Friday, October 2, 2009

He should be made a cardinal

Full article here.

Boston-based Voice of the Faithful will present Jason Berry with this year’s St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Lay Person Award at its biennial conference Oct. 30-31 in Long Island, N.Y.

Berry was writing about the sexual abuse of minors long before the national scandal erupted in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002. His first book, “Lead Us Not into Temptation,” was later citied as “the bible of the survivors’ movement” by Rolling Stone magazine.

“Jason is that rare combination of skilled writer and compassionate disciple whose quest for justice withstood repeated attack,” said Voice of the Faithful President Daniel Bartley.

In 2004, with the late Gerald Renner, Berry co-wrote “Vows of Silence,” which uncovered sexual abuse by Legionaries founder Rev. Marcial Maciel. Under the Vatican’s direction, Maciel committed himself to a “life reserved to prayer and penitence, renouncing all public ministry.” He died in 2008 without ever facing a church trial.

Earlier this year, the Legion’s leadership began informing members of disturbing findings, including that Maciel fathered a daughter, now in her 20s. His photos have since been removed from Legion institutions, and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver is leading a Vatican investigation of the order.

If it weren’t for (Berry’s) work and his persistence—placed at the service of a formidable intelligence—it is not farfetched to think that the church would still be harboring its awful secrets,” wrote Tom Roberts, editor at large for the National Catholic Reporter, in nominating Berry for the prize.


Anonymous said...

Too bad the VOTF organization isn't in line with the Church....

Anonymous said...

All you need to know about whether the LC should be shut down or not is to review what the LC did to ReGAIN. Evil, dirty tactics..... I sure hope ReGAIN gets the last laugh...not out of revenge but justice. Second, the LC leadership failed to protect their fellow brothers under their care from MM and others. That is EVIL.

- THE_Br._Dan

Don said...

No doubt that Jason Berry has done some important work in uncovering Maciel's misdeeds and the resulting deep problems in LC and RC, but these are strange bedfellows. An endorsement by VOTF just gives strength to the propaganda that critics of the Legion are all enemies of the church. I have had to counter that knee-jerk defense by reminding them to pay attention to the message rather than the messenger.

Anonymous said...

The failure of our Church to police herself and hold herself accountable in the shuffling around of pedophile priests for decades has resulted in some strange bedfellows indeed.

I don't care WHO it is or WHAT their intentions are---I am thankful for anybody who has played a part in the revelations of the cover-ups, corruption, cronyism, and clericalism that have plagued our Church hierarchy for decades (centuries?)

God works through mysterious means. If He uses VOTF, SNAP, and other similar groups to hold the Church accountable, so be it.

It's pretty obvious that the Church isn't going to do the right thing without such organizations holding the fire to the hierarchy's feet.

Timothy said...

While I respect the admiration and gratitude often expressed in these blogs for uncovering the Legion, Mr. Berry nevertheless got extremely lucky (from a reporter's point of view)beyond his wildest dreams with the Legion. He and Mr. Renner set out to attack the Catholic Church however they could and afer tiring of hassling the Archdioces of Hartford they looked around and decided to hound the Legion. I was in Cheshire the year after the initial story - with a couple excandidates telling a storybook yarn claiming they had to escape through the woods. The story sounds just as absurd now as it did when the ink was still drying, even taking into account everything these two eventually, and again I concede to their great credit, revealed.

Anonymous said...


Upon what do you base your opinion that Berry's and Renner's goal was to attack the Church? Do you have proof of that?

Because otherwise, I think it is quite possible their intentions were to expose the awful truth about child molestation in our Church.

Thank God for "hounds" such as those two, whatever their intentions.

And indeed, upon reading articles such as this eulogy upon his death:, I am certainly not left with the impression he was a hater of the Church.

It's very possible that people who love the Church can (not to mention should!) out the evils that fester within her due to fallen human nature. Revealing the truth is generally only viewed as an "attack" by those who have a vested interest in keeping the truth hidden.

So unless you have proof that Renner and Berry have some ulterior motive to "attack" the Church, your assertion sounds only like so much more of the "Anybody who is against us is a persecutor of the Church" Legion-talk.

The Church hierarchy needs to quit acting like it's a victim when people reveal the corruption so apparently endemic to it. No, they are not being "attacked". The only people "attacked" in this story are the very real victims of our Church's cover-ups over the decades.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Rather than getting "lucky", I can't help but think it was more like God guiding them to reveal this great evil.

Anonymous said...


My understanding about the genesis of the Hartford Courant stories of 1997 was that one of the writers was in Rome covering an event, and a bishop suggested to him that he check out the secretive seminary in Cheshire, Connecticut.

I don't think Berry and Renner were enemies of the Church at all, and they certainly advanced the process of saving the Church from a very evil group.

Jason Berry, God bless you!

Gerald Renner, rest in peace!

Anonymous said...

Timothy - You must still be a brainwashed LC/RC hack. I KNOW THE BROTHERS THAT "ESCAPED" FROM THEIR FIRST YEAR OF NOVITIATE. They were NOT kooks, one was a bit squirrely maybe, but they were not being allowed to leave...pressured to stay and not taken seriously. There was a lot of pressure to keep them know, the LC numbers game.

Anonymous said...

Christ taught us to be coherent (not to swallow the dromadory, etc.). There is a convenience between the means end the end. The morality of any act depends actually more upon the means than upon the end!!!
When people in the Church begins to act again the commun sense, justifying any mean, he sould be stopped, asap, for the sake of the whole body... even if it hurts and if it is shameful.
There is something strange in the MM's saga: for 7 years, I have been told that the world was leaded by evil... We always had to protect ourself and the Legion from the strangers, who, for some dark reasons, would take any opportunity to distroy the Legion... I don't know how the news has been spread in the USA, but in France, there is nothing... the only "enemies" of the Legion, are the few ones that MM created himself.
Good lesson for us. Not to be afraid of the world.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Jason Berry, congratulations! I'm proud of ya. Thanks for the two friendly chats we had when you were in Rome. You haven't received any thanks from the Legionaries? That surprises me. We are the first beneficiaries of your truth-telling. God bless and reward you. Edmond

Anonymous said...

