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Reform? An entity that systematically believes that it is a law unto itself, is ultimately irreformable. Like an amoeba that absorbs its prey, the LC conflates itself with higher authority such that it now changes the rules for itself and expect all to understand, for surely it alone knows what serves the common good.

The argument of the LC given by Fr. Manuel Salord was that they did not build all the buildings the contract required because the LC sovereignly determined they knew better than the civil authorities in how to determine what lay in the interest of local citizens with regards to their following or violating their contractual obligations.

Excuse me, Fr. Salord, are you an elected official of the city council? Are you the one who promulgates what is in the interest of the city? Do you know the meaning of a contract by law?

This is exactly the same mindset that produced an religious institute that never was approved for what it truly was. Conflated with the Church, the LC via MM alone knew what was proper religious life and proceeded to create unsanctioned structures and violate canonical norms protecting conscience because it alone knew what was in the Church's interest.

This little story seems like a local spat of little interest to the state of LC global. Yet for those who know LC centralization, no detail of this matter was unknown to higher authorities. It is yet another window on how little the LC culture has changed in all of its self serving narcissism. Even now the lip service to DePaolis's soft reforms are perfect cover for protecting itself from the deeper reforms. Can anyone doubt any serious change will be blown off once he is gone?


We have been focusing on the Legion and RC, as if we needed to, or could, make sense of them, when the mission here is "Making sense of the Church after experiencing the Regnum Christi Movement."

I would like to suggest that we have discussions on how normal things (both essential good things and failings) in the Church affect people who have been involved in LC/RC.

This would not only contribute to healing, but it would give valuable information.

Example: Which prayers and prayer gestures affect you negatively and how? Why do you think it is so,and what is your way of dealing with your reaction?

We could talk about images, Liturgy, men/women, authority-laden things, uniforms, rules, devotions, etc.

Needed work: That's how, they explain, the bidding posted by the City Council to create the Highlands Los Fresnos School was intended to "satisfy the great demand for education in the city", was also motivated by the creation of new housing. Nevertheless, that demand for housing that would bring kids to the school, they affirm, "has not happened."

Fr. M.S., spokesman for the HLF school explains that "at no time was the actual demand for student capacity not taken care of, and therefore, there was no harm at all to the public interest."

Mary Ann: That sounds like a whole 'nother post/thread!

Thanks, Cephas.

Giselle, are you feeding Nicole Winfield, or is she coming up with this stuff on her own?

@Cephas, yes, it would be a number of threads or discussions. Just a way to focus on recoovery, and to give valuable info to those exiting. Legion-watching is good and fun, but it is not vicarious healing, and people injured by LC/RC need to know that they don't need the Legion to change in order for them to recover. Codependence can take many forms!

@Giselle - Giselle, I didn't mean the suggestion as a criticism. I think the news is good and useful and can help people recover. But instead of waiting for a news item in order to have a discussion, I think in the meantime we could talk about how Church things affect us.

One example that has been mentioned: your relationship with your pastor. I have seen RC move in and love bomb a guy, who goes all googly and so happy with the help, and he is off and running with their agenda. I have seen it with other groups, too, where a pastor's personal social and esteem needs are met and they sort of abandon the parish at large to focus on one group. We lost one pastor to RCIA....he was so glad to find community that the whole Mass became about the RCIA. Sermons and everything were for them. The rest of us were audience.

We have to admit one thing: Spain has been one of the countries where the economic crisis has hit stronger, especially in the construction and real estate/development areas.
A quick Google search will show the astonishing number of suburban communities outside Madrid -such as the one the school is located in- that today seem more like ghost towns than the booming and promising areas that everyone -the government included- expected to develop. All the young families were moving to those places because there they could buy bigger and cheaper property than in Madrid's center, and because there they could find the infrastructure (schools, malls, parks, etc) to have a better quality of life with their young kids.
But the crisis has been so severe that many buildings and gated communities in the process of construction have had to be left halfway through. In some areas you only see the streets, the roundabouts, and all the empty lots or the half-empty malls.
The young families cannot afford at this time to buy ANY property (they are having trouble hanging on to a job!) so one thing that is true -even if it's the only one- is that the timing for the LC with this school has been not bad but TERRIBLE, and that certainly the growth that they'd expected to see in Boadilla has not happened for reasons outside them...

Nonetheless, MI, even in such circumstances, the school has 400+ students which the town goes out of its way to mention. This is not a ghost town school by any means. The LCs are not claiming the school is bankrupting them at this point either. My guess is the township knows they have the adequate revenue, they can do the math. It is that the LC prefers to pocket the profit rather than to make the investment now at a time when construction is cheap (i.e. low demand).

When I lived in Spain in late 60's early 70's, there were lots of babies and schoolchildren everywhere. Went back in 2000 and not a child to be seen in either city we had lived in. Not a child. Used to be kids in their school smocks were everywhere.

