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This is a great letter because it's not 5 pages of vague platitudes. I'm not even bothered that it took this long for the scales to fall from his eyes. Will he suffer any LC backlash? Let's pray for the other 900+ LCs to wake up in a similar fashion.

Above all, I hope MM's victims get some comfort, even if this is the apology of only one LC.

Like. Vicariously healing.

The way things are I think the the only hope for the Legion is if many of their members are able to see through the smoke and repent of what the leaders of their organization collectively have done to victimize people. That would be a first step toward authentic reform.
It is wonderful after all these years to see a Legionary priest start to think critically, make this type of admission and actually share his feelings of remorse publicly instead of mindlessly and robotically doing and saying only what he is conditioned to say.
Wow.

If enough others follow his lead perhaps they could put some pressure on the leaders to develop more Christian attitudes. I don't expect the leaders to change from their old ways but it would be wonderful if more LC priests could be more like this guy.

Let us pray he can be appointed general counselor at least so that he will be able to pass from words to deeds. I would like to know if this letter will gain him from his fellow legionaries the role of pariah or of moral leader.

I have no reason to think he is not sincere in his intentions up to a point. There is a more penitential circle, it seems, that wants a more profound reconciliation with the past. 'Legionary in Rome' manifested similar characteristics. So far none of them transfer this back to the institute per se which they still laud as a work of God, still support in all of its fundamental characteristics.

In part they cannot separate their faith experience from the institute; the Church's holiness at large from the depraved nature of the LC's legacy. I doubt we will see any serious reform here; rather such gestures will be used by the nomenklatura to show the LC AS IF they were reformed or remade in some way as they approach the General Chapter.

I think there is something a major campaign, or at least a widespread need, the LC has to look reformed, if only to itself, without ever fully owning the meaning of the word.

Hence, is this a fissure of light or a shield to ward off claims of non-reform? I might see it as serious if reform included:
1) Independent provinces with elected provincials, showing centralized authority is not the core of their identity
2) Appropriation of new universally recognized spirituality and rule to break from the patrimony of MM taken from another institute already approved by the Church
3)Reverting all back to temporal vows for three years to discern without guilt their call to go forward with a true reform or serve the Church in another way
4)The designation of a singular field of service by which they come to serve the Universal Church instead of broad categories of evangelization they end up using to serve themselves.

Now that would be true repentance!


This article came in my inbox this morning and summed up well what I was thinking.

http://goinswriter.com/better-person/

True compassion has to hurt for the other person. This letter finally starts to do that. I expected this response when the news broke about Maciel years ago. Thank you Fr. Juan for finally showing signs of true compassion.

"If we want to live lives of purpose that will make an impact on those around us, we must be willing to grow in our compassion — to let go of fear and discomfort and embrace the hard stuff.

We who are rich with respect to the rest of the world must come to grips with our own poverty, our own self-centeredness and egotism. We must allow our hearts to be broken and our safety disrupted, so that we can make things whole again.

We must fall apart before we can build up. This is the only way to redeem whatever’s been lost — we must be willing to hurt with those who are hurting so that true healing can come.

Anything else is not compassion. It may raise money for charity or impress the neighbors, but it won’t satisfy."

Time for the LC to embrace the hard stuff and hurt with those who are hurting - and most of those people left. Time to look outward.

@Anon: agreed. As has been noted many times here, the only escape from bondage is on one's knees. The tearing down is essential so that the new foundation is on a solid and healthy foundation.

Gotta run, but I will read the letter later tonight. Just caught something from the intro to the letter: "I preferred to defend the reputation of the legionary family above that of my brothers." That, in a nutshell, is what the legion has been doing these past few years of "renewal" instead of facing up to the dignity of each member. For the Legion, the body is greater than the sum of its members. Members are dispensable, useful, or discarded.

Ok. I would be more than happy to say "thank you" to Fr Juan, if it weren't for one paragraph toward the end. He says:

"I'm not worried about the public reaction to the harsh and serious revelations of our foundation, whether they be new or old, for God alone knows the mysterious 'why' of our case and he will bring his good work to fruition for victims and non-victims alike."

After taking on full responsibility for not believing the accusations in the past and being complicit with silencing them, it seems to me he is washing his hands of any future action.

Well, ok. I thank you, Fr Juan, for being honest about the past. But, aside from reaching out to victims, internal changes must be made to avoid victimizing others in the future. What changes have you made personally, and what changes will be made institutionally. Otherwise, apologies are useless.

I can add to that in another place he says, "therefore, as another brother who has deeply loved the Legion and the Movement since he was a teenager, I felt the need to offer a small public gesture of justice and accountability." Did he ever consider the LC/RC was not what he thought it was in his adolescence?

It would seem the news of Izquierdo probably shook the edifice more then we realize and provoked some reaction of examination. Again, as I mentioned above, nothing ever touches the LC as 'a work of God' for him as it has replaced to some extent the Church herself, in his faith experience. For that reason his gesture remains just as he says, small indeed.

I'm not one to hope for much, but I liked this line:

"that Benedict XVI abd Pope Francis called us to do before the Lord"

There's no LC to quote or look up to, and he recognizes it. Is this a foreshadowing of the crumbling to come?

His sincerity would be meaningful if he or anyone else would list the names and dates of who violated whom, when they first knew of it, and why they remained silent. All LC's should stand up and say something like "In December 2003 I suspected/knew that Fr. Smith was abusing Jim Jones at X location. I didn't come forward because I was afraid/unsure/compromised by X. I come forward now, and hope that the victim has received justice, and that the victimizer has been fully prosecuted so that he won't be able to ruin any more lives." That would prove sincerity.

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