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Brilliant analysis, every word. Kudos, Father Berg!

Truly the mark of a great teacher is to outline a complex dilema in an easy-to- understand simple manner. Well done.

Brilliant words from Fr Berg. But will anything change? I doubt it, the rot of the Legion has infected the Vatican as well.

S & T : The fissures are always there, waiting for some new jolt to split the whole thing wide open. That is simply what denial leave behind. Nothing will jolt the LC psyche more than the loss of 'most favored status' by the Pope.

I would say get ready for another quake. Perhaps late winter to early spring 2014- when the results of the Chapter are squarely in the hands of Pope Francis.

The Vatican intervention, as we see from the recent posturing, is far from over.

Perhaps the underlying Vatican methodology is to gently sink the ship and save the sailors?

With Mary Ann Gledon now at the helm of the Vatican Bank, my bet is that PTB will try to make sure this billion dollar generating ship sails on. They will adapt "beautiful theologies" accordingly.

Glendon is not "at the helm", she is a member of a committee on financial affairs, not theology (and not its head, anyway).
The Pope will have to sort out the mess caused by the sacrilegious paederast and his minions, not Ms. Glendon.
Presupposing nasty intentions and bad faith helps nobody.

I tend to agree with you, Monk. I think the Vatican may be allowing the "captains" to sink the ship themselves. They are charged with rewriting the constitutions. Well, do they have any capacity for writing the constitutions for a healthy order? Probably not! That would be a fairly definitive sign that they are incapable of reform and a perfect opportunity for the group to be dissolved.

Also, people have commented on the Church wanting to keep the group around because they make so much money. Is there any indication that the Church receives any of the money, other than a few "gifts" to a chosen few prelates? I am thinking that the leaders of this group have the money stashed away where no one but they can access it.

Dear Luis. You are correct, and I am sorry. But such people chose the spotlight, and thus are accountable. Did she ever explain her prior support of MM? At least Weigle did so. The commission she is part off mostly represents the same old guard that said nothing when MM's deception was in full swing. One does not need to be a financial wizard to guess that with over $30 billion in LCRC assets, and $7 billion in Vatican Bank, both paths may have crossed. The new Bank president launched a PR campaign a month ago saying that prior problems were all “misperceptions”, or something like, until the current scandal broke. I like the new Pope, I wish him well, but please, lets not be naïve. Fr Berg said that one of the big problems is the lack of accountability. I would be surprised if it’s this commission that will shed new light. Hope I am wrong.

Question: Does anyone know where Fr. Thomas Williams is today? Was he laicized? Is he seeking to marry the mother of the child, whoever she may be?

I have a question. Does De Paolis understand that LC is a cult?

Eduardo <

I have a comment (not an answer to your question). I have found that a majority of priests (and some well educated msgrs and bishops - I don't know about cardinals) believe in ignorance that a cult group is so because of its faulty theology and that is where they focus their attention. There is a mindset among Catholics that if something is "approved" by the Vatican it is okay (i.e. not a cult). I have heard someone (a Catholic) with a doctorate in theology state that they think a cult group is what they are because their theology differs from what the Church teaches. That is just not so. I think that is the reason why even John Paul II was fooled by MM even to the point where he recommended him as an example.

If you speak to any cult expert he or she will tell you that regardless of theology or belief system, a group is a cult because of its structure and methodology - particularly when they gradually build up dependence, isolate their members, take over control over their decisions, eg what, when and where they eat, what they wear, who to associate with, who to have (or not have) sex with, rules for all aspects of life, etc so that gradually each members lose their free will. Most people understand "institutionalism" e.g. for prison inmates and that is similar in many ways to mind control.

I think that whether or not DePaolis understands that LC and RC utilize mind control, his words and actions to date indicate that his idea of reform does not include much change in the structure and methodology except for overseeing those LC and RC leaders who are updating their statutes.

That is why I think the Church should retain a good Catholic cult expert before they allow the LC to wind up their reform process.

That's right Dilbert. They also use smear campaigns, banish dissenters, deceive to get desired results, utilize punishments and rewards, share secrets with inner circles, and because of the high levels of mistrust and severe disciplinary measures, they foster alter egos (split personalities and passive-aggressive behavior). The environment is very toxic.

Fr Thomas's last paragraph hit the nail on the head. The LC's extol all the good that is in them, and there is good. But all this good can be spent serving the Church elsewhere. That has been my personal experience. The legionary structure as is, and as is being "reformed" is not necessary.

"But all this good can be spent serving the Church elsewhere" - Fr John

I completely agree with this statement. I was always critical of the time LCs spent on airplanes, flying off to see the RC Faithful, serving a small and elite group of Catholics. I was especially disturbed to see RC families "import" an LC to preside at their children's weddings. I'm not sure what's wrong with the parish priest? Between the priest's time and the cost of travel, is that the best use of time and money? I saw a wedding announcement from a year or two ago where 2 of the Cupertino priests presided at a San Diego wedding. Why does anyone need 2 LCs to get married? No priests in San Diego?

