Victims vanish from Legion's Spanish letter


Periodista Digital, which broke many of the recent allegations against Fr. Maciel, has now posted the Spanish version of the letter to RC faithful recently sent out in America and Germany. It is addressed to the RC in Spain. You can read the letter here.

In reading through the Spanish version, it's about 90 percent the same of what was published in America and Germany. So no need to rehash that.

What I found interesting is the 10 percent difference. First, the letter appears much more forceful in warning RC against blog commentary. The usual stuff about charity, conjecture, etc. But second - and this really caught my attention - is the absence of any mention of allegations Fr. Maciel sexually abused seminarians in his case. This surprises me because these were the allegations that led to his 2006 invitation to retire to a life of prayer and penance.

In fact, the letter is structured in such a way as to give me the impression the Holy See invited him to retire because he had fathered a daughter, and possibly more children. There's no mentions of earlier allegations - those made by former LC seminarians.

Now my Spanish is far from perfect. I initially thought I was missing something in translation. So I ran it through babelfish. Still no mention. I was going to call a friend who happens to be a Spanish translator, but then the comments at the bottom of the article caught my eye. Several readers, who I assume are fluent in Spanish if they're capable of writing in the language, blast the letter for exactly this reason.

They point out three things:

1 - It's pretty close to the same letter as the one sent off in the U.S.

2 - The major difference is the lack of any reference to the allegations of sexual molestation of seminarians.

3 - The letter gives the impression that Maciel was invited to retire because of his sexual escapades involving women.

Which raises two questions:

1): Is molesting boys not seen as a big deal by the Legion's Spanish leadership? After all, they don't mention it in their Spanish apology, which in my opinion also raises questions about the sincerity of the American and German apologies.

2) Does this explain the discrepancy we've heard about Fr. Alvaro reaching out to Maciel's victims? After all, most of us in the English-speaking world think first of the young seminarians who first brought forth allegations against Maciel. However, they are not acknowledged in the Spanish version of this letter.

These questions are not merely conjecture on my part. The sexual abuse of minors is a serious sin. Both the American and Germans found it important enough to mention. But the Spanish version did not. Yet all three versions claim the support of LC Director General Fr. Alvaro. Given all the allegations circulating about the Legion playing games with orthodox Catholics, and all the focus that's been put on the original victims, how can you expect us not to notice such a discrepancy?

In light of this major discrepancy, combined with the impression that the Spanish letter gives, I must retract my earlier statement that the American letter presents a step forward for the LC/RC. Most of the original victims spoke Spanish. To omit any mention of them in the language in which they were victimized is simply unconscionable, in my opinion.

Nor will I accept the excuse that the difference is cultural or linguistic. Such an argument appeals to the racism of low expectations, implying that Spanish-speaking folk are incapable of accepting the truth. This is not true, as demonstrated by the outrage expressed against the letter in Periodista Digital's comments section.


Allow me to add to your comments, Pete. I noticed a couple things as well.
One thing that I noted immediately was the author’s reference to “considering it before the Lord in the tabernacle…” This is reminiscent of Father Alvaro’s first letter to Regnum Christi members when the scandal broke in February, where he said “I am writing this letter in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist” ( At the time, I thought, it’s really one thing to sit peacefully before Christ in the Eucharist at a difficult time, to collect your thoughts, to pray for His guidance, and yes, even to jot notes for a letter. It is quite another matter to tell people that you wrote the letter in front of Christ in the Eucharist. I felt it was a manipulation, to assure us of the depths of his holy inspiration penned in the letter. In fact, it was apparently so important to convey to the reader that his letter was written before Christ in the Eucharist, the letter even appeared on the Regnum Christi website under the heading “A Letter Written Before Christ in the Eucharist”
More than 7 months later, Jesus Maria Delgado launches into his letter in much the same way. This time, the claim is more suspect, in my view, given that his letter is obviously not composed by Father Jesus Maria Delgado through the inspiration of Christ present in the Eucharist, but rather by the inspiration of the near-identical letter which has been circulating in other countries for the past week, and is merely re-worked, perhaps out of respect for those “different cultural sensitivities” Father Scott and Father Julio referred to in their letter.
I also notice that, unlike the letter from the American Territorial Directors, the Spanish letter had no reference to Father Alvaro’s trip to Cheshire, and the happy news of the latest batch of LC professions. I can only speculate that maybe the Spanish RCs are simply uninterested in the growth of the Legion, or maybe not the growth in the Legion that springs out of the US? Perhaps someone with more insight into the Spanish RCs culture can comment.

My first thought was simply that the notion of a priest having children is perhaps not very offensive in the culture there? I know that I have read that in Mexico, it is not at all uncommon for priests to have common-law wives, and that everybody just turns a blind eye to it (these priests live with extended family, so the common-law wives can easily be passed off as cousins, etc).

And perhaps the sexual molestation of children is HUGELY offensive over there (I would hope so). I just figured the Legion is trying hard to hang on to what they have over there---a culture in which Fr. Maciel's dalliances with women would not mar his venerable image all that much.