We also saw all these new American-style subdivisions outside of town, totally alien to the Spanish way of life.

We have been told by friends that the old way of working and saving to buy an apartment before you got married changed to buy on credit and use two salaries to pay off, which means no kids.

One of the reasons the Legion school may have been in demand for a while was that the public schools of Spain (which were religious) had a fantastic curriculum until the socialists took power, and they gutted it.

A couple of years ago a brother who worked at CEYCA (a Legion school in Mexico City) was complaining about the doorknobs. I wondered how could it be possible that one of the most expensive schools in Mexico couldn't afford a couple of doorknobs. The brother told me that the money goes directly to Rome, and they approve a budget for the entire schoolyear. That means that if your budget didn't foresee doorknobs, you had to put out with them until the next year.

If you do the math, it is rather impossible to afford the Center of Higher Studies in Rome with local donations. They survive thanks to the money from schools. I'm not surprised the town in Spain has come to such a decision, since 400+ students should be enough for them to afford the new buildings, ie the money ain't going to the school as they've promised.

I agree with MaryAnn that it would be much more constructive if we focused on how to heal from the LC experience and how it effects our interaction with all other Catholics and organizations now.

@GexLC - one could be, what are the things in the Church that trigger LC/RC reactions or memories?

I know Anon and Hope that all the money goes to Rome from EVERY school in the world, but regardless, if we are to be objective, we have to admit that there has not been a 'normal' situation in Spain in the last years...
One thing does not exclude the other:
I was just trying to add information that is as real as what you are saying. No one -and I mean NO ONE- in their right mind would expand at this moment in Spain: be it schools, stores, and especially contractors who develop the land. I also said that those half-built apartment buildings or malls, and the empty lots of land are the ones that look ghostly; nothing to do with the 400 students.
Mary Ann, you are totally right:
No kids, much debt, no job (in many, many cases, and not a brighter picture in the near future...) foreclosures, credits taken away, mortgage, etc certainly don't seem to make it the best moment to expand a school! So the township can do whatever math they want: the school may be getting adequate revenue today, but if they expand now, they sure wouldn't! You wouldn't believe how many Spanish people I know that have had to move their kids to public schools because they can't afford to pay private -LC or other- at this moment of crisis...
And hey, I'm not in any way an LC defender... I'm just trying to analyze a situation based on the reality. Anyway they always have trouble with these kind of moves with the land: in Spain, Mexico, the U.S... except this time (for once!) they do have a point... That's all I was trying to share.

I heard yesterday that Spanish parents invaded a Catholic school and had a sit-in demanding the government provide quality education....I think they want it like the old days!

M.I.: Keep in mind, I am just speculating my way through certain unknowns, given all we will even know of these situations are sketchy details.

I do not doubt the general description you have given of the economic situation in Spain, I just find it very odd that the township could be taking so strong a position (truly draconian) if those conditions had a genuine application to the LC's specific case for not following the contract. The council is irate enough to justify to the public the uprooting of the LC for someone else midstream and $1000's in fines- that is serious business for the parents and public in general.

Buildings in a school are not just about putting bodies in seats, but providing all the complimentary facilities that were expected from the institution- like a gym, library, etc... So whether enrollment goes from 400 to 600 or not, certain buildings may still be necessary here, could that be what is troubling to the town?

It is odd that neither the LCs nor the reporter mention any effort to renegotiate the contract before it boiled over- this is normally how good will is expressed regarding a liable party. Why the passive- aggressive stance instead and fines? Perhaps because they have no tenable case, money was there but sent elsewhere?

If the town cited the number of students, it was for a reason not irrelevant to the case. I suspect that they are looking for an investment commensurate with the revenue- as I said before- this implies they believe the general market conditions and slow enrollment increase do not mitigate the financial ability to build.

If someone is more in the know firsthand of the local politics here that would no doubt make things clearer. Perhaps of followup new story will come of it.

This has been in the news for a while. I am surprised that it hasnt been mentioned that the LC misused the property - one of the buildings that was supposed to be a school building was really, illegally, a HQ for their big fundraising machine (letters, accounts etc) and other administration. There were 70 people working there.

http://blogs.21rs.es/trastevere/2011/02/28/la-legion-de-cristo-se-desmorona-en-espana-1/

There was talk of corruption between local politicians and the legion.

Thanks Aaron, this too is what I love about this blog- when more details are needed always someone shows up with a bit more detail to help.

What is noted from the multiple stories cited on the post, that in 2010 the School in question had 202 students going up to 4th grade, and today it has 400+. That makes DOUBLE those numbers of two years ago, with grades going up to what I surmise is 6th, and even in the current negative PR and financial climate. Higher grades usually demand more specialized classrooms and equipment for sports, science and computer classrooms. In fact, the building planned next was for the upper grades- (7th-8th) which was to be ready this year but for the coming school year. It never happened.