I don't know, but I'm sure our beloved pope would not be impressed.

I support these priests in their vocation but I wish they would share it with the Universal Church and not just a chosen few well-heeled Catholics.

The key to LC suppression will be in their doctrine (and eventually a declaration of heresy - macielism maybe??). There seems to be some Jansenism in their thinking, but dissecting LC thought and praxis into a clear cut danger to the Church is the key. If they are keeping the bulk of their Constitutions, Principles and Norms, unwritten rules of superior - subject relationship, etc, then someone with the proper training should be able to lay out the case for the Vatican - one that they cannot deny...

There should be a lot of bread crumbs to lead back to the source.

Fr. Thomas did a great job analyzing their constitutions when he left the Legion. I think the former Archbishop of Baltimore had a great analysis.

The LC heresy lies in removing the will from the subject and transferring it to the superior. Also in the attainment of perfection essentially through a perfect living of the LC CLCs, Principle & Norms, etc, without a true interior holiness.

All this paints a very twisted picture of humanity and essentially of one's faith.

More bad news for the LC legacy

A rough google translation-
The Criminal Court of Meaux yesterday sentenced, Brother Eric, 33, to two years, suspended sentence, probation; and Brother José, 31, to two years in prison with an arrest warrant, for sexual assault and molestation of schoolchildren more than a decade ago.
The Violation dated back to the years 2004-2006, at a time when both men were seminarians in the Congregation of the Legion of Christ at Mery-sur-Marne. The first Brother Eric had attended the hearing on 8 April, the second - fled to Mexico - and has never been heard by the courts. The case broke in the Congregation through confidences of a child to the bishop of Chartres (Eure-et-Loir). The substitute prosecutor, Sophie Roubert had sought two years in prison, fourteen months in prison, against Brother Eric, and two years in prison, together with an arrest warrant against Brother José.

Saints-Anges, priez pour nous!

@Little Light: as you well know, the difficulty (and why this got so far) is because the praxis you mention was always hidden from view, with one set of constitutions offered for approval, another set parsed out to the men, and all copies kept under lock and key. Unfortunately, if Fr Hennigan is correct in his comment offered above, that sort of thing may continue, unless a better kind of transparency goes forward.

Interestingly, the horrid French case just come into the open may remind Catholics why having the Legion with us will always prove distracting and counterproductive.

Check Interpol for Bro. Jose. What is his last name? Is there more info on his crimes?

Any LC press release?

Dilbert: Thank you for your comment. I am not Catholic, and what you said helped me understand why so many Catholics have been so uncritical of LC.

It seems to me that the Catholic Church has been having a lot of problems with cults in recent decades. That makes me think it would be good if some group of experts did a report on this problem, and also produced a guide to help people determine if a particular Catholic group is a cult.

Ideally this group would be formed under the auspices of the Vatican. If not, it could be under some particular Catholic organization, or a number of individuals simply getting together for this purpose.


At this very moment, the International Cultic Studies Association is meeting in Trieste Italy and one of their main topics being discussed has to do with cultic aberrations in the Roman Catholic Church. They have links to dozens of articles about LC / RC. The ICSA is made up of some of the top experts in their field from all over the world. ICSA is aware of cult groups and mind control in the Church. However, the Church cannot benefit from this expertise until they admit (similar to an alcoholic or drug addict using the 12 step program) that they have a problem.

If the church would listen and would take appropriate action, in the short term they would lose a considerable amount of the money they get from allowing groups like LC to continue. However, potentially in the long term they would gain because fewer people would leave the Church and the efforts of the LC priests and 3gf's would be put to better use serving the Church instead of certain individuals who have access to the LC riches.

Some of the expert presenters are good practicing Catholics and can speak the language of Church officials. Is anyone up there listening?

There is better article about the case in France here:
It seems the Legion was actually a plaintiff in the case against the two. I don't know enough to judge whether the LC's motives were self-serving or if its sign of trying to act like good citizens.
I never knew Eric Lemonie, but I did know Jose Trinidad Sanchez both before and after his time in France. He always seemed to be a "good Legionary" (you know, outgoing, smart, athletic, competent, talked about Jesus to people.)
He also always seemed to be principled in his behavior. Surprise surprise.
About principles: sometimes there were LCs who could be paragons of zeal and kindness and yet be slightly unscrupulous. Others seemed just interested in having a good time.
But then, being a good legionary for allot of the guys meant getting wrapped pretty tight. Either those principles don't cover everything, or they blind you the gravity of other sins, or they are unrealistic standards that cause later blow-outs.
Also, you have to wonder what the general atmosphere was at the school. Sometimes those small communities get claustrophobic.


I am glad to hear about the ICSA meeting, but I think there needs to be an organized effort that is entirely Catholic. Perhaps people who have been fighting the legion could get together with other Catholics and start something.

About the french case. Eric Lemonie and Jose Trinidad Sanchez are nicknames, because I don't remember anybody with those names. Is it?

It's good this piece was published in First Things. The legion's defenders like to accuse its critics of being liberal and anti-catholic, but you certainly can't say that about that publication.

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