[Exasperated update below]
Don't mind the men behind the curtain, with their hands on the back of the delegate. He's his own man .... really! This is really beyond parody:
Rome, Italy, Jul 11, 2011 / 05:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A year after assuming duties as pontifical delegate for the Legion of Christ, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis gave a speech evaluating the current situation of the religious congregation. He sharply criticized “dissidents” within the order who create division and internal tensions.
Cardinal De Paolis gave a “provisional assessment” of the task of rebuilding the order in a July 3 speech delivered at the Legion’s Center for Higher Learning in Rome. He explained that the order has already implemented “one-third” of the preparations to be completed before the Legion's general chapter meeting. The meeting could be held as soon as 2013. Leaders of the order are expected to then vote on major changes and revisions to the Legion’s constitutions.
“This period has provided an opportunity for greater serenity within the congregation and for a strengthening of renewed fidelity of the members to the congregation,” the cardinal explained. “While it is true that in 2010 the institute suffered its greatest losses, it is also true that the exodus has been contained with regard to priests,” he said. However, regarding the abandonment of the order by its youngest members, Cardinal De Paolis noted “the negative influence exercised by some companions who, upon entering the process of renewal, have adopted an absolutely critical attitude towards the path of renewal.”
“From the beginning, a group of members have joined together and has been described, by whom I don’t know, as ‘dissidents’,” the cardinal continued. “In reality it is not a very large group, as there are very few people leading it. In emphasizing a ‘structural contamination’ of the congregation, they have manifested a radical lack of confidence in the continuation and renewal of the congregation. And in every way they have become antagonistic towards the legitimate superiors, seeing themselves almost as custodians of the orthodoxy of the road that must be traveled.
They are using the internet extensively, with a network that extends to perhaps 200 or more people, including Legionaries, ex-Legionaries or friends of Legionaries with whom they usually meet,” Cardinal De Paolis stated. The pontifical delegate said these “dissidents” act like “depositories of a prophetic mission in which some think they have a particular vocation to take the place of their superiors, to set themselves up as masters of the spiritual life and masters of sound doctrine.”
They exercise “negative influence on the youngest members. "This kind of information for some is the reason why the youngest members abandon the Legion,” he continued. “Some of the leaders of this group are unsure about their vocations and share their doubts with others for no good purpose,” he said. “As they are stuck on the harm suffered by the congregation, they seem to enjoy looking at the wounds and continuously reopening them, instead of looking toward the future with greater depth and hope, working for true renewal and taking the true path of conversion,” he added.
“We do indeed need to recognize that we are sinners. But to stop there is death! If that is a time for realizing that we need God, then it is a grace, and grace is what comes to meet us,” the cardinal said. “The community, or our group of interest, is not an instrument for venting our frustrations or finding justifications. Our community is a not a ‘spit bowl.’ And we should feel humiliated when we are used like this,” he said.
There is more if you can stomach it. Perhaps it's just better to go and enjoy your summer and let the dead bury the dead. It's all been said on both sides, and they cannot extricate themselves from the sinkhole. Prayer is the only tool at this point.
UPDATE: I'm still trying to wrap my head around this statement, which [pax, Marigold] is the most audaciously obtuse piece of writing I've seen in recent Church history. Let's see:
- The Legion had a founder who purported to be a saint;
- The founder was not only unsaintly, but was utterly depraved;
- The Church asked him to retire in quiet disgrace;
- The superiors of the Legion rallied to his defense;
- The superiors buried him, mouthing praise for his heroic sanctity;
- The superiors later admit that he wasn't a saint at all;
- Timeline shows that they knew this before burying him;
- Church provides Delegate to salvage what he can;
- Delegate spends roughly 10 hrs/week at Legion facilities;
- Delegate doesn't speak Spanish, the language of the Legion;
- Delegate concludes that the superiors must remain to lead reform;
- Delegate castigates those who protest as "dissidents;"
- Delegate blames defections on dissidents;
- Delegate blames poor recruitment on dissidents;
- Delegate blames divisive atmosphere on dissidents;
- Delegate blames dissidents for harming congregation;
- Delegate blames dissidents for loss of hope over future of the Legion;
In particular, he says: "These 'dissidents' act like “depositories of a prophetic mission in which some think they have a particular vocation to take the place of their superiors, to set themselves up as masters of the spiritual life and masters of sound doctrine.” They exercise 'negative influence on the youngest members.' "
So a man who has been visiting for a matter of months reams out battle-scarred members who have given their lives to this congregation for the chutzpah to question their superiors; the same superiors that they found had not only misled them, had been party to fraud and helped to scandalise the entire Church -- not to mention the wider world who shares a rollicking good laugh with the New York Times over one more example of clerical perfidy -- but who are now being asked to lead their own reform with no back-talk from the peanut gallery. These "dissidents," evidently, are having a little trouble remembering who are the real "masters of the spiritual life and masters of sound doctrine." These "dissidents" dare to question a reform led by the very men who purveyed the fraud, and are now themselves held liable for the fruits of the "false prophet?" They are held up as guilty of destroying the Legion? And not by the above-mentioned superiors but by the pope's own Delegate? Well, isn't that rich! In the words of an astute reader: "The stain of Maciel keeps seeping through the paint of renewal, no matter how many times events are white-washed."
I beg loyal readers who are clinging by threads at this point to remember the Holy Eucharist, without which our souls would wither. We remain for the sake of the Sacraments, and because we know that Benedict is the true Vicar of Christ. Beyond that, keep your head down and pray. There have been scandalous Cardinals before and this won't be the last. I love you all and count on your love of the Church to sustain you at this moment. It's almost finished -- God will not be mocked for long.