Really the LC has not a serious leg to stand on here. The contract they signed which legally dictates the pace (not their own self interest) is still shown to be quite reasonable as an expectation. The final target number, like many other of its schools there, seems to be about a 1000. 600-700 would have been a conservative estimate for the next two years as they add on two more grades. This would have been most easily reached if the LCs had not provoked such a negative news story about their lack of financial commitment.

Respecting all integrity, each school's cash and capital assets are ethically considered for its own use, not that of the sponsoring entity. It is not the school that is in a financial crisis, it is the leeching organs of the LC cash needy governance that are. But there is a blindness still that makes this very hard for the LCs to see.

Quite honestly I can see now why the town is upset, because if the cash should have been there, it would be an absolute sin to NOT build. Costs could be 20% to 30% lower now than if you wait for all to be well in the economy.



the legion is really a mexican style order no matter where they are. they are constantly trying to skirt the rules while using the full extent of the law when it works in their favor. whenever they can they deceive others to get what they want.

Case in point:
the dallas highlands school used to be a convent which had some asbestos. the legion got a million dollar discount on the building purchase to supposedly remove the asbestos. they got the discount but never removed the asbestos.
Case 2 in point:
the legion brought in Oak Hill Academy (for rich mexican kids) to the highlands building to allow lc priests to be chaplains. the lc priests said daily mass and heard the kids confessions, but other than that left these kids with low paid or unpaid lc volunteers which in some cases were kids who didn't brush their teeth, didn't shower, didn't have any true personal formation. the kids from oak hill didn't learn english and it made a ton of money for the legion. the kids didn't get good food and were there simply to allow the lc to get a toe hold in dallas then they closed oak hill when it no longer served any purpose. by then highlands had grown and the lcs justified their presence in dallas by the school. the diocese was close to booting them from the diocese, but for whatever reason allowed them to stay. even though the legionaries were not allowed to recruit on the campus of the U of Dallas, the lc priests would sneak onto campus to try and recruit.
Case 3 in point:
the legion has supposedly made strides in building a safe environment by getting a safe environment designation from Preesidium. However they did not do background checks on foreigners which is a high percentage of legionary priests working in the US. Praesidium gave them a break even though the legion could have been obligated to use a thorough background screening organization which is very expensive, but gets the job done. So the "safe environment" designation is basically meaningless, but the legion touts that as if there was a thorough investigation of all members.
Case 4 in point:
the legion used to have a program of sponsorship where benefactors would sponsor a brother. when a brother would leave, the benefactor was deceived about the brother saying he was still in the legion when he wasn't. this was to get the scholarship money. when the benefactor pointed out the deception, the legion simply replied that they didn't want them to lose faith in the church.

Now that the legion lost its shield of sanctity and purity, it is more difficult for the legion to deceive others. i am glad that someone has the guts to stand up to the legion and make 'em sweat a little.

66-Acre Education, Community Campus Could Be Largest Islamic Project In America

"In a move that could change the Islamic demographics of the greater Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region, the Dar-us-Salaam community announced on Saturday, August 4, 2012 its plans to develop a new home in rural Howard County, Maryland.

In late June, Dar-us-Salaam signed a contract to purchase the 66-acre Woodmont Academy campus in Cooksville, Maryland, a small town about 15 miles west of Ellicott City. The initial $10 million price was negotiated down to $8 million over the last several months; the contract includes a study period of up to 9 months to allow for zoning approvals."

http://www.muslimlinkpaper.com/community-news/community-news/3140-dar-us-salaam-announces-bid-for-howard-county-campus.html

Yikes!

"Mexican-style order"...
care to clarify? Simple racism?

mexican style order = "Sí, se puede", but understood in terms of maciel. end justifies the means.

Nothing to do with racism.

it is pure "spiritual" consequentialism at its finest hour.

the image of the evil coachman from Pinocchio comes to mind.

don't know if this answers your point...

LAN, I know you feel defensive when there are negative comments about Mexico. I'm no expert, although I have been to Mexico countless times, not just in tourist centers, but also in the company of "locals". My impression is that there are cultural differences in ethics, or in business dealings, which from our perspective and in our country would be considered dishonest. I don't say that to be "racist", I love visiting Mexico, but I also believe that there are challenges that come with the territory.

So if the Legion is called a "Mexican-style order", I picture a group that follows some of those different cultural practices that many of us would find unacceptable at home - differences surrounding the meaning of commitment or promises, timelines, accountability, or the use of "favors" or bribes.

Am I wrong?

Italian, spanish, uk... Scratch my back and i'll scratch yours culture is in many places- even usa. Corruption, nepotism, blackmail, cutting deals... Thats not uniquely mexican. If it were, it would only work in mexico - spanish governors wouldnt partake.

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