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Please don't take my comments on this the wrong way. My point is, I'm waiting for LC's (esp. high profile ones) to outright denounce MM and the LC machine. Can't happen fast enough in my book since it has been YEARS (if not decades) in the making. I want to hear them denouncing it from the rooftops to counter any possible future spin or misinterpretation!

With respect to Jonathan, one has to know that certain brothers are more "special" than others within the LC. He was one of the "special" ones and having lived in community with him I can say he wasn't humble about that. His own website and self promotion is a product of that (hardly a reluctant poster boy with all the Mel Gibson affinity, etc. stuff). But that is just my experience. I wish him the best but won't let him off the hook with a simple statement that he is going elsewhere. If he was deceived, then say it! In my book, the top LC's are suspect until they come out and publicly denounce...and leave the Legion.

Roughly about 100 priests have left for varying reasons since 2006.

Since February of 2009 Fr. Luiz Garza admits 20 certain worldwide, but no mention of how many are considering or are on a LOA (Leave of Absence). For that we have heard 200 from Mike, but that may include some seminarians as well. Current departures known from the USA houses are:
Fr. Thomas Berg
Fr. Thomas Maher
Fr. Richard Gill
Fr. Cliff Ermatinger
Fr. Roderick Ermatinger
Fr. Robert Weigner
Fr. Jonathan Morris
Fr. Cathal Deveney
Fr. TBA in Southwest
Fr. Matthew Green

Lost sightings:
Fr. Patrick Murphy
Fr. Timothy Moran

Anon at 1:50

Thank is Fr. Thomas Maher NOT

I prefer silence to preaching and evil-minimizing, face-saving bowdlerization. I suspect he will need time and lots of adjustment before he's able speak with moral clarity on the whole thing. (I did like the "edge" in his statement, broadly hinting that he has come to see he's been part of a fraud.)

But I'm with Br. Dan on two points: I thought the short clip of him on Fox that giselle posted some months back reeked of vanity and self-promotion. (I don't doubt his religious sincerity at all.)

And I agree that this whole thing cannot come to full resolution unless and until more former Legionaires are willing to denounce Maciel openly and publicly urge those still in to get out. The fact that so few have is more evidence, IMO, that the Legion was truly a cult that brainwashed and deformed its members.

It would be nice to hear a Legionary or anyone in the hierachy speak clearly and call Maciel what he deserved.

Maybe it is just me, but Jonathan's website irks me about the self-promotion and doesn't exude humility. It just seems sooo Legion like.

I know he has spent 15+ years in the LC and is a product of that, so I will continue to pray for him.

It will be interesting to see how this thing unwinds. I suspect any of the "powers that be" within the Legion won't like playing the obedient serf and the underlings with ambitions will see there is no hope so more will leave. Who will turn off the lights, perhaps the guy the Pope sends will get to do the honors.

I'm going to throw a curve ball into the discussion.

I read the post from Fr. Morris on my way out the door to Mass. That was a couple of hours ago now and I am struggling with something. God forgive me for the unforgiving heart I have right now, but.....

I thought of what might happen if some of the very visible priests here in Atlanta requested to be placed in one of our local parishes and I thought...


There is a cultish following that is very evident in the local RC climate for particular priests. I can't imagine the parishes that would eventually accept them could prevent a continuation of the deformation that has been going on for years at their hands.

While I would want these priests to be able to leave LC and feel welcome, there is a huge part of me that believes they would poison whatever parish they joined unless they spent several years in a detoxification program.

Fr. Patrick Murphy -- LC in Detroit.

What about Fr. Thomas Bennett -- great friend while I was an LC. He is a LC in a parish in Arkansas with Fr. Thomas Moylan who was at Oaklawn forever. Sort of wierd they were sent there.

No, that's Fr. Patrick Butler. (in Detroit)

"It would be nice to hear a Legionary or anyone in the hierarchy speak clearly and call Maciel what he deserved."

- The Communique broke all precent of soft-stepping Vatican language when it called MM a criminal, void of religious sentiment and without scruples. Short of condemning him to .... I can think of no stronger language.

