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Thank you to Enlightened who provided the link.

Thank you, Enlightened, for the link to the interesting article, but the article itself begs so many questions!

For instance, The article states: "This situation was a serious violation of canon law, which requires careful distinction between internal and external forum and, of course, the confidentiality of the seal of the confessional."

So what of all the Legionary priests who did indeed violate the Seal of Confession? According to Canon Law, they incurred a latae sententiae excommunication, reserved to the Holy See. How many LC superiors are presently, de facto and de jure, excommunicated and are thus celebrating the sacraments and functioning as priests illicitly?

From the article:

"The Chapter notes deficiencies in Legionary apostolate: poor preparation, too much emphasis on the worldly concerns of prestige, institutional strength, and results at any price. Legionaries have acted independently of local bishops and ignored the pastoral plans and projects of the local church. This they will remedy."

While there is so much more (this is one small paragraph) these items are key. How can the group form leaders when they were so wrong on each of these points? And then:

"In response, the Legion will be working toward self-sustainability, better integration of financial planning at general, territorial, and local levels, and economizing: eliminating unnecessary travel, curbing desire for the latest equipment and accoutrements, and being careful to undertake new projects."

What leaders would trust them for formation when these elements are disordered? These are exactly the areas where leaders have to excel, where their priorities have to be exceptional.

have a look for the documents translated in english

the article on the "charismatic identity" seems to be missing its last pages

"Mutual trust between superiors and subjects is fundamental to a harmonious and serene
community life. Lamentably, in recent years distrust in all levels of authority has entered into our
life, causing confusion and suffering, independently of each individual‟s function or service. We
feel duty-bound to recognize the work of the superiors during these difficult years, even though at
times there were errors in their exercise of authority. In this regard, we believe think that
sometimes not trusting sufficiently in the subjects or inhibition in decision-making caused a
certain vacuum of authority that gave rise to uncertainty and suspicion. As regards the subjects,
we notice that in some cases their ability to view the superiors in a supernatural way has
diminished, to the degree of challenging or even openly disrespecting them."

Is it me or is the Legion back to square one. For 60 years nobody new the charism of the Legion, one day it was Missionary work, next day was militancy, the next obedience to the Pope, and by 2001 Maciel answers a Legionary in their vacation resort in Termini that it was charity and that it has always being that way.

Five years have past since Maciel's religious spirit was seriously called into question, two visitations, a massive exodus, two visitations, two pontificates, two prefects for consecrated life, a General Chapter, and still I don't find a clear charism.

Their charism is so "simple" that it needs a book written by Kearns, a full chapter document, and at least 15 minutes of Fr Bartunek, to be explained and I don't see a charism. All I see is an acknowledgement of some of the things the Legion has been accused of, some little changes here and there, and that's it.

It looks like this is just changing your make up, but the face lying underneath it remains. I see no change and the effort of many in the Church and of many Legionaries willing to change these status quo has been completely futile.

The article says the LC needed "to redefine the charism… preserving its true nucleus.” And it goes on to say they reformulated their charism as "forming apostles."

If it was forming apostles all along, why weren't they always able to explain that?

The Legion needs an Exit Strategy. So far, they have only applied it to the founder (only in part, saying he is not a role model, but many of his insights on religious life serve as a model according to them). After all it will be history who might give the exit strategy to the Legion.


According to El Trastevere (spanish Blog) the violation of the Sacred Seal of Confession has been indirectly. MM was the only one with direct violations like absolutio complicis; the superiors only incurred in violations through monthly reports linking sins with persons.

Estatua, thank you for the distinction made. I would still say: "How convenient!" for the rest of them.

Smacks of the diabolical to me.

These days whenever I read the long diatribes of the LC regarding their identity, their charism, their "Wow, now we really get who we are.' moments, it always comes across as a man who has a bridge he wants to sell me. They simply do not own whatever they are saying they are, or think they are or in the name of reform wish to become.

It's not how this works, it's not a game of 21 questions with outside critics. You either are the real deal or you dissolve. Either a charism was transmitted whole and entire or you break up for the good of the Church and membership.

