Saturday, February 14, 2009

LC/RC Talking Points

The following was sent to every member of the Regnum Christi by Legion of Christ Superiors yesterday by email or fax. This is the full, unedited text.

Make your own observations.

Guidelines for answering some questions


All our words should be inspired and guided by Christian charity, knowing that “the triumph of truth is charity” (St. Augustine).

This is a time of great pain for Legionaries of Christ, members of Regnum Christi and everyone associated with the Church. There is the great mystery of how the Holy Spirit can play beautiful melodies on a broken instrument. But we must remember that for those who have been hurt, we cannot excuse their suffering by reminding them of the good that God does through the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi.

We must speak and act in light of the Gospel and the principles of Catholic morality that we find summed up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the truth, charity and upright behavior in regard to other people’s defects.

We must demonstrate faith, hope and charity – particularly to those who have been hurt— and entrust all of us to God’s mercy with great peace and serenity.

There are some people who, out of respect, sensitivity, Christian mercy, profound gratitude, etc., don’t want to go into details about Nuestro Padre’s behavior. Their response is to pray, and to be humanly and spiritually close to those who are confused and hurting. We should respect and encourage this attitude, as much in ourselves as in others. The starting point is the acknowledgment and gratitude for all the good we have received.

All these conversations must he held without getting into an argument, with the greatest possible serenity, with a supernatural view of things, and letting people know that it’s perfectly normal for different people to have different points of view, different tones to their answers, etc. This is also due to the state of suffering, tiredness and pain that we are all experiencing, and it calls for a lot of patience, understanding and the certainty that we all want the same thing. If all this is making us suffer so much, it’s because we all love the same thing.

We love Christ by listening to others, offering our sympathy and accepting our own human failings and imperfections.

We should always ask for support, prayers, understanding and a lot of trust, as members of the one family, one body in the Church and in the Movement. We should make sure to support everybody that needs it.
These are times of prayer, humility, unity and charity.

1. We apologize to anyone hurt by Father Maciel’s actions.
2. We regret any scandal to the Church
3. We offer our prayers to all who are suffering as the result of this and ask
for the prayers of the faithful for us.
4. In all our considerations, actions and words, our departing point is the
following: We have sought to act, and we are trying to act according to
what Jesus Christ would do. We have tried to illuminate our decisions
with the light of the Gospel, following the Catechism of the Catholic
Church, having heard the advice of many and in unity with the Holy See.
The principles that guide us are those of justice, charity and mercy with


What do you have to say about Father Maciel?

To our surprise and pain, we recognize that some of our founder’s behavior was incompatible with his priestly condition. We are deeply sorry for the offenses he committed and we ask pardon for the scandal this has caused.
It can be helpful to read the letter Father Alvaro Corcuera has written to Regnum Christi members and friends, and the Zenit article about this. These texts provide guidance on the interior attitudes towards this situation (the letter) and concise information (the article).

Even so, we can’t forget that our founder was the instrument that passed on, in all its integrity, the charism God gave him and the Church approved. For that, we are forever grateful to him. At any rate, he has passed on and his judgment is in the hands of God’s infinite mercy.

What did Father Maciel do?

As you know, it is public knowledge that he fathered a daughter. Out of respect for the privacy of the persons involved, it is not our place to spread further information.

Was there financial impropriety?

First, I want to be clear that our financial systems are very thorough and there are procedures of accountability and oversight in place to prevent misuse of funds. In the past, Father Maciel was so trusted that he was able to have funds available for his personal use. We simply do not know the extent of those funds or what portion may have been used inappropriately. And because much of this happened long ago, it is likely we will not be able to determine the amount.

How do you explain Father Maciel’s behavior?

It’s very hard to understand. We are not able to grasp it fully, and we probably never will. It’s part of the mystery of human behavior, and involves: moral and psychological factors, circumstances, etc. It’s especially hard to mesh all the good that we knew about him with the facts that are emerging now. At any rate, he has already passed away.

What about the accusations of previous years?

The subject of the accusations of sexual abuse by Father Maciel has resurfaced. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was in charge of investigating them according to its procedures.

In May 2006, bearing in mind Father Maciel’s advanced age and his delicate health, the congregation decided to forgo a canonical trial. It invited him to a reserved life of penitence and prayer. The Legion of Christ accepted the Holy See’s decision. Given the Holy See’s action, it seems likely that some of the accusations were deemed credible. There never was a trial, however, and the competent authority did not issue a verdict. At this time, we do not have conclusive evidence about particular accusations.

The Legion of Christ wants to reach out and help whoever was hurt by our founder. We are undertaking a review of our responsibilities as a congregation in this regard. We are profoundly sorry for anything that could have happened.

Were the superiors aware of these facts?

The superiors had no evidence of these facts, and they suspected nothing.

And how was that possible?

