JPII, Maciel's children, and Christian loyalty


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.

I agree.

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 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.


Today I just remembered that it was widely known that MM has a nephew somewhere in the Legion. Nephew...or son???

Maybe regarding the daughter and son visiting JPII, they were introduced as a niece and nephew, and it would be cute that they called him padre, just as all the Legionaries and RC do.

Also, did they say papa, or padre. B/c padre in spanish is how people address priests.

So, we have to know which word Jose and Norma Hilda used. Papa or padre or nuestro padre.

It would be very strange for a niece or nephew not to say "tio" (uncle), but since MM was known as nuestro padre, JPII could have let it go.

Also, it should be known that these meetings are very noisy and they last 20 seconds, and while JPII is speaking to one person, Sodano is talking in his ear telling him who he is meeting next.

It wasn't unheard of for MM's family to be at events or visit centers, normally his sisters. I wonder if the sisters knew about their nieces and nephews. That would be interesting.

Very interesting stuff!

I can imagine a corrupt Pope (not trying to say that the late Pope John Paul II was corrupt) knowing of a religious superior's indiscretions and remaining silent. But it is difficult to imagine even a very evil Pope knowing of the superior's indiscretions and praising him as an "efficacious guide to youth".

I have no idea if the pope knew of Maciel's indiscretions or not. It will take a whole lot more than a photo of JPII giving first communion to Norma to prove that he knew Maciel was her biological father.

However, the Pope definitely knew about the accusations against Maciel (which started back in the 50s). These victims had been writing the Vatican (via official emissary) and pleading to be heard since the 70s. They desperately wanted the Pope to do something to prevent this evil man from molesting other children.

I could kind of understand the Pope remaining silent under the circumstances of not knowing for sure that the allegations were true (although I think he had the responsibility to vigorously pursue an investigation as soon as he received the first official letter in the late 70s), but I DO NOT and WILL NOT understand JPII recommending Maciel as an "efficacious guide to youth" knowing of the accusations. Evil? Perhaps not. But JPII certainly cooperated with Satan himself by his blind ignorance/imprudence in this matter.

Real people were abused and victimized because of JPII's callousness in this matter. It's a massive failure.

But if MM's kids called MM "father" in front of JPII, they would have been little kids doing it. Late teens at the oldest. Wouldn't that send a different vibe than when 20, 30, 40, and 50-somethings said it? They weren't seminarians, priests, or lay LC/RC people. Creepy and cultish, at best. And, did they look like Maciel?

JPII doesn't seem to have been given much of a gift of discernment.

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This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on August 26, 2009 8:31 PM.

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