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If my memory serves me right this description looks very similar to the opening paragraphs of the constitutions of the Legion of Christ and the RC statutes as drawn up decades ago by Fr. Maciel and his team of ghost writers, such as Frs. Jose Antonio Alonso, Juan Jose Ferran, Juan Manuel Amenabar, etc.

It also seems to lack specifics, seeming more like a short (nondescript) paragraph of "biblical theology/spirituality" on the Kingdom of Christ which could be copied from any treatise on the subject.


Brilliant, keep the Charism as bland and generic as possible. If one cuts the text in half and Goggles both halves, the search pulls generic texts in Spanish from the Catechism and Puebla conference.. BTW, its not new, it was posted last year.

Giselle, you are missing the point, the important part is where it says the LC will govern it all...

@SA: I didn't make a point. I only introduced the document, and explained why I called it "new." We've been asking them to explain their charism for years now. Here it is. It's for the readers to dissect, and your point is excellent. Having the RC hogtied to the LC is same as before, but freshly wrapped up in the New Evangelisation.

@Tom: I missed it last year, sorry. Bland is what you get when you cobble together a charism by committee. It's also harder to explain it as a work of God when focus groups did the heavy lift.

Does anyone have access to the charism statement of another order to compare/contrast? That might be interesting.

It sounds like a press release from the tobacco companies stating for the umpteenth time that cigarettes really are OK.

It would merit a yawn and a cynical chuckle if the matter didn't involve Holy Mother Church and the lives of many of her members.

Who is going to stand up and say, once and for all, that the emperor has no clothes -- that the cult is a diabolical fraud created to deceive and victimize Catholics? What merit is there in pretending that this outfit has any place in the Church -- with or without the periodic change of window dressing and reworking of its incessant and deceptive verbiage?

There are small changes in this version but it's very similar to the draft released last year:

Here's what the Franciscan Sisters of the Perpetual Adoration say about their work. (They don't have it titled 'Charism,' but I think it's the equivalent)

"We serve the Church through Perpetual Adoration, education, healthcare and other ecclesial apostolates. In so doing, we follow in the footsteps of Jesus who spent His public life praying, teaching, healing and ministering to others."

It's very targeted and it's short.

The Benedictine 'charism' is even shorter, of course... "Ora et Labora"

The Nashville Dominicans have a web page explaining their charism:

Do you remember the justification of LC Spirituality made by Luis Garza (

A lot of words and quotations and nothing "original". He tried to explain the sources of their charism... using jesuits and other documents from the Church; nothing from the Legion, because we know that everything was plagiarism.

The RC is inspired by Christ... four lines of quotations; then, TKC summarizes spiritual experience... RC promotes experience of Christ love... more quotations... and? Where is the charism?

They think they emphasize a lot the "experience"

Another interesting point is the phrase: «the primacy of grace in apostolic work»; are they justifying their efficientism?

Thank you, Deirdre, for those examples. When I read the link you gave, I could easily see a day in the life of someone in that order. It was clearly laid out and expressed well their focus. Unlike what the LC/RC have stated which just leaves my head spinning.

For the Franciscan sisters above, their days vary depending on whether they teach or work in healthcare, and depending on how big their community is, but they all involve a certain prayer schedule and Eucharistic adoration....

The big thing with an order's charism is that it usually lets you know what they do. Some mention their founder in the charism, some don't.

But the Nashville Dominicans' comment that if all written records of the order were destroyed, the charism could be recreated from the memories and experiences of the living members seems to be an interesting idea...

What does that mean for the LC/RC?

Gosh, what a mess.

The analogy I offer (imperfect as all analogies are) is that this is like a student who misunderstood an assignment and was told to do it again, and who goes and fixes up the grammar and spelling without realizing that he got the assignment wrong in the first place.

Let's say the assignment was (and I'm making it a secular one on purpose): What does it mean to practice good citizenship? How can you be a good citizen?

