Bonum invited ex-Legionary Mortalitor to guest blog (click here). Here is one of the insights Mortalitor shared concerning his experience with the Legion:
Now if we remove all vestiges of Fr. MM, his works and writings, then you in essence have removed the spirituality of the Legion, that which makes the Legion the Legion, the identity which separates it from all the other orders and the diocese. This is true because the legion only uses its founder’s writings and the bible as their only source for spirituality. The legion would lose its identity and would have to find a new one. This finding of a new spiritual identity, as an order could be an exciting and wonderful experience, one that I wouldn’t mind being a part of. However, who is to lead this new spiritual journey? Certainly not the Legion’s current leadership.
To which an anonymous commentator responds:
Father Maciel claimed his innocence. Please note he never was tried in a civil or ecclesiatical court. The campaign against Father Maciel and the Legion of Christ is a smear campaign which roots are in pride and envy.
Hopefully this commentator is simply a troll on a drive-by, or represents an extreme minority within LC/RC. If he represents the majority of insiders, we may well have a schism on our hands. ‘Cause Pope Benedict shows no sign of relenting in his campaign to rid the Church of filth.
Christ is risen! Alleluia! Truly He is risen!
Today is Easter Saturday, the ninth day of the Divine Mercy Novena. I would invite you to join me in praying this powerful novena for Aaron, Jose Barba, Juan Vaca, Bonum’s buddy in the hospital, and all other victims of LC/RC sexual abuse. If you did not make the first day, don’t worry about it. Join in anyway. God will honor your prayers for this intention.
Barely a week into the month, and already April is turning into a horrible month for Regnum Christi (RC) members. First, Jason Berry reports that Maciel and LC allegedly made several questionable donations to high-ranking Vatican officials. The silver lining is that Pope Benedict – at the time Cardinal Ratzinger – reportedly refused such donations. He did so firmly. Thus RC members can feel reassured that the Holy Father will get to the bottom of the Legion scandal, that the Holy Father’s integrity in doing so is beyond question, and that any medicine he prescribes – while potentially bitter – will be for the spiritual welfare of his flock.
Other bad news includes the closure, mid-semester, of Southern Catholic College – which had been taken over by the Legion last year shortly after the Holy See announced its apostolic visitation of the order. And then an anonymous reader on Damien Thompson’s blog, claiming to be a former LC/RC associate, alleges that Maciel was not alone in his travels to Thailand. As commonly known to anyone involved in investigating or prosecuting pedophiles, Thailand is a euphemism for child prostitution – particularly, young pre-pubescent boys. Granted, this last allegation is only unconfirmed rumor by an anonymous blog reader. But given everything else we have learned about Maciel and the Legion over the past year…
That being said, I have some good news for shell-shocked Regnum Christi members struggling with this Tsunami of spiritual sewage. It’s the words of Our Lord to St. Faustina, which those of us who are praying the Divine Mercy Novena reflect upon today (Day 7):
“Today bring to Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.”
You are sickened and horrified, but you are not alone. If you cast yourselves – sincerely – upon Christ’s mercy, if you show mercy and compassion to victims of Maciel and the Legion, Christ will comfort you in this life and in the next. The devil may yet claim the Legion and Regnum Christi, but you need not allow him to claim the souls of individual members – including you and your loved ones.
So cast yourself on Christ’s mercy. Show mercy and compassion to those who were victimized by Maciel and the movement. Take a few minutes today to pray a Rosary or Divine Mercy chaplet for all who suffered sexual, physical, mental, emotional or spiritual abuse at the hands of Maciel and other accomplices within the movement he founded.
Many of these victims were hurt so deeply by the abuse that they no longer practice their Christian faith. They have ceased to pray, and there is nobody else to pray for them. Take up their cause in prayer. Pray for victims who have ceased praying because of the scandal and hurt caused by your founder and your movement.
Beg God to grace these victims with His divine mercy, to not judge them harshly for the anger they feel toward Him and toward the Church, but to soften their hearts and to heal them. Pray specifically for those who you, personally, have hurt or scandalized as a member of the movement, even if it was done in good faith. For this is the good news of Christ’s resurrection, which we now celebrate: God is merciful to those who reflect His mercy.
UPDATE: Currently reading Berry’s piece. Was heartened by Berry’s following admission, given his past criticism of Cardinal Ratzinger’s handling of the Maciel case (prior to Cardinal Ratzinger being elected Pope):
One cardinal who rebuffed a Legion financial gift was Joseph Ratzinger.
In 1997 he gave a lecture on theology to Legionaries. When a Legionary handed him an envelope, saying it was for his charitable use, Ratzinger refused. “He was tough as nails in a very cordial way,” a witness said.
Good for His Holiness. And good for Jason Berry for showing journalistic integrity in pointing this out.
Jason Berry’s first installment of a two-part series investigating Legion of Christ finances was published today. You can read the article by clicking here. For those new to this whole controversy, Jason Berry is one of two Hartford Courant journalists who in 1997 broke the story of Maciel’s sex abuse of minor seminarians. This afternoon has been pretty busy so I have not yet had time to read his latest expose. But Giselle has posted some comments here.
Reader AG at The Risk of Truth blog has posted a new monk and cow story! It concerns a naughty abbot who, under the guise of holiness, secretly pushed peasants’ cows over cliffs. He got away with it for several years, having convinced the archbishop of his sanctity. However, his plan goes awry when the Vicar General clues into the Abbot’s bovine fetish. You can read the whole story by clicking here.
To read other monk and cow stories, please click here.