- As far as the LCs- everyone here on the blog must know by now the LC nomenklatura have NEVER tolerated institutional dissent in its ranks, the power system, through processes and reflexes are all still there. To speak means instant amputation carried out by silencing, isolating, ensuring that such outspoken persons shutup or leave. I suppose every business or even diocese has some of that, all want to project a unified voice through its leader. However the LCs have this down to how one hold a fork, and its controls go to any conversation had outside of the relationship between superior and subject.

I think its power structure will be used even more acutely in the coming weeks as the rumbling of the communique ripple through the ranks. The fundamental task of superiors, subtly done, will be to hunt down and neutralize all doubters, ensure all are speaking with confidence of the certitude of charism and the joy of the encouragement of Pope. If not they will start to infect others and it will spread... This was precisely what was done in the 50's.

I just saw a young boy home from the novitiate this morning. May just be parent's birthday or something but I thought it rather odd.

I hope this is the beginning of a mass exodus!

Every priest will be handled and studied like any priest incardinating into a diocese, on a case by case basis.
The Presbyterate of a Diocese has amazing corrective forces in place for anything that seems inappropriate. Further most will start as associate pastors or vicars meaning not as Pastors. They will not be eligible to be a pastor until they have completed a large part of the incardination process (3 to 5 yrs). Until then they will just be at the most Parish Administrator.
They will be mentored in, in this system, and if their pastoral style seems disturbing they will get a few kicks to get in line or be booted out of the diocese.

I am sure we will find a few 'special' cases, but a lot of what you see now needs the 'system' to maintain it. Once they leave they enter a wilderness, having to rebuild a support network whose tools in no way mirror the LC matrix.

I agree with those who commented that Fr. Morris' statement "I’ve discerned I’m not called to dedicate my priesthood to the `profound revision', `purification', and `redefinition' of the Legion of Christ the Holy Father has wisely ordered" is rather biting. He is basically saying "you guys are not worth my time or effort. I've better things to do." Implicit in that statement is that this purification, profound revision and redefinition that the Holy Father wisely ordered (nice touch with the "wisely") would entail a large amount of effort on Fr. Morris' part. But why? Why does Morris think it would be so difficult?

Perhaps all he wanted us to read out of this is that ANY refounding is hard, but what I read is that refounding THIS PARTICULAR GROUP OF PRIESTS would be a life's work, and to him, they just ain't worth it.

Among the terrible, lying evils of the Legion was the way it enflamed and exploited weaknesses like vanity and pride while assuring its members that they on a path to holiness.

Ego-stroking for the kingdom.

I don't think I've ever before seen a book written by a priest that featured a headshot of himself on the cover. It's embarrassing.

What a bitter journey of painful humiliation and disillusionment these men must have in front of them! May God give them the grace to make it through with flying colors. If they do, they'll be a gift for the Church.

But Commentator,
you have a much more optimistic notion than I have of the health and wholesomeness of diocesan chanceries. I'm with freetobe in wish the the Church would set up a program of detox and re-education before letting ex-Legionaires do pastoral work in parishes--especially if parents are to have no way of knowing that the priest educating their children was formed by Maciel.

"My wife and I saw Jim Carrey's The Truman Show last night. Halfway through the movie, it hit me how Truman represents everyone in LegReg. He had been lied to his whole life yet his world was peaceful and idyllic. Once he knew the truth, he had a choice to make: continue in his fantasy paradise along with all the lies and deceit or courageously leave it all behind to live in the real world with all of its harsh truth ."

PaulM, we recently saw (yet again) this poignant movie. My husband and I had the same reaction you did. This movie is a very good story of what's going on within the LC and RC.

One thing that's particularly sad and scary is how much Truman's "wife" (played by the talented Laura Linney) reminded me of some of our RC section leaders. They have responded to legitimate questions and concerns about the LC and RC in ways that point to "spiritual struggles" as the "real issue" (very much like the way Linney et all were convincing Truman that he was imagining everything that was, of course, real). And with that fake sickingly sweet smile too. I'm just waiting for one of them to crack with a "this is unprofessional" line.

