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That was just awesome - full of honesty, authenticity, courage and love. Wow - made my day. Someone in LC/RC - please read and listen to this. It sums it all up so well. If these points were followed - then I would see hope for LC/RC.

Thanks Joe Biltz - you said it all and spoke for many of us!

Our renewed prayers are needed especially at this critical moment, that chains will be broken for many in repentance, fortitude and trust.

An honest and insightful letter from Joe Biltz.

Is the cult capable of abandoning its deceit and corruption by acting on these insights from a former member? I wonder if it's impossible because deep down there's nothing there but deceit and corruption.

This letter from Joe Biltz should be made into a checklist, with a weekly update, until all the items have been completed.

I don't know if we can make a true checklist of things to do until we get more inside info from the workings of the Legion, especially the DG. The evil goes much further than what Joe points out - all dressed up in Catholic forms (prayer, spiritual direction, human formation, apostolate, cassock, etc). it is like the cancer spread throughout the bone marrow or pulling out the weed without all the roots. Trying to fix this will not require a surgeon, but a General Sherman who will find all evil and wipe it out.

Unfortunately that will require a full accounting - financial, psychological, spiritual, methodological, etc. One that no one has had the courage to request or carry out - not even remotely. By now most evidence has been shredded, emails deleted, the cooked books have been cleaned up tidy.

How did the territorial directors not question about the approved CLCs vs the ones in house? Many of them had to know. The situation was so callous that Maciel's buddies could do a victory lap with the aging Maciel, his wife and daughter living like kings. No one questioning anything? Hard to believe.

Most of the top people are very smart cookies doing the dirty work. Same ones now at General Chapter. Bannon, Garza, Corcuera, Juan Solana, etc, etc. My gut reaction is to ask the Pope to excommunicate a good number of them which would put the fear of God in a few, but knowing how the Vatican has trodden over the rights of victims - not happening.

This group of abusers is like a club meeting for loan sharks, pedofiles and ponzi schemers. None of them are deserving of the respect Joe shows in his letter. The points are great, but heads have to roll. Grave sin with no consequences is a terrible lesson to teach so the sooner the hammer falls the better. The Vatican think tank meanwhile seems only concerned with a golden parachute. Too much is at stake for the Vatican not to rubber stamp the GC. Despite my hopes, I think nothing stands in the way of getting back to business as usual.

@LL: What you say is very true about the complicity and hiding of evidence, but there were always two layers: MM's inner layer of corruption and the outer layer comprised of the "Choir boy facade" (CBF) that made his scheme work. The interplay between the two layers was previously possible because of:

1. the cult-like atmosphere of absolute obedience;
2. a series of papal endorsements which confused supporters; and
3. limited access of members to outside media.

If Mr Biltz's suggestions are taken to heart, it does nothing to change corruption at the heart, true, but it removes the CBF which is necessary to scam the Church.

The bloom is off the rose: the members have access to outside influences, there are other orthodox communities that don't have this sort of baggage, and "the pope approves of us!" mantra no longer flies. All that remain are:

1. "poor us, we were so betrayed";
2. "the pope oversaw our reform so we're extra special"; and
3. "we rewrote the constitutions now let's save souls!"

These points show that the "marines" have become the spiritual cripples who need our patience and indulgence rather than our unbridled awe. Whether we give them our children to form as well remains to be seen.

In other news......


A sincere RC member drops a note to Mark Shea asking him to play nice with the Legion, noting that they “have faults but they are trying to improve and reform.”

In response, Mark graciously explains the facts of life to the fellow.


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2014/01/correspondence-with-a-legionary-hurt-by-my-call-for-the-destruction-of-the-legion.html

Wow, I love this Joe Biltz. If the Legion is sincere about reform, how could any of them take issue with Joe's suggestions? They're brilliant. Thanks Joe, I'm glad you retained your critical thinking and conscience. All the best to you.

"H) When a brother discerns it is not his vocation in the LC, throw a merienda cena dinner for him; have brothers write him a spiritual bouquet..."

That paragraph brought me to tears. I know many religious and priests have suffered worse at the Legion's hands. But when I was told to pack my things while the community was in the chapel, then hide my bags in an unused cubicle overnight, then turn in my cassock and wear the "novice suit" on the way out so nobody suspected anything...

No real goodbye's. Nothing. Just a priest and an assistant to see me off. I never felt so lonely sleeping in my (newly) own bed the first night I left the novitiate.