We all trusted our founder; it never occurred to us to be suspicious of his behavior. Frankly, with 20/20 hindsight we see that we should have been more alert to possible signals.

But the superiors acted unsuspectingly; they never knowingly collaborated with his misdeeds or covered up the situation once they found out.

When did they find out about them?

When Father Maciel was no longer general director, in 2005, certain facts started to emerge little by little. After the Holy See’s communiqué in May 2006, during the final months of Father Maciel’s illness and after his death, further clues and first-hand evidence surfaced. The superiors contacted the appropriate authorities of the Holy See and more recently, in accord with the principles of justice and charity, began to personally inform the Legionaries and consecrated members of Regnum Christi, much as happens in a close-knit family faced with a similar situation.

What will you do if you learn that members of the congregation were complicit in Father Maciel’s inappropriate activities?

We certainly do not know that is the case. But if we learn of such a situation it will be dealt with seriously and in accord with the principles of justice and charity.

How are you dealing with the situation?

Well, first of all, it hurts and deeply saddens us. Even more, we feel the real shame that anyone in the congregation – especially our Founder – could bring scandal to the Church and pain to the faithful.

We are turning more intensely to prayer and are strengthening our commitment to Christ, focusing our attention on him. We are also more keenly aware of the mission that the Legion is entrusted with in the Church.

We are deeply sorry for all the hurt and the scandal this has caused, and for those who may have suffered.

We are struggling through these days of mixed emotions and we all need time to pray, to reflect, and to assimilate the consequences of this situation. As we process all this, we are holding onto Christ and to our identity as a part of the Church, the sacrament of salvation.

We look to the future with confidence, with the commitment to continue serving the Church and others.

What will the Legion of Christ do going forward?

Clearly, we are reviewing our procedures to ensure that nothing like this happens again.

We put our trust in God. And we know that our mother, the Church, walks with us and “gratefully recognizes the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and […] Regnum Christi” (Communiqué of the Holy See Press Office May 19, 2006).

Cardinal Franc Rodé, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life reminded us of this in Chile this past December:
“Then I told him (the Holy Father) that I was going to meet the groups of the Regnum Christi Movement and my friends, the Legionaries of Christ, and the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, told me: ‘Tell them that I know them, I esteem them, and I appreciate them. Tell them that my blessing accompanies them; tell them to follow with great conviction the path marked out by the charism given to the Regnum Christi Movement, and to be great witnesses of Christ and of his Church in today’s world.’”

We have always tried to speak and act in light of the Gospel and the principles of Catholic morality that we find summed up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church about the truth, charity and upright behavior in regard to other people’s defects.

We also know that others both inside and outside the Church have been hurt by these revelations. We understand that we have a responsibility to demonstrate our faithfulness and work hard for the Church.

We count on the closeness and support of the Holy Father and Cardinal Rodé and many other churchmen who appreciate the charism and the works of apostolate of the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement. They are strongly encouraging us to move onward, faithful to our vocation of service to the Church according to the charism God gave us.


Anonymous said...

The fact that Fr. Maciel was allowed to take thousands of dollars a year out of the Congregation and not give an account of his personal finances to anyone shows the systematic incompetence of Legionary superiors. Maciel thought he was above the law. Those around him in positions of power agreed. Do we really think that an interal audit by current Legionary superiors will be thorough, accurate, and transparent? In 1997 when Fr. Luis Garza went around the world visiting Legionary communities, he gave us talking points regarding certain false accusations against Fr. Maciel. Was it true charity to oblige us under the vow of obedience to remain ignorant of those public accusations? Was this not an abuse of power? Wake up LC and RC! Don't be duped by Major Superiors who want to cover their tails. If they didn't know anything, THEY SHOULD HAVE. That's the point.

Anonymous said...

This explains Fr Jonathan Morris's blathering on EWTN and Al Cresta's show. He was spewing the party line. I wonder when Cardinal Rhode' is going to wake up and realize he is being used by the Legion.

I am encouraged to see the cracks develop in our local RC leadership. Individuals that have been putting up with this garbage for years are realizing the spin that is going on.

Mario said...

This is more of the same. Total denial! Maciel made a few mistakes but everything else is all right???
This will not do ! The cult of Maciel in the Legion continues. But he needs to be thrown overboard. Everything said above relects all he has taught them. His personality cult is idolotraus.
"I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me."
Maciel was a strange, demonic god who obscured the face of the true God. THe Lord Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. The Legion now has to decide who their true master is and how they are going to serve Him. They need to be absorbed into the life of the Church rather than trying to absorb the Church into their way of thinking.

Anonymous said...

Its NOT only MM, its the Kearns, Bannon, Biareas and all the other priests that categorically defended MM all these years. I want to HEAR from them, That they are sorry for MISLEADING people.

People familiar with LC know that the priests/brothers like to refer to themselves as co-founders. Well, what they really have been all this time is co-conspirators.

