Saturday, February 27, 2010

Apologies. Enough Already!

I really hate quoting the dictionary. But I am going to do it anyway. Apology: a written or spoken expression of one's regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged another.

So what the hell is going on with the avalanche of Legionary and Regnum Christi apologies for what Maciel did? I am not even going to bother listing them all. These "possum" apologies are all over the internet.

We don't apologize for other people. "I am so sorry for what Jimmy Carter did to all the people who were damaged by his economic policy". Big deal. Even if the current president says it. Now if some economic advisor from that time says it, then he is just skirting responsibility for his own actions.

How much longer area we going to have to hear about people saying they are sorry for what Maciel did? I'm not sorry. I didn't do it. I did do some pretty shady things as a Legionary, but I have apologized personally to the people who were on the other end of my behavior.

But, you say, "Maciel is dead, so someone has to apologize for him." Bullshit. The apology that is needed is from those who have wronged others to those who were wronged. Even apologies from high church officials to victims of clergy abuse make no sense, unless the apology if for what these officials did or did not do.

I don't want any apology, half or full hearted for what Maciel did to me. He did not rape me, but he surely manipulated me and psychologically abused me. I want an apology from those who helped him do it. I want an apology from those who did me wrong.

That is what justice demands.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MOO

The monk, the cow and the apology

Over the past couple weeks I've been debating back and forth, in the comboxes of several blogs, with former LC priest Jack Keogh. He's an Irishman who runs The Monk Who Stole the Cow blog. The name of his blog refers to a folk tale which is posted in the right margin of his blog.

Mr. Keogh is calling upon LC critics to show more charity toward those who remain in LC. Here's my take on the situation:

A monk and his abbot were passing through a poor farming village atop the cliffs of Ireland when they came across a humble cottage owned by an impoverished Catholic family with three children. Nevertheless, the family took the monk and abbot in for the night. The family shared with the religious what meager milk and cheese the family had, produced from a single cow. This was the only farm animal the family could afford, and they relied upon the cow for their subsistence. Nevertheless, despite their poverty, the family was happy, knowing God was with them and provided for their daily needs.

The following day, as the "good" religious left the village, the abbot ordered the monk to return to the cottage and push the cow off the cliff. The abbot was widely reputed for his "holiness" and claimed "never to have said no to the Holy Spirit." Therefore the monk obeyed as an ever-obedient co-founder. After all, being pushed off the cliff was the cow's vocation "from all of eternity."

About five years' later, at a village two counties over, villagers discovered that the abbot had a certain unnatural affection for cows. What the penitential books at the time referred to as "unspeakable" sins involving farm animals. Given that this was medieval times - not the modern era where folks are somewhat more civilized - the villagers responded by pushing the abbot over the cliff. But that's a story for another time...

The monk narrowly escaped the peasant uprising. He made his way back to the initial village under the cover of darkness. Seeing the cottage where he had stayed five years ago, and given the cold wet snow outside, he knocked on the door to request shelter and food for the night. He could not help but notice, as he waited for someone to answer the door, that the cottage was even more beaten up and weather-worn than he remembered it five years ago.

An older man answered in threadbare clothing. He had lost some weight, most of his hair, and his skin was wrinkled with worry. Yet the biggest change was in his eyes: Gone was the spark that had made the family happy, despite the poverty in which they found themselves.

"What do you want?" the old man grumbled.

"I'm a poor monk seeking food and shelter for the night," the monk said. "You hosted my abbot and me several years ago."

"Oh, you," said the poor man.

"Look, I have nothing to give. It seems that everywhere you went cows kept falling off cliffs," the peasant continued. "After our cow fell off the cliff, the baby died for lack of milk. This broke my wife's heart, and she died about a year later. She died angry at God for having taken away our baby after showing you and your abbot some Catholic hospitality."

"That's blasphemy!" the monk said. "Your wife should have been more charitable with God, not to mention forgiving of our abbot. Then God would have blessed her with the serenity not to give in to the sin of bitterness."

"Well she might have endured this crisis," said the farmer, "but for the fate of our middle son. See, he was over in the next village begging for moldy and half-rotten potatoes - of which we ate a steady diet after our cow died - when he witnessed you pushing another cow over the cliff. You did so at the urging of your abbot. Horrified, my son ran to the bishop's house only to catch your abbot offering the bishop a gift of freshly butchered steak."

