I hope you will join Giselle and me today in praying and fasting for Maciel’s victims. Today is particularly significant as Maciel’s birthday, since in previous years the movement went all out in celebrating the founder’s birthday movement-wide.
Reader James Bremmer pipes in with some good information in the comments section of a previous blog entry:
March 18, is the anniversary of Maciel’s baptism. Traditionally, in the Legion, this day was also celebrated as a first class feastday. I just spoke with my brother in the Legion’s house of formation in Connecticut, he has been doing a Eucharistic hour everyday since the apostolic visitation began, praying for the success of the visitation. Not all Legionaries are bad and should not be painted with that brush, some are there to serve the church.
You are not the first concerned friend of family member to whom I have spoken. Over the last couple weeks I have heard several stories of people on the inside who “get it,” and who are praying that Rome successfully sorts everything out. I am told that the incest allegations have shocked even many who had remained serene up until now.
As the old cliche goes, I have some good news and I have bad news if the the Holy See refounds the Legion. FIrst the bad news: It will be priests like your brother who have the toughest road ahead. While those priests who played a major role in Maciel’s coverup will likely find themselves sidelined, while other priests in the rank-and-file leave for dioceses or other orders, priests like your brother are left to pick up the pieces.
It’s a demanding task as they will be required to simultaneously bring justice to Maciel’s victims, restore trust among the laity, reassure their own concerned and disappointed laity, show obedience in letter and spirit to legitimate Church authority, and win over hard-core and old guard Maciel loyalists among their priestly ranks. Not an easy task.
However, the good news – according to Pope Paul VI in Mysterium Fidei – comes from the fruits of daily Eucharistic hour. Christ will be with your brother to strengthen him, and the Church present to guide him along. However, if I may be so bold as to make a recommendation, your brother will likely need his hour of daily Eucharistic adoration even more after the AV than during it.
So let’s add James’s brother to the list of people we pray and fast for today. Let us also agree to March 18 as another day of prayer and fasting for Maciel’s victims and members currently caught in the system. Let us pray that God gives current members the opportunity to see this scandal through the eyes of the victims, as well as the humility to sincerely apologize and offer these victims restitution. And let us pray He grants the victims the grace to heal and forgive.