Most readers have come to recognise that the Vatican is moving with lightning speed concerning the Legion, at least during the pontificate of Benedict. Another visitation has been alluded to, and yet there is confusion as of yet whether it will include all of Regnum Christi or just the third degree (3gf's and 3gm's for women and men respectively). Tom from Atlanta has some thoughts on the direction of this next step:
Personally, I think it would be a big mistake if the RC visitation looked only at the 3gf. The 3gfs are the end product of the assembly line. The whole thing needs to be examined from bottom up, starting with the J4K program on. Some questions for the RC visitor team:
Design of the “RC movement:”
How could it be that Vatican LC investigators were surprised to find 3gf members? If so, how does the “approval” and “revision” of lay movement’s statutes in Rome work? Is this not a good reason why statutes of lay movements should not be held “secret”? Who was/is in charge in Rome of this process? What canons are followed and who reviewed these? For example, for spiritual direction (SD) of lay by other lay, what canons are used? If there are none, what standards are used? What canons define lay movement “vows”or other such promissory requirements, if any? More specifically, what are the objectives of children, teen and adult RC programs? Who designed these programs and for what? How was the education material used? How close or afar from Catholic teaching/doctrine is this material? What was added? What was removed?
Effect of the “RC movement” on parish life:
What was the effect on parish ministries, and parish life? How often parishioners were shunned from parish ministries, by RC parishioners for either refusing to join RC or leaving RC? How often did this not happen? Why was RC active in some parishes, while not in others?
“RC movement” and the role of the Bishops:
What oversight did the local bishop provide, especially in places like Atlanta, where LC/RC was/is active? If none, why? What was and is the influence of money and influential people at the diocesan level? Is this why some bishops ignored letters from concerned parents? How did local dioceses interpret movement “vows” (having had an extensive conversation with one of the canon lawyers for the Archdiocese of Atlanta almost 4 years ago, I can say he had not a clue).
“RC movement” regional/general infrastructure:
What were and how did the affiliated various shell companies, marketing firms, legal teams, spread-sheet recruitment and retention operate? What happened to the money? How was it used? What was the link between US and non US operations?
Most importantly, effect of the “RC movement” on engaged members:
There needs to be an accurate descriptive account of casualties. Did children and young adults stay or travel to possibly unsafe environments? What about strain on movement families? How many families stayed together, how many broke up? How was SD administered? Where there breaches in confidentiality in schools, as stipulated by laws regulating education? How where teens, young adults recruited? How many, in SD, were told to quit college education? How many young adults in the RC “assembly line” drop out of RC? What happened to them?
Was the discussion to join RC free of coercion? If not, what was the coercion? Where there severe outcomes and how often did these occurred (long term severe depression, isolation, or worse)? What percent of targeted people became 3gf? How long did they stay on average as 3gf, what was the range? What percent left? What happens to those who left? For example out of a total of “n” 3gfs that were recruited in the world from 1990 to 2010, “x” are still in the movement and are “ok” by such and such criteria, “y” are in but not ok, “z” dropped out, and we have no data on “v” members.
Of these that dropped out of 3gf, here is the break down by categories: those that remain in the Catholic Church and are doing ok (married, had children, jobs, joined orders, moved on), those that left the Catholic Church all together, those that live in the basement of their parents houses and have not come out for 10 years, those that stayed in Vegas, those on whom no data is available, break down by countries, regions, period, gender, etc…
The team that examines the RC lay movement hopefully will include well trained, non-movement affiliated (to any movement) clergy/religious as well as expert (including non-movement lay) in canon law, civil law, mental health, Catholic education and forensic finances, at the minimum. Results of the investigation should not be held “secret” at the Vatican, but publicly available, as this is a “lay” organization, in our parishes. Meetings open to all should be part of the process. Such a grave mistake (approval of RC as a lay movement in the circumstances we now know), that involved and ultimately hurt, for the great part well intentioned lay that wanted to be active in the Church, should never repeat itself again.
Other lay movements, that use similar methods, that inspired LC/RC, could also learn from this, and institute corrective actions. If done seriously, this could help the Church better minister to all lay and help Church lay to better serve Her, without even needing to join a movement. All this to Love and Serve Him and those around us. Otherwise, any fog that we allow in, for whatever reason, even if not thick, risks to be exploited by evil, when it obstructs and distances us from the message Christ wants us to see. Hope this makes sense. Pax.