"My son reported what he had seen to the bishop. But your abbot denied everything and both you and your abbot claimed my son was lying out of jealousy for your meal of steak and fresh milk. It was his word against yours. That of an impoverished young boy against two men of the cloth. So the bishop believed you. He reported everything to the Prince, who also believed you and the bishop. The Prince then ordered my son's cheeks branded with a red hot poker ending in the letter 'L' - a sign to all who come across him that he was a liar. Additionally, my family was ordered to turn over our remaining possessions - minus this cottage - to you and the abbot, as restitution for having accused you of pushing cows over cliffs. We never ReGAINED these possessions."

"Well let's not talk about past misunderstandings," said the monk. "Let's talk about happier things. How is your oldest daughter doing? The Abbot sensed God had called her from all of eternity to a vocation as Consecrated Wench. She would not say no to God, would she?"

"I don't know," said the farmer. "After speaking with other consecrated wenches who had left the village, she decided that a more merciful fate awaited her as a galley slave to Moorish pirates. Unlike your abbot, their lust is satisfied in the afterlife by 72 virgins. That's more than twenty but less than a hundred - in case you can't count. Anyway, it's just me left in this hut now."

"Well let me in and I will keep you company," said the monk. "It is your duty as a Christian to forgive."

"Let's make a deal," said the farmer. "I'll forgive you, and offer you room and board for the evening, if you apologize for pushing my cow over the cliff and the pain it caused my family."

"That's not fair!" said the monk. "I was only following orders."

"Those orders brought much evil on my family," said the farmer. "So you can freeze outside in the snow until you apologize."

"Okay," said the monk, whose was feeling the chill of the wind against his soaked habit. "I apologize for the abbott's 'unfortunate orders,' which I cannot explain, and the pain they're now causing me as I try to find room and board for the night."

"Well what about the living hell you caused my family?" said the peasant.

"How dare you act this uncharitably!" said the monk. "I know other peasants whose cows were pushed over cliffs and they don't describe their experience as 'living hell'."

"Oh look, here comes a follower of St. Ignatius. I wonder if he needs room and board?" said the peasant. "After all, it's cold and wet outside."

"Okay, you're twisting my arm. Although I am grateful for all the good my abbot passed on to me and others who received his charism, I... uh... apologize ... for whatever pain his unfortunate orders, which I find difficult to reconcile with the good I saw while following him from village to village, caused you and your family."

"A little better," said the peasant. "But what about the pain YOU caused our family by following his orders. What about the pain your lies caused my son in having him branded a liar when he reported the truth about you, your abbot and cows were falling over cliffs?"

"How dare you judge me!" said the monk. "Only God can judge. Where's your faith in the Church?"

"Behind you," said the peasant, pointing to the Jesuit walking up the alley to investigate the situation. "Fr. Ignatius, can I offer you room and board for the evening? It's a cold night out, I need good spiritual direction to overcome the spiritual pain that has cursed our family for the last five years, and this monk was just leaving."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Anybody's Guess?

Sandro Magister's opinion gives much credibility to this.

Ciudad de México (19 febrero 2010).-
El Papa Benedicto XVI pedirá la refundación de los Legionarios de Cristo, señalaron expertos consultados por REFORMA a un mes de que se conozca el informe de un año de investigaciones realizadas sobre las faltas del Padre Marcial Maciel.

"Todo apunta a que el Papa pedirá el cese de quienes están al frente de la legión y luego nombrará un comisario pontificio. La tarea de éste será hacer un capítulo general, y a partir de ahí podría hablarse de una refundación de los Legionarios", adelantó José Martínez de Velasco, periodista experto en el tema que revelara en 2002 los escándalos de la congregación y de su fundador.

El Padre Maciel, quien fuera acusado de pederastia y de quien, en febrero del año pasado, se revelara que tuvo una hija, murió en enero de 2009, a los 87 años.

Sandro Magister, uno de los expertos más respetados de Roma en temas de religión y autor del blog Séptimo Cielo, coincidió en que la Santa Sede se inclinará por la refundación de los Legionarios, empezando por cambiar su cúpula.

"La refundación es una hipótesis con fundamento. Es importante una renovación total porque quienes ahora dirigen la legión son los mismos que trabajaron junto a Maciel durante su largo periodo al frente de los Legionarios", indicó Magister refiriéndose al director general, Álvaro Corcuera; al vicario general y encargado de asuntos económicos, Luis Garza, y al procurador general, Cristóforo Fernández.