And the student replied by writing a biographical paragraph of George Washington, our nation's first president, with a sentence tacked on at the end that says, "Being a good citizen like George Washington means following Washington's example of good citizenship."

No specifics, no ideas about things like voting or serving on a city council or even just keeping streets and sidewalks clean and maintaining one's property--just a nebulous biography and a recommendation to be like Washington.

The frustrated teacher says, "Well, yes, be like Washington, but how are you going to do that specifically?"

The frustrated Legion-watcher says, "Well, yes, be like Christ and follow Him, which is the call to discipleship of every Christian, but how are you going to do that specifically, and in a way that is unique to your order or movement?"

I'm sorry, but wishing people to have "a strong and personal experience of the love of Christ" doesn't explain what you're doing with the money. Or the buildings. Or the money. Or the seminarians. Or the money. Or the lay apostolates. Or the money. Or the fundraising. Or the money...

This charism thing is rather new, isn't it? Not that we don't know what it means, but these imbeciles are obviously looking for something akin to that modern gringo thing of "mission, vision", and so on...
Good Lord, think of St Ignatius, St Theresa, St Francis, St Benedict, St Dominic... anything comparable here?

About the statements on mission-vision, everybody knows is a mantra of modern management so people can feel more "at home" in the company they work for. In the case of the LC Enterprise it has to be more than words. Like Erin said, what about the money, the buildings, the money (she's got the point and made me smile).

Luis- The problem is that for many orders, the charism is inextricably linked to the founder.

So... The Jesuits are 'Ignatian' in their outlook. The OCD follow Theresa's example, etc. etc.

What the LC appear to be trying to do is to rewrite their history.. "Look, we weren't founded by that guy whose name we won't mention! We were founded by Jesus! Christ himself founded us." that would be the Church as a whole, not your specific order...

Erin Manning: very good analogy. For every business which LC is, money is important because it shows status (pride) and buys connections (bribes). They also raised enough money to buy properties, feed 800 priests, fly them around the globe and hobnob with church and business officials.. The constant inflow of money allows them to survive. What they didn't expect was the disclosure of inside information about the founder, his bi-sexuality, his abuse of seminarians, his lust for women and morphine, and his manipulation of power. He couldn't stay grounded and so his closest compadres decided to coverup his sinful behavior and continue selling the product as something angelic. They also didn't expect the downturn in the economy. Finally, they forgot that they are men, not Gods and the love of Christ became love for themselves (clerical narcissism). I think they had something special until they began the heavy duty brainwashing and judging of others. They seemed to think they were perfect when in reality, they were the ones who needed to be fixed (formation). Best that they keep to themselves until they are reformed or dissolved.

Are there any of these "sects" that have a real, specific charism? The one I had a run-in with was in the same boat.

A charism so broad that it's effectively meaningless, yet also quite vague so a superior can arbitrarily justify anything in it's name.

I am not a theologian or writer but let's look at this in more detail:
"The Regnum Christi Movement is inspired by the mystery of Christ who came to build the Kingdom of his Father (Mc 1,15)..." : "mystery" is a trigger for all of us who were a part of this group, but there is no NT book called Mc. Maccabees is OT and this quote is not from either of those two books. Also the "Kingdom of his Father" -- Maciel followed the father of lies and taught others to do so. Which kingdom is LC really working for still?

Second,"...becoming flesh and taking upon himself the full weight of human existence to reach, through his death on the cross, his resurrection (Phil 2.6-11)"... This appears to me to be a distortion of the meaning of that passage.

Lastly, "the primacy of grace in apostolic work"...
According to the CCC under "grace", sanctifying grace is obtained through the sacramental life of the Church. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit and in CCC 2004, "Among the special graces ought to be mentioned the graces of state that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the Christian life and of the ministries within the Church..." One is not acquiring graces by doing apostolic work for the Legion's benefit when they should be home caring for their children, spouse, parents, studying etc.

