First of all, we are gratified to see that the case in which Paul Chu is suing the Legion has been given a green light by magistrate Patricia Sullivan. In a long detailed report (over twenty pages) she showed that the son indeed had standing to contest his father's will, which he said reflected pressure and duplicity by the Legion to hand over the father's entire estate to them. The duplicity, specifically, speaks to the timeline during which the Congregation insisted on the saintliness of the founder although his sins were known in-house. The Legion's response is two-fold:
- they've never pressured anyone to make contributions; and
- the son has no standing to sue.
If a son doesn't have standing, then who does? (Remember that the Mee case proved that there was indeed pressure and duplicity, but a niece didn't have standing -- having never been in the aunt's will.)
Secondly, the General Chapter is proceeding along very unusual lines, according to one reader who has been following it closely:
Who is running the General Chapter? It seems that Cardinal DePaolis and Ghirlanda are trying to do in this month what they could not accomplish in three years of governance. According to the official site, the sessions have been presided over almost entirely by non LCs, primarily DePaolis and Ghirlanda. Chapter members are only shown as 'dialoging', reading the constitutions they have been given, and praying.
This is not what a General Chapter is or does by any means. It is normally run by elected members of a valid charism for members of the same charism. Apparently there is not enough health in the group for that to happen. This is rather a total orchestration of curial bureaucrats to set things right. No doubt they will repeat:
- That the founder-bad, charism-good narrative birthed in 2006 by the Holy See is alive and well; and
- That the LC need only take seriously the canonical tweaking of the charism and the conferences on authority, and all can proceed.
Yes a few talks, and 70+ years of heteropraxis, and reliance on (still undiscerned) structures of power are reversed, and these two are out of there. No new witness of life to go to, no normalization to provincial governance, no specific non-self serving service to the Church declared.
Everything here is working for a predetermined outcome. We will never know, no matter how beautiful the documents, how bright the light of reform, whether anyone really has owned this process for themselves, or whether there was even adequate freedom to accept the sort of future DePaolis is painting for them there.
None of this seems real, its a Delegate's bubble, and like all bubbles, they will one day pop.
And finally, after an inspiring day at the March for Life, I'd like to note that the Church is vibrant, enthusiastic about her mission, and filled with dynamic young seminarians and Religious -- without a Legionary in sight. (They may have been there, but Royalmont was the only institution that I saw all day that was related to this Movement.) I spent my time with the Dominicans, who are brimming with vocations, well-formed, intellectually curious, and fully engaged in evangelising the culture. Time with them is very edifying (and there was no attempt to coerce, join, donate, or promote their work -- ever).
As an aside, I approached a gaggle of young Religious that I didnt' recognise and asked them who they were. The near-verbatim answer was:
"Oh, we're the Children of Mary. Our charism is to promote love for Our Lord in the Eucharist!"
How simple is that -- no identity crisis there. God bless them, and let's continue to pray for the Legion's General Chapter, that God's most holy will be done.