Giancarlo Zizola, autor de libros como "Santidad y Poder" y "La Otra Cara de Wojtyla", advirtió que la decisión que tome el Papa revelará la verdad sobre las acusaciones contra Maciel.

"Si refunda a la orden y designa a un comisario pontificio, que es lo más probable, será el equivalente a una admisión de que lo que ha pasado dentro de los Legionarios de Cristo fue muy grave", opinó.

Clarification: Cristoforo Fernandez is just a useful idiot, a poor little pawn. Evaristo Sada is a devil in prada who has to go.

Has the News Finally Come?

Reforma seems to be reporting in Mexico that the Pope will refound the Legion of Christ.


Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Division and delusion

From El Trastevere

P. Julien Durodié: “… ”He creído, especialmente viviendo con el Padre Maciel durante tres años en la Dirección General, que él era también santo. ¿Por qué no? Pero nunca he puesto mi confianza sobrenatural en su persona humana. Mi fe no está afectada por su vida desordenada. Al contrario, está purificada. Por supuesto, estoy afectado por el escándalo, y el grito de las víctimas me hunde en el dolor. Pero todo esto no pone en entredicho el llamado de Dios”…

Fr. Julien Durodie: "I have come to believe, especially living with Fr. Maciel for three years in the General Direction, that he was also a saint. And why not? But I have never placed my supernatural confidence in his human person. My faith is not affected by his disordered life. On the contrary, it is purified. Of course, I am affected by the scandal, and the cry of the victims plunges me in sorrow. But all of this does not put the call of God into doubt..."

P. Douglas Barry: “… Después de un proceso de discernimiento que comencé en México tras conocer la impostura de nuestro fundador (múltiples vidas, engaños, y todo lo que ustedes saben o deberían de saber de sus actos de pedofilia, abuso de niños, homosexualidad, vicios, etc. que no me corresponde juzgar, pues Dios ya lo ha hecho) fui dándome cuenta que la mente deforme del fundador no sólo afectó su vida personal, sino que no pocas costumbres, procedimientos, estilos de vida, normas, y diversos aspectos de la congregación también estaban contaminados por resabios de esa mentalidad…”.

Fr. Douglas Barry: "...After a process of discernment, which I began in Mexico after learning of the deceit of our founder (multiple lives, fraud, abuse of children, homosexuality, vices, etc. which I cannot judge, since God has already done so) I began to realize that the deformed mind of the founder dis not only affect his personal life, but also not a few customs, procedures, lifestyle, norms, and diverse aspects of the congregation were also contaminated by the bad habits of this mentality..."

Madrid, 16 de febrero de 2010 (Por trastevere).- Dos nuevas cartas escritas por el P. Julien Durodié LC, Superior de la comunidad legionaria de París (Francia) y que continúa dentro de la Legión, y la segunda por el P. Douglas Barry que ha abandonado la congregación fundada por Marcial Maciel, han reabierto hoy el debate hacia el exterior de la situación que está atravesando la Legión de Cristo y el Regnum Christi en estos momentos en que se enfrenta a la “Visita Apostólica” ordenada por la Santa Sede y que deberá concluir el próximo mes de marzo.

Madrid, February 16, 2010 (By Trastevere). Two new letters written by Fr. Julien Durodie, LC, superior of the legionary community in Paris (France) and who continues within the Legion, and the second by Fr. Douglas Barry, who has left the congregation founded by Marcial Maciel, have reopened the debate today of the situation of the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Chrisit in these moments when they are confronting an "Apostolic Visitation" ordered by the Holy See and which should conclude next month.

Image source.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Who CAN we trust?

When Trust Isn’t Easy
Fr Thomas Williams, LC, speaks about the challenge of trusting in God in difficult times.











January 22, 2010. When suffering hits where it hurts, we naturally want answers. But, says Fr Thomas Williams, sometimes we ask the wrong questions.

In a one-hour video (click here to view), Fr Thomas Williams talks about his new book Can God Be Trusted? More specifically, he expands on the difficulty of trusting God in tough times.

Fr Thomas discusses the natural human reaction to betrayal, and comments on how some respond to suffering by downsizing their hope in God and becoming “realistic”

Addressing this problem, he says that this loss of trust sometimes results from a case of misplaced expectations, as we hold God accountable for promises he never made. At the same time, he says, we may also fail to grasp the greatness of God has promised.

Part of the key to trust, then, is to understand God’s place in our lives a little better—and to ask the right questions.

For anyone who has ever struggled with trust, this is a must-view video that is realistic, insightful, and encouraging.

