Most Helpful Posts

Helpful Articles

Blog powered by Typepad

Comment Policy

  • All constructive comments will be accepted.
    Commenting anonymously is certainly permitted as long as it adds to the understanding of this topic. The point of this site is to foster love for Christ, while analyzing the place of Regnum Christi in the Church. (Please know that no one will be able to track your comments -- neither the readers nor the webmaster. We all understand the hesitancy in speaking about this experience and the fallout that can accrue. All comments will only bear the information you choose to reveal.)

« heads up | Main | The last dissenting voice »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

"When Ratzinger became pope he immediately removed Maciel from public ministry"

He was elected April 2005 and disciplined Maciel May 2006. Which goes a long way to explaining why dealing with Maciel took the Varican decades if this is the definition of immediately!

Personally, I think Ratzinger was part of the problem. Too little was done too late. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led by Ratzinger, examined the allegations in 1998 but the victims were told the following year that the investigation had been shelved.

Then whilst JPII was supposedly being 'handled' by officials and minders, where was Ratzinger? He was right there in the thick of it and i find it difficult to believe that the head of the CDF had his hands completely tied by a bunch of secretaries and Monsignors. Then he finally did do something, it was akin to pushing the whole scandal under the carpet. The truth was not acknowledged, justice was not served, and there was no closure for the victims. That left the Legion free to continue singing Maciel's praises, continue recruiting and brainwashing more young men and women, continue taking millions from pious old people under false pretences, and continue presenting themselves as the best thing that ever happened to the church.

Plus the 'disciplining' was woefully inadequate and circumvented true justice. Who was the Pope to decide to cover this up so Maciel did not have to face criminal charges for his actions? Why was it bad for Cardinal Bernard Law to cover up sexual abuse cases but okay for Ratzinger as pope to do so?

This doesn't look like courage to me.

I'm not entirely sure that Fr. Morris is basing his 'information' on anything that he has particular experience of - I get the impression that he is regurgitating some of the discussions/articles that have circulated online, both in english and spanish.

If he was basing his opinions on first hand experience - how can he neglect so readily the complicity of LC superiors and those in the LC who were closest to Maciel?

The Legion is not innocent in this curial collusion.

I think there are some LC's who cannot fully let go of their Legion ties. If they speak out publicly against their brothers, they may sever those ties for good. A risk JM's afraid to take perhaps? It's too bad for those he's harmed with his psychobabble over the years. Watching him silently defend the legend by saying nothing derogatory other than to speak of the sins of Maciel, is not the solution either. It makes JM appear hypocritical.

It doesn't take much imagination to understand that - at the very least - Sodano's office was complicit in the coverup. Unless the LC stole letterhead from the Secretary of State's office. I wouldn't put that possibility past them, btw, given what they are accused of here in the archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

So yes Fr. Morris may just be regurgitating information from the AP, National Catholic Reporter, etc. But I'm guessing his audience tends to differ a bit from that of these other news sources. So while it certainly isn't a scoop it's getting even more attention from a wider audience - and one that includes some very "uber Catholic" types who would never criticize the Holy See. Let's face it - the subject of curial corruption hasn't gotten the press it deserves from Catholic media sources here in the US (CNA, EWTN, etc.) and Morris provided a very concrete and painful example of what happens when you combine corrupt leadership with a membership more interested in defending the institution from "attacks" than holding it accountable. That Morris was so outspoken is actually surprising and a very positive development. Has any other "publicity-oriented" orthodox Catholic priest with a wide audience share done the equivalent?

The spotlight should not leave the PTB - but it should include the curia. And now it just might.

All this talk of curial corruption, and somehow the Popes always manage to come out of it smelling like roses.

How utterly convenient.

Whether it's because of "bad handlers" or having hands tied somehow or another, it still stinks to high heaven if you ask me.

“Help from people who have never been investigated. Help from directors . . . still in place. Help from manipulators . . . working with another Cardinal who has made it a point to ignore the elements that allowed for the scam to flourish for so long.” Well said, giselle.

I can almost hear the whistles of relief from the legion camp. Not one, but two scapegoats to carry the legion's own complicity and duplicity! The mm man of mystery and the curia itself, no less. In its on-going campaign to duck and dodge its responsibility for the mm con, watch the legion leadership use carefully chosen comments as well as strategic silence in attempts to keep the spotlight on the scapegoats. Of course, in this sordid mess there's so much responsibility to go around that both the legion leadership and the curia should find it easy to share. But I don't see anyone from either camp shouldering to the counter asking for his rightful portion.

Still not assuming responsibility, are they?

They're not only cultists -- they're craven cultists -- (maybe that's redundant?).

