Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sound all too familiar?

From a CNN article on the Dugard kidnapping and abuse case:

Aside from the physical abuse of children, experts say perpetrators find ways to manipulate the minds of the children they are abusing.

"Sexual abuse doesn't happen in silence," said Karen Duncan, a clinical therapist. "Things are said to the child before, during and after. Offenders say things in a purposeful way -- to convince the child what they're doing is OK and acceptable. The children do not know the laws. They really don't know this is something that's not supposed to happen."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Giselle is Nonplussed

Giselle is stunned,

and rcisnotmylife needs a drink.

"Part three of the RI Catholic series has hit the mailboxes and the Bishop of Providence has nothing but supportive -- nay, glowing -- remarks about Regnum Christi. It's hard to make clear how long and very very positive this entire segment is..."

Welcome to the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island.

A thought from Catholiclight:

[When] I meet up with the strength of youth withered and torn apart in the very springtime of life for lack of Christ, I cannot hold back the cries in my heart. I want to multiply myself...

There's an old cliche that a stopped clock is right twice a day. So I suppose a false prophet is permitted to be right twice in his lifetime. (Maciel also reportedly told his followers during his lifetime that if the Legion failed to serve the Church after his death, he would come back and destroy it.)

Teenage snickers aside, this points to a problem for the Legion that I have mentioned on several occasions. The medium is the message. Thus it is impossible for many - including orthodox Catholics - to take seriously the Legion and Regnum Christi's message about building God's kingdom when their medium is Fr. Maciel. We can read Ignatius, Thomas Aquinas and John Chrysostom without giggling every time one of these saints mentions "passion" and "youth" in the same sentence. Not so with Maciel, knowing what we now know about his life.

When one speaks with the forked tongue of the devil, nobody is sure which meaning the speaker intended. The sooner you recognize this and act upon it, the sooner you move forward with the healing process.

________________

Now here is the problem:
Who was Marcial Maciel?
Did he lie to his families about being a priest?
Or did he lie all along about being a founder?
And how can we ever know which one is the lie?
Or were they both a lie?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Glad He Didn't Join the Circus Afterall

Stolen from the combox on life-after-rc:

Something you wrote really struck home, namely: "Some young men and women have recently come home for short periods of discernment." Some years ago, I was one of those young men. I had been to the Legion's summer Candidacy meat grinder in Cheshire. No discernment at all, to speak of, just a hard-core sales pitch to join LC if they liked you. Of course, while they rolled out the red carpet for the clean-cut young men from Christendom College (very nice guys, actually), I saw 3 different overweight young men visit for a day or two, and basically get blown off.

My story could be called "How the Jesuit Saved My Life." I came home in late August one summer after Candidacy very torn over whether to return to Cheshire for Novitiate, or go to a solid Catholic university for further studies. The LC superior warned me "If you don't follow your call to the Legion now, the same opportunity won't come around later on."

While I was home, I contacted a Jesuit priest for help with my internal conflict. "I want to be generous, and give everything to God, but I just don't feel right about it," I told him. "Is that selfish? If God calls me to do something I hate, then shouldn't I just follow His holy will?" The good Jesuit responded: "Frank, one of the bedrock principals of discernment from St. Ignatius is that one should never make a serious life decision without a sense of true peace, be it marriage, religous life, job change, etc. If you don't feel at peace with the decision to join the Legion, that's a clear sign not to proceed."

An older person, as I am now, has the sales resistance to push back against the LC's high-pressure tactics. Younger folks, generally, do not have that same sales resistance. They are idealistic and eager to please those whom they hold in esteem. That was certainly the case with me at that age.

The one smart thing I did that summer was to listen to the Jesuit. I'm so thankful to God that I never made the mistake of joining Maciel's circus.

A Very Personal Note

A very personal note was sent to this blog by someone who got it from a priest who left the Legion a few years ago:

"These days, many people are asking me about news reports concerning the life and works of Marcial Maciel Degollado. I am really convinced that I am not the person to pass judgments, but analyzing my years in the Legion of Christ, and tying together the lose ends, I feel duped, embarrassed, and angry in front of so many lies. I think, without wishing to make false accusations, that this priest did not work alone, that there were Legionaries who knew what went on with Maciel and kept silent, maybe out of fear or maybe just to cover it all up. This is my doubt now. Remember how priests who left the Legion were condemned, and considered evil and God forsaken? Remember on top of that how we could not have any sincere friendships between us because they were always considered disordered; we couldn't even join with the same people twice in a row in recreation time. This was like an attack on fundamental human rights.... I always asked myself in prayer to Jesus Christ why I was not happy, and now I understand why I wasn't...."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This is Really Getting BAD!

From a recent combox post:

I was fully prepared to give the Legion a chance if they had come out and acted like men after the February announcement. Had they made a public apology, totally renounced Maciel, immediately stopped recruiting, and begged the Vatican to send somebody in to take over for Alvaro&Co (that trio should have been immediately suspended from office), I would have given them a chance.

Instead, the Legion showed its true colors. Whatever they do now, it's much too little and WAY too late. They are a disaster.

I doubt they will be suppressed. I doubt they will even be forced to reform much (they are experts at spin, so I am sure they can make a reformation that sounds great on paper but means absolutely nothing in reality). But I do think that more and more people are on to them, at least in the United States. And I hope that they will just die out eventually (could take many decades, though!), having choked on their own lies and deceit.

In the meantime, their very existence will be a continuing source of scandal for the Church. Oh yes, our Church hierarchy really cares about child molestation! They allow an order of priests founded by a pederast priest to keep right on going, raising money, recruiting 12 year olds into their schools, ordaining priests while being praised to high heaven by Rode&Co. It's so embarrassing as a Catholic to try to defend our faith in light of such behavior by the Vatican. It's a terrible scandal. If I weren't Catholic, I would never even consider joining the Church given that kind of behavior by Church hierarchy. You can tell a tree by its fruit and all that jazz----a Church that praises an order of priests founded by a fraud and a pedophile (an order clearly founded in such a way as to allow that pedophile a constant source of fresh meat and money) and continues to allow same order to recruit little boys is NOT a Church most Americans would be interested in joining.



Photo from The French.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Points from the Aristegui Interview with Bonilla

THE MEXICAN is providing some bullet points from the CNN Mexico interview on the videos below. With slight edits.
Additions as they become available.

1. Legion of Christ superiors knew about Maciel´s children at least 15 years ago.
2. Sons of Maciel have proof that Maciel sexually abused other kids.
3. This lawyer represents 3 of Maciels sons, all three of the same mother, all of them mexican.
4. Maciel has another son named Kevin and had a daughter in France who died in a car accident in her way to pick Maciel at the airport.
5. The lawyer shows a letter Maciel wrote to one of his mexican sons. You can see how different the writing style is comparing to the public letters of MM as a priest.
6. It wasn't until 1997 that Maciel revealed his true identity to one of his sons, later to all of the children and wives.
7. Maciel appeared as Jaime Alberto Gonzalez to his sons and wife, said he was working for a multinational company and that he was very sick with many ailments, liver for example.
8. Maciels sons knew about each other.
9. The lawyer sugests JPII knew about Maciels sons, but only because they called him father infront of the pope...
10. The lawyer and one of the kids spoke last Saturday with the Bishop of Tepic, in charge of the visitation in Mexico. They have an appointment in September for his two brothers and their mom with the bishop.

If Only the Report Had Been 100% True...


If only the report back in February that Exlcblogger received from "spies" had been totally true and the Legion of Christ had renounced Maciel, then none of the past months of turmoil would have been necessary. They are their own worst enemy, and a darn big enemy at that!


Remember: APART FROM THE FOUNDER

Heck, is that even possible at all? We are having our doubts over here.

Wednesday Photo Caption Contest

Mr. Jaime Alberto Gonzalez, I presume? Exxon exec.?
Photo sent by P. Daisy

Aristegui - Los Hijos De Maciel En Busca De Reconocimiento Legal 1/4

Carmen Aristequi: CNN Mexico
The Maciel's Children Seek Legal Recognition




Part 2


Part 3


Part 4

Spanish only.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Atlanta! Rise Up!

Giselle has pointed out that Fr. Alvaro Corcuera will be at Pinecrest Academy on Thursday for a mass at 7 pm.

Legionaries in Atlanta: ask him the tough questions. You deserve to know the answers. Don't let him give you a sweet smile and a half answer. Challenge him. This might be new to you, but heck, you deserve some answers. You gave your life in the name of Maciel, you deserve that life back.

RC members of Atlanta: they took your money and Maciel used it for his own personal fun. Are you just going to keep sitting back and letting them take you for a ride? They had to know, they were watching that money and counting it over and over again. They had to know. Ask Fr. Alvaro the questions that are on your mind. This is not a matter of total respect for superiors. You were wronged and have not been made right yet. Ask the tough questions.

Parents of Atlanta: your kids are at risk. Have they even been told of the horrors of what Maciel did and that it is obvious that other LCs had to know about what was going on? Or were they told some excuse? Take on Fr. Alvaro, he is the one who owes you the answers. And you owe it to your kids.

Catholics of Atlanta: they promised you answers and never gave you any. They disrespected the Church and are causing scandal. Ask the tough questions. Get the answers that they promised when the said that they would release a statement and never did.