_____

Hmmm, now it's our fault because we think it is God's fault?


Yeah, let's take a look at Fr. Thomas....

UPDATE: Remember this quote in the video: Interviewer: "So you think all these men are lying?"
Fr. Thomas: "Yes, I do"

So he called them liars. This is a bit beyond issues of betrayal, high expectations, and trusting in God. This requires restitution of the good name of others. And it has not been done.

They will probably sue the Legion. For a change the Legion will be the defendant.

Luis Aguiló Lucia: ´Mi abuelo nos legó un sentido de la ética y ni un solo bien material´




Aguiló, en su despacho de la Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua.
Photo: Aguiló, en su despacho de la Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua. manuel molines


Secretario de la Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua. El que fue letrado mayor de las Corts Valencianes durante demasiado tiempo, según dice, es uno de los 31 nietos de Luis Lucia, líder de la Derecha Regional Valenciana en la República, condenado a la pena capital por el franquismo, que le cambió la condena por cadena perpetua poco antes de morir desposeído de todos sus bienes y sin poder legar a sus descendientes más que "el orgullo del apellido y un sentido de la ética para la vida".

JULIO MONREAL VALENCIA
Los Legionarios de Cristo han reconocido que su líder, Marcial Maciel, plagió hasta en un 80% el libro de Luis Lucia 'El salterio de mis horas' editándolo en 1993 como 'El salterio de mis días'. ¿Ha emprendido la familia ya alguna acción legal contra el plagio?
Está ya en manos de abogados tanto en España como en Méjico. Hemos sabido luego que este libro era el de la espiritualidad interno de los Legionarios de Cristo. Ha tenido bastantes ediciones en inglés en Estados Unidos y en Méjico en español. De todo esto nos hemos enterado por casualidad y estamos haciendo la reclamación correspondiente porque nos parece justo y necesario. Mi abuelo lo escribió en la cárcel Modelo de Barcelona cuando estaba condenado a muerte en los años 40 durante el régimen franquista. Son poesías que permanecían desconocidas, de manera privada, y que a través de mis padres llegaron al arzobispo de Valencia Marcelino Olaechea. Él quiso publicarlas y la censura impuso como condición que no podía aparecer que habían sido escritas en la cárcel. Unas poesías religiosas no podían aparecer como escritas en la cárcel en aquel contexto.
¿Ha pensado la familia en editar otras obras personales o menores de Luis Lucia que aún permanecen sin publicar?
A raíz del libro de Vicent Comes 'Al filo de la navaja', que es una biografía magnífica sobre él, se recogieron algunos trabajos. Nosotros tenemos recopiladas bastantes de estas obras, poesías. Unas son religiosas, otras más festivas, y está en nuestra idea poderlas editar. Justamente el día 18 de febrero se presenta en Castelló una antología de obras de autores castellonenses y yo he aportado unas poesías escritas en valenciano por mi abuelo y entre ellas hay unas muy cortitas dedicadas a la Virgen de los Desamparados.
Su abuelo fue condenado a muerte en un proceso sin garantías. ¿Se ha planteado la familia reclamar la anulación del juicio al amparo de la Ley de Memoria Histórica?
Nos costó mucho conseguir la sentencia en Barcelona. La verdad es que no nos hemos planteado eso. Mi abuelo, en el 'Salterio', dice algo así como 'Señor perdónalos aunque sepan lo que hacen'. Siguiendo un poco ese espíritu, mi abuelo habría perdonado todo eso y creo que es mejor dejarlo ahí.
¿Ha sido reconocida la figura de su abuelo de forma suficiente?
Muy poquito. No lo suficiente. Se han acordado en tres momentos. Cuando se constituyó el Consell del País Valencià en El Puig en el régimen preautonómico, en 1978, se le mencionó por primera vez en un acto público. Luego el Ayuntamiento de Valencia, no sin cierta polémica dentro de la UCD, le dedicó una plaza, y más recientemente las Cortes Valencianas por unanimidad le dedicaron una placa conmemorativa. Pero no ha habido un gran reconocimiento. En mi familia, los que hemos vivido en Valencia (otros están en Zaragoza y en Barcelona) hemos vivido en los años 50 y 60 mucho la marginación de un sector de la sociedad valenciana que no le perdonó nunca que el 18 de julio se adhiriera a la República y cooperara contra el golpe que acabó en la Guerra Civil por responsabilidad democrática y por un comportamiento ético. A lo mejor sus 31 nietos nos planteamos alguna acción ahora. Él hizo su papel en aquellos tiempos y no nos legó en absoluto ningún bien material, si acaso mensajes espirituales. Perdonó todo lo que le pasó y nos transmitió aquella filosofía a través de nuestras madres.
¿Qué queda del abuelo Luis Lucia en la familia?
