“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.”
The weekend is here, and I find myself, again, with so many thoughts to resolve in my mind as the soap opera of the Legion of Christ never seems to really end. I think that many of us, if we had one wish, would spend it on this: just let is all end.
Statements have finally come out of the Legion. But strangely enough, these missives are being released in one country at a time, and under the names of territorial directors, those pesky little organizers who have no real power in the Legion of Christ's highly centralized scheme, and who cannot act publicly without layers upon layers of approvals from higher-ups.
Time to parse some of the happenings of the past week. First of all, as many a blogger knows, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a blog. We bloggers do have email addresses and they do get used by our readers to send us information that, for one reason or another, is not deemed quite right for public consumption in the comment boxes. And I can tell you now, with certainty, the exodus from the Legion of Christ and the 3GF (consecrated women) of the Regnum Christi has begun.
Now on to the statements: from two territories in the United States, one in Germany, and now Spain.
And one glaring omission: no one has owned up to a single mistake.
In an outright attempt to avoid any responsibility whatsoever, even behaviors underlying the corrections made so far by the Vatican (spiritual direction gaffs, private vows...) are characterized as "long held Church traditions" or "approved by the Church at that time". (Remember, "if we are wrong, we will be wrong with Peter." It is never their fault. Ever.) The Legion of Christ, of course, is not capable of making any mistakes and is the victim in all of this. There has not been a single Legion official who has come to the realization that there just may be something that is more important than the Legion of Christ. Some organization, some value, some person, or some rights... anything. No. There is no higher value than the Legion, and it must be protected at all cost, even, and it seems, especially, at the cost of its own members, its victims, and the Church itself.
A second outrage that is present in these letters to Regnum Christi members is that they are directed internally. There is no recognition of anyone outside of the LC/RC group. Legionaries and RC members aim their drippy apologies at each other, and imply that they are the only victims, that they are the only ones hurt by Maciel's actions. And, of course, the only hurtful actions are Maciel's and his alone.
One last point. One that must be voiced. These letters all claim that Alvaro Corcuera is quietly going about a crusade to reach out personally to Maciel's victims. This is a bald faced lie. No victims have been contacted, and the Legion can put the words "quietly" and "in private" in front of its claims and be sure that no one can challenge their veracity: "it is being done quietly, so we can't tell you who or even how many have been so contacted". My information, after contacting many of Maciel's victims (many of whom, in turn, communicate with each other), is that no one has been contacted.
Lying from a Legionary is no surprise. Cover-ups are not a shock. Excuses and blaming faceless enemies is commonplace. What is annoying, however, is that there seems to be no end in sight.
Don't Catholics deserve something better from their priests?
I have no hope that next week will be any different.