Friday, May 2, 2008

Is this stuff still true?

This was 2002. Has anything changed?
"Something sinister about the Legion"
May 1, 2002
By a mother of students once enrolled at a Regnum Christi school

My husband and I joined Regnum Christi after enrolling our child in Northwoods Catholic School in Houston, Texas. We have both left "the movement" after experiencing first hand the secretive, deceitful, defensive and hostile behavior attributed to the Legion in other places and instances. Many factors have contributed to my opinion that the Regnum Christi movement seems somewhat like a cult.

When I enrolled my child I read the information posted on the internet about Fr. Marcial and about the Donnellan School in Atlanta. When I asked Regnum Christi members about these stories, the response was and still is, that the Legion has many detractors because of its orthodoxy. I consider myself an orthodox Catholic too, faithful to the magisterium of the Church, so this explanation seemed plausible.

I now realize, from my firsthand experience, that there is much truth in the negative reports about the Legion, and it has nothing to do with their "orthodoxy" or faithfulness to the Church. On the contrary, the ultimate fidelity within the movement seems to be loyalty to Fr. Marcial himself, not to Christ.

The Legionary priests are seen by the Regnum Christi faithful as holier than other priests, and certainly imbued with a special holiness above mere laity.

To question anything about the Legion is treated as a betrayal of Christ himself. Legitimate questions that arose about financial mishandling at the Northwoods school went unanswered for years. Questions about the Legion or about the academic curriculum have been met with half-answers. Serious shortcomings in the academic curriculum were seen by the Regnum Christ faithful as insignificant compared to the ostensibly rigorous spiritual "formation" the children receive. As parents, we have seen neither rigorous academics nor the fruits of true spiritual growth in our children through their education at Northwoods.

My persistence in questioning the manner in which the school was being run, ostensibly by lay people, but in reality at the direction of the Legion or its agents, was met at first with stone-walling then with orchestrated hostility among the Regnum Christi faithful. Indeed, blind obedience seems to be prized above all else. To question is to be "negative," un-Christian. Charity and unity are used as a weapon against anyone who questions behavior or motives.

We will not re-enroll our children at Northwoods Catholic School. I believe, based on my own experience, that there is something sinister about the Legion. There is certainly something cult-like about the Regnum Christi movement. I am troubled that the Legion seems to be so supported by the Holy Father and the Vatican. Everyone must exercise his own conscience in matters like this, and despite accusations by Regnum Christi members to the contrary, my judgment in this matter was not arrived at lightly, but with much prayer, spiritual direction, and discernment.

I would invite you to post this letter for the benefit of anyone, especially parents considering a school for their children that has a Legionary affiliation.

Copyright © 2002 Rick Ross.

For link, here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was a firm believer in the Legion and RC. I was totally committed to the movement and spent many hours for years in RC apostolates. I availed my self totally to the movement and held nothing in reserve. When I heard such stories as the one posted I would readily dismiss them as human error by some unfortunate Legionary. Then we had an encounter with a Legionary, which was so bad that we took it as a sign that God was trying to tell us something. The priest’s incredible paranoia made us wondered what kind of formation he had gotten. Coincidently we started having serious problems with in our family, which we had never previously experienced. Towards the end, we started wondering if the “methodology” was not just a means of manipulation. Christ never needed a “methodology”. We promptly pulled away from the movement in order to have a more objective perspective. As we withdrew, be began to see an immediate improvement to the problems we were experiencing in our family life and marriage. We then decided to leave and we have never been happier with the choice. We have come to realize over time that there was a lot of pressure placed on us. The advice we received was always in the interest in movement rather what was best for us spiritually. In retrospect, the time I spent for the movement was inordinate. I never really received genuine spiritual direction. Spiritual direction was always about how to manage the apostolate and not about my relationship with Christ. Since leaving the movement, we have much more time to develop to the interior life, which we not able to have while in RC. We now do the liturgy of hours, daily spiritual reading of the saints, daily gospel meditations, daily mass and apostolate work for our parish. It always felt we were spinning our wheels in the apostolates of RC. There was so much busy time that seemed like a waste of time. It is great to have a personal relationship with our parish priest and to have time for friendships with fellow parishioners. Our life is quite active but it does not feel stressful like RC did. The apostolate comes from the fruit of my meditations and not from a mandate on high. There is wholeness to our family life.