En primer lugar está el orgullo de todos los primos de llevar como segundo apellido el de Lucia y sobre todo un sentido de una familia muy unida, y ser descendientes de una persona que transmitió que había que comprometerse con la vida. Casi todos los primos están metidos en temas como la Fundación San Vicente Ferrer, ONG..., en una actitud de responsabilidad. Nuestras madres nos insistían en que todo lo que la familia tenía que hacer en política lo había hecho ya el abuelo. Tenían miedo a que participáramos en política, lo cual no impidió que durante el franquismo muchos lo hiciéramos. Hemos heredado sobre todo un sentido de la ética. En lo religioso mi abuelo fue muy avanzado para su época. Preconizó lo que luego fue la democracia cristiana, ya que distinguía el ser católico y la acción política de los católicos, sin mezclar y con separación iglesia-estado.
¿Y además del orgullo y el sentido de la ética, algunos bienes?
Las propiedades que no se perdieron en la Guerra desaparecieron al acabar la Guerra. Les quitaron todo, hasta los muebles de la casa. Mi madre, que murió el año pasado, nos contaba sin decirnos de quién hablaba que comprobó que todos los muebles que había en la casa de mis abuelos en la plaza de Tetuán, al lado de donde ahora está el Colegio de Abogados, se los había quedado una conocida familia de Valencia y que no se les permitió reclamar.
Pero él no murió allí después de que le conmutaran la pena de muerte por cadena perpetua.
No. Murió en un pisito en Fernando el Católico. En la Guerra se había escondido de la persecución en Cantavieja. Allí es detenido, pasa brevemente por Valencia y luego permanece a la espera de juicio en la Modelo de Barcelona. El expediente que tenía para su defensa a la espera de juicio en la zona republicana se convirtió en prueba de cargo para los franquistas, que lo condenaron a muerte en 48 horas. Por presiones del arzobispo de Valencia Prudencio Melo y la Embajada británica le conmutan la pena y la cambian por confinamiento en la isla de Mallorca. Cogió un cáncer y volvió a Valencia, ingresó en la Casa de la Salud pero ya no se pudo hacer nada por él, y murió en un entresuelo que había comprado mi tío o algún familiar junto a Àngel Guimerà. Siempre con un policía dentro de la casa. De las propiedades que había antes de la guerra, como una finca cerca de Nules o unos campos de naranjas hubo que malvenderlas o se perdieron. No pudieron recuperar nada. Mi madre, sus tres hermanas y mi tío apenas heredaron nada de sus padres.
¿Esa circunstancia está en el origen de que buena parte de la familia se haya marchado de Valencia?
En Valencia se quedaron mi madre y su hermana pequeña. Las otras dos se casaron y se trasladaron a Zaragoza y Barcelona, y mi tío, el director de cine, no tuvo hijos y acabó en Madrid cuando Cifesa se trasladó. Mi madre sí estaba muy enfadada con la sociedad valenciana. Recuerdo que ella nos decía que había gente que había tardado años en saludarnos por la calle. Pero eso es un poco como somos los valencianos.
[Como ya se ha informado en este diario, los descendientes directos de Luis Lucia no tienen vinculación alguna con la finca de la calle Aben al Abar de Valencia, compuesta por una casa y un gran patio ajardinado, que el Ayuntamiento de Valencia se ha visto obligado a expropiar recientemente por unos dos millones de euros en cumplimiento de los derechos de sus anteriores propietarios, entre los que hay al menos ocho que comparten el apellido Lucia].
¿En qué figura política de la actualidad reconocería a su abuelo Luis Lucia?
Es difícil. Cada persona vive su época y es difícil trasladar de una época a otra. Mi abuelo responde a una mentalidad que hoy parecería muy carca en algunas cosas y muy avanzada en otras. El sistema de partidos actual no tiene nada que ver con el de la República, con partidos valencianistas, valencianos y estatales que hoy no se da. La fuerza política que pudo recoger en los primeros momentos de la Transición el espíritu político de mi abuelo fue Unió Democràtica del País Valencià (UDPV), que formaba parte de la Democracia Cristiana en torno a Ruiz Giménez, pero ya sabemos lo que pasó con esa fuerza política. En los años 30, las relaciones mejores de mi abuelo eran con el PNV y con UDC, que evolucionaron de forma diferente.
De la abundancia de partidos regionalistas de los años 30 se ha pasado a la práctica inexistencia.
La sociedad valenciana no tiene un sistema de partidos como el que funciona a nivel de Estado. ¡Qué pocas veces han coincidido las fuerzas políticas gobernantes en un lado y en otro! Las fuerzas políticas valencianistas por un lado están bastante integradas en los partidos estatales y sin embargo han tenido mucha más fuerza en el debate político de lo que le correspondía según las urnas. Su peso en la sociedad valenciana es mucho mayor que el que demuestra cuando llegan las elecciones. Un partido con un 3% no tenía que tener el peso que luego tiene

