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Just to clarify a little of this key sentence:

Después, cuando me encontré al padre Vega, le pregunté qué hacía cuando Maciel le pedía ciertas cosas. Primero como que se mosqueó, pero luego me dijo: “Qué quiere que le diga. Cualquier cosa que nuestro padre le pida, hágala”


Afterwards, when I met with Fr. Vega [probably his superior] and asked him what I should do when Maciel asked me for certain things [he is clearly noting the acts of abuse he mentions early in the article], he first started to brush me off, then said, "What do you want me to tell you? Whatever Nuestro Padre asks of you, do it." [Thank you, incorporated into the text now, G.]

Here is where the structure of power is shown, how the conscience is suppressed because of the divinization of MM, who redefines a clearly hideous immoral act to be good. This "obsequio religioso" is a powerful dimension in the religious behaviour of men, and here you see precisely how the cult dimension is born, bending the will to act against the natural law revealed in the conscience in virtue of a sacred power falsely attributed to a narcissistic psychopath.

The one aspect of this that will be passed on into how the LCs interpret authority, will be in how they are constantly told then in the 50's, as they are now, from February 2009 to the present moment--to trust what the superiors say, to stay close to them always, they are the only ones who have your interests at heart. If you want to be safe you should say to yourself you have a vocation until they tell you to leave..etc..

And of course as noted so well on this blog and others: don't read newspapers, don't let others tell you how to interpret to the Holy See's communications, they are from the Devil, etc... we are your superiors and we want you to be at peace, serene, and this happens only if you trust us and we see the things...

Feel nauseated yet?

It doesn't say, "I was asked to offer this sacrifice." It says, much more poignantly, "I did it as a sacrifice." [noted, thank. G.]

"Whatever Nuestro Padre asks of you, do it, he cannot ask something that is a sin."
maciel was a human being - and a very bad one - were they trying to say he was sinless???
Did they try to equate him with GOD? Talk about blasphemy! Even the most conservative pre Vatican II religious community would never say this.

Yes [sigh], we were told he never said no to God. Where were our brains?

A little more clean up.... if it helps

Then he said he could not mess around at night with a woman, then the next day, celebrate Mass. I made a gesture that he surely noticed, because the next day he challenged me in front of the community, saying there were Religious who did not believe in the sanctity of their superiors, and that they were hypocrites. It was blackmail, sarcasm and a dare. So strong was the awareness that no one could touch the anointed one of God, that [even] after we left we were not able to speak ill of him. [got it, thanks, G.]

The last sentence has a key change- "THEY took away..." He truly shows the degradation he experienced>>> [thanks, G.]

So, that was my confirmation to keep going, even though I was disgusted. It felt like an assault against me, but I did it as a sacrifice. And as a way of sharing in the glory that this man had before God. You felt chosen to keep that secret. They took away our critical thinking, our common sense.

The idea that the Legion was a work of God, infallible, and that to go against it would be to go against the Holy Spirit has been alive and well throughout the entire existence of the Legion. I ran across this comment today (it was in response to a poster trying to discern a vocation to the legion and genuinely wondering and asking why there were so many websites devoted to criticizing it):

"Rebecca Jean Simpson YKC!! Hey all you great young men and women who are discerning vocations out there...the Legion is 2 oldest sons have been with them for 7 years...Br. William will start his 5th year of Seminary life in Sept - Br. Christopher will begin his 3rd year in Sept. Chris has been with them since 7th grade...Will, since 9th. All I can say is WOW...!!! God is big and they are beautiful men who want to bring every soul they come in contact with to a close relationship with Christ so the world will be changed by their witness. A great Saint once said, "Only believe the evil that you see and the good that you hear." My two youngest children are off to discern their vocations this summer at ICAS and ICA. I can't imagine any place I'd rather have them be during their highschool years. Please pray for my family as I will do for all of you.. and don't be afraid!! The Legion and the Regnum Christi were approved by the Pope...they are infallable works of the Church...go against them and you go against the Holy Spirit...same as Opus Dei...Satan hates us all...division and calumny are from him, not Christ...!!
May 8, 2007 at 9:47pm · Report"

And another:
"Rebecca McCue Amen! to your last sentence! We are approved by John Paul the Great. He loved us so much. I know that he is in Heaven praying for us too. Pope Bennedict XVI loves us too. We are blessed by God! Praise God.
"Suffering produces endurance..." Romans 5:3
And look, there is our beloved Nuestro Padre in this picture. It is the back of his head but it is still him. I was with you in Mexico I think. We have this picture in our Regnum Christi/Challenge office."

And yes, these posts were written long after the 2006 Communique banishing the child molester to a life of prayer and penitence, an invitation it appears he very much ignored.

Maciel may be dead, but his methodology has been working its black magic since the very inception of the order. The lack of critical thinking in the above posts speaks for itself.

When I run across posts like those above, I can't help but wonder if these people feel any differently since 2/2009, or if they are still unquestioningly listening to their SDs and LC priests, serenely following the hypnotic tune of the Legion Pied Piper.

I remember in 1990 MM stated before a whole group of LC gathered for one of his charismatic styled conferences, that he had no knowledge of ever having committed a mortal sin.