Wrong time? Not at a mass? or after? or before?
Well when will it be the right time then?

The time for fear is over. The charity they preach to you is a cover to make you fear more, since they don't even practice it themselves.

It is time for justice.

There are no words...

From the combox of this blog. The comment is unedited, as written by "The French":

The worst thing in this issue, is the fact that MM was cynical. Until the end. When I was in Salamanca, between 2001 and 2002 for my "humanidades", I remember that I suffered a lot: we were reduced to be poor numbers in the crow, the life was very demanding: cold, humiliations and lack of sleep... I was already 24 years old, but I was very preoccupated by all the novices, very young, coming from latin America and who did not know anything but the Legion, since they joined an apostolic school at the age of 11. I was thinking in myself: poor young boys... do they have still some liberty?

In the middle of the year, MM came in Salamanca, to visit the center. He gave us some lectures. When he began the first one, he said he wanted to make us listen to something. A song began. It was a mexican song with words that spoke about a sad clown 'payaso triste' and deal like: "In a chest of vulgar hypocrisy, before the people I hide my defeat. A clown with a joyful face, but I have inside of me a broken soul (...) Clown, I am a sad clown, who hide my failure with laughter and joy, that fill me of horror"After the song, he began to speak about those poor and wretched brothers, unable to be consistent with their vocation, who were lying to themselves and had a double life... during a while he spoke getting more and more upset. He spoke about the ultimate consequences of our lake of self-donation. He spoke about damnation. We could not critize, of course. He was the saint, and we were not. Coming from anyone else, I would have react very strongly, but he was the saint! I was feeling guilty. This conference frightened me lot... because, all of us have some sins we don't succeed to get rid of.. but this the goal of le life to purificate that.

On the next conference, he read publicly a personal message from a brother who was doubting about his vocation. After breathing with contempt, he became upset very quickly and sent some curses upon the wrecked brother, unconsistent... who was not fulfilling the will of God! I still remember this moment with horror. Poor brother! I remember that MM said, being very angry, at a certain point:"But, go out! As I always said: the doors of the Legion are always open". Who could do it? After this curse. After the terrible words of "Nuestro Padre"?Why God did inspire such thoughts to him? Certainly the Holy Spirit had told him those words to help us... but this vision of God frightened me.

Since I left the Legion, I still feel pain to recover a true image of merciful God. But it is well known: the sinner juge the others as he is. MM was inspired by his own sins. I do not know if he had DID or not, but in all cases, I know he was cynical. And this is somehow diabolical.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Follow the Freaking Money!

From an email sent to this blog by an ex legionary:

I was thinking about my time in the [a certain central office of the Legion]. I remembered some things there that seemed kind of strange; then I had remembered that someone told me that 3 priests who were General Administrators left the Legion. The reason why I thought of the General Administrators is because not too long before I left the Legion, I remember 4 guards in yellow shirts with shotguns come up to the office and deliver two big bricks of $100 bills- I distinctly remember it because I had never seen that many $100 bills together in one place. When I am talking a brick, it was at least 24" in width and about half that in height. That was a lot of money, a lot of cash- why not put it in the bank, wouldn't it be safer in the bank? The Legion is more like a mafia.
Also, when I was working on their filing system, I saw a lot of satellite images of properties etc....Why would they need so many satellite photos? Perhaps to purchase property etc....

The Excuses...I Mean, Explanations

Let's sum up:

Poor Maciel was the victim of various women who were able to steal his sperm during some of his many hospital stays while he was in a coma. How? Well this is a family website....
They subsequently impregnated themselves on various occasions and had lots and lots and lots of his babies.

Maciel had Multiple Personality Disorder. He was able to control the appearance of these various, and often nefarious, personalities such that the women in his life (lives) did not know he was a priest, and the Legionaries did not know he was a cad. He was quite functional in each personality, even being able to conduct business and get multiple passports. So I guess that would make it Multiple Passport Disorder.
Sounds more like Jekyll and Hyde.

He hit his head really hard and had to have surgery in the mid 1980s. That instantly resulted in making him perpetually horny. Really horny. Like the mother of all hornies. Well, I think we get it. So the real founder of the Legion is the pre horny Maciel.

He was simple so popular and wonderful that various young, and even under aged, women seduced the poor man, proving that he was only human, and not the second coming. (notice how I spelled coming. The family website thing again.)

Did I miss any???

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Multiple Personality Excuse


The idea that some unnamed medical professionals had diagnosed Maciel with multiple personality disorder was floated when the Legion first announced existance of the mistress and daughter. It was never mentioned again until the highly enlightened Errazuriz blurted it out the media, with no proof, in Chile.

In private, high ranking officials of the Legion have denied that any doctors made such a statement.

But current Legionaries and members of the Regnum Christi will look for any life-line at this point.

More thoughts from Peter Vere:

In a story circulating South American and European media, Santiago's Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz appeared nationally on Chilean TV and said: "Los médicos cercanos al padre Maciel han dicho que tenía dos personalidades distintas. No solamente un tema de doble vida. En un momento era el fundador y en otro era un pobre hombre."

Here's how a Spanish-speaking reader translates His Imminence's words: "Doctors close to Father Maciel have said that he had two distinct personalities. [....] In one moment he was a founder, and in another he was a poor man." [...]

That being said, there's serious questions to be asked if the dual-personality explanation is taken at face value. Why do no one in the Legion notice Fr. Maciel was switching back and forth between personalities? If it's because he was never the "hombre" when around the Legion, then how was he able to switch so conveniently between personalities? And how sure is the Legion leadership that the Hombre Maciel personality never played a role int eh founding of the Legion of Christi/ Regnum Christi movement?

I'm afraid this attempt at an explanation raises more questions than it resolves.

No Sucessful Fraud Without Help

From Cassandra: The problem is that we have to look beyond accomplices in the Legion itself to the power structures of the Church. From Cassandra.

Cardinals and coverups


Subtle Legionary theologians are working out the distinction between Father Maciel’s unedifying private life and Legionary “mystique,” their idiosyncratic word for religious “charism,” apparently less concerned with the damage their scandal more and more seriously is inflicting on the wider Church.

As exlcblog made us aware last week, Sanjuana Martínez reported in CIMAC that one of the babymommies alleges that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, is implicated in the payment of hush money. That would make for a stupendous scandal if the churchman organizing the apostolic visitation had been previously involved in silencing witnesses, especially after calling for “transparency” in the letter announcing the visitation.

I do not and will not believe that allegation without further evidence. But I wondered if either she or Martínez could have meant to name rather the emeritus Secretary of State, Angelo Sodano, whom we know to have been at the service of the Legionaries in the past.

Now Dean of the College of Cardinals, Sodano in 1999 intervened against the group of Maciel’s victims who were seeking a canonical hearing, according to their lawyer. In May 2005 Sodano’s Secretariat of State issued an unsigned document denying that the CDF investigation begun by Cardinal Josef Ratzinger was even underway, which the Legionaries then used to claim publicly that Maciel had been cleared, as in the May 29-June 4, 2005 story in the National Catholic Register, "Vatican Exonerates Legion's Founder."

In March 2006 Sodano was himself found sending a secret, misleading letter through a surrogate to make life difficult for Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, in the matter of the reappointment of Cardinal Camillo Ruini as Vicar of Rome.

Speaking of misleading leaks, the new reports of the massiveness of Father Maciel’s corruption make the shock professed by Legionary leadership in February seem insincere and their approach then seem just another in a long series of attempts at covering up: surface the one daughter, plausibly spin that it was a one-time indiscretion, and try to move on.

A source representing the thought of Cardinal Franc Rodé, head of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and foremost Vatican champion of the notion of the existence of a Legionary charism, took this tack with Catholic News Agency in an article on February 8. “An official from the Congregation who spoke with Catholic News Agency” said that the Legionary crisis did not warrant outside intervention.

Those looking for conflicts of interest in the Congregation’s oversight of the Legionaries have noted the presence of Legionary Father Clemens Gutberlet on Rodé’s staff.

Then on Monday, February 23, 2009, Catholic News Agency reported confirmation by “Vatican officials” that Legionary leadership would “release a major statement in response to the controversy surrounding the double life of its founder and the future of the order. The statement will be released on Tuesday ‘or Wednesday at the latest’… The source told CNA that it will be a foundational document that will be decisive in determining future action…”

That leak (was it also from Rodé’s Congregation?) had been coordinated with the showing in some Legionary seminaries that same day, February 23, of a video of Cardinal Rodé encouraging Legionaries.

The source proved incorrect. That statement never was made. But the leak seems part of an attempt to assist the Legionaries to wrap things up quickly and handle the scandal on their own terms. The attempt had involved Catholic News Agency, based in Denver, the archdiocese of current apostolic visitator Archbishop Chaput.

The scenario in which the Legionaries would keep their independence from Vatican oversight did not prevail. Instead, the Legionaries’ statement was deferred and on the next day, Tuesday, February 25, Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien in his archdiocesan Catholic Review made his famous call for a review of the “very basis of the Legion movement.”

