A reader brings up an excellent point that cannot get lost in the combox:
I feel the need to clear something up. I agree with you about the multiple deceptions, but there is one that is just not true: "...and betrayal of several Holy Fathers who mistakenly approved their toxic methodology".
Let's be very clear here. The text of the Constitution of the Legion of Christ presented to the Holy See for approval is not what the Legionaries have in their hands. It is a much reduced version complying with Canon Law. The same is true of the RC Statues approved in 2004. There are two versions: the version that is approved, a very thin book, and the thick volume that is studied by RC members. This has multiple norms and rules that the Holy See has never seen.
Plus there are the Legionaries "Principles and Norms:" never approved. Norms of Etiquette: never approved. Multiple handbooks for each apostolate, for superiors, all detailing how to proceed, who to accept or not, how to cultivate leaders, benefactors, vocations, etc. All these make up the methodology literature. These have never been approved by any Ecclesial authority.
Yet, here is the lie. LC and RC are taught they are. Therefore, they are the will of God and must be obeyed under pain of sin.
Since we've already addressed the "papal approval" part of it, we must now focus on the sleight of hand that was used to keep the members in line. Former Legionaries will remember the strict accounting that was taken of the Constitutions (each was numbered and had to be handed in) so that no outsiders could read them. The same went for particular "cartas" (letters of MM) that were to be read in-house only, and never shared with the uninitiated.
It was stated clearly by many older exLC's that the reason those rules existed was so that no one would find out that there were more than one version of the Constitutions. Remember also, that was the heart of the lawsuit against Regain: they were charged with having copies of internal documents that were not to be shared with outsiders.
[So ingrained were those rules that MM drilled into his followers that some stated that even when the private vows were rescinded, they would live them "in their hearts" -- prioritising the Legion machine over the guidance of Holy Mother Church.]
So presently, there is a general reform of the Constitutions underway, in which each local house is supposed to go number-by-number through the entire document, providing input and feedback on the contents. Then this information is supposed to be gathered, collated, and synthesised for the final draft. I don't know how other congregations wrote/revise their Constitutions, but this is the only means offered to the Movement at present. Then in 2014, there is to be a General Chapter that will hammer out and approve a final draft.
The assumption is that all of this will be above board. It will be overseen by Cardinal DePaolis (who unfortunately doesn't speak Spanish, the official language of the Movement) and yet it will be guided by the same Directors who were part of the original process (see above). As long as the Church understands the previous situation, the temptations, and the shortcomings of people who were formed under such conditions now writing their own Rule -- and remains vigilant -- there may be real reform.
But we also have to keep in mind that there have been no apologies for the previous system itself; there has been no investigation into who accomodated MM in his profligacy; there has been no outlet for grief or anger in the members who were victimised by lies and LC utilitarianism; there has been no mechanism by which the members could de-couple from the toxic methodology and discuss it in a healthy way (other than this site). Rather, the pressing mantra, "the Church needs us!" remains, by which the members move steadfastly forward with their recruiting and fund-raising -- often through rebranding and different channels (and those who criticise the system or leave are castigated as lacking in faith -- even by Cardinal DePaolis!)
There is still no approved methodology; still no charism; still no approved Constitutions; still no approved principles and norms; still no approved statutes; still no founder (since MM is beyond rehabilitation and no other exists). This is a unique way to lead a congregation, but then Maciel proved to be quite a unique founder. It is essential to remember, though, that his unique style was what formed most of the current members, and the disjointed communication from top to bottom was not an unfortunate natural occurance, but a deliberate mechanism for the private ends of some -- who inevitably include more than just Maciel (and as far as we know, those people remain).
We can pray for the best, hope for the good of those who remain, and trust that the Holy Spirit can make all things new. And yet without a proper inventory of what caused and allowed the previous fetid situation to flourish, it's hard to clean house properly. The coming two years will tell...