Here is a moral question for those still in the LC/RC. Knowing what we know now, if you continue to stay in the LC/RC are you giving witness to the Founder? Aren't you morally culpable for those that look to you for guidance?

Anonymous said...

One fine thread holds me here: the Pope has not yet condemned the LC. But I know where my suitcases are. God bless ya all! The "Horsefly", ER

Anonymous said...

"One fine thread holds me here: the Pope has not yet condemned the LC. But I know where my suitcases are. God bless ya all! The "Horsefly", ER"

- That has got to be one of the lamest excuses for staying in the LC/RC ever. The Pope hasn't "condemned" MM either so why do you not celebrate his birthday and propagate his sainthood? Have courage my brother, have courage. Knowing what you know and still staying in the LC/RC will make you morally culpable for part of the continued harm to souls.

Anonymous said...

It's not my choice, but God's and my choice, and He ain't said not'n yet. The vocation is a joint venture, and I am not the leading partner. It's no help to leave if I do not no where to go.
(Besides, did you understand the "Horsefly" allusion? That refers to Socrates, and to a type of vocation to which God may be calling me. I stay and listen for His Voice for further instruction. Would you accuse Socrates of participating in Athen's sin, or Christ in Jerusalem's?) Thanks for you advise and concern.

Anonymous said...

Wow, how unLC you have become brother. Isn't your spiritual director deciding this for you? You are directly consulting God? Well good for you, but there you have another sign don't ya?

Anonymous said...

Well, Sir, for your information, I consulted God very closely too when I was going to enter the LCs. I got a loud and clear green light from Him, something stronger than a mystical vision even -- sorry if it sounds corny or full of myself. But I need His "Enough already, get out!", preferably with an address to go to.

Anonymous said...

I think an address is always there, one only has to want to look at it and accept it. It was hard for Abraham to leave "his country". It requires faith, it requires a "salto" and more than a "salto metafisico" but a "salto di Fede". The way of the Cross leads to Life.

Just make sure you have canonical counsel to do the right steps. This is applicable to anyone seeking a change of canonical status in the Church.

Blessings. The Anonymous Canonist

Anonymous said...

Ummmmm.. You're an LC priest in a rather high profile position, in Rome, etc. Your continued involvement knowing what you know gives witness and legitimacy to the LC. There is no argument to the contrary, you are not Socrates, you are not Jesus, you are a priest founded by a controlling, manipulative sexual pervert who preyed on your fellow LC brothers and RC sisters. And you stay in??????? I think God has made it pretty obvious, yet you are blind. Only someone who is still brainwashed and in denial would stay and have delusional to justify staying involved with this mess.

Anonymous said...

That's so "Legionary" to expect the Pope to do everything himself and hand down a definitive decree.

He could do that of course, but I thinks it's more likely he'll just let the Congregation die out after replacing the Major Superiors.

No, the Legion will not always "be in the heart of the Popes" as the Sacred Heart supposedly revealed Himself to "father" founder.

Start thinking for yourselves!

Anonymous said...

It is pretty sad to see Legionary priests so brainwashed that they can't the need to cut ties with the Legion. How can anyone take spiritual advice from a Legionary priest when they are so spiritually blind? Take the splinter out of your eye first...

Anonymous said...

- Knock knock.

- Who's there?

- Captan Obvious.

- Captan Obvious who?

- Captan Obvious who says the Legion was founded by a megalomanic pervert and he is supposedly THE model Legionary. Get out now.

Seriously, I got no time for the LC/RC defenders. It is beyond ridiculous at this point.....just keep waiting for the Vatican to state the obvious. Oh please. The LC/RC really does brainwash the critical thinking skills out of its members.

Anonymous said...

As we were inside the Legion, we were all victims and executioners. At different level... The brothers who are looking for vocation, I think, have the most disturbing task... because they play the interface between the Legion and its awful discipline and the families: it means that they had to "hide" many things and sometimes to lie. But I think that the priests who were working as superiors, and the teachers, were less touched by that. Some of them were very nice people... maybe accepting their doom and the strange norms with faith...
Some of those people will maybe be able to help the Legion to change and to purificate. I remember for instance Fr. Jesus Maria Delgado, who was my superior in Salamanca. A so humble and kind man... who never accepted to be better treated than the brothers, whose life was a pure self-denial, who had a great sense of humor...
I mean, this kind of people, even if they have been, as all of us, spiritualy abused by MM, were good people...

After the great blessing, the time of the great purification has come: it means keeping the things that are coming from God, and taking appart the things that were not in the mind of God.

I am very upset with Fr Maciel... but at the same time, I am convinced that there is an enourmous potential in the Congregation. In France, for instance, it is one of the last congregation that organize great catholic summer camps, without fearing of speaking loudly about Jesus. They became professional in this kind of apostolate, and I saw amazing fruits in them.
Hopefully, the Legion will be able to make a very strong reform... and to save what deserves to be saved.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, when I was in RC I thought the movement was the only game in town that could be depended on for great apostoloates bearing much fruit. I can't speak for France, but all I had to do was get my nose out of the air and look around. There are plenty of solid Catholics running great programs, yes, even good summer camps. They just aren't falling over themselves, congratulating one another for being so especially holy and called for all eternity to this special holiness.

Holiness is out there.

Sans the warped methodology.