Advice for Spanish-speaking bloggers concerned with the LC


The scandal concerning Fr. Maciel and the LC/RC is now exploding on Spanish-language blogs, much like it did on American Papist and other English-language blogs last February. In glancing through the comments posted to Spanish-language blogs, I notice several references to the English-language debate, as well as similarities between the arguments put forward by LC/RC apologists in Spanish and what concerned Catholics faced during the English debates.

So here is some advice to Spanish-speaking Catholics concerned with the situation:

1 - Pray to St. Joseph, daily.

2 - The debate is about Fr. Maciel and the LC/RC. Don't allow the debate to be side-tracked into one about Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop Williamson or the SSPX. The latter is a separate debate.

3 - Demand an apology to victims, including alleged victims of sexual abuse, whose reputations were unjustly tarnished. There is no compromise on this point.

4 - Do not be intimidated by theologians or priests. Admitting to and apologizing for one's wrong-doing, especially when it has harmed others, is so fundamental to Catholic teaching that most Catholic children's catechisms clearly express this teaching.

5 - You have the right to approach your diocesan authorities with any questions or concerns.

6 - Express the truth in charity. The other person may not be ready to concede or face the truth right now, but he or she may come around later after giving the issues more thought. In expressing the truth with charity, you leave the door open to future discussion should the other person come around later.

7 - That being said, true charity is charity for souls. It can never compromise the truth. Your loyalty to the Church and to the truth come before your loyalty to any movement.

8 - For married members of RC, your vocation before God is as spouse and parent. Put your family's spiritual well-being first.

9 - Whenever possible, ask pointed questions rather than accuse. A person who feels overwhelmed by the facts, especially when expressed in a relationship of opposition, may shut down mentally or revert to pre-conditioned defenses. This is natural when a person feels that he or she is being attacked personally. So don't overwhelm your opponent with the facts. Rather get the other person to think about the facts by asking questions about the facts, and by allowing the other person time to think before answering. (For example, "Would a good priest not feel a deep obligation as a Catholic and as clergy to apologize to someone who had had harmed through his actions, even if he thought at the time that his actions were justified?")

10 - For the guys, be men. St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that part of manly virtue includes the moral courage to speak the truth, even when it is inconvenient, and the courage to stand up for injustice perpetuated against those weaker than oneself. You have heard Maciel's story, and you have heard the stories of his alleged victims who were minor seminarians at the time. Who do you believe is closer to the truth in telling their story? Who was the weaker party when abuse allegedly took place? As a father, what example of Catholic manhood and manly virtue do you set for your sons and daughters if you ignore or coverup what you believe to be the truth?


(I apologize in advance for any mistake I could make in this writing, my English is not good but I would like to share my opinion).

First, thank you Pete for these thoughtful observations and advices, they certainly help us focus on the important things: healing, forgiving and moving on towards Christ.

I still have one concern; how to debate/discuss or question something if NOTHING about victims is accepted or even considered? For certain members, even parenthood is not a severe sin, because (according to RC members) they must have "tempted" or "cheated" MM. For some RC members, MM just fell into temptation because of this woman (these women). They donĀ“t accept there are great chances that alleged victims of sexual abuse DO exist, because apparently (to them) there are no PROOF or CONSISTENT EVIDENCE.

How can we even try to discuss or demand apologies in this situation?

Thank you very much for your blog, your charity in your writings and I wish you could have this blog translated and available for Spanish-speakers.

God bless,

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This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on September 14, 2009 10:05 AM.

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