Maybe 3 months later, I happened to be driving through the general area and called my former Novice Master. I asked to stop in and say a quick hello. He told me it was better for the "peace of the community" that I just keep on going by. Of course, he said that in the most charitable way possible - right?

I agree with Joe and thank him for writing what he did. I honestly do appreciate the memories of my life in the community. I don't consider my years there completely wasted.

It's just that a paragraph like the one I cited above reminds me so much of what the Legion of Christ **could have been** without Maciel and his disgusting influence on the order.

What a shame, what a shame, what a shame.

Little Light,

I agree -- a checklist would be just scratching the surface because the whole enterprise is so fundamentally disordered and destructive.

While I have heard my share of Legion war stories and escapades over the years, Joe B. alludes to something I haven't heard before.


Does anyone know the story behind the "vocation.com 'debacle' " that he mentions in Section II-E ? Is this another instance of the LC hijacking someone else's creation?

I always liked Joseph Biltz. If there were ever a fist fight I'd want him on my side.

Well written suggestions. Makes me think we (those who left) should be in charge of the reform. It would be done right.
-9 Years of Lies

Let's start a new movement using all ex-members and name the founder Fartial Fartiel.

This is one of the best and most candid lists I have seen for genuine reform. Certainly not perfect, but if followed it would open the door to the Holy Spirit by opening the way of genuine humility within the movement.

After my 14 years of service, Fr. Alvaro Corcuera gave me a candy bar when I left.

RC sections could take this checklist and adapt it to purify and reform themselves. I'd appreciate the effort if my ex-friends in RC took the time to examine their actions, words, coverup, the way people were targeted, groomed, used, thrown away and forgotten.

Those of us who have left are free to voice opinions...publicly using them as food for lashing out is another story...Without lessening ANY of MM's evil, I sincerely believe forgiveness is essential for any of us to heal. Coupled with a sincere belief that God will bring some sort of good EVEN out of evil.
Pope Francis in Evangelium Gaudium 44. Moreover, pastors and the lay faithful who accompany their brothers and sisters in faith or on a journey of openness to God must always remember what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches quite clearly: “Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors”.[49] Consequently, without detracting from the evangelical ideal, they need to accompany with mercy and patience the eventual stages of personal growth as these progressively occur.[50] I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy which spurs us on to do our best. A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God’s saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.
Also, I recommend this link http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2014/01/forgiveness-and-spiritual-freedom
and "Forgiveness is a Choice" by Robert Enright

That's why there is the distinction of fores, hr, LCs tend to confuse them, not only taking out from the internal to the external, but also tending to analyze sins as we were in the confessional

hr, every few months someone comes along and offers a gentle lecture about forgiveness, and so here you are. I'm sure you believe you are being helpful. But you seem to make a big assumption, that folks who speak critically about the LCRC are unforgiving. Why is that? Could it be you were formed by them? Maybe you still embrace the LegReg definition of charity, which precludes one from ever speaking critically about anything. May I suggest you book a spiritual direction session with a non-LC priest to discuss this topic and to help you understand it better?

There is a difference between forgiving and trusting. I may not ever trust most people I knew in LegReg. But this doesn't mean I haven't forgiven them, and it doesn't mean I haven't stopped wanting the best for them. I often wonder at the moral blind spot in so many LCRCs, not to recognize the damage and hurt inflicted on Mother Church, not just by MM, but by his followers who willingly adopted his methods. The harm will only be turned around by radical Christian action. Joe Biltz has outlined a perfect plan which involves acute changes to existing methods. Just one example, to throw a party for a brother when he leaves, instead of secretly sneaking him away, never to speak his name again.Blitz's thoughtful letter encourages positive change, And I see this as a sign of his great love and encouragement, wanting the best for his former brothers.

We all want the best for them. We also want to know that bad methodologies will be abandoned and the harm to our friends, families, parishes, and Mother Church will end. It's like the love we have for our children. We want the best for them. When they are behaving in ways that are not healthy for their souls, we still love them and want the best for them. But we call them on their wrongheaded ideas and behaviours, and we tell them we expect better of them. That's it. It's not un forgiveness. It's love.

Les, they don't just quietly let people slip out of their movement, but defame them and try to ruin their good name. They try to make you lose your mind by using cult tactics like group strong arming and then they spread rumors that you have problems, issues. They are corrupt, they are con men, and they are insincere. They are not of Christ. They love money and power. They want control and they probably want an LC to become Pope someday (Lord help us all!). Can you imagine a Pope Garza or Pope Bannon or Pope Kearns?! God, please save us from evil and harm. We want holy and charitable souls like Pope Francis to lead the way. Those named should run cutthroat corporations instead. Look at their mugshots. Not faces of love and charity.