Substitute Linney's description of the Truman Show at the beginning of the movie with the words "Regnum Christi" and you get a real visual understanding of just how dedicated some of these die-hards really are to the myth that is the legion of Maciel.

Waiting for the 2nd edition.
THE PROMISE: God's Purpose and Plan For Escaping Condemned Buildings.

First of all, more thanks to Archbishop Dolan for welcoming Fr. Morris. This is, what, his third? In the past year or so? May he re-integrate them to a normal diocesan priesthood and vocation.

I know what you mean, AnotherAnon, about thinking that an ex-LC priest could bring possible problems along with them, but I hear that Fr. Berg is doing very well in his parish. No eau de Legion to be sniffed. If anything, he's a good, solid priest. Maybe the defection is proof that they are much less likely to have problems? Much different, say, than an order to leave LC...self-direction to leave is a sign of mental health.

Take a look How may of us drank the kool-aid and came out of it scarred but wiser? No, I never really drank, hence my name, but I actually love reading testimony of exLc/Rc people; it means so much more that way. I think more of you guys, not less. The same can be said of them.

"Yes, Fr. Morris I noted was so genuinely subdued when the interview on EWTN took place in Feb. 2009"

He seemed shocked, caught off guard and almost looked sick to me in that interview. That was a normal reaction to what they just found out. I thought Fr Thomas Williams seemed more under control and emotionless. Seems like the priests who responded with immediate disgust and did not put on the happy face(Fr Berg, Fr Richard Gill, Fr Robert Wiegner, Fr Jonathan Morris) have seen the way out.

My bad on Fr. Patrick in Detroit. I am 99% sure Fr. Matthew Green is still in the LC. He has been posting on FB that he has a very tough descion to make.

Just hope that Abp Dolan makes sure that Fr. Morris has the Catholic teaching on Humanae Vitae and contraception down properly before he is being let loose on the faithful of that diocese.
(See interview between Sean Hannity, Fr. Morris and Fr. Euteneuer of HLI)

I think its power structure will be used even more acutely in the coming weeks as the rumbling of the communique ripple through the ranks.
i agree commentator,
what the remnant of LC/RC are incapable of bringing themselves to change, that methodology will become crystallized, even with new verbage or definition as provided by the vatican. this crystallization will manifest below the radar of the vaticans attempts to effect change. Here you will see many dropouts because what remains insidious (and has been so for decades i.e. LC/RC methodology) will seem ludicrous against what is apparent in what the vatican will require. And it may not be as nearly as melodramatic as what has been asked of LC/RC in envoy and the like. just plain living/loving in christ, which is actually freeing. But if you are used to controlling and being controlled can be a painful, and anxiety ridden kind of humility.

those who cling to the crystal, i have no words or insight for.

Regarding Fr. JM's level of humility (or lack thereof) I think a lot can be said for him giving up the glamor of his very public presence in the media for the relative obscurity of a diocesan assignment. Of course, much remains to be seen as we don't yet know what that assignment is. Still, it would appear he is more dedicated to his priesthood than to the spotlight and certainly more than to a grossly dysfunctional congregation. Kudos, Fr. Morris.


Could the boy be home for Mother's Day? I remember when the moms used to go to the Apostolic School for a big shindig over the Mother's Day weekend. What a cruel, cruel way to spend a Mother's Day. You are allowed a 2 or 3 day visit with your adolescent son, and then you have to turn him back over to the Superiors.

Speaking of Mother's Day, the following is the wording in a Mother's Day card sent from our local LC school:

Maternity is the giving of oneself: service, concern for life, personal surrender, denying oneself and loving the personal encounter, the most pure love...

I'm not sure if I like that wording or not. The word "encounter" bothers me.

Fr. Morris' statement gave me the impression he was thoroughly disgusted with the internal spin. He waited to see what their reaction was, and when it showed a continued lack of true contrition and discernment, he chose to leave.

He knows that he is the "face" of the LC for many millions who know nothing of the scandal and only watch him on FoxNews. Many of them may never see the significance of his changed status.

However, I believe there will be severe fallout within the ranks of ordinary RC members who might be on the fence.

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