For a longest time I resisted the word "cult" as unhelpful and loaded with too much baggage. But wow, what do you say about a group that teaches its members to do things that any decent person knows to be vile and evil on the grounds that "it's impossible to sin if you're doing what Nuestro Padre asks.". And how do they know that is true? Why, Nuestro Padre told them, of course!


Although never an RC member, I do remember hearing that buncombe about Maciel never having said no to the will of God from my wife, who spent some time in the 3gf formation house.

Even 10 or 15 years ago it rubbed me the wrong way. Real saints are acutely conscious of their sinfulness, not out of any false modesty but out of the heightened awareness of how far they are from God (which is the fruit of prayer and humility).

It's inconceivable that a real saint would tell people he had never committed a mortal sin. Why didn't this sort of thing set off loud alarm bells among the supposedly well-formed young Catholic men who joined the Legion?

I believe St. Dominic Savio claimed never to have committed a mortal sin:

"The fourth promise was to be Dominic's motto for the rest of his life. Time and again, he asked God to let him die before offending Him by committing a mortal sin. Dominic knew some pretty rough boys and was often in a bad part of the town. However, to the end of his life, he never committed a mortal sin. In fact, he led a saintly life. "

Maciel probably ripped that line from the biography of St. Dominic Savio sitting on the shelf in his uncle's library!

St. Dominic Savio was a sickly child who died before his 15th birthday.

But more importantly, while others were able to attest to his innocence, the saint himself was intensely committed to penance -- including rigorous mortifications -- which he considered essential to his own salvation.

All the saints are that way. They don't go around telling people they're sinless or that they've never for a moment said no to God. That sort of rubbish is the mark of a proud person who doesn't examine his conscience sincerely and who probably makes very little use of sacramental confession.

Oh, I totally agree with you about the way real saints act, but I do believe St. Dominic Savio actually did SAY he never committed a mortal sin, which is NOT the same thing as saying you never said no to God (any sin is a saying no to God). The people who lived with Dominic Savio could surely not have known with any certainty he never committed a mortal sin, as nobody can know that about another.

I'm in total agreement that Maciel was using this as a sick manipulation. But having grown up with the story of the innocent Dominic Savio being lectured at me rather constantly (not a happy or healthy catholic upbringing), I know that I definitely had it pounded in to me that he declared he had never committed a mortal sin and prayed to God to die before he ever could.

All I am saying is that I can understand how that sentence alone wasn't necessarily a huge red flag to anybody who grew up having these kinds of saint stories pounded into them.

Now, I'm in full agreement there were LOTS of red flags all over the place, and that taken in context with everything else about Maciel, his statement about never having committed a mortal sin should have raised red flags.

It's another example of the Legion taking a bit of truth and then twisting it.

Religious DO see superior's commands as the will of God.. If your superior says you must go to Asia when you'd rather stay at home, well, you go to Asia b/c it's God's will that you go.

And a superior CAN'T order you to do soemthing immoral-- Not (as the Legion seems to say) because anything they order becomes moral, BUT because if an authority figure orders you do act contrary to God's law, they no longer have authority.

THIS is Maciel's Legacy...taking the words "A superior can't order you do do something sinful" and inverting the meaning. Sick. Twisted. deformed.

It needs to end.

This is a bit off topic but I would like to know how Marcel was formed into the monster he became.

He did come from a good family did he not?

What circumstances in this life formed this monster?

Maciel's "Charism"= a serpant's tongue and a knack for Demonic Inversion.


Supposedly he was abused by his father's ranch hands. Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if he wasn't abused by people in his own family, too.

What constitutes a "good" family? If there's one thing we can come away with from this story, it's that pious appearances mean nothing. He had bishop uncles, one who is sainted, but this does not say anything about the actual environment Maciel was raised in as far as his immediate family goes. I believe I have read his father was not a very nice person and his parents did not have a particularly warm marriage.

(Personally I have always wondered if perhaps his mother did not know he was abused and did nothing about it, and he perhaps had a very sick love/hate kind of relationship with her because of it. He was apparently not present for her death and went AWOL for her funeral.)

In the end, though, it boils down to this: he CHOSE evil. There are many who grow up raped, beaten, horribly abused, who do NOT go on to perpetrate suffering and evil on others. On the other hand, there are people who come from warm, loving families who become child rapists and serial killers.

Evil is a choice.

"There are many who grow up raped, beaten, horribly abused, who do NOT go on to perpetrate suffering and evil on others. On the other hand, there are people who come from warm, loving families who become child rapists and serial killers."


wow, this needs to be translated in full.

Here's my contribution with the first question.

What was your first contact with Maciel like?

It was in Ontanead, Spain. I was 15. It was July 1955. I was a postulate; I was about to enter the novitiate in Rome. A superior asked me if I'd like to bring food to NP in his room, because he was sick. He was always sick. I said with pleasure, because one always had the illusion of knowing the founder. His room had an anteroom, but there was not even a table or a chair there. I entered the anteroom and I knocked on the door of his room and nobody opened the door. Inside was Maciel with another religious. I was about to go when a group of brothers arrived and they began to argue: They said that they had to take P. Maciel to someone who could treat him, because he couldn't continue like this much longer. They were talking about this when they heard some sounds on the wall and Enrique Martínez came out saying that [MM] was very ill and they needed to bring the medicine. Some said that they can no longer go to Santander, because they were already known there and they could cause problems; others, that they had to go to Bilbao. Some needed to go to Madrid and even Valencia. They were going to get a derivative of morphine.

