Some interesting stuff, starting in 1997. Just read how the supporters have to play the able contortionists as time goes by...
23 February 1997 Berry and Renner’s “Head of Worldwide Catholic Order Accused of History of Abuse” appears in the Hartford Courant. Father Maciel and the Legionaries, represented by Kirkland & Ellis, deny the charges.Mexico City Archbishop Norberto Rivera Carrera defends Maciel as the victim of a conspiracy.
3 March William Donohue writes to the Courant: “To think that any priest would tell some other priest that the pope gave him the thumbs up to have sex with another priest - all for the purpose of relieving the poor fellow of some malady - is the kind of balderdash that wouldn't convince the most unscrupulous editor at any of the weekly tabloids. The wonder is why this newspaper found merit enough to print it.”
8 March 1997 Father Richard John Neuhaus writes: “One cannot help but be greatly impressed by both the discipline and the joy evinced by so many young men who have followed the vision of Father Maciel in surrendering their lives to Christ and His Church. I confidently pray that your apostolate will survive and flourish long after these terrible attacks have been long forgotten.”Deal Hudson in Crisis calls on the Courant to “withdraw its false article and apologize to Father Maciel, the Legionaries of Christ, and faithful Roman Catholics.”
17 October 1998 On behalf of eight accusers of Father Maciel, Jose Barba and Arturo Jurado, represented by Martha Wegan, bring canonical complaint in Rome before Cardinal Ratzinger’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
20 February 1999 the CDF officially records the complaint as a case in its tribunal.
24 December Wegan informs Jurado that the CDF will not pursue the matter.
26 April 2002 ABC’s 20/20 airs news story about the Maciel case.
30 April William Bennett writes, “The flourishing of the Legionaries is a cause for hope in a time of much darkness. I look forward to continuing my involvement with and support of the Legion of Christ.”
13-14 May New Haven-Hartford ABC airs news story alleging improprieties at Legionary seminaries in New Hampshire and Connecticut.
23 May Mary Ann Glendon writes, “The recent revival of long discredited allegations against Father Maciel would come as a surprise were it not for the fact that the U.S. is currently experiencing a resurgence of anti-Catholicism. One would have thought that Father Neuhaus's meticulous analysis of the evidence in First Things had put the matter to rest once and for all. As one who sat near Father Maciel for several weeks during the Synod for America, I simply cannot reconcile those old stories with the man's radiant holiness.”
24 June George Weigel writes, “If Father Maciel and his charism as a founder are to be judged by the fruits of his work, those fruits are most impressive indeed."
15 October The Diocese of Columbus withdraws endorsement and support from Regnum Christi and forbids Legionary priests to be active in any way in the diocese.
December Regain discussion board begins.
24 February 2004 Berry and Renner publish Vows of Silence.
26 November To observe Maciel’s 60th ordination anniversary, the decretum laudis is granted the Regnum Christi statutes and pope John Paul II gives the Legion care of the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem.
December St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop Harry J. Flynn informs parishes that the Legionaries are "not to be active in any way in the archdiocese."
December Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prefect Cardinal Josef Ratzinger reopens investigation of Maciel under Msgr. Charles Scicluna.
January 2005 Father Maciel declines reelection as Congregation’s General Director. Rev. Álvaro Corcuera is elected to succeed him.
20 May [sic] Legionaries release an unsigned fax from the Vatican Secretariat of State apparently informing Director General Corcuera that “at this time there is no canonical process underway regarding [Father Maciel] nor will one be initiated.” The National Catholic Register announces the exoneration of Maciel.
