UPDATE: Aaron, a reported sex-abuse victim of the Legion’s apostolic schools, responds by sharing his own experience with Fr. Garza (click here).
So begins the Legion’s Night of Long Knives.
Of all the parties named (or implied) in this latest controversy, I consider Magister the most trustworthy. I appreciate that Fr. Berg left a year ago after trying to effect legitimate reform within the movement. I’m a little more uncertain about Fr. Gill, but generally I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. And yes, Fr. Garza appears to have been quite candid in his talk to the 3gf last fall. However, in an order of blind men, the one-eyed priest is pope.
Sandro Magister is generally accurate about these things. He offers an experienced set of eyes from the outside. He often recognizes threads missed by folks still attached to the inside. Additionally, Magister’s only discernible motive is to provide readers with accurate information and analysis. This is how he earned the esteem he enjoys as a Vatican watcher. Thus it makes no sense for Magister to risk his reputation by inflating a story, especially if in so doing he misses another story (Garza vs. other Legion superiors) that is equally intriguing.
And look at the record. Even Legion priests we now presume to have acted in good faith, have been wrong when pitting their ecclesiastical spidey-sense against that of Magister. For instance, does anyone question Fr. Changobeer’s sincerity in saying the following five years ago: The comments of Sandro Magister try to draw a parallel between the Burresi case and the investigation concerning Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ. Frankly, I find more differences than similarities and, if anything at all should come of the Maciel investigation, would expect a very different outcome…? (Click here).
Changobeer had spent 25 years on the inside when he wrote those words. He had worked closely with Maciel and the movement’s leaders. He thought he knew them. I have no doubt that he sincerely believed every word he wrote at the time, and that in no way was he attempting to deceive or mislead the reader. Yet despite Changobeer’s sincerity in seeking the truth, and despite Changobeer sharing what he had understood honestly as his experience with the Legion’s leadership up until that point….
Magister proved right.
So with respect to Fr. Berg and Fr. Gill, and what they reportedly told CNA, Magister’s tea leaves appear safer to drink than Garza’s kool-aid crystals. But that’s just me. And if I’m wrong, here are my thoughts concerning the latest round of Alvaro vs. Garza potentially being implied:
In short, regardless of who did or did not know among the 16 signatories to the communique….
FIRE. THEM. ALL.