Dear Readers, nothing should surprise us at this point. And yet the combox offers a link to a page that beggars belief. Spanish speakers can just take a look to discover the childishness and absurdities that pass for spiritual direction within the Legion. A brief summary:
Religion Digital published a bizarre case of two Legionary priests from Spain, both elected to the General Chapter which will begin in three weeks. The story is long, but the documentation is solid about the case. Approximately four years ago, Fr. Florencio Sanchez imposed an arcane and totally inappropriate penance on Fr. Juan Carlos Ortega. Ortega had disobeyed Sanchez when the latter prohibited him from continuing correspondence with a female spiritual directee in Rome. The penance was three-fold:
Ortega, after some reluctance, acquiesced. The article contains the photo and a letter he wrote to the woman. This childish episode made the rounds of many of the Legion houses, and Ortega has apparently resigned from the General Council, although he states that this episode shows how much the issue of a twisted idea of Legion authority needs to be addressed. Sanchez is considering his options.
- to send the woman a photo of himself on his knees with arms outstretched and a sign pinned to his cassock saying "Forgive me, I am an irresponsible and proud person;"
- to send the woman a general confession in writing of all of his sins against the sixth commandment during his entire life; and
- to act as her personal "spiritual slave."
Bottom line: it would appear that there will be a darker atmosphere at the General Chapter than the cheerful Cardinal would have us believe. Jesus, mercy.
UPDATE: My dear readers, this is dark stuff amidst the joy of the season, but it would be an injustice to the victims of this Congregation to hold back for that reason. Imagine all the dark Christmases and Easters they suffered when told to rejoice in the Lord.
There are three documents on Regain that must be read: here, here, and here. They are disturbing, and one is graphic. If you wonder what can happen behind the doors of a group that isolates each man from others and controls his very conscience, here you will have a glimpse.
That said, consider the words of Fr Bannon. And then take note that Fr Salvador Maciel will take part in the General Chapter. Whether he has actually been sequestered from youth all these years remains open to question, but one doesn't have a reason to place one's trust in the Legion on that matter.