19 May 2006 Vatican publishes a press Communiqué stating, “After having attentively studied the results of the investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the guidance of the new prefect, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, decided - bearing in mind Fr. Maciel's advanced age and his delicate health - to forgo a canonical hearing and to invite the father to a reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry. The Holy Father approved these decisions. Independently of the person of the Founder, the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and of the Association 'Regnum Christi' is gratefully recognized.”According to Zenit, “Father Maciel, with the spirit of obedience to the Church that has always characterized him, has accepted this communiqué with faith, complete serenity and tranquility of conscience, knowing that it is a new cross that God, the Father of Mercy, has allowed him to suffer and that will obtain many graces for the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement.”Father Neuhaus writes in First Things, “Since there was no canonical hearing, there is no canonical judgment regarding his guilt or innocence... It should be noted that “penitence” in this connection does not connote punishment for wrongdoing.” Mexico City Archbishop Cardinal Rivera Carrera supports this interpretation.
30 April 2007 Beirne, Maynard & Parson representing the Legion sends cease and desist letter to Regain.
July 2007 Cardinal Franc Rodé, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, tells Regnum Christi members in Atlanta: “To assimilate and get a deeper grasp of your Movement’s particular charism, apply what the Church tells the religious: the Founder’s interpretation of the charism is the authentic interpretation. So read, meditate on, and absorb the words of the man God chose to transmit this spirit to you: your Founder, Father Maciel. This is the most effective way that God imprints your Movement’s charism in your conscience, your heart, and your action.”
22 August Legion sues Regain in Virginia court for theft of proprietary documents.
2007 Pope Benedict does away with the private fourth Legionary vow never to speak ill of a superior and to report those who do.
30 January 2008 Father Maciel dies (reportedly) in Houston and is buried privately in Cotija February 2.
21 March 2008 Good Friday Regain discussion board comes to an end.
2008 Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, recognizing coercive spirituality, aversion to transparency, and “heavily persuasive methods on young people,” decides to ban the Legion from Baltimore, but is talked out of it by three Vatican cardinals.
3 February 2009 New York Times reports that Father Maciel “fathered a daughter just as he and his thriving conservative order were winning the acclaim of Pope John Paul II.”
4 February Director General Corcuera writes to Regnum Christi, “I am grateful to [Father Maciel] for being the instrument God used to give my entire life meaning… it would be impossible to find enough words to thank him."
5 February Germain Grisez calls for an “orderly termination of the existing Institute, election of a small group to serve as founders of its replacement, and the preparation of an entirely new and reformed body of particular law for the new institute.”
8 February Legionary Father Berg begs “forgiveness for the disastrous response which this crisis has received from our upper LC leadership.” and says, “I am deeply, deeply sorry, and I personally apologize with my heart in my hand to each and every one of you.”
8 February Vatican prefect of religious orders Cardinal Franc Rodé is reported to intend to let the Legionaries work the scandal out for themselves without intervention.9 February George Weigel calls for a “brutally frank analysis of the institutional culture” and a “personal delegate empowered to take over the governance of the Legion of Christ and to conduct the moral and institutional audit required.”
24 February Mardi Gras “Major statement” by Legionaries fails to appear.
25 February Ash Wednesday Baltimore Archbishop O’Brien suspects Father Maciel was “a man with an entrepreneurial genius who, by systematic deception and duplicity, used our faith to manipulate others for his own selfish ends.”
5/6 March Sydney Archbishop Cardinal Pell calls for “an intervention, perhaps a visitation.”
24 March Toronto Archbishop Collins calls for “a massive reordering of the Legionaries.”
31 March Release of Vatican Secretary of State Bertone’s 10 March letter informing Director General Corcuera that Pope Benedict has decided to carry out an Apostolic Visitation of the Legionaries.
EXLCBLOGGER ADDITIONS:*5 May Ilsussidario.net names 4 visitators: Ricardo Watty Urquidi, Bishop of Tepic, Mexico; Charles Joseph Chaput, Archbishop of Denver, Colorado, USA; Giuseppe Versaldi, Bishop of Alessandria, Italy; Gianfranco Ghirlanda, S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
*7 May Fr. Thomas Berg announces he is leaving the Legion of Christ and taking the Westchester Institute with him.