All this talk about prayers etc... its all smoke and mirrors. NOBODY wants to hear that BULLSHIT! And thats exactly what it is.

Anonymous said...

It's all more of the same exact thing. Here's what we want you to say, and shut up about the rest.

I find it utterly disgusting that so many RC's can't see through this. They say that they're not blind, yet they continue to accept the BS coming from the top.

I want to vomit everytime I read that they are grateful to MM. It's sick, twisted & disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Notice he is still referred to as Nuestro Padre?

Mario said...

"Some of the Pharisees around Him picked this up, saying, 'You are not counting us in with the blind, are you?' To which Jesus replied:
'If you were blind there would be no in that. But you say 'we see,' and your sin remains. (John 9:40-41)

Anonymous said...

My favorte story about MM and the Legionaries is Macial's poor health. I first heard this tall tale around 1981. Little did i know he was out making at least one baby and doing who knows what. My absolute favorite thing about this is how the priests and brother's talked about MM's health in HUSHED TONES, to show even greater reverence. The astonishing thing is that MM live to the ripe old age of 87!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My suggestion is for everyone to address all of these lies diectly to any LC they see. Dont pussy foot around and dilly dally, ASK THEM DIRECT QUESTIONS AND DONT LET THEM OFF THE HOOK UNTIL THEY HAVE ANSWERED THEM. If they give u the old smoke and mirrors routine again
remind them that you are not going to take any BULLSHIT!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

They are wily! Did anyone notice the timing of these revelations? They were made at a time when the world would least notice, when Bishop Williams was under fire.

Anonymous said...

Rather than give talking points to its members the Legion should consider taking off the double breasted suits and put on sack clothe and ashes and do a year of penance with reflection on what God wants from them.

Anonymous said...

One thing to clarify, this was not sent to every member of RC by email or fax.

This was read to me over the phone. When I asked for a copy, I was told they would check to see if that was ok. Never heard back on that.

Thankfully now there is a copy out on the web for me to print off, show to my spouse and read again for clarification. I am incredibly disappointed in so many things, including this letter/memo and the resistance to giving their own members a copy.

Anon for now

Anonymous said...

Moments of crisis are the times that reveal what somebody is all about.

Anonymous said...

How do you explain Father Maciel’s behavior?

It’s very hard to understand. We are not able to grasp it fully




Anonymous said...

Why don't we encourage a BOYCOTT of the Legion by all faithful Catholics until the time that the Legion compensates all victims of Maciel?

People can write to the parishes where the Legion is and state WHY they will no longer attend that parish!

Anonymous said...

Notice that now that the sh-t has hit the fan, then their sufering is the "church's' suffering, like all of us in the Church are suffering with them. For years, they were too good for and too 'special' for the Church, now they are trying to get any credibility from anywhere they can.

These folks see the house of cards crumbling and will not atop at anything to prevent that.

'Charity and Justice'?

they have no copncpet of it. These are the same people who had no misgivings to bad mouth anyone who levied an accusation or asked for accounting. And now they are discovering these virtues?

give me a break.

Anonymous said...

I would try the Jedi mind trick if this doesn't work, it's a hell of a lot simpler, and would be just as futile.

The one thing this document lacks is a "P.S. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"

Fr. Alvaro Cuocuera, aka The Great and Powerful Wizard of BS

Anonymous said...

Charity- a true virtue that the Legion has turned into a trigger word for its members, used to control independent thought and critical reasoning. Watch how it is used and how members then quickly return to zombie state.

tattoo said...

The Legion is controlling the information and reactions of the people of RC interested in their own good, once again, instead of the good of the individuals in their care.

Telling them what to think, what to say, how to say it. How about getting for them, or suggesting to them, a counselor to hash out the betrayal and confusion they feel?????

I don't have much mercy on those that remain. I'm sorry, but I had to stand up to them in my own mind, while being shamed and gagged daily for it. I still walked out of that cave on my own two feet because I just knew something wasn't right there.

If those who remain still can't leave after the Vatican has snuffed out MM, and the world now knows that the holy founder was really a liar, then all I can say is that they love the lies more than the truth, and for that..... they get what they deserve.

Anonymous said...

So, why not call upon former LC/RC members to help? The action would be soothing act for them, give the atonement needed and let stand in place and in action the high ideals to which the founder of the movement aims.

Anonymous said...

For now, I pray that those experiencing anxiety because of the recent news grow from it. Not in a pithy way, pretending they were not wronged. But, truly, being Christlike and forgiving with a true condition, that repentance be done by those who committed the wrongs. If they must pretend they did no wrong, how will their soul have peace? If they cannot atone, they will not be at peace. Fr. Bannon, are you listening? Save your people. Help them to be healed.