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Evaristo's Mystique

This text is full of problems and red flags. It proves that the Legion cannot extricate itself from the malignant influence of Marcial Maciel.

Cassandra states:
...sexual predators create an environment for themselves in which to operate and this is what the Legion most authentically was. Those who approved the Legion and fostered it up to now lacked the awareness to understand this. We trust the visitators and those who will dispose of the Legion do not.

This is not even Christianity.

Read it for yourselves (from a comment on Life-After-RC:

"The Formation of An Apostle" - by Fr. Evaristo Sada, LC

Chapter one: The Engine of an Apostle.

"Do you know what mystique is?"

"The concept of mystique as we understand it in Regnum Christi does not appear in the dictionary. It has more to do with the definition of "spirit".

Key phrases from this chapter:

1) Mystique: "A passion of love for Christ and the mission."

2) Passion of love for the ideal: energy that comes from within, on the human and supernatural level. It is a heartfelt loyalty to convictions.

3) When a person comes into contact with RC members, he perceives this spirit, whose fundamental elements are:
A strong passion of love for Christ, the Church, and souls.
Family spirit, universal charity, speaking well of others.
Personal attention, love and sincere interest for people.
A sense of mission, fighting spirit in the apostolate, the confidence that you give to other people.
The sense of a vocation, a calling.

4) One component of mystique "Principles of Action" is described as "our own methodology, blessed by the Pope."

5) "What are the expressions of mystique?"
Passion and ardor for the ideal and the mission.
The plenitude with which a motivated apostle lives: it is something existential, a lifestyle, a demand of fidelity.
The communion characteristic of a group with an identity and some shared principles of action: mystique is not lived alone. It comes about in the union of a body around a shared ideal. A union of wills that put the whole above the parts. A monolithic union without fissures.

In sum, "Mystique is a fire that comes from the love of God. It is the soul of the apostle. It is the engine, the heart. Living and promoting it is the task of each and every one, but it is especially up to the formators to burn and ignite the hearts of each Regnum Christi member."

Danger - Mystique is NOT:
Fanaticism; one more hobby.
Collective brainwashing or euphoria.
Belonging to a sect.
Institutional pride.
External elements (campaigns, posters . . . )


Fr. Evaristo Sada blesses Maciel's body at the funeral.

Here's Your Mystique, Fr. Evaristo

From a posting comment on Life-After-rc.com by a current RC member.
Can a leopard change its spots?

Good ole' "Mystique" pops it's head up again.

Formators conferences that I've attended in past years would have "mystique" talks centering on some aspect of RC - mostly "Nuestro Padre". Here is but a sampling of what I wrote down at some of these, along with the person who gave the conference:

"My vocation is linked with NP. I understand a lot about the founding of the Movement as N[uestro] P[adre] understands it because I am a co-founder. There will be a huge difference betw. me and others who incorporate after the founder dies because I am a co-founder. We are founding the Movement shoulder to shoulder with the founder." (Monica Trevino)

"Know what means we need to achieve the ideal in our life. The "how" of trying to reach the ideal. NP had the ideal of the priest he wanted to produce. The means was to take them to Europe. Impossible to do - but he did it." (Fr. James Larsen)

"See PRAYER FOR THE FIDELITY OF LEGIONARIES AND MEMBERS OF RC:
We are here in the beginning. If you are faithful you will pass on the real charism." (Maricarmen Perochena)

Others will recall the "Jubilee Study Circle" AKA "Mystique (or Mistica) Study Circle" which consisted entirely of questions based on the writings of MM.

So you see, "mystique" was really all about getting into the founder's mind, heart and thinking - seeing the movement the way he wanted to create it and the way he wanted us to live it. It was really all about imitating the founder.

Now I understand that Fr. Evaristo Sada has come up with a DIFFERENT definition, separate from the founder? I wish him luck trying to pass off that one to anyone, including the "docile" and "obedient" membership (or those who are left of it). There are just too many years of equating formation in "mystique" to formation about the founder.

Like the word "integration" - which used to mean "understanding the heart of the founder" but now has to be redefined, according to one RC'er who works for the US territory - they are coming up with a new definition for "mystique".

Posted by: Still RC - For Now, Anyway | August 19, 2009 at 11:03 PM

Chilean media summarizes the horror story

National News of Chile Special Report

Click here
for the video in Spanish.


Impactantes testimonios acusan a Marcial Maciel
19.08.09

23:07 Crudos relatos sobre abusos sexuales contra menores y hasta la existencia de una amante e hijos mostró el reportaje de Informe Especial sobre el sacerdote fundador de Los Legionarios de Cristo.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fr. Karras tells it like it is. And Evaristo Sada is Spinning Like a Catholic Dreidel

From Fr. Karras:

[...] While investigators and journalists reveal new dimensions to Fr. Maciel’s long career as fraud and sexual predator daily, Vatican visitators try to discern fact from fiction in the Legion and the Legion’s leadership becomes ever more strident in its insistence that all is well and nothing should change.

The Secretary General [Evaristo Sada Derby] is on a whirlwind tour of LC centers spinning the yarn that there is a basis to the Legion that was not invented by the disgraced Founder and was never contaminated by his web of secrecy and falsehood. The word ‘mystique’ – not charism or constitution – has become the new shibboleth in the hasty reinvention of the Legion. La mística is what makes the Legion what it is… that vague, undefinable air that sets us apart… that prototypical seal somehow impressed on the collective consciousness of the Legionaries that preserves our identity and defines our cause…

Because of its ‘mystique’, the Legion can and should remain untouched by the scandal of its Founder’s life, the glaring questions about its internal structure and operations as a religious congregation and the lethal virus of doubt and distrust spreading silently through the ranks of its members.

This latest discourse is as puzzling as it is disingenuous. A desperate effort in the eleventh hour to preserve the status quo, business as usual, “aquí no pasa nada”.

At the same time, a book recently distributed internally, ‘Cristo al Centro’, offers an anthology of Fr. Maciel’s writings and sayings – unindexed and sometimes slightly retouched – mixed with quotations from other, less dubious sources as a thinly disguised attempt to revindicate the Founder’s contribution to LC spirituality. Now we can quote the Founder without mentioning his name, read some of the things he said and wrote without that direct and oh-so-uncomfortable reference to his person.

They’re already talking about revisiting the writings of Fr. Maciel some years down the road when all this ‘persecution’ has blown over…The Superior General [Alvaro Corcuera] has just sent an eighteen page letter meant, apparently, to motivate and strengthen the LCs in these difficult times. The meandering missive never even names the problems that are rocking the congregation to its core and basically offers three bits of advice to its confused, anguished and frustrated priests: pray, don’t read the newspapers, and trust the superiors.

Trust the superiors? Like we all trusted Fr. Maciel, our Superior General, for nearly 70 years?

If their end game is to retain power and conserve the organization founded to camouflage the double life of its disgraced Founder… perhaps our trust would be better invested elsewhere. Just a thought.

Some of the commentaries swirling around these days express the fear that the Vatican may not take the visitation to its ultimate consequences. That the Legion with its flagship seminaries, huge ordination groups and impressive works of apostolate must be preserved at all costs for the good of the Church. And that perhaps there is not the resolve to overturn stones that would reveal knowledge, complicity or benefits received by high ranking Church personalities as part of Fr. Maciel’s web of influence peddling and manipulation…

We can only hope and pray that the truth – full and unadulterated – will win the day in the end. The Legion is a shipwreck with many victims. Full disclosure, absolute transparency, a change in leadership, a General Chapter with strict Vatican oversight, a reformed constitution, the definitive eradication of all vestiges of Fr. Maciel’s personal imprint, and a heartfelt effort to help all those who have been hurt and betrayed are the lifeboat that will keep this surreal episode in the Church’s history from turning into an irredeemable tragedy.

Until then, the madness will continue and the Legion will persist in its denial and arrogance, turning into the exact opposite of what it claims to be [...]
_________________________
Do not trust Evaristo Sada. How could he have been in his position all those years and not known something was amiss? He is complicit.

Something wasn't quite right. Could it have been the mustache?

From a posting on life-after-rc.com

Finally I will say that when I met FR Maciel a few years ago I DISCERNED something was not right I know now it was the Holy Spirit letting me know.
Maybe it was seeing people trying to touch his coat with a piece of cloth to take home.
Maybe it was seeing people kiss the Baptismal font in Cojita, Mexico that made me sick.
Maybe it was HIS BIRTHDAY celebration with his GIANT photo and candles below burning and little kids kneeling in front of this to pray [all while] HE was still alive.
Thank GOD we escaped.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Papal Scenarios vis-à-vis Maciel

1. John Paul II knew all about Maciel and the abuses, as well as the children, and still chose to promote him and his congregation.

2. John Paul II simply knew nothing at all except what Maciel told him, and believed it without question.

3. John Paul II heard many of the accusations in the media about Maciel and chose to believe Maciel instead.

4. John Paul II heard many of the accusations in the media and from persons in the Church and chose to believe Maciel instead.

5. John Paul II did not hear of the accusations because he was shielded by his aids who were favorable to Maciel and the Legion.

6. John Paul II heard of the accusations, and because of advice from his aids who were favorable to the Legion, chose to believe Maciel instead.