Foundation by a terrible sinner instead of a holy man, cover-up by those around him to secure the finances of the Legion, use of members for their time, treasure and most importantly, their children warrants this group be shut down and members be assimilated into the Church at large. They have a heretical view of the New Evangelization.

Erin reminded me of a thread of the late Archbishop Watty in which he conversed off the cuff regarding the results of the Visitation and the visitors' meeting with Pope Benedict.

He prefaced his comments by how surprised he was and the other member of the Curia were to see how similar were the conclusions of all 5 visitors.

"…….There are many elements to be changed, to be corrected, to be taken care of, some of them the Pope himself grasped. So he asked, “What’s first?” As we said in our reports: It’s to define the charism. What does it mean to define the charism? It’s to define the identity that is cracked, and to redefine it, and to restructure, to recompose, to re-make, to rectify the charism. That’s one element that came out in the five reports.
Another issue is the governance structure. You all know that Fr. Maciel governed the Legion of Christ for 60 years. So, of course, his indelible, weak, fragile, damaged personality had a harmful effect. Thus the need for restructuring. The Pope mentioned at the end that the entire structure of authority within the Congregation of the Legionaries is to be restructured, recomposed and made more in accordance with the authority of the Church; in other words, more Gospel-like. We noticed many elements that really need to be improved: The system of authority, and the Legion’s system. Another is the formation of the Legionaries of Christ, who have a long journey. For them it was important to discover one thing that they have to renew and purify: their entire formation scheme, their dynamics of formation, to be able to live the consecrated life as they ought, and also to develop their apostolate as they ought."

Quite a homework assignment. So how have they done?

Really we see how strong the curia was in defending the status quo in two very specific points of history.

1) Archbishop Watty is really talking about dissolution and refoundation of the order, it is just so obvious. Hovering over the whole visitation was a dreaded fear of those words: dissolve or re-found. NEVER used, Never permitted. Hence never happened. Then DePaolis appears, recruitment as before, no review of the apostolic schools at all.

2) Archbishop Watty recounted many were ready to break with the past, how many were looking in that emotional moment to define themselves- but then came DePaolis. In a famed meeting between him and all the Territorial Directors they began to ask about certain elements- the work with leaders, etc.. He told them no change, all should remain the same-- later he affirmed no new elements could be introduced and the visitation's conclusions were exaggerated. The report is essentially ignored. Now we have Fr. Heerman going further to be offended by what 5 different Bishops, from different religious orders, from different countries, concluded about the grave problems in the institute, LC.

@A&W in Atlanta. You do not need to be a theologian to realize that Lennon translated the text, but not the references to bible books. Mc is for "Marcos", the Gospel of Mark. Your interpretation of the CCC has a smack of fundamentalism to it. Grace can be granted by God also outside of the sacraments. Primacy of grace in the apostolate makes reference to 1 Cor 15,10. I am all for grilling this text, but at least we should do it on a non superficial manner. God bless.

What can we do concretely to advise dioceses throughout North America about Legion/Regnum Christi? How can we get the new president of the USCCB to issue a statement like the president of the French bishops' conference? How can we get a united outcry once more against the Legion/Regnum Christi in all Catholic news media and secular news media? I believe we first need to focus on getting the apostolic schools to close down. What do people on this blog think?

I recently spoke to Cardinal Burke in Rome about the Leg/Reg. He said: "The Legion is the most corrupt institution that has ever existed in the Catholic Church."

Jorge, thank you for that clarification of the Gospel passage. However, I was merely quoting the CCC - not providing a fundamentalist interpretation. The women members of RC were forced to do many time-consuming apostolates, often neglecting the raising of their own children, and their husbands, with the understanding that this apostolic work would get them and their families to heaven. If you are neglecting the state of life into which God has placed you for apostolate, you are not receiving grace for that work. Legion has a utilitarian view of the human person which is not Catholic! There is no evidence from this new mission statement that they have changed. Many, many people were hurt by this movement, at so many different levels. They need to fold up their tents and assimilate into the Catholic Church.

If Cardinal Burke can't spread the word, nobody can.

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