I could be dead wrong, because I honestly don't know if the Spanish have a live-and-let-live attitude toward their priests having women or not. But if they do, the omission of any mention of Maciel's molestation of young children might simply be an attempted save on the part of the Legion.

I know for a fact that many Legion priests are still very fond of Maciel and can't let go of the image of him as saintly, loving father founder in their heart of hearts. It wouldn't surprise me if this is simply an attempt to leave Maciel's legacy as unsullied as possible in the Spanish-speaking world.

I never believed in the sincerity of the original letter (too many lies---even one lie would be too many, but there were more---, manipulation, and martyrdom, so this Spanish edition simply verifies what I believed before. The Legion is mired in deceit. And anything mired in deceit is not of God.

Anonymous who posted on Giselle's blog Sept. 5 says:

"It will be interesting to see how a Spanish one will get done, as Spanish is spoken in Spain, Mexico and South America..three very different territories."

(comment in response to "Letter Goes Viral").

If, as Jane states above, the Spanish version mimics more the writing style of Fr. A, I'm wondering if Fr. A had a more proactive role in penning this particular letter even as it went out under signature of Fr. Delgado LC (the DT for the territory of Spain). OR perhaps it is the case that the writing styles are more similar among the LC's of Spanish speaking countries. In any case, I'm wondering if the Mexican and S. American territories will receive letters avoiding the suggestion of sexual abuse allegaions - and, if so, why that would be. Different "cultural sensitivities" could, of course, be the main reason - I've noticed that this term tends to be used to compare the "American response" (unfavorably) to that of the "rest of the Church" (Mx., some parts of Europe).

One issue, however, seems to be more clear now - and that is that the LC apparently does not intend to acknowledge the sexual abuse victims and apologize to them. Something in or about a key territory (or territories) is prompting Fr. A to avoid any mention of it there, even going so far as to "spin" the suggestion that the 2006 "retirement" was due to the existence of mistresses and children. In that case, the hint of such in the American version of the letter may have been included merely to stop the hemorraghing of funds and members here.

Keep in mind, too, that the Spanish version is understood 100% by Spanish speakers - no way to blame the suggestion of sexual abuse victims as a result of "mistranslations from the English". (If you re-read the English version you note that it's a bit of a mish mash as to what the Legion suggests it knew at what time - all the easier to "mistranslate" and "misunderstand" what the American directors were trying to convey.) This latest version can be passed off in the key Spanish speaking territories as a more accurate "presentation of the facts".

Pete, there you go again, slandering me! You have absolutely no evidence of meanness on my part, your accusation is WAY over the top! There are plenty of people who think I am really nice and not a meanie at all.

From now on, I want you to refer to me as Jane, "the nice one". Got it?

I am ROFL!

Thanks for the laugh. God brings his good out of this scandal, in these moments of levity and humor (like the "Eye Candy" discussion) and also through the serious discussion among thoughtful Catholics here and elsewhere.

It's great to start the day off with a good laugh, thanks Pete.

Apology accepted, group hug!


A little gremlin clicked on "submit" before I was finished! Sorry for the multiple posts, maybe the Webmaster can delete the 2 incompletes?

Normally I'd resent being fodder for a bit of mockery, but in order to live up to the reputation for sanctity that Pete is inventing for me, I'll accept the indignity as a matter of Divine providence. (There; is that pious enough?)

From the get-go, I found it odd how forth-coming the Legionnaires were about the daughter of their controversial founder. (Wasn’t ‘legion’ the name of a demon phenomenon in Scripture?) They moved right out front to apologize profusely for his problem. In fact, it seemed that the apology came together with the information, or even before the public saliency of it. And this was, of course, after decades of obfuscation on his homosexual perversion.
Wasn’t he already besmirched with the homosexual allegations enough to soil his reputation? Wasn’t he already be soiled enough to call into question the further operation of the order based on its’ own foundation?
One should not suspect that they are trying to salvage their founder. One should understand that an organization that got started by a founder with such inclinations, and then forbid its’ general membership from both seeking higher office and criticizing higher office, an organization that is noted in Rome for having tightly-knit always-paired seminarians of the highest standards of handsomeness, is dedicated to perpetuation the main sin of its founder.
The pushing out front of the alleged heterosexual sin(s) of the founder can’t help the founder—it can only draw attention away from his preferred sin which was hidden and protected by his associates. And that sin, by strong indicators, continues.
This legion is not a Catholic order with a small problem; it is not an organization with a big problem. It is rather a site of satanic activity spurred on by an anti-sacrament involving the penis as idolatry. This satanic temple has a big and beautiful closet door of active orthodoxy—to which has been added a pin-up of a daughter.
Such an organization should be completely disbanded. Those who wish to continue ministry should be placed under the close supervision of elderly clerics who are certifiably Viagra and Cialis free. The few that make it were probably meant to. The rest can be laicized.

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This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on September 9, 2009 7:26 PM.

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