St. Pius X need not apply


In the comments box below, RC Is Not My Life chides me gently for having misunderstood her taste in ice cream:


I chose HEATH Bar Crunch, not HEALTH Bar Crunch.
A HEATH bar is chocolate-covered toffee.
I was brainwashed by RC, not Richard Simmons!!!

Perhaps it's in somewhat poor taste to belabor the discussion, but one of the many allegations circulating about the Legion of Christ is that the portly need not apply. I'm not sure whether or not this allegation is true. However, it comes from many sources and - now that I think about it - I've never seen a plump Legionary priest or seminarian.

Which got me thinking of some of the heavyweights canonized by the Church throughout the centuries. Pope St. Pius X and St. Thomas Aquinas come to mind immediately. And St. Augustine is often portrayed as bearing quite the august physique. And many Catholics are salivating over the movement to canonize G.K. Chesterton.

Based solely on their physique, and not their deep faith or intellectual prowess, would any of the four been acceptable candidates to the Legion's seminarians? I don't know. However, if the allegation is true, it fattens the credibility of those who accuse Legionary priests of being lightweights lacking in well-roundedness.


My impression has been that looks and physique very much matter when the Legion is selecting young men. Part of me believes that the heavy emphasis on physical activity during novitiate is part of a weeding out process designed to discourage the less physically fit from persisting in their discernment.

Worse, my impression is that the physically unattractive, not just the well-rounded or portly, "need not apply." Perhaps some ex-LC's might comment regarding these impressions.

"Poor taste", indeed - I don't even want to think what "Health Bar Crunch" tastes like.

FYI I've seen exactly ONE (1 - uno) portly LC'er in all my years in RC - and this is having attended several YFE's (youth and family encounters) with grand formal masses and literally HUNDREDS of LC priests and brothers. Even then, back in my "rah rah" days, my husband and I knew he couldn't be long for the Legion . . .

I remember being an overweight teenager (female)and having a pair of young LC's visit my parent's house. (They were seeking my parent's money.) One of the priests looked me up and down, up and down, obviously thinking something about my weight...he wasn't even trying to hide it.

I've never had a priest look at me like that and I'll probably never forget it. It was weird, not to mention rude. But knowing what I know now about this cult, it makes sense.

Very interesting point, and one I've noticed myself. I remember distinctly one time when I was a consecrated that there was a retreat for vocations at the formation center. There were about 10 girls, and one was -- let's say -- not the profile the consecrated were looking for. I found her one day out back by herself crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said she had basically been ignored all weekend. She thought she might be called to consecrated life, but she couldn't even get the consecrated to talk to her long enough to answer her questions. There wasn't much I could do -- I was going to be late to dinner or something -- but encouraged her to talk to the directress of the retreat and tell her how she felt. I don't know what happened, but obviously I never saw her again. That was the worst case I saw, but not the only case. The same thing happened when I was being recruited and I brought a friend with me to a retreat. My friend wanted to talk to the consecrated, but the consecrated "didn't have time." My friend called her later, and the call was never returned. I don't know why this didn't bother me more. They stroked my ego and I liked it, I guess that's why.

Study after study shows that the beautiful people in this world are more successful (at least in the ways that society measures success by). It is entirely consistent with Legion-think (recruit, recruit, recruit! fundraise, fundraise, fundraise!) to believe that the unattractive would be rather useless as compared to the beautiful people in this world.

Paul of Tarsus would never have made it in the LC.

2 Cor 10:10: "For his epistles indeed, say they, are weighty and strong; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible"

In the early nineties I went to Rome with RC and was almost completely ignored the entire trip. Yes, I had a weight problem.

I even left early and went home, it was that bad.

On the other hand, celebrants of the Extraordinary Form - particularly English diocesan priests - tend to be well padded.

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This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on August 29, 2009 1:06 PM.

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