When comment threads get unwieldy, I think it helps to start fresh -- simplifying navigation by boiling down the thoughts, which have been very helpful. These seem to be the important points:
- It is deeply tragic that a priest has broken his vows, but as important as the matter is, it is the surrounding duplicity that is of far more concern, especially from a group that is trying to reform after decades of monstrous deceit;
- The most troubling element of the affair itself is that the child is referred to as "hers." For a congregation that associates itself with the New Evangelisation, they have dropped the ball grievously on this point, since fatherhood is a particular area where the culture is lacking;
- Since it has been admitted that the child was born some years ago, recent events (book tours, speaking engagements, television appearances, promotional material) had to have been approved with the full understanding of the monumental hypocrisy involved;
- Either TW did this alone, or the Legion was complicit -- and although they refuse to say when they knew, in such a case the refusal is damning in itself;
- We also know that the Legion only acted when their hand was forced by Patricio Serda, despite their laughable insistence that this, too, was the result of an internal investigation -- if that were the case, then it would have come out a long time ago. The timing is clear: they could no longer maintain the pretense;
- Cardinal dePaolis' response, "these things happen" beggars belief. One expects to hear that when sportscasters are announcing a quirky aspect to the game they're covering -- not from a "Prince of the Church" when responding to a grave breach of trust in a theological matter;
- The fact that TW taught Moral Theology at a seminary while harbouring such a secret is deeply unsettling; but another professor of moral theology scandalised LARC readers years ago by saying that the sexual abuse suffered within the Legion was known to him and not that bad;
- For years, TW has been the model Legionary, the "poster boy" as it were, filling the gap left by the previous model Legionary -- MM himself; since the Legion hierarchy cannot find a model Legionary who is a man of integrity, are the superiors deliberately telegraphing something, or just confounded in their choices?
- It has to be noted that once again the temptation from within the L/R ranks is to cast aspersions on those who are horrified by this tragic news. Their own reactions are deflected so that critics are called mean, scandalous reactions are called "judgemental," and there is the hasty [irrelevant] call for forgiveness;
- Yahoo showed that "Legion of Christ" was trending along with Ashton Kutcher and Paris Hilton, proving the breadth of this scandal in the most secular corners. While we're faced with a "gay president," massive unemployment, sky-rocketing debt, the shredding of religious liberty, and growing Christian persecution world-wide, the Church is in the spotlight for a baby-daddy story;
- The Legion says it's trying to reform itself, but we're faced with a group whose superiors are still in place despite decades of duplicity and cover-up, whose papal delegate doesn't speak their language (although he was appointed in 2010, he was not told of this story which was known by the hierarchy) and then the story is cast as a reason for pity, not outrage;
- The perverse psychology of this cult insists on denying the truth of things -- and shuts down authentic human responses when the lies are discovered. There is no hint of self-knowledge in this group, their spokesmen are untrustworthy and their formation material is utterly unreliable. It remains for anyone to show why they should exist, when the fruit they bring to the Church is consistently, deeply compromised.
If there are other points that should be considered, feel free to put them in the combox, and we'll expand the list. It is essential that we highlight the duplicity, for that is the common thread in all chapters of this tortured saga.