It is such a farce to present an ethic of forgiveness if you must deny Scripture to do it. What do I mean? Well, doesn't St. Paul say something to the effect of "if" the sinner repents, "then" forgive him. Salvation came to the tax collector with restitution--paying fourfold what he had taken. Again, we must not turn the other cheek so far that we fail to judge those in our own house, our Church? St. Paul gives us this right, this judgement. It is not the motive we judge. It is the action. Yes.

And so, the previous few week's dialog it has been stated that those without sin should cast the stone. I say bully on you! You're just as mafioso as those who formed you. Wake up. It is mercy now. Give Mercy. Not denial. No pretense that we have a right to throw a stone. No denial of right judgment. No confusion about these matters. Do not stop people in the same house from calling the spade a spade, a sin a sin.

I close with the affirmation to all those who seek healing, that what I write above was the result of someone leading me, telling me those same helpful words. These words help me out of the mess created by LC and RC into which I found myself working and continuing to attend a Church in which I felt little acceptance. My how the table is turned now. But, I want your good. All of it. And their is no easy way out. It is a Cross. No fireworks, no strobe, no principles or letters of "Nuestro Padre." It is Jesus, his whole self, not a replacement, but Truth and Repentance. In this your healing comes.

tattoo said...

To any RC/LC members reading this...

I, too, was once a member and served God above my own fears and small world that I came from. I, too was confused for a long time over balancing the good I recieved in life (the passionate dream that I followed while in the LC and the good virtue and focus in my life for following that ideal) from the Legion with the undeniable evil that went on within it. I feel your pain, your confusion.

I would like to offer a couple of thoughts that have cleared the air in my own head and heart, so that maybe you can take from it what you want - buffet style.

1. All the good of the world, even what good was brought about in me while in the LC seminary is property of God. It doesn't prove any man or group of men to be saintly, nor a source of sanctity. Only God is that source, and He is everywhere. He is even in the heart of a rape victim as she(he) is being raped. His presence in that event does not justify or sanctify the rapist.

All I am saying is that the good in life you have experienced while in the LC/RC is not fruit of Maciel nor Alvaro nor any other person. It is the fruit of God acting in your life, and you searching for Him whole heartedly in response.

That can happen within and beyond the 'borders' of the Legion just alike.

The good you have experienced is real. The good men and women you have encountered is real.

That is separate from the institution where it all happened. Good people met each other in communist Russia as well as in the Vatican. Neither place created or caused the good people.

2. It is now undeniable that the LC/RC foundation block (Maciel) was mentally and spiritually off target.

3. The true 'Spirit of the Legion' is either the gospels or it is not.

If it is the same as the Gospel, then of course it is untainted by Maciel's private life.

If it is different, then it is wrong.

Either way, the LC/RC is unnecessary for your living a life for God and the souls. If instead you feel it necessary, then that is a bad thing. It means that your 'spiritual life' is founded on very weak ground instead of on Christ the solid rock.

You might want to re-think that position. You might want to consider the possibility that the 'spirituality' you have recieved is authentic based, yet tainted deeply with the sick soul of the one who established this way of life.

Maybe that sick person connected himself,and the power of the movement to the eternal Word of God in a twisted, unhealthy way. And if so, he passed that on to generations of souls like yourself who experience God within the movement, but are not free because by that experience, but instead it is tied to , and indeed rests upon a foundation that is human, weak, and now openly known as deeply flawed.

3. Comparing the good and evil balance within the LC/RC to that balance within the Church is not accurate.

In the church, we recieved an untaintable gift of salvation from an untainted source, Christ. The individual church leaders may fail, but they carry in their 'earthen vessels' a pure truth that was given, recieved, and recorded within integrity and purity. It is the message and the very Spirit of God who gives life and eternity to the christian life throughout the generations. For that reason it cannot be overcome. Even when we, as church members are 'jars of clay' our message is still good and alive.

4.Maciel did taint the movement with atleast one aspect of his sickness... the private vows and the spirit of the private vows. These have now been condemned by the Pope. How then was it presented to me, as a member years ago as central part of the 'untaintable' spirit of the Legion. It is now known to be wrong. In other words MM can be wrong in understanding and passing on the 'spirit of the Legion' to us. There's a whole lotta Maciel mixed into that spirituality.

That's not a spirituality I would wish on anyone.

5. Consider this, my last point, which sums up and sews together the previous pieces that I have written.

If you have recieved from anyone a spirit other than the one the apostles gave to us all, then it is wrong.

If the spirit you have recieved is the same as the one the apostles gave to us all, then it is the same as the one the apostles gave to us all.

If this is understood, then you should not feel any need to belong to this or that group, only to God.

If the spirit you have recieved instead links your soul to that group, as if it were the source of your life, or the only way for you,then you are in a cult.

Be freed by the Word of God. Renounce your slavery to this cult.
Live in peace. Live in God. Live above this slavery.