When they left, the door was opened, this boy came out and asked me if I could relieve him [of his duty] because he hadn't eaten or slept. He left. I entered the room and I was temporarily blinded, because inside the room was completely dark. I heard very loud noises. When I became accustomed to the low lights, I saw that he was banging his head against the wall, he was complaining, he was crying out, he was grinding his teeth, it was a sight of incredible pain. I felt as if I was witnessing the sufferings of a saint. He began to call for Father Andrés Vega. I told him that he was not there and I asked what I could do for him. He told me the story of the priest [Father Vega], that he was a very good priest and when he got sick [Vega] knew how to attend to him, that he heated up him up with his own body, and if I would like to help in the same way. This was the little work of theater he used with the majority of us who were his victims: He said that he had a gland blocked and that he couldn't evacuate his semen through the urine, as all other men, and that this caused him great pain. The first time I got into [the bed] with my clothes on and he said that this didn't work. I asked him if he wanted a hot water bottle, he said that this didn't work the same. He told me that it wasn't a sin, that it was like a nurse seeing a nude patient and that he had to touch him without a bad intention. He told me that it was an act of charity for him. At first I said no and I left, but then I regretted having judged badly the founder, sad that my first encounter with him had ended in this way. In the end, I gave in.

This is a good article from Alice Von Hildebrand about the legitimate and illegitimate means of persuasion.

"He told me the story of the priest [Father Vega], that he was a very good priest and when he got sick [Vega] knew how to attend to him, that he heated up him up with his own body, and if I would like to help in the same way."

So wait, not only were his victims young, but some were already priests!?

Cory has a point. Who were the first superiors in the Legion? Where did they get their training? And were they also abusers, along with Maciel? Is that how he picked some of his first superiors? Men who were also sexual deviants?

Guess I hadn't really thought before where the first superiors in the order came from and how Maciel picked them. But given Vega's behavior in this story, he stikes me as more a predator himself than a victim. If he was an adult superior who had not been "formed in the methodology" from the age of 11 but had instead received his training elsewhere and had decided to cooperate in the scam, that's a whole different kettle of fish.

Perhaps a good number of the early Maciel Band of Brothers were also predators. I mean, he must have looked for certain characteristics when choosing his first superiors? If they were already priests, they must have been around his age or even older? And had received their priestly formation elsewhere?

I remember a story given by a young man who was abused by his football coach in middle or high school. His parents would always tell him to listen to the coach and do whatever the coach says. No doubt they had in mind only things related to the sport of football. However, in his young mind, he took it to mean "anything".

We have to be careful in what we tell our children with regard to authority and how to respond and not respond to those in authority over them. What the priest told Mr. Pargais was completely irresponsible and reckless regardless of whether MM was abusive or not.

Children tend to think in absolutes. For some, if a parent tells a child no, the child sometimes takes the "no" to mean "no forever".

I'll say it again: There is no virtue in blind obedience without critical thinking and there is no virtue in unyielding loyalty to a dangerous cult.

Differences between how the Church views the role of the superior and the Legion:

1) The Church does not want the role of superior in itself to confer any sense of holiness to the person of the holder. The Legion shrouds the person of superior with superiority in his innate goodness and exceptional wisdom. The shroud is best seen in the still practiced by virtue to always speak well of governance and all actions of the superior. The language is always that the subject should see the superior as above reproach in all things regardless of the circumstances.

2) The Church uses the role of authority as a service in the building up of the common good of the Church and the proclamation of the truth.
The common good in a religious order would deal with the common use of shared goods of the community, the place and roles of apostolate of the order, and the enforcement of the established rule of the common life.

The Legion goes beyond this. It sees the role of authority as virtually replacing the function of the conscience in the individual as a more certain path of discovering God's will. In this way the Legion enters into that minutiae of permission seeking for practically every intentional act as Fr. Berg noted. It was common practice in apostolic schools and novitiates that any temptation of any type had to be told immediately to the superior as the best recourse to overcome it. The more notes one wrote to a superior about every decision and light of the conscience the better. Every need from a few sheets of paper, a pen, all come through the decision of a superior. Every plan, how you use your free minutes between classes, every program of every type had to sent to a superior etc...

Let's not paint all the early LC priests with the broad brush of Macielism. Father Luis Ferrera Corea was Maciel's second in command (and slightly older than Maciel, IIRC). He did his best to blow the whistle on the pedophile morphine addict with no prayer life who had cult-like control over the LCs:

Tragically, Fr. Ferrera was forced out of the Legion shortly after the "Great Blessing". As a reward for his honesty and courage, he was calumniated by LC/RC members for 50 years as a vain man who had tried to destroy the Legion out of envy and personal ambition. He apparently died in obscurity.

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