Danielle Bean and the Legion of Christ...


A reader asked me what I make of Danielle Bean's commentary on the Legion of Christ over at the Faith & Family blog (click here). Erin Manning has posted an excellent response here, while Giselle breaks down Danielle's argument as follows:

1. MM did some very bad things;
2. MM's congregation gives us lots of money;
3. We do good things with that money;
4. We don't account for his bad deeds, only our good works;
5. Therefore, don't worry about the connexion; the pope will figure it out.

My own thoughts? I don't doubt Danielle's sincerity in pointing to - in her words - "the good things we do at Faith & Family, the dedicated men I know who are Legionary priests, and the many good men and women I know who are members of Regnum Christi." However, in reflecting upon this argument, I am reminded of Our Lord's encounter with the demoniac of Ger'asenes:

And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"

He replied, "My name is Legion; for we are many." (Mark 5:9)

Notice two things about this encounter:

  1. Although the Bible provides several names for Lucifer and his fallen angels, "Legion" is the only name in Holy Scripture that these evil spirits give themselves.
  2. The evil spirits boast of their great numbers.

As Christians we stand not upon great numbers. We stand upon Christ. We stand upon the truths of His teaching. This is clear from chapter 6 of John's Gospel. Driven by personal need, a multitude witnessed and partook in the miracle of loaves and fishes. Only twelve remained after Jesus preached difficult truths. And one of the remainder was a devil, the evangelist reminds us.

But to quote Simon Peter in verse 68: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."


We can see a similar angle from an LC priest in this statement from Legion in Ireland about documentary on the Fr Maciel´s life and on the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi as a cult-like organization.

In my opinion, its the same language- 'I have received nothing but Christ.' That is the lingo now among LCs, it's all always been about Christ. If that is the case then they should not mind serving Christ in a diocese and rid the Church of this scandal ridden organization, I mean if your life is just about living your commitment to Christ as a priest. To be a legionary however is something specific, to imitate Christ in the style of your founder....does that not pose a problem? Are you not still in denial?

================================================== http://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/documentary-on-the-fr-maciel%C2%B4s-life-and-on-the-legion-of-christ-as-a-cult-like-organization/

Thy Kingdom Come!
Dear Regnum Christi members,
I hope and pray all is well and that you have had a very fruitful Holy Week and joyful Easter! Here at Leopardstown we enjoyed immensely a gift of an Easter egg to each one of the novices / priests from the Dublin RC section. One brother said: “Oh, it reminds me of what my mother would do!” So thanks for all that support and prayers. It means a lot to us. There is great peace here.

I think that Carmela sent out the communiqué of March 25th and I hope you all received it (if you didn’t I can send it to you). Sorry to take up more of your time, but I just thought it important to inform you that this Sunday evening, Divine Mercy Sunday, a documentary will be aired on RTE (Ireland). It deals with the “silence of the Church” when faced with abuse…and “the power of the Church”…and uses the case of Fr Maciel and the Legion of Christ as an example throughout the video. It also focuses on some aspects of Fr Maciel´s life and on the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi as a cult-like organization. The subtitle is the abuse of power in the papacy of John Paul II. It is probable that this will have an impact given the current climate in Ireland and the Church at large. On the other hand it could be small. We don’t know. I ask for your prayers.

I wanted to inform all of you of this, just in case people ask you about things. I think many of the issues are already dealt with in the communiqué of March 25th and we can refer people also to that. Certainly we are sorry for any deception that might have also occurred within the Church. In my own opinion I think the Pontiffs too believed sincerely this was and is a work of God. We wouldn’t be here today if they didn’t. How grateful we are for the truth now, the apostolic visitation and we now turn confidently to God’s Providence and Mercy to guide us forward from here. I for one cannot but marvel at how so many good men have been called to this work and really came here simply to follow Christ and bring people to Him. That’s all I ever wanted, that’s all I ever received. Of course we are all saddened by this whole situation and pray and sacrifice for those who have not had a good experience in all this.

Some of you have also asked when and how the results of the apostolic visitation will come. I believe there is a meeting in this month to present to the Cardinals in charge the findings of the visitators’ investigations. We honestly don’t know then how long it will take till a decision is formed and from a comment of the Vatican’s spokesman it looks like it might be months. There is a lot of material to go through and there might be a request for more information before a decision is made. It will be the Holy Father’s call too at the end of the day.

Again, I don’t wish to alarm anyone, but felt it my duty to at least let you all know this might cause more publicity here in Ireland. Feel free to contact me whenever you wish either by email or phone. I am praying for all of you and thank you once again for your example of faith and love. These are the times you and I were called to, difficult times but ones that please God will make us all holier.

God bless you.
In Christ and the Movement,
Fr Michael Mullan, LC

The Legion argument is a little weird, because there are other associations named Legion, but I know you weren't attacking the name, just using an analogy for dependence on Christ as opposed to self-dependence.

My own reflection on Danielle's commentary is that the truth is not relative but acknowledges both the evil and the good: Jesus did not say He didn't know Judas - though Peter said he didn't know Jesus - but called him to Himself and said many times he would betray him (possibly as a warning to Judas, in addition to being a prophecy). The brothers of Saint Francis did not only acknowledge the good Francis did but even the bad. The Legion must be more like the Franciscans in that, just as they belong to Christ, so the Legionaries must belong to Christ.

I'm a little confused with the comment that the Legionaries "belong" to Christ. I know that we are made in God's image and born with original sin. We are called to know, love, and serve God but does it follow that we belong to Christ or that Legionaries belong to Christ without answering His call? If your comment is valid, all of humanity belongs to Christ and therefore I would not make a separate distinction of the Legionaries belonging to Christ without including everyone else.

I'm not a theologian or a canon lawyer. Just a simple person attempting to make sense of good and evil.


I used to belong to the Legion of Mary. They always struck me as a group with a definite charism that knew what it was doing and had its head screwed on right.

According to the RTE Programme Guide:
Sunday 22:25
Vows of Silence
Documentary exposing the story of Father Marcial Maciel, who founded religious order Legionaries of Christ and won favour with Pope John Paul II, despite accusations of abuse

Yet according to Fr Michael Mullen LC in his letter to Regnum Christi Members ......

It deals with the “silence of the Church” when faced with abuse…and “the power of the Church”…and uses the case of Fr Maciel and the Legion of Christ as an example throughout the video

There are many things wrong with this letter, but I will say this much: Nowhere in it did Fr. Mullan tell the LC/RC not to watch Vows of Silence. Nor did he make any reference to it having been made by enemies or attackers. So that's a start.

So when is Vows of Silence going to be aired here in the US? Widespread dissemination of it is long overdue.

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This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on April 10, 2010 1:04 AM.

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