I am not finding any of these options satisfactory. The Pope, if he was going to promote Maciel to the degree that he did, had a duty to know and become as informed as possible regarding Maciel, and should never have dismissed any accusations. Even if he was shielded from the truth, he had a positive duty to find out more, despite anything his aids told him. I say this because he did really promote Maciel and set him up as an example. I don't care how many other movements the Pope did this with, he had the same responsibility in each case if he was especially going to promote an individual and his work.

Landon Cody

Cassandra on Pope John Paul II

[part of the article from her website]

"The circus nevertheless threatens to distract from the issue more important than Father Maciel’s personal depravity, which, if not fully, we knew about already: accounting for the damage the Legionaries have done to the Church. What interests me is how the scandal now threatens to derail the legacy of Pope John Paul II.

Reportedly, John Paul gave Maciel’s daughter Norma Hilda Rivas her first Holy Communion at the Vatican. Bonilla claims that John Paul knew about the existence of Father Maciel’s children.

I will not believe that before I see evidence. Circumstantially I find it harder to believe that John Paul knew about Father Maciel’s children than that he was taken in by a randy trickster who would not have wished to destroy the illusion of his posture as a holy man. Father Maciel was endlessly introducing Regnum Christi members and others to John Paul.

The journalism of Jason Berry, from the ground-shaking 1997 Hartford Courant article (with Gerald Renner) through “Vows of Silence” in 2004 to his recent pieces in the GlobalPost, has been a crucial service that anyone interested in truth must thank him for. At the same time, he has used the scandal as a stick to beat John Paul over the head with.

What the Legionaries used to say in their vile and dishonest attempt to discredit Berry’s triumphantly vindicated journalism, that he is an enemy of the pope, was distortedly true insofar as Berry has expressed unsympathy for orthodox Catholic understanding in some matters. To have decoupled truth from Gospel witness in its members is one aspect of the disaster the Legionaries have inflicted on the Church. The National Catholic Register used the same voice both to proclaim pro-life and their loyalty to John Paul and to lie in defense of a serial child rapist.

Those of us who revere the writings of John Paul as prophetic for the new millennium must be willing to recognize his personal shortcomings as well as his holiness. We must appropriate, and not ignore and suppress, all negative Berry-esque material about the Legionaries and John Paul. We must live radically in the truth and nevermore cover anything up. It is simply a fact of history that John Paul the Great recommended to the Church a monstrous child abuser as “an efficacious guide to youth.” Shout it out and theologize it rather than let Jason Berry torment us with it.

John Paul himself acknowledged and apologized to many victims of injustice in the history of the Church. The Church may now acknowledge and apologize to the victims of John Paul’s credulity of Father Maciel and the Legionaries.

Let’s see these photographs that Jose Bonilla claims to have and know completely their circumstances, account for what John Paul was told and who said what to him and what he knew. Let the cause for John Paul’s canonization get to the bottom of all of it before plans move forward for his beatification on the fifth anniversary of his death next April 2.

The Legion is not the only new religious movement that John Paul promoted. Let’s not shrink from the implications of discovering that John Paul’s approval of a movement did not of itself protect its members from becoming uncritical zombie followers of a narcissist.

Father Maciel is now clearly recognized for the monster he was. The discovery of any more children, victims, or imposture will change little.

The Legion can be abolished and its priests dispersed to some more beneficial work. What is now at stake is the prophetic legacy of Pope John Paul, who in mistaken friendship gave his support to such a monster.

Is John Paul's temporal administration of the Church, which included his championing of the Legionaries, immune from a John Pauline purification of memory? It would be unworthy of John Paul's courageous legacy to say so."

Sexual Abuse of a Girl at Mano Amigo School in Mexico

From Conlajusticia Blog

Legionarios de Cristo. Caso Colegio Mano Amiga Zomeyucan, Naucalpan, Estado de México
16 Mayo 2009

Hemos recibido solicitudes de información sobre el caso de abuso sexual que sufrió una niña en el Colegio Mano Amiga Zomeyucan, en Naucalpan, Estado de México.

Los Colegios Mano Amiga según publicitan son centros de desarrollo comunitario en donde niños y niñas provenientes de familias “necesitadas” reciben servicios educativos. Son operados por Fundación Altius, propiedad de la Legión de Cristo.

De acuerdo a información publicada por los periódicos Reforma y La Jornada en noviembre de 2007, se hizo público el abuso sexual que sufrió una niña en el Colegio Mano Amiga Zomeyucan, por el sacerdote Ricardo Rodríguez, Legionario de Cristo, que en ese entonces contaba con 60 años de edad.

En octubre de 2007 una madre de familia exigió a las autoridades escolares y de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de México, esclarecer el abuso sexual y violación que sufrió una menor que en ese entonces contaba con la edad de siete años, por el Padre Ricardo Rodríguez, Legionario de Cristo, quien nueve meses antes de que se conociera la denuncia fue trasladado a España.

La menor tardo dos años en denunciar la agresión de la que fue objeto.

Evidentemente dicho traslado a Europa obedece al encubrimiento institucional que como mecanismo de defensa utilizan los Legionarios de Cristo, por encima de la dignidad y de los derechos humanos de la víctima.

Las declaraciones de la niña agredida señala que durante el recreo el Padre Ricardo Rodríguez la llevaba al área de oración de la escuela para abusar sexualmente de ella, con el pretexto de que era mandato de Dios.

Asimismo se reporta que padres de familia indicaron que al menos cinco niñas habían sufrido algún ataque sexual por dicho sacerdote Legionario de Cristo.

La noticia apareció publicada en los links siguientes:
Reforma:
www.reforma.com/justicia/articulo/415/828583/default.asp?Param=4&PlazaConsul
www.reforma.com/justicia/articulo/415/828762/default.asp?Param=4&PlazaConsul
La Jornada:
www.jornada.unam.mx/2007/11/17/index.php?section=sociedad&articule=042n2soc

Maciel's Progeny Count So Far

From the El Mundo Sunday article:

Al margen de las dificultades que pueden presentarse para exigir un legado económico a una congregación -según el Derecho Canónico los religiosos no pueden tener propiedades a su nombre ni dejarlas en herencia-, la existencia de nuevos hijos de Maciel complicaría las cuentas. Un escenario que, según Bonilla, habría que contemplar: «Ellos me han contado que tienen un hermano en Inglaterra y tenían otra hermana en Suiza que ya ha fallecido. Es algo de lo que su padre les había hablado. No podríamos asegurar categóricamente que no hay más hijos, no lo podemos saber. A lo mejor empiezan a salir a la luz, pero en algún otro país».

So far

1 mother for Norma Hilda Rivas
1 mother for Raul and Christian and, as stated above in quotes "They tell me that they have a brother in England and another sister in Switzerland who died)" and another sibling in Mexico who wants nothing to do with the case, who was mentioned in a previous article by Bonilla.

Monday, August 17, 2009

He's got some 'splainin to do....

In the same article below:

"He [the pope] was a great friend of Maciel," continues [the attorney, Jose] Bonilla. And he reveals: "John Paul II gave Norma [Hilda Rivas] her first communion in the Vatican."

Era un gran amigo de Maciel», sigue Bonilla. Y revela: «Juan Pablo II le dio la primera comunión a Norma en el Vaticano».

More Monstrosity?


Although the reporter [Sanjuana Martínez] refers to only two Mexican children: "They are Raul and Christian and are 28 and 18, respectively. Even though it is possible that there be as many as a dozen." Martinez has interviewed the victims of Maciel's sexual abuses for years now: "According to their comments, he [Maciel] chose consecrated women...to have relations with." When they would become pregnant, "he would take them to other countries, especially France and Spain, where he would give away his children".

Aunque la reportera [Sanjuana Martínez] se refiere a sólo dos hijos mexicanos. «Se llaman Raúl y Christian y tienen 28 y 18 años, respectivamente. Aunque no descarto que haya una docena». Martínez lleva años entrevistándose con víctimas de abusos sexuales de Maciel: «De acuerdo con sus comentarios, él elegía a las consagradas [mujeres que, sin ser monjas, viven plenamente dedicadas a la congregación, como las numerarias en el Opus Dei], con las que mantenía relaciones». Cuando se quedaban embarazadas, «él se las llevaba a otros países, sobre todo a Francia y a España, donde regalaría a sus hijos».

The Scandal Sullies Many

From a comment on American Papist:

"I myself am so scandalized by the Legion (especially by it's callous and completely unchristian treatment of Maciel's accusers), and I am a believing Catholic. I can only imagine how much this scandalizes those who are nominal believers or those who don't think much of the church in the first place.

If it does turn out that JPII knew more about Maciel's sexual exploits (as evidenced by the mere existence of several children) than any of us would like to believe, what then? The scandal will mushroom like an atomic bomb. I can't even begin to imagine what that would do to the Church. I am very angry at Maciel and the Legion for creating such a scandal, and I am angry at the intrigue in the Vatican that allowed the situation to continue for 65 years. There were people in high places in the Church who knew this man was a pervert back when the first visitation (aka by Legion fans as "The Great Blessing") occurred in the 50's. The mere continuing existence of such a diabolical institution is a huge black mark on the face of our beautiful Mother Church."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reflections on a Wild Week

By Landon Cody

It is no secret to readers and bloggers faithful to Exlcblog that this has been an eventful week in the news about Marcial Maciel, his many victims, and the entire Legion of Christ.

