to remind ourselves that the charism of papal infallibility does not extend to the pope's personal opinions about people and things.
As we now know, Pope John Paul II was utterly wrong about Fr. Maciel. He had completely misjudged him. Like a whole lots of other people, including a few popes who came before him, John Paul was conned by a consummate con-man. His approval of the vaunted Mexican priest was in complete error. His many signs of honor and confidence with which he generously betokened Fr, Maciel over many years were completely undeserved. His famous comment that Maciel was "an efficacious guide to youth" could not have been more hideously incorrect.
He effectively dissects this tendency to bolster one's argument by claiming that the pope is in league with a particular opinion, and this indeed is what scandalises many about Catholicism--especially when "papal infallibility" is proclaimed where it doesn't belong.
Surely, the confusion over the meaning of a papal theological endorsement is more easily understood than a pope's opinion of sauerkraut or zeppolis, but as this article highlighted years ago, too much slavishness to the personal opinions of others--even of the Vicar of Christ--is not healthy.