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What DePaolis has done is made a mockery of the very ecclesiastical structure by which any consecration, any religious profession, any lifelong commitment can be received.

If the canonical structures for establishing an institute were not the only morally and theologically licit path to carry out a promise/profession of the evangelical counsels, then why bother with the Church at all? Who will care anymore... when rules are applied at random to suit ulterior motives? What is the purpose of the process if he, DePaolis, like Maciel, binds them like cloistered nuns, with no need for approval of any legitimate canonical authority to do so? I do not recall that establishment of a new religious institute was part of DePaolis's mandate.

What DePaolis feared in the end was their freedom, fearful of what a truly free discernment might do, fearful the failure of the Holy See's lack of due diligence would be exposed.

On the LC side, we know the violations of the canonical process and the proper conditions for receiving of vows was so severe that more than one visitor sought to have all the vows of LC members declared null, so that new better informed profession might be had. I really believe that not a single profession in the Legion should considered valid, save till when under the new constitution, and a complete history of the Legion, one has had two years to freely discern a vocation to the institute.

Questions -
1. Do the 3GF/3GMs recognize this now, that they lack true canonical status?

2. Is the reform wrt the 3GF/3GM considered complete? Or is it understood that there is still canonical work that remains to be done?

3. If the overhaul is considered complete, and the 3GF/3GMs truly are not consecrated, never will be, and they seem okay with that, why don't they start calling themselves something else, a title that better describes their circumstances? Such as "promised". Example: "Today, 'Jennifer-the-promised' will be speaking to us on the virtue of humility". This would show they are being totally up front and honest about their status and the status of future recruits. That is, that they have made a personal promise, not a vow, and that they have done so in full knowledge of what it means.

This is a bombshell that has been defused because of the Legionary timing. Can you call this the perfect ending for the process of (non) renewal of the RC? It's one more reason why the Legion would not change its name. It would be taking the whole thing too seriously. What a joke. Maybe the new DG would like to delight us with some pun about this little detail.

I am in complete agreement with you, AnonObserv, on the validity, or lack thereof, of the Legion ordinations. It is beyond my understanding that the Church is still allowing ordinations when the KNOW the manipulation that was done to these young men.

I live in an area that had many Legion seminarians as well as some diocesan seminarians who were influenced by the Legion. I don't know the total numbers, but many of them have left and come home. I was shocked at how many there were and will always wonder how many of them may have had authentic vocations to the priesthood that were destroyed by the Legion.

Laurettas perhaps you meant to say professions, but that is what I meant. Criteria for the validity of a sacrament is quite different.

Vows require full knowledge of the reality to which one is committing oneself. Intentional efforts to hide or manipulate the full truth invalidates the profession. This is not just the double-life, pedophile founder issue, but also touches the constitutions pre-2014 which were invalidly implemented and followed. Such that no novice ever made his profession on the basis of following an approved and legitimate set of rules. This invalidates their novitiate and professions clear as day.


Maybe they could call themselves "fraudsecrated" or "Maciecrated".


@AnonObserv I challenge you to substantiate your assertion that the Constitutions before 2014 were not approved by the Holy See.


Take it easy. He said "invalidly implemented" not "unapproved".

There were some differences between the 1983 edition and the second edition of the Constitutions. Maciel introduced the last edition with some stupid explanation regarding timing and confusion.

Maybe not all the numbers in the 1983 edition were approved... I don't know.

@AnonObserver, I still challenge you to substantiate your assertion that pre-2014 constitutions were invalidly implemented and followed, and what precisely does that mean.

If the processes were valid then why did the constitutions have to be totally rewritten for an order that supposedly had a beautiful and clear charism, and whose constitutions were only just 'approved' 25 years prior? It was no small revision- reducing statutes to 200 from the 400-500+.

Further, we see Maciel establishing and binding young men and women in the RC in a state of life with no authorization or approved statutes from the Holy See whatsoever. So from the most obvious facts, I think certain conclusions can be drawn.

The first of which is that the burden of proof lies upon those who contend that it was a valid process, not to those say that it wasn't.

Additional proofs...

1. Maciel had one set of constitutions approved and on file in the Congregation for Religious, he had another set published for the members of the order. The Visitators discovered that there were clear discrepancies between the two. It was during the visitation that this news was leaked, but those of us with enough knowledge knew it explained a lot of odd behaviour around who could have certain copies of the group's statutes.

2. It only became clear to many of us later, why no bishop would ever be given a copy of the institute's statutes when he asked for it. If he raised questions to Rome about some aspects, then the Maciel trickery would clearly be exposed. One notes-when constitutions are approved they are supposed to be a public document, however what was missed here was that Maciel controlled all the copies. The Congregation for Religious does not distribute its version or have them online.