Excuses, excuses, excuses: they do harm.

The revelation of the existence of Maciel's children, one over the age of 28, and now at least the product of two illicit "relationships", debunks some of the explanations that die hard Legionaries of Christ and members of the Regnum Christi have boldly, if not stupidly, put forth.

Of the many excuses for Maciel's monstrous behavior, it is now clear that any head injury or subsequent surgery was not the cause of his many wanderings from the vow of chastity that he imposed on others with his characteristic draconian theatrics. The injury occurred in 1985, four years after the birth of Raul, one of the men suing Maciel's estate in Mexico. Another ludicrous theory, that of Maciel having his bodily fluids stolen while in some hospital, is quite unlikely, since it would have had to have happened between 3 and 6 times and have had to have been used to impregnate between 2 and 5 women. Ms Lucrecia Rego seems to think that these women seduced our poor priest, a mere human creature like the rest of us. Well, Fr. I-Have-Never-Said-no-to-God must have been pretty irresistible to women: he has a son, Cristian, who was conceived when the codger was 70 years old. There is no need to make up such a ridiculous script: this soap opera already has plenty of jaw dropping twists and turns on its own.

While I have no beef with individual members of the Movement, I find this type of adherence to absurd excuses to be both immature and illogical. Unfortunately, the excuses are not innocent. The effect that they have on the faithful followers of Maciel is crippling, while these poor souls look for any way to continue in the cult-like spell of this con man. Children are especially vulnerable and may begin to fear situations such as brain injury or hospital stays, and have a pathological response to the persons involved in such common occurrences. The psychological well-being of adults who refuse to face realities and instead spin fairy tales to explain the actions of others (we are not speaking of the "charity" of avoiding casting stones at others here) and to cover up scandal is also in jeopardy.

Charism, methodology, spirituality and identity

Just how does the Legion of Christ think they can pull the wool over the eyes of their own members by saying that the charism and spirit of the Legion are centered only on Christ and have nothing to do with Maciel? A subterfuge cannot mask years and years of positive reinforcement in the form of directed and scheduled meditations, conferences, indications, spiritual reading, constant reference in homilies and talks, inclusion in the liturgy of the hours, feast days celebrating his person, topics of conversation, comparisons with his life history, quoting his works and talks, melting in his presence, cherishing any sign of favor from him....

The unfortunate part of all of this disaster is the fact that the day to day rules and regulations in the Legion and the Movement, the spirituality focus, and the identifying characteristics of the "Legionary Type" are rooted in the pathological behavior of a man who created an institute where he could exercise complete power and control with no oversight or accountability, and live a life diametrically opposed to that of the gospel. The key is that the very institute and its rules and way of life was what permitted him to live this life on the margin of clerical respectability while using the typical modus operandi of an abuser: the search for complete power and manipulation. At the same time, the mirror image of this depravity of control became the Legion of Christ: an institute designed with a centralized, top to bottom control structure that Maciel micro managed and taught his successors to micro manage, complete with more rule books and norms and detailed minutia than any other order, congregation, or religious institute in the history of the Catholic Church.

Beyond the scope of the rules and norms, there are so many practices which many members and ex members have fallen victim to and which have become standard operating procedure in the Legion. This is not to say that these practices are applied to every case--there are some exceptions--but the outlandish behavior of superiors over the years falls into too many patterns to simply discount it as "rogue" or "exceptional", especially in the face of reports that such activities have their roots in orders and indications from the now besmirched founder.

It is now quite obvious that a very young and ambitious Maciel began his venture in the 1940s with small children with the aim of having a group of totally controlled minors he could abuse. The fact the the Legion of Christ continues the system of seminary "high schools" or apostolic schools, where they do take children in as young as 10 years old, should raise much more concern than it does among thinking people. Even today, these young kids are not in a healthy environment: they are micro supervised, not allowed privacy, isolated from family and friends, not taught how to positively express sexuality, indoctrinated in the life of Maciel and his writings.... Why these institutions have not been abolished is as mind blowing as the fact that some parents still think that they are doing God's will by giving over the responsibility of raising their sons (and daughters in parallel Regnum Christi consecrated schools) to a religious congregation. No papal stamp of approval of a congregation, no "predilection" of a pope provides criteria enough to allow anyone to relinquish the responsibility of a parent's vocation to raise one's own children.

The command center and enablers: more than shared responsibility

Much has been made of the fact that there are those in the Legion who knew or at least should have known about Maciel's illicit behavior. There is ample evidence that those who were in control of communities and those who followed Maciel -- tending to his obsessive needs -- did indeed know of his actions. There is no problem naming names here, as far back as Rafael Arumi, who certainly knew there was something amiss with the young apostolic boys in Rome (there to do their last years before the novitiate) who were coming and going at all hours much too frequently to and from Maciel's rooms and the infirmary.

In more modern times, the major superiors were privy to odd behavior and should have had tighter reigns on the finances that Maciel employed with no oversight or accountability: Octavio Acevedo, Hector Guerra, and Anthony Bannon come to mind. Currently, the Legion has been placing less than qualified men in these positions: someone like Scott Reilly is certainly not intelligent enough to be held to the same standards of responsibility.

Then there is the inner circle of power so often cited: Luis Garza Medina, Alvaro Corcuera, and Evaristo Sada Derby (Sada Derby is said to know so much of what Maciel did that an exlegionary recently quipped that Sada Derby was probably to blame for Maciel's having children since he might have forgotten to buy him his condoms).

Another tight circle was comprised of those who attended to Maciel hand and foot: his so called "personal secretaries" which, over the years, have included John Devlin, Felipe Castro, Bernardo Skertchly and Rafael Moreno, among others.

Another unfortunate group, maybe somewhat less guilty of being complicit, is comprised of victims of Maciel's abuse who continued in the Legion of Christ as priests, some of whom, credibly, have become abusers themselves.

All in all, there is no small number of those who share responsibility and enabled this man to commit such crimes (or at least breach a serious duty to know of the crimes and to fail to act on knowledge of the crimes). This responsibility extends also to allowing the entire Legion to become a macrocosm of the perverted power and manipulation style of Maciel himself.

What now?

I don't honestly know.

Are there priests who are really trying to be holy and serve God in the Legion? Yes, without a doubt. Is the Legion, for all of this, the place where they can fulfill this mission properly? I tend to doubt that.

Are seminarians really free to discern a vocation in the midst of this frenzy of revelations and continued control? Definitely not.

Should young men approach the sacrament of holy orders while the Legion situation is unresolved? Sadly, I think it would be a mistake to do so.

Would it be enough for the church to tell the Legion to renounce Maciel? Well, the pope has ordered them to abolish the private vow of "charity", code word for not criticizing superiors. And it is a fact that this order has only been given lip service. The vow is gone, but the practice remains with repercussions for anyone breaking the letter of the defunct vow, rooms being searched for indications of any critical material, correspondence being read to prevent any communication of any of the latest news of Maciel's life or of the investigation (and at the same time, superiors are saying that anyone can talk to the investigators freely!) Does it do any good for a doctor to tell an chronic alcoholic that he or she needs to give up drinking?

Whatever is to be done, the patient is indeed very ill and contagious.

Aspirin and cold compresses are not going to be an effective cure.

Memo from the Legion

Dear friends in Christ,

I have received your questions about the latest media reports. Here is what I can tell you for now. As you know, in the wake of the revelations about Father Maciel’s private life, the past months have been a great challenge for all of us in the Legion and Regnum Christi. In the past few days, some media began reporting statements from a Mexican lawyer who says he is representing three out of six people who claim to be children of our founder. The lawyer himself has made it clear that his presence in the media is part of a broader plan that can include lawsuits and further public interventions. In this same context, a Spanish newspaper has revealed the identity and some other details about two people related to these circumstances. This information till now had been kept in strict confidence, at their own request. The journalist has also published a series of speculations, rumors, and opinions that has been picked up by other media in various countries. Given the need to respect the privacy of the persons involved, the limits and partiality of the available information and the impossibility to evaluate immediately all the possible implications of these complex circumstances, the Legion cannot offer a declaration about this issue for now. In fact, it is likely that full clarity will not come anytime soon due to the confusion of historical record and still unknown aspects of our founder’s life. For all of us in the Legion and Regnum Christi, the result is a situation that causes pain and requires great faith, hope and charity. All of us are saddened by these circumstances and express our deepest regret and apology to those who have been hurt or scandalized. We trust that with the grace of God and the help of the Church through the Apostolic Visitation we will be able to close this sorry chapter in the life of our Congregation, renew our service to the Church, and continue forward in our mission.

Jim Fair
Communications DirectorLegion of Christ

Six Kids. And Justice.

Los seis hijos del padre Maciel
Marcial Maciel engañó a sus hasta ahora seis hijos, a sus madres y a sus seguidores. Ahora los jóvenes exigen sus derechos filiales y el reconocimiento por parte de los Legionarios de Cristo.
2009-08-16 Milenio semanal



El “mago del disfraz y la mentira”, Marcial Maciel, fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, logró mantener ocultos por décadas a por lo menos seis hijos. Los hijos se conocen entre ellos y, como miles de personas que confiaron en Maciel, fueron engañados: no sabían que su padre era sacerdote y ahora cargan con el estigma de ser hijos de un pederasta.