The reason we speak of an institute having a charism, is because we profess that there are certain things only God can do--- but not in the heretical sense of making a square circle, not in the hideous voluntaristic sense of a malign genius at work making evil good.

When God brings his work to the Church it is light and salt- no one has to squint to see it, or need a truckload of it down our throats to taste it.

Only God can bring all of the elements of patrimony into harmony, and forge a compendium of holiness: one that orders their apostolate, their relations with each other and with the local churches, their formation processes and norms into a true institute of Christian perfection. If you emerge from foundation with a broken group- then all the pope's minions, and all the chapter documents in the world can ever put humpty-dumpty back together again.

Oh, by the way, the Vatican's 2004 approvals of the Regnum Christi indicate that the charism is this:

"Its specific charism is the same as the Legion of Christ and consists in knowing, living, and preaching the commandment of love that Jesus Christ Redeemer came to bring us by his Incarnation. In fact, the work that the Legionaries of Christ and the members of the Movement of apostolate Regnum Christi carry out in the construction of the civilization of Christian justice and love is well known."

Um, right.

Thanks so much for sorting through all of this and summarizing it, Giselle. I don't have the time or the stomach to do so. This site continues to be such a blessing for many of us, in my case, ever since I stumbled upon it around February 2009. Wow, 5 years already.

Wait a minute - so the priestly branch of Regnum Christi (umbrella group) is having it's constitutions reviewed for approval, but the umbrella group itself has no canonical configuration.

And the "consecrated" lay branch of the umbrella group has had it's rules approved already but without any canonical definition of who THEY are.

The third branch (let's call them the "regular lay folks") has not yet had it's statutes revised but presumably when it does all the mystery of canonical configuration and who these guys actually are will have to be solved . . . right??? (Because it's just too bizarre to assume that's not going to be the case, even if evidence points that way).

But then, why approve of the rules of the other two groups first? For instance, just to take a simple example, if the institute depends on a larger organization, wouldn't that have to be spelled out in the constitutions somewhere? And if that larger organization doesn't even have a form or legal structure recognized by the Church, then what exactly can that section of the constitutions say - "To Be Determined"? And THAT would have been submitted for approval???

I, like Daniel at 12:27 p.m., also thank you, Giselle, for the work you have done here over the years and for the work you are doing here currently.

And I, like It's the Duplicity, Stupid at 1:37 p.m., wonder how this will play out, particularly regarding all of the complex issues relating to canon law.

Ditto: thank you so much Giselle. This site has been invaluable to sort out this complicated mess. The fundamental reason I left the movement in 2009 after reading so much here and Pete's site and Changobeer was that I could no longer believe that this (LCRC) was a work of God. To me the issue that the Church approved the statutes of both the LC and RC was moot because of the duplicity of the founder. Could someone with knowledge explain the inerrancy claims? Cannot the Church err in approval of statutes like this, especially if there are lies and manipulations to get the approvals?

I would be interested in hearing from Pete Vere on this discussion - including the ever-changing charism (charism-of-the-week!) and the role of RC as the so called "umbrella group" to the Legion. Actually anything Pete has to say about this entire article would be extremely helpful. If any LegReggers are lurking here, some objective (non-LC) insights from a canon lawyer could be eye-opening.

I'm no Canon Lawyer, but a Decredum Laudis does not seem to fit under the heading of either faith or morals, which is the limits of any appeals to Papal Infallibility. I see the claim to inerrancy as an example of a "thought-stopping phrase", which is a tool commonly used by cults to quickly dispel any doubts that a member might have. Think about it -- if a decretum laudis was always inerrant, then no pope in history could ever rightly suppress an order which he or a predecessor had previously approved. Think of the decretum laudis as a form of drivers's license instead -- it gives them the right to proceed with their ministry, but which always can be revoked if needed.