3. Novices, were never permitted to have a full copy of the order's statutes, only an abbreviated version. Yet this was in full violation of the requirement for religious profession, wherein the full constitutions is to be studied and known in the novitiate years so that religious profession would be made in the light of it.

4. After an order is established with a provisional set of statutes, and a certain maturation is had in the institute, no changes can be made until a community deliberation and vote (usually by Chapter), then the voted upon changes are then sent to the legitimate authority for approval (Diocesan Bishop or Congregation for Religious). For example one startup institute- the Missionary Society of Mandeville, voted on the change in their habit some years ago, then it was sent to their founding Bishop to approve. This was a group still in early stages of foundation. Now the LC by 1983 was much further advanced, after having already had two general chapters but Maciel says the constitution is off limits for them, a complete exaggeration of the role of the founder.

The reason for this is simple- one cannot have a religious professing under one set of rules, then 10 years later make binding upon them another set without his consent. For that reason an assembly of membership must vote on it.

5. That Maciel was in a constant adversarial relationship with the Congregation for Religious, especially over the content of the constitutions was something well known; he himself testified publicly to it on many occasions.


I don't know about the name of the 3gfs, but I do think we can start calling de Paolis "Cardinal Obvious" because it's been pretty clear to just about everyone who takes more than a cursory look at them, that there are huge problems with the whole set-up.

is it me or what? I see a lot of LC priests, religious and 3GF/Ms questioning their "vocations" over the next few years? I know many LC priests who gave the diocesan life a try and then laicized. Seems like they gave it their best shot and then couldn't live a lie any longer. I have yet to see the glue that holds the whole thing together.

"3. Novices, were never permitted to have a full copy of the order's statutes, only an abbreviated version. Yet this was in full violation of the requirement for religious profession..." Could be the basis for invalid vows for those who professed w/o proper consent.

"the Cardinal did see that it was not possible to sign an agreement with legal force until the consecrated branches were canonically erected associations branches recognised by the Holy See..." These "vows/promises/etc" of the 3Gs simply never existed.

LL, on the issue of laicizations - to be sure there are some, but by my subjective count, i.e. of those I know, most have continued in the diocesan priesthood and seem quite happy. The LC has served to sidetrack many an authentic vocation to the priesthood, but as you say a few who perhaps had no priestly vocation at all.

I think the inherently flawed discernment process has much to do with the laicizations. The LC had one of the worst perserverance rates of priests during the reign of Maciel. Now that he was proven to be a fake, I don't see any reason for those perseverance rates to improve any.

Most LC priests live with on the edge of a constant vocational crisis - at least for what I have seen and experienced. Behind the smiles and laughter there is vocational crisis waiting to happen.

I point that out b/c that is inherently bad for the Church. Priests who are emotional or psychologically lost are dangerous to others and themselves.

Laicizations count until today: More than 20 less than 100...

@AnonObserver, I still challenge you to substantiate your assertion that pre-2014 constitutions were invalidly implemented and followed, and what precisely does that mean.

Posted by: Jorge | April 03, 2014 at 05:27 AM
Jorge, I believe AnonObserver responded in good faith to your challenge. I'm interested to see a response from you.

Are you a Legionary priest?

Estatua- that is a pretty big spread given the total departures are now estimated at 180. 100 is very high..., just do not see that anywhere near realistic. I would lean to less than 40.

Of all those personally known to me, I know only of one who is no longer acting as a priest, yet a dozen or so more who are still active diocesan priests as of today.

Note that there is a distinction between those who leave the active ministry and those who actually do request laicization. A certain number in the first category may choose to come back, and in fact do, but in the latter category ofcourse they cannot.

Is anyone out there keeping a list?

My comment was because the official number of Maciel Victims was more than 20 and less than 100...

Nobody knows how many, de facto, have left the ministry.

My guess is that there is a good number of brothers who left before ordination and ultimately decided against the priesthood. I know we focus so much on the priests but these brothers in many cases have lost a lot of their lives and face tremendous obstacles as well.

I've always thought that from the Vatican standpoint the biggest wound the Legion inflicted to the Vatican was the faked Constitutions of 1983 and that's why the Card. has invested so much effort in its rewriting. The rest has been very secondary. Unfortunately it's not the best solution but this is my answer to Jorge.

In the words of
hilary clinton: What difference does it make?


Jorge, the Constitutions were revised in 2000 or 2001. Some constitutions from the previous version disappeared.

These changes were NOT made as a result of a General Chapter and they carried the approval of 1983.

Have you read 1984?

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