La primera en salir a la luz fue Norma Hilda Rivas, de 23 años. Ella y su mamá nacieron en Acapulco, Guerrero, y obtuvieron en España el visado de residencia. Viven en Madrid. Ahora se conoce que hay tres hermanos más, de otra madre, que viven en México. Su abogado sólo desliza que “el mayor no tiene más de 30 años y que hay una distancia notable en edad entre unos y otros”. No revela sus nombres, aunque en internet se dice que uno es Raúl y otro Christian. De los otros dos descendientes de Maciel aún no existen mayores datos.

Norma Hilda es la única hija que reconocen los Legionarios de Cristo, a quien su padre dejó como herencia dos inmuebles por un valor aproximado de dos millones de dólares. Los demás guardan entre sus recuerdos familiares fotografías con su padre, además de cartas que constantemente se escribían ante el alejamiento de Maciel por motivos de trabajo, según la explicación que les daba. Y no guardan mucho más; sólo a su madre le deben el sustento. Para enfrentarse a los Legionarios, los jóvenes herederos decidieron nombrar como su representante legal al abogado mexicano José Bonilla. El litigante los describe como “jóvenes modernos, con inquietudes de la época, gentes de bien… de clase media alta, muy educados, preparados y de excelentes modales”.
Bonilla comenta a M Semanal cómo fue contactado por uno de ellos el pasado mes de junio: “Uno de sus hijos me estuvo buscando, se acercó a una persona de la Universidad Anáhuac, Jaime Durán, quien le proporcionó mi blog (http:conlajusticia.wordpress.com). Me encontró e hicimos una primera cita en un hotel de la Ciudad de México. Vi pasar a un joven igualito a Maciel y le pregunté si era su hijo. Es como una gota de agua, idéntico a su padre”. Posteriormente, “él me presentó a sus dos hermanos. Con ellos me entrevisté de forma conjunta y por separado; cada uno me platicó sus vivencias con su padre, de quien nunca imaginaron que tuviera una doble o triple vida”.

Los tres son hijos de la misma madre, una mexicana que por el momento prefiere mantenerse en el anonimato pero que “respeta y apoya las decisiones de sus hijos” y “ella ha pedido que no se comente nada sobre su relación” con quien fuera uno de los hombres de mayor confianza del Papa Juan Pablo II. A pesar de la insistencia, el abogado no reveló si era menor de edad cuando tuvo relaciones sexuales con Marcial Maciel. El abogado sólo afirmó que “ella no sabía que el padre de sus hijos era sacerdote. Le dio un nombre falso”. En estos momentos, comenta Bonilla, “ella está preocupada porque ya conoce cómo son los Legionarios y que son capaces de cualquier cosa. Ella teme realmente que le hagan algo a sus hijos”.

José Bonilla sólo se atreve a insistir en que “ella no sabía que el padre de sus hijos fuera un sacerdote y menos Marcial Maciel, el fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo; ella fue engañada. A diferencia de otras mujeres que fueron presuntamente seducidas por este hombre, a ella no la explotó económicamente”, como hizo con Flora Barragán, Dolores Barroso y Deme de Galas, entre otras. Bonilla añade: “tenemos que entender que Maciel es un personaje con una gran capacidad para mentir. Era el mago del disfraz, capaz de convencer a los hombres de grandes capitales de México y conseguir beneficios… sus obras están hechas con dinero de sus benefactores de buena fe, por eso estoy seguro que obtenía lo que quería”.

SIN CUENTAS CLARAS

Uno de los elementos de la vida de Marcial Maciel que falta por investigar es el relacionado con los recursos, las cuentas bancarias y de inversiones. No se sabe si él tenía algunas propiedades o cuentas a su nombre al margen de los Legionarios de Cristo: según un documento de la Secretaría de Gobernación de hace siete años, la única propiedad en México de los Legionarios sería una capillita de la Universidad Anáhuac en Tecamachalco.

El reverendo Stephen Fichter, cura de Nueva Jersey quien abandonó a los Legionarios de Cristo después de 14 años y que fue jefe de la Oficina de Finanzas de la Orden, dijo que informó al Vaticano hace tres años que cada vez que el padre Maciel dejaba Roma, “siempre tenía que darle 10 mil dólares en efectivo, cinco mil en billetes de dólar y cinco mil más en la moneda del país a donde iba... Como Legionarios, se nos enseñaba a vivir en la pobreza; si yo salía y compraba una pluma y una barra de chocolate, tenía que entregar recibos. Y aun así el padre Maciel nunca estaba en los reportes de contabilidad. Siempre era en efectivo, sin ningún comprobante en papel. Y como él era este increíble héroe para nosotros, nunca lo cuestionábamos”.

TODOS SE CONOCEN

Marcial Maciel logró convencer a su familia sobre sus largas ausencias “por motivos de trabajo, además en el extranjero”. Esa podría ser una de las pocas verdades que les dijo. Bonilla menciona que nunca “les negó que tenían otros hermanos, por esos los seis hijos se conocen y llegaron a tener cierta relación aun con él en vida”. De cierta forma los juntaba… por eso conocen a Norma Hilda, de España, con quien incluso viajaron juntos y tienen una relación cercana”. La prueba de esos encuentros, asegura, “las tienen ellos, porque como todas las familias tienen sus fotografías como recuerdo”. De la relación con los otros dos hijos, menciona: “Sé que se conocen, pero no son mexicanos. Y al parecer son más grandes que ellos. Desconozco si hoy tienen contacto, lo único que me han comentado es que en algunos momentos los juntó”.

“¿Cómo han asimilado la noticia de que son hijos de Marcial Maciel, un hombre acusado de pederasta?”. Bonilla elude responder de manera directa y menciona: “en los primeros encuentros con los jóvenes los vi preocupados. Pero les he dicho que ellos son unas víctimas más de la mala actuación de su padre, porque los engañó, no les dijo su verdadero nombre, aunque tenía mucho contacto con ellos a través de cartas y llamadas telefónicas. Si como padre no les dices a tus hijos quién eres, faltas a un principio de honestidad muy importante, porque uno de los derechos humanos fundamentales que tienen los niños y así está establecido en los tratados internacionales, es el conocer su verdadero origen. Y aquí su propio padre se los ocultó y los engañó… para mí esto es una violación grave de derechos humanos de parte de Marcial Maciel”.
Otra incógnita es si la familia del fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo conoce a estos jóvenes. “Al parecer no saben de su existencia”, dice Bonilla. “Ellos no me han comentado si pudieron tener contacto con los hermanos de su padre. Lo correcto sería que los familiares les hablarán directamente, porque son su familia”.

EN MANOS DE LA LEGIÓN

El futuro de los hijos de Marcial Maciel lo tienen los superiores de los Legionarios, por eso en los próximos días Bonilla buscará a los responsables de la Legión en México para solicitarles que se les reconozca públicamente. Señala: “Creo que éstos jóvenes y los demás hijos de Marcial Maciel merecen todo el respeto por parte de los seguidores de Maciel, y lo menos que se podría esperar es que no los desamparen”. Por eso exhortó a los directivos de la Legión de Cristo a que “en esta ocasión hagan lo que es moral y humanamente correcto, que es responderle a los hijos de su fundador a quien ellos siguen llamando Nuestro Padre. Los superiores de la Legión de Cristo tienen pleno conocimiento de su existencia y esto no lo podrán negar. Por relatos de los jóvenes, los superiores lo saben desde hace mucho tiempo. Lo que sí es sorpresa para ellos es mi intervención”. Los jóvenes están dispuestos a someterse a todas las pruebas que les soliciten para comprobar que son hijos de Marcial Maciel, como las del ADN, además de tener fotografías de cómo convivía con ellos como un padre. De ser necesario las harán públicas. De los superiores Legionarios, Bonilla dijo: “Espero que su respuesta sea positiva, es una gran oportunidad para demostrarle al mundo que tienen una nueva actitud y esperemos que así sea”.

De acuerdo a José Barba, ex Legionario y uno de los primeros en denunciar a Maciel por abuso sexual, los descendientes de Maciel aún no deciden si iniciarán una demanda civil para recuperar algunos de los bienes de su padre. “La legión se hizo para su fundador, se debería llamar legionarios de Marcial Maciel, porque realmente se hizo todo alrededor de él; hay muchos de sus prestanombres más cercanos y diferentes nombres y personalidades que adoptaba, eso se tendrá que investigar”. Los muchachos, enfatizó Bonilla, saben a lo que se podrían enfrentar: “no le temen a los medios, porque no es un problema mediático, sino familiar, personal. Les preocupa mucho que van a ser señalados por culpa de su padre y esto los ha mantenido con ciertas precauciones, sin embargo, están dispuestos a salir a la luz pública a platicar su historia si es necesario”.