I wonder if any of the LC priests or RC consecrated (I use that term loosely in this case)made a genuine free will decision at time they made their vows or solemn promises. In most cases they were recruited using aggressive tactics based on deception and then isolated, love bombed, etc as in any other cult group, subjected to Moonie like methodology and not even allowed to know in advance what was in the constitutions and statutes and with no clear understanding (still) of what spiritual charism they had. If all that is acceptable to the Vatican then their standards are set far too low. Yet, the recruiting continues and it is seen as being okay because it isn't quite as cult like as it was a few years ago.

I continue to wonder what is in it for the Church at this stage of the game? Why do they insist on on keeping the Legion alive, after all the destruction, pain, and scandal? Harboring an order of priests FOUNDED by a child molesting criminal does nothing but bring shame and well-deserved ridicule on the Church.

What a joke.

@Gems: yes, perplexing given that the canonisation of John Paul II at the end of the month will bring up constant reminders of this, his greatest blind spot. Shutting it down would have taken some of the wind out of that sail.


Yesterday you asked “So what of all the Legionary priests who violated the seal of confession?”

This brings up a topic I have often thought about, but have never seen explored here at any length, although a number of comments have been made here over the years touching on the subject. To be precise, what I am talking about is the systematic, institutionalized practice of Legionary priests violating the seal of confession.

What will follow is an explanation, as I understand it, of how this practice works in the Legion. In setting this forth, I ask you, Concerned, for your feedback as well as the feedback of others here, such as AnonObserve, Little Light, Scipio & Scipio's Buddy, Estatua, and others who have considerably more direct experience with LC activities than I do.

To explain this, allow me to posit three (3) hypothetical individuals: two Legionary priests whom I will call Fr. A and Fr. B, and a layman whom I will call Joseph.

To follow is my understanding of how this scam works:

1) Joseph goes to Fr. A for confession, revealing his sins and habitual sinful habits;

2) After the confession, Fr. A divulges details of Joseph's confession to Fr. B, particularly Joseph's sins and vulnerabilities;

3) Fr. B later approaches Joseph to offer “spiritual direction.” During this faux spiritual direction, Fr. B leads and directs the conversation to cover all of the areas of sin and weakness in Joseph's life that were revealed to him by Fr. A;

4) By drawing Joseph into a conversation to discuss his past sins and current sinful habits, Fr. B has successfully covered his tracks and those of Fr. A. If ever questioned, Fr. B can now say “No one ever revealed details of Joseph's confession to me; these matters were discussed in spiritual direction.”

One could quibble with some of the minor details, and I certainly welcome any feedback or correction here, but the basic outline provided above is what I have picked up over the years here in discussions at LARC as well as in personal conversations with people familiar with the movement.

The Legion seems to utilize this method in two principal areas:

I. The Use of General Confession as a Personal Profiling Tool

LC priests have historically pushed RC members, RC candidates, and others useful to the movement to make a complete General Confession detailing their lifelong sins and spiritual struggles. This serves the Legion's agenda by revealing a person's weaknesses and vulnerabilities, which the Legion can then leverage to gain power over a person and extract as many resources (i.e., money, time, children, and commitment) from that person as possible;

II. The Use of Confession as a Control Mechanism Over LC Novices and Professed

Over the years, I have heard anecdotally that the Legion keeps extensive records of what is learned about their novices and religious brothers in confession. I have heard direct references made about this happening in Cheshire; perhaps it also occurs in other LC houses of formation around the world.

In conclusion, an enormous amount of energy has been spent examining the life of Maciel, the cult-like methods of the Legion, the deception foisted upon the 3gf's, and the ever-changing-always-morphing charism of the Legion, to name a few. All these concerns are entirely valid, and I join the chorus of those who are grateful to Giselle and others who have worked to expose the Legion; however, I suspect that these other topics have distracted us from paying much attention to a Legion crime occurring in plain sight.

Again, I would really appreciate if Concerned or anyone else with some interest in this could offer some clarification and feedback.


III. The use of Confession as a grooming tool to prepare vulnerable young men and children for sexual abuse.


It is -- literally -- sickening to read this. Because it's true.

Satan was (is?) invading the Sacrament of Penance itself.

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