In as much that those in LC/RC are all sick puppies, Garza on down, both victims and complicit, then yes, the fault lies with Cardinal de Paolis first, who has not only not managed the reform well, but more importantly, has not addressed the healing of all included, including Garza, Alvaro, on down. They all need big time deprogramming, but nothing happened. Also Cardinal de Paolis was more interested in protecting “secrets” than coming to the bottom of this. Canon law expert, yeah right…
In LCRC, those that professed the private vows to MM are still allowed to hold these privately, by all apperences. That includes most in leadership. How can there be any healing or reform?
So I agree with Gems: two Popes and still no full accounting, but more important, still entrapment of souls in this con, to avoid scandal, and because they were so good at the con.

Once again I am in Mexico on business. Not much time to follow LARC or other sources as much as I would like.

Let's remember that Fr. Morris came to Fox through the Legion. Consequently, I suppose, he has chosen to be circumspect about his comments with regard to his former Congregation.

His recent blog entry (which I've also posted at my place) is, in my opinion, very well said.

The real problem lies with the Curia and rampant clericalism with regards to the management of the awful scandals that plague the Church, including the Legion. This in no way excuses those who were complicit with Maciel. It just reminds me that the context was entirely conducive to denial and, for some, cover up.

With the unsealing of the RI court documents there is more pubic clarity about complicity among some senior LC. Nothing new - but as Jason Berry has quite clearly shown, the dysfunctions are now squarely in the public domain.

There in little question in my mind that the LC has been humbled and finally are changing their behaviors. This is especially obvious to me here in Mexico.

I've spoken and written about how dysfunctional leaders attract dysfunctional followers and thrive in dysfunctional environments. Many of us here were part of that phenomenon. Corporate America has given us lots of other examples.

The dysfunctionality is now obvious to everyone. That is a huge step in the right direction. There is not much room for living in denial. The Church has moved very slowly. I hope that with the election of a new Pope we may see more radical and urgent change. That's what I pray for.

Hi Monk/Jack, if I remember, you once said that the curia knew well about MM in the 1980's, I think. Is this correct? If yes, what was that based on?
Also, what do you think about the issue of private vows? Even though these were abolished, it seems to me, that those that already professed them can remain, personally, psychologically, beholden to them? What is your opinion about this?

I don't remember well the story, but I think Fr Jonathan came to Fox, because some connections he made while he helped on the Passion. He was friends with a priest who was a consultant for the movie, and he invited Morris to see the filming of the movie. The superiors saw that since Fr Bartuneck had previous studies in art and acting, he would be ideal to make contacts for the Legion in Hollywood. So Bwrtuneck came to the spotlight thanks to Morris

I don't know the exact moment Fr Morris became a superior in the LC, but I think once CNN and Fox were beginning to ask to work for them, the LC's gave him a position that would make him more "weight" on air.

Obviously, I don't think he wouldn't like to focus on the Legion, since he seems to have a broader vision when it comes down to religous discussions on air, and that some could consider his tesimony on the LC to be biased.

Besides that, he rarely identified himself as a Legionary, even before the scandal broke.

Anyways, I think Fr Morris brings the LC problem to the media ina very different way most have done. Yes, we all love JP II, but some of us feel that he should have done something. And there are many explanations for that. Fr Morris is actually addressing it in what seems the right direction. It wasn't JP II who didn't address it, but the people he trusted. And maybe the historical circumpstance, his advance age, and the people under him, were factors that let Maciel deceive the Pope, and thus some good Bishops, priests and Catholics in general.

Maybe, we have reached a time in History in which the Pope needs, besides an amazing intellect and orthodox moral doctrine, a stronger physical endurance to be able to deal with the problems the modern has to offer. So maybe we might begin to see renouncing Popes as the rule rather than the exception.

It's quite obvious that SOME exlegionaries cannot take responsibility for the part they've played in conning the faithful.
Sorry, I don't know how to put a direct link..but this article is worth reading, especially how the author makes us known of Sodano's unhappiness toward Benedict and how Sandri, as may of us might have guessed, is a clone of Sodano.
Thank you Justice for your time goes on, I become more sincere and adamant with both current RC members and in general, church goers of the continuing deception of the LCs.

Cardinal de Paolis in photo with false bishop (some hacker wackoo from Australia) ...maybe that explains why he can't differentiate between a fake charism and a real one...

Turns out Card de Paolis is a lot of websites or at least looks like him...


I left in 1982. In 1983 I received a response to my letters from a very senior Curial Cardinal. Others wrote similar letters. Besides,there had to be fairly copious documentation as part of the laicization process of former LCs, directed to the Congregation for Religious. I suppose that most of us were not aware of the most serious allegations - or we didn't believe them. Hence, I don't know for sure who knew what. There were certainly very serious red flags known to more than one Cardinal. That I do know.