Bonilla denunció que si bien los Legionarios de Cristo no han amenazado a los jóvenes, sí lo han amenazado a él “a través de correos, diciendo que se van a encargar de mí, de mis hijos y de mi esposa. El día que me fueron enviados esos correos, violaron una de las puertas de acceso a mi casa. Puede ser casualidad, pero nada de esto puede amedrentarnos; nuestra lucha es clara y muy bien definida”.

María Eugenia Jiménez Cáliz

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Looking back into hypocritical time



APRIL, 2003

An exclusive interview with a leader of the organization, who rejects as "unworthy of credibility" the accusations against their founder. But the accusers are fighting back - and they´re taking their case to the United Nations
by Sandro Magister

ROMA -- The Legionaries of Christ are a success story in the Catholic Church´s recent history. Their numbers tell the story: 500 priests, another 2,500 seminarians, 1,000 consecrated lay persons, and 30,000 active members in twenty nations. And all in a very short time. But meanwhile serious accusations strike at their very founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado (in the photo, center), a Mexican the same age as John Paul II and very much esteemed and protected by him.This is the first interview in which the head of the Legionaries has agreed to respond point by point to the criticisms. The authorized interviewee is Father Miguel Cavallé Puig, a Spaniard of the Catalan region, member of the general secretariat of the Legionaries and president of the Fondazione Villagio dei Ragazzi.

Father, what is the secret of the astonishing growth of the Legionaries of Christ?

"Astonishing, I don´t know. But certainly within the general vocations crisis of many religious institutes our growth prompts admiration. We don´t have any secret weapon. We simply offer young people the proper means for discovering the call to God and to the consecrated life. But moreover it´s God who does it. He sends his workers where he wishes."Yours is a name of battle. Against what enemy?"I would say rather: in favor of whom? We want to be a legion of peace, to go into the whole world to preach the Good News, to bring Christian salvation to all men, beginning with the most needy."

But this is valid for all Christians. In what way are you different?

"Through a particular spirit of dynamism. We are always fighting. We don´t get discouraged before difficulties. Our founder, Father Marcial Maciel, has taught us never to rest."While you see the Church as too weak, relaxed, in need of reawakening? "John Paul II is the first to ask everyone to put themselves to the task with resolution. He says, above all to young people, that this is not the time to be idle. The Legionaries of Christ was born more than 60 years ago, but its development coincides with this pontificate. We apply the teachings of the pope."

You began in Mexico, but immediately you headed for Rome. Why?

"Because we want to be near the pope, even physically. Near and faithful."

In which countries are you most present?

"Most of all in Mexico. Then in the United States and Brazil. They are the countries that give us the most vocations."

You seem to want to conquer most of all society´s elite. Why?

"The biggest institution we have in Italy is the Villagio dei Ragazzi di Maddaloni, in the region of Campania, for poor and needy children. The Legionaries have an apostolate with everyone, without distinctions. It´s true that we dedicate ourselves to the formation of persons who, because of their resources, are able to facilitate the diffusion of the Gospel message. But it doesn´t seem to me that this can be called elitism. Even Jesus paid particular attention to the twelve apostles."

Your young priests receive a formation that is long and severe, but also very separated from the outside world. Don´t you think that this isolation brings risks?

"It´s true that the formation is long. It lasts twelve or thirteen years beyond high school, because it is not easy to be a priest today, and one needs to prepare oneself well. I wouldn´t say severe, but it is demanding and disciplined, however, always in serenity and cheerfulness. As far as isolation is concerned I would say no. The formation is not only study and prayer. It also includes three or four years of apostolate in direct contact with the people."

For the Legionaries everything seems to revolve around the founder. There are those who accuse you of having a personality cult."

He who knows us well knows that it is not like that. A congregation like ours, present in twenty countries throughout the world in which seven different languages are spoken, cannot but depend in everything on one person in that he is able and charismatic. We love our founder as the Franciscans love Saint Francis and the Salesians love Saint John Bosco. Loving the founder is even a duty of justice and gratitude for what he has given us."

Is there a special bond that joins you to him? A fourth vow in addition to the three classical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience?"

Our additional vows are two. The first is that of charity. It binds us to not criticize anyone, and in particular the superiors, because gossiping is an action as opposed to Christianity as one can be. Naturally one can tell what doesn´t seem to him suitable regarding the governance of a superior. But it´s also just that he says it to the superior himself or to someone who can resolve the situation, i.e. another superior with even higher authority, without creating discord among those who objectively cannot resolve the case. The second added vow is that of humility. It binds us to not aspire to positions of government within the congregation, that we may become religious in serving."

There is only one book by your founder in circulation. Why do you use his other writings only internally?

"The book is about the formation of priests and was requested of Father Maciel before the synod of bishops dedicated to this theme, on which our founder is held to be very competent. The other writings were not intended for publication. They are personal letters written through the years to Legionaries or members of Regnum Christi, to encourage and to give direction, sort of as Saint Paul wrote to the first Christian communities. Some of these letters have been organized according to topics of general interest and printed. In our institutions they are at the disposition of everyone, even those outside."

Why don´t you open your archives?

"We are a young order, our founder is still living, and we don´t have a real and proper archive. Beyond the letters of the first period - that of the founding -- there is nothing in particular to be found. Information about who we are, our history, and our activities, is present on our web sites."

But there are already histories on other religious movements even more recent, while there is nothing on the Legionaries.

"To tell the truth we are also thinking about writing and publishing our history. But I cannot say when."

Meanwhile in Spain a book was released about you that is very critical.

"I haven´t read it."

And in Mexico another has been released, written by a former Legionary who accuses the founder of having sexually abused him in the fifties.

"I haven´t read this one either. I am told it is a repetition of old accusations."

But the accusers are eight, not one, all of them important former Legionaries. Why doesn´t the Vatican open the case, as it does in all similar situations?

"Because already during the period of the presumed actions, the fifties, the Holy See had investigated serious accusations that were made against Father Maciel. The charges were of various kinds. And regarding all of them, after very attentive inquiries by apostolic visitors, the total innocence of our founder was demonstrated. During that time even the current accusers were interviewed, but none of them said what they have said decades later in the current defamatory campaign. And they didn´t speak then because, in effect, nothing had happened. If then the Vatican has not opened the case on the new denunciation it is because the accusations are unsupported. One of the accusers has retracted. Another sent his daughter without fear to one of our schools until 1996. Other former Legionaries have said that they were approached to make false testimony against Father Maciel. Finally, there exist numerous letters and some manuscripts written by these persons to Father Maciel many years after the presumed actions, which show great friendship, appreciation and gratitude for him. This is enough to demonstrate that we are dealing with accusations unworthy of credibility."

But now the accusers have even made a denunciation to the Human Rights of Children and Youth Committee of the United Nations.

"And against whom?"

Against the Vatican, because they would cover up the crime.

"I didn´t know this. But you see? Here one understands that the true target of the accusations is not so much Father Maciel, but the church, and the pope."

And you don´t defend yourselves?

"No. Father Maciel has always taught us that our principal virtue has to be charity, which means pardon and understanding. And further, there is so much to do that we don´t have time to be preoccupied with accusations that don´t correspond to the truth. Believe me, the sufferings of these persons concern us and we pay attention to what they say about us, but I repeat, theirs are not credible accusations. Therefore we prefer to invest every minute in doing good, in evangelization, in serving our brothers. Today there are few priests, but there is always much, very much, apostolic work."

The Daugher of Marcial Maciel and Her Half Brothers file Suit, Part III

Consequences: re-found the order or eliminate

La hija de Marcial Maciel y sus medios hermanos demandan
Third and last part
Por (By) Sanjuana Martínez for CIMAC

Mexico City, August 14, 2009 (CIMAC).- Las denuncias de los abusos de Marcial Maciel remeció a la opinión pública y al andamiaje de la Iglesia Católica, pero un gran apoyo silencioso mantiene el un precario equilibrio a los Legionarios de Cristo, quienes se replantean un cambio que podría alejar a su feligresía.

The claims of Marcial Maciel's abuses rocked public opinion as well as the very framework of the Catholic Church, but a great and helpful silence maintains the fragile equilibrium of the Legionaries of Christ, who are rethinking a change which might chase away their faithful followers.


LOS HIJOS Y EL VATICANO THE CHILDREN AND THE VATICAN

Los comisión formada por el Papa Joseph Ratzinger para la inspección de los Legionarios de Cristo que deberá entregar su informa en octubre está formada por Watty Urquidi de Tepic, Ricardo Belázquez de Bilbao, Ricardo Ezzati Andrello de Chile, Charles Joseph Chaput de Denver y Giuseppe Versaldi de Alessandria, Italia.

The commission formed by Pope Joseph Ratzinger to investigate the Legionaries of Christ which must hand in their report in October is comprised of Watty Urquidi of Tepic, Ricardo Belázquez of Bilbao, Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Chile, Charles Joseph Chaput of Denver y Giuseppe Versaldi of Alessandria, Italia.


“El equipo que ha elegido Ratizinger ya muestra claramente por dónde van ir los resultados. Roma tenía dos opciones: elegir un equipo que extendiese un tupido velo de silencio sobre el asunto o nombrando visitadores que en principio están todos en contra.

"The team that Ratizinger [sic] chose clearly shows where they want the results to go. Rome had two options: choose a team that would extend a shroud of silence over the whole thing or name visitors who in principle were against them.

