One of the things that amazes me about this blog is that most of the readers are smarter, holier and more eloquent writers than I am. So it behooves me that you come from all over the world to gleam what little insight I can offer. Nevertheless, it does have its perks.
For instance, I was struggling over how best to defend Pope John Paul II from allegations he knew of Fr. Maciel’s children, when shmikey chimed in with the following well-written explanation::
It occured to me […] that since the Legion insisted on addressing Marcial Maciel [MM] as [Nuestro Padre], that this may have been how [Maciel’s] children may have addressed MM as pappa, and the Vatican would not have suspected that these were his own. This may have been all part of his deception. Many priests travel with family members, and no one suspects a thing. Many priests have nicknames that are familial and are used by only their family. This is just my suspicion as to how the Vatican could be innocent if these things happened as they are revealing in this summary.
Nevertheless, I can understand why people are suspicious and raising questions. They trusted Fr. Maciel because of his perceived closeness to Pope John Paul II. Moreover, they were taken in Fr. Maciel’s appearance of holiness, orthodox and living sanctity. And how could nobody at the top have noticed, either in the Legion or at the Vatican? Add to this the fact the Legion spent decades denying Fr. Maciel was anything but a saint, and that the Legion has not been forthcoming publicly with answers to these question, and people – including many within the movement’s middle ranks – are going to grow suspicious.
Which brings me to another point. Many blog commentators, particularly those who understand Spanish, are discussing Lucrecia Rego’s recent Catholic.net article. This is the one in which the high-profile RC member blasts former Maciel followers for disloyalty (click here) because they believe the allegations and are discussing them openly.
While she speaks passionately about loyalty to her priest friend, absent from her article is any discussion bout loyalty to the Church. I find this troubling. Loyalty works two ways. One should not expect loyalty if one is not oneself loyal.
Which raises several questions:
– How is it loyal to Christ to lead a movement bearing his name, and not apologize publicly to those who were seriously harmed by the movement’s founder in Christ’s name?
– How is it loyal to the Church when all Catholics are tarnished by a Catholic movement’s founder, including those who are not part of the movement, and the movement’s lack of public disclosure allows the founder’s “double life” to be dragged out indefinitely in the media?
– And how is it loyal to allow the name and reputation of a deceased pope to come under dark suspicion, because the movement is not more forthcoming about who knew what, when and how?
So in one sense I agree with Lucrecia. Most of this scandal could be avoided is those calling themselves good Catholics showed more loyalty.