I’m on a short break right now, and I want to be very clear about the following post: I am NOT speaking as a canon lawyer. I’m simply speculating a future possibility based upon the following:
1 – Current observable trends in LC/RC;
2 – Past emails I have received from well-placed sources in the movement describing the parties to this reported controversy;
3 – Observations of other movements within the Church that collapsed or went through a period of internal blood-letting;
4 – A new report in Proceso (click here for a copy mirrored on a blog) alleging that Fr. Alvaro and Fr. Garza are clashing in Rome, and that these disputes are growing louder. According to the report, Fr. Alvaro wants to usher in a series of reforms to the Legion, while Fr. Garza wishes to retain strict control of Integer, which reportedly controls much of the LC/RC’s assets.
To be clear, I don’t know how credible Proceso is as Mexican news outlet. Certainly the blog that cribbed it appears to have some political tendencies. And the report is quoting anonymous sources within the Legion, so I would be cautious going on information in the article alone, unless of Mexican readers can vouch for its credibility as a news source.
However, the allegations are consistent with the Legion’s media focus and spin since the crisis first hit last February. Fr. Alvaro has been all over the place, saying he is reaching out to victims, sharing his regrets, etc. Many Legion superiors have sung his praises, like the territorial directors for the U.S., Germany and Spain. People on the inside report being told that Fr. Alvaro had initiated the investigation in Maciel after he became suspicious about a strange woman hanging around Maciel’s death-bed. So yes, the Legion has moved to defend and build up Fr. Alvaro during this crisis. I suppose this isn’t surprising, given the Legion’s penchant for “rock star” priests and the fact Fr. Alvaro is Director General.
Except…how many of us have heard from Fr. Garza? He is, as Vicar General, the number 2 man in the organization. Moreover, he held this position under Fr. Maciel, and several sources report that he was widely expected to take over from Maciel when the Legion electoral process passed Garza over for the much more affable Alvaro. That we have heard little from him during this scandal is surprising given his position.
Moreover, LC/RC insiders often describe Fr. Garza to me as a financial genius who lacks Fr. Alvaro’s ease and skills with people. Which is interesting because the LC has tried to disassociate itself from Maciel’s ‘double life’, though not the founder himself, but they really haven’t commented much on allegations of a financial nature, other than to say they’re audited annually and are working with Integer. However, the LC hasn’t trotted him out to answer financial allegations as they have Fr. Alvaro to answer allegations of a sexual nature.
Speaking as a political analyst, and not as a canon lawyer, Fr. Garza has all the qualities of a good fall guy should LC leadership decide to throw him under the bus. It’s tempting to predict, but whether it happens is another question. If the Legion leadership has shown itself adept at anything during this crisis, it’s closing ranks.