Lo que sí me consta es que los Legionarios han iniciado una especie de chantaje con algunos, pero ellos aparentemente están dispuestos a presentar informes que obliguen a los Legionarios de Cristo a refundarse, a limpiarse profundamente como los Capuchinos. Tendrían que renunciar a la memoria del fundador, tendrían que condenar a Marcial Maciel. Además la actual cúpula legionaria: Corcuera, Garza y Cristóforo tienen que desaparecer junto con Maciel, porque fueron sus protectores”, dice el vaticanista Vidal.

What I do know is that the Legionaries are playing a kind of game with some, but they are apparently willing to present reports that oblige the Legion to re-found itself, to clean up deeply like the Capuchins. They will have to renounce the memory of the founder, they will have to condemn Marcial Maciel. Also, the actual Legionary command: Corcuera, Garza y Cristoforo [sic, should be Sada Derby] will have to disappear along with Maciel, because they were his protectors" says the vaticanist Vidal.

Los resultados de la inspección, sin embargo, no se harán públicos porque los visitadores están bajo secreto pontificio al igual que sus informes que deberán incluir el capítulo de los hijos de Maciel y las anomalías estructurales de la congregación.

The results of the investigation, however, will not be made public because the visitors are under pontifical secret and their reports should include a chapter on Maciel's children and the structural anomalies of the congregation.

La gran duda que surgirá entonces es por qué durante 50 años supuestamente nadie supo de las tropelías de Maciel: “Lo supieron y lo encubrieron. Ratzinger y el papa Wojtyla si sabían porque tenían informes de los primeros abusados. Tenían informes sobre cantidad de cosas. ¿Por qué Juan Pablo II lo siguió protegiendo hasta el final? ¿Por qué Ratzinger lo condena cuando Maciel ha muerto? El caso Maciel salpica directamente al Papa magno, al Papa que será Santo dentro de poco”.

The question in everyone's mind is why for 50 years did no one supposedly know about Maciel's turpitudes: "They knew about them and they covered them up. Ratzinger and Pope Wojtyla did know because they had reports of the first abuses. They had reports about many things. Whey did John Paul II continue to protect him to the very end? Why did Ratzinger only condemn him once Maciel had died? The Maciel case sullies the great Pope directly, the Pope who will be a Saint very soon."

Por eso es necesario, según José Barba, una comisión de laicos que investigue independiente el caso Maciel para informar a la sociedad en su conjunto: “La Iglesia no es inocente, es corresponsable o culpable de esta situación porque la permitió. Todas estas cosas que ha hecho Maciel estaban escritas en informes desde finales de los años cuarenta y cincuenta. El Vaticano encubrió a Marcial Maciel, pero el más culpable es el Papa Juan Pablo II”, comenta José Barba quien le envió personalmente una carta al pontífice en 1997 señalando puntualmente las aberraciones de Maciel.

Because of this it is necessary, according to Jose Barba, that a commission of laypeople independently investigate the Maciel case to inform the whole society: "The Church is not innocent, it is co-responsible and guilty in this situation because it allowed it to occur. All of this things that Maciel did were written in reports from the end of the '40s and '50s. The Vatican covered up for Marcial Maciel, but the man most responsible is Pope John Paul II," comments Jose Barba who sent a personal letter to the pontiff in 1997 detailing Maciel's aberrations.

Más aún, los encubridores como el cardenal Angelo Sodano siguen manejando los hilos dentro de El Vaticano: “A Maciel lo encubrieron la Secretaría de Estado dirigida por Sodano, la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe dirigida por Ratzinger, la Congregación para los Religiosos y algunas otras instituciones. Lograron bloquear toda investigación en su contra, las congelaron todas”.

Moreover, the enablers such as Cardinal Angelo Sodano continue to manipulate strings in the Vatican: "The Secretariat of State, headed up by Sodano, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith directed by Ratzinger, and the Congregation of Religious along with other institutions covered up for Maciel. They managed to block the investigation against him, they froze everything."

Lo que está en juego con la inspección vaticana a los Legionarios es mucho más que la conducta de un pervertido y su doble vida. Para Alberto Athié la herencia del fundador y sus vástagos representan incluso una cortina de humo para distraer la atención del nivel de envergadura en torno a la revisión de la Legión de Cristo: “La visita apostólica pareciera un ente que no tiene nada que ver con lo sucedido en torno a Maciel, aunque fue parte de la complicidad y el encubrimiento. Ahora visita a un ente enfermo y lo hace como si la visita viniera de una estructura pura que busca limpiar a un ente corrupto. Es un esquema parcial y dará una información sesgada. La investigación completa del caso Maciel seguirá pendiente”.

What is in play with the Vatican's investigation into the Legionaries is much more than the conduct of a pervert and his double life. For Alberto Athie, the legacy of the founder and his offspring represent a smoke screen to distract attention from the level of importance about the revision of the Legion of Christ: "The apostolic visit seems to be a thing that has nothing to do with the filth surrounding Maciel, although it was a part of the complicity and the cover-up. Now the visit is to something sick and it is being done as if the visit is from a pure entity which looks to clean up a totally corrupt one. This is a partial view and will give biased information. The complete investigation of the Maciel case will remain pending."

Añade: “Lo importante es que analicen el mecanismo que creó Marcial Maciel al interior de la congregación con su conducta, con la generación de sus víctimas que los volvió cómplices, victimarios y encubridores; varios de ellos son ahora superiores mayores. Son la cúpula. Esa cúpula es precisamente la que está en una grave crisis ante un amplio grupo de sacerdotes que fueron leales a la Congregación y que están hoy indignados. Dentro de la Legión hay gente muy valiosa que no hay que olvidar”.

He adds: "The important thing is that the mechanisms created by Marcial Maciel inside of the congregation be analysed, along with its conduct, with the generation of his victims who became his accomplices, victims and enablers; many of them are now major superiors. They are in the top levels of power. It is this top level that is in a grave crisis with a large group of priests who were loyal to the congregation and are now indignant. Within the Legion, there are valuable people whom we should not forget about."

Los sucesores de Marcial Maciel han sugerido que extirpando al fundador todo se resuelve, pero según Athié una refundación de la Legión es prácticamente imposible: “El tumor es Maciel y lo quieren extirpar pero ya hay metástasis. Parecía que la Congregación se salvaba quitando al tumor pero resulta que tiene metástasis en el cerebro que son las actuales cabezas. Ese grupo de la cúpula tiene que ser extirpado. ¿Hasta dónde van a llegar? Ya lo veremos. Allí esté el Regnum Christi en el centro neurálgico de la cuestión”.

Maciel's sucessors have suggested that cutting out the founder will resolve everything, but according to Athie, refounding the Legion is practically impossible: "The tumor is Maciel, and they want to cut it out, but it has metastisized. It seems that the Congregation will be saved by removing the tumor, but there is metastisis in the brain which are the actual heads or leaders. This group of leaders has to be cut out. How far should they go? We will see. The Regnum Christi is in the neurological center of the matter."

--¿Por qué no puede existir una Refundación de la Legión como la de los Capuchinos?

--Why can't the Legion be refounded like the Capuchins?

--La refundación tiene la riqueza de recuperar la propuesta del fundador que se volvería a la regla o la santidad de alguien que llame a la refundación. En el caso de Maciel era el cuarto voto: el de silencio, todo lo demás no tiene novedad, salvo el tema de atender a las clases privilegiadas. Al refundarse no podría volver a las fuentes del fundador: ni en la propuesta ni en la persona.

--A re-foundation has the richness of being able to recover the original proposal of the founder and return to the rule or sanctity of someone who calls for the refoundation. In the Maciel case, there was the fourth vow, that of silence, all the rest is nothing new, except the thing about ministering to the privileged classes. They cannot return to the sources of the founder, not to his proposals nor to his person.

Entonces, ¿cuál refundación? La metástasis se puede pasar a otros focos de infección. El gran temor de El Vaticano, hay que decirlo claro, es que con su desaparición se registre la pérdida de las familias adineradas para la Iglesia, pero el caso Marcial Maciel es de tal corrupción y daño a la institución que apenas empiezan a vislumbrarse sus consecuencias”.

So then, what about refoundation? The metastasis would then go on to other points of infection. The Vatican's great fear, it must be clearly stated, is that with suppression, many wealthy families will be lost for the Church. But the Marcial Maciel case is one of corruption and damage to the institution which is only beginning to show its consequences."

Por lo pronto, el escándalo de los hijos se perfila intenso a base de acuerdos millonarios extrajudiciales y demandas civiles que, según José Barba, no son más que lo que ellos se cansaron de denunciar: “Ojalá que la Legión tenga vida suficiente para garantizar esas pensiones vitalicias que ha empezado a dar a cambio de silencio. Que comience por pensar en sí misma. Es una grave ironía”.

For the time being, the scandal of the children in under intense scrutiny because of million dollar settlements outside of the courts and civil suits which, according to Jose Barba, are no more than what they have been able to demand: "We hope that the Legion will live long enough to guarantee these life pensions which they are beginning to give out in exchange for silence. The Legion has to think of itself. This is a serious irony."