This is the letter I sent, which I also posted on facebook:
Fui Legionario de 2000 al 2011.
De las noticias que he escuchado del proceso de reforma, parece que haya unas corrientes buenas, y que siguen con unos hábitos destructivos.
Ruego que los padres capitulares se juntan en el mismo espíritu con que los Cardinales se junten en conclavo: en la escucha al Espíritu Santo, y recordando el juicio final: pues, ustedes serán juzgados.
Mis recomendaciones vienen de mis proprias experiencias:
1) Que se integren con la tradición de la Iglesia y se divide completamente el papel de superior del papel de director espiritual. Un hombre, bueno que sea, es incapaz de hacer las dos cosas sin abusar de su autoridad. Implica educar y estimular sus hombres en como buscar y hacer de verdad la dirección espiritual.
2) Que se integren con la tradición de la Iglesia, y cambiar superiores con regularidad, no a otro puesto de autoridad, sino a puestos libres de autoridad. Pues, parece que la acusa que "hay dos clases de Legionarios" siga siendo verdad. Hasta que todos los superiores Legionarios saben por cierto que temprano serán quitados de autoridad, la cultura corruptiva, el obscurantismo, y el abuso de poder continuara. No basta decir "estamos en ello", hay que hacerla ya, o serán responsables de abusos futuros.
3) Que se hace algún intento de satisfacer la justicia de frente de las victimas de Padre Maciel y la Legión. No basta pedir perdón, o solamente tratar con victimas que les callen bien. Obviamente no se puede hacer de todo, pero unos donativos pesados a obras Cristianas dedicadas a la ayuda de las victimas de abuso sexual, victimas de la adicción, o victimas de los cultos religiosos seria al menos un intento de reparación. Cierto que un donativo de dinero implica dolor, pero mejor sufrirlo ahora, y no en la vida eterna.
4) Que se dedican, sin narcisismo, a unos apostolados a favor de los pobres y la Iglesia diocesana sin buscar la fama o su proprio provecho como en las "mega-misiones". Ojala que un día todos los sacerdotes Legionarios pueden decir que pasaron unos años silencios en misiones, o sirviendo en una humilde parroquia. Ademas de enriquecer su sacerdocio, así no escucharan el Señor decir: "Ya has recibido tu premio."
5) Que repiensan la formación espiritual de los religiosos: Se habla de vida interior, pero se recompensa el activismo y superficialidad. Se habla de discernimiento y escucha al Espíritu Santo, pero se recompensa conformidad, obediencia ciega al superior, y pasividad espiritual. Se habla de dirección espiritual, sin educar como hacer la, substituyendola con un dialogo de formación.
6) Que se recuerdan, que un ser humano jamas es un medio, siempre un fin. Pues, este principio siempre fue ambiguo en la practica.
7) Finalmente, en su discernimiento, que se tomen en cuenta las buenas ganas de los mismos Legionarios. Pues, entre mis compañeros no conocí ninguno Legionario que no quiso ser buen sacerdote, buen confesor, y buen director espiritual. Todos quisieran servir a la Iglesia. No faltaron en la gana, solo en la practica. Son deseos que vienen de Dios, que sean purificados, y educados.
Cuentan con mis oraciones,

Another ex-LC. - Can you (or someone) translate for us non-Spanish speakers? Please?

Great list, Joe Biltz. You're a good man. Good to see you are also still very much keeping an eye on our old mother the Legion, to see if she can somehow be salvaged for something good after all.

Given the list of those participating in the Chapter and culture of passivity and blind obedience to the legion bosses. I have little or no hope that a real reform can come from it. Does anyone seriously believe that those who actively participated in covering up Maciel's misdeds are now going to want total transparency?
I think the Legion is "satanic". The word "satan" means "the one who divides, opposes". With its false notion of "legionary charity" it also did the devil´s work in the Church and in the lives of many good young men and women. For some good reason Sacred Scripture calls the devil "the father of lies". Isn't the whole legion founded on a mountain of lies, and manipullation. It is sad that it was under the Pontificate of soon to be canonized Pope John Paul II that the legion flourished, thanks of course to having deceived him and all the rest of us.

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