A dispassionate reader of my book can see the danger signs that should have been more obvious to us all during my 20 years with the LC.

The private vows were certainly part of our culture. The right hand never quite knew what the left hand was doing. Culture doesn't change very quickly - no doubt some still live in denial. But I think that those vows are no longer part of the current situation.

The dysfunctional and ambiguous environment that prevailed following Vatican II created the context for our dysfunctional leader to attract and retain dysfunctional followers. In that sense, I think that all of us involved with the LC share some responsibility for being so ingenuous, hence propagating the Maciel myth and the unhealthy aspects of LC formation.

It's abundantly clear now that MM had to have had "accomplices" who knew of his serious transgressions. They know who they are. Some of those sexually abused were faithful followers at one time (I knew them)and, for whatever reason,while they were LCs, they also contributed to the myth. Before they went public I believed their "positive" version of LC/MM history. Once they left, their awful stories - which we never heard - were not believed and were carefully managed. Some of them continued in contact sending their children to LC institutions. An ambiguous message, at best, for those of us who doubted.

It's only natural to want scapegoats now that most of the truth is public. I have no doubt that there are many guilty parties - especially those who, knowing the truth, in the latter days of MM, did not act decisively. I do not excuse them nor do I know for sure that they did not strive to act and were shut down by ecclesiastical superiors. Hence, my doubts about the Curia and its passive involvement.

The bottom line is that all of us were duped to a greater or lesser degree and many of us, unwittingly contributed to the deceit, simply by remaining in the LC, because of the context.

happy, Its good to know you are speaking out. I suspect it will take years for many of us to rid ourselves of tendencies cultivated by the methods created by the Millionaires of Christ. As of late, I've witnessed friends move directly to other cult-like groups, mostly to feed their need for community. For some, they've simply transfered their loyalties, continuing on with the same type of arrogance and lack of humility previously practiced. I applaud those who cut the apron strings and were able to admit to themselves and God that the organization was unhealthy and continues to unhealthy.

To It's the Duplicity(or anyone who knows):
What is the legion accused of in the archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis? I guess I have been out of the loop and haven't heard what's happening there.

Thanks in advance.


Some LC's were caught going through either parishioner or archdiocesan files. I believe it was mentioned on LARC a couple or so years ago that the previous archbishop (now retired) either had a first hand account of this violation or was intimately aware of it in some way. He certainly reacted swiftly and thoroughly. This was in late 2004. Things have changed a bit since then for RC (which had been banned from parishes at the same time but has since been given permission to hold some limited activities in the parishes) but the LC has not been active here for 8 years now.

Thanks Monk. Must say your reply sounds different than in the past. Sounds like some massive counseling intervention of broken individuals is what is needed, not De Paolis "reform" to salvage MM’s machinery.

Two Items for the purporses of historical veracity: 1). Benedict's response to the Maciel situation once he became Pope was lightning quick in Vatican/Church terms. It was decisive and, with the help of the Legion and its corrupt supporters in the Secretary of State's office, widely misinterpreted (and continues to be misinterpreted to this day). 2). Father Morris's remarks are circumspect as a result of the still deformative effect of his Legionary formation and the distorted relationship that that methodology has on his relationship with the Truth. This is not to say that Father Morris was personally complicit in Maciel's great deception, but that he's had trouble clearing the smoke of his own deformation. I wish him the best--but when we was with FoxNews and wrote a few columns regarding how badly the priest-sex-scandal was handled by the bishop in Las Angeles, he failed to mention his own membership in the Legion at the time (ethically speaking, from a journalism point of view, this is a pretty obvious lapse). I wrote him to ask him about it and was immediately blocked from sending any missives to Father Morris ever again (and I simply asked the question; I didn't berate him for it in any way). Father Morris may have "gotten out" of the Legion--but it's going to be some time until the Legion "gets out" of him.

Well that was certainly mature of Fr. Morris! Good point, Greg . . .

Private to It's the Duplicity, Stupid: Please ask Giselle to put us in contact.

Anyone know what sources were used to corroborate the story of the final moments of MM? The two versions are so radically different...
Anyone have any more info on the source of the version we read in the papers about non-repentence, refusing last rites, etc. etc.??

Phoenix, according to Garza himself:

"So Maciel died on January 30, 2008. The LCs had asked Norma to convince him to confess before death, but he would not. At the very end, when Maciel was in a coma, Fr. Alvaro absolved him."

The comments to this entry are closed.