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thoughts from a fellow blogger

"Twenty eight years after leaving the congregation, I've decided to publish my memoirs. My memoirs - in other words, I'll tell my stories, share my experiences and emotions and maybe give some insight into why guys like me joined the youngest founder in the history of the Church to 'establish the Kingdom of Christ.' Actually, deciding to join a religious congregation was the easy part. Staying the course and eventually deciding to leave was the hard part. The Legion becomes the 'family' of the Legionaries - they do not make it easy to leave. For those of us who did move on to a new life and career, I think it is fair to say that 'leaving' is a harrowing and gut wrenching experience.

The now disgraced founder, Marcial Maciel was a masterful manipulator of people. Charismatic and narcissistic. A deadly, powerful combination. The web is replete with blogs mostly criticizing him and the congregation he founded. Knowing what we now know about Maciel he is indefensible. Those who did not personally experience his charisma must struggle mightily to understand those of us who did. How could we possibly not have had some glimpse of the double life he led? How can we possibly hope that there is still some good in the congregation he founded? How can we wonder if the Church can 'afford' to simply disband one of the most vibrant forces it has produced in recent years?

My experience with Maciel began in 1962, when he was 42 years old. He was still relatively unknown at the beginning of his journey. When he sent me to Mexico in 1965, there were no more than 20 Legionaries in Mexico. By the time I left the congregation, the Legion had gained the enthusiastic support of Popes, politicians, business people, world leaders, entertainers, and tens of thousands of committed Christians who joined Regnum Christi the world-wide lay movement which is part of the Legion. I want to contribute what I believe is an 'untold story' in those early years - the personal story of an Irish Legionary who was close to Maciel trying to relate personal experiences of what it was like before the awful revelations about Maciel.

The priests and seminarians who continue in the Legion must be heart-broken, furious, disappointed, bewildered, sad and totally disoriented. I am sure the same goes for the tens of thousands in the Regnum Christi. Even though they (the Legionaries) turned their backs on those of us who left the congregation my heart goes out to the good guys who remain. The rank and file mostly have limited and controlled access to the media and the internet. They have trained themselves to be impervious to 'outside' opinion. Despite considerable pressure from advisers, the media and public opinion they have not reacted pro-actively to the scandals. Thus they compound the notion that they are robotic, brain-washed people. I still believe that they are much better than the image they project.

They will do what the Pope tells them to do after the Apostolic Visitation. Of this I feel very sure. Therein lies a different story - the Vatican ultimately pulls the strings and I have no doubt the Vatican is advising the Legionary brass. There is a sad case to be made that the Vatican is coming across as out of touch with common Christians. The hierarchical structures of the Church made it easy to conceal scandals. Religious arrogance and paranoia persuaded the powers that be that scandals should be concealed. This does not justify the attitude of current Legionary leadership - but they are so imbued with loyalty to the establishment it is easy to see how they struggle to react.

Maybe we have reached a moment in history when we need to reexamine our notion of "ministry." I've always supported the notion of celibate priesthood. Today, I'm not so sure. The model, from where I sit, no longer seems to be working. I don't pretend to know the solution. But I do know it's time to wake up, smell the coffee and do something meaningful. Marcial Maciel could not have done the good he did without the Vatican. How was the Vatican so royally duped and, more importantly, what if anything has it learned?"

Source is here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yeah, but just how sick, and how serious an operation?

Miguel Ángel Cativiela: «La Legión está como un enfermo al que le acaban de operar»
The Legion is like a sick person who has just had an operation

RELIGION EN LIBERTAD
CAMINEO.INFO.-Sat, 13 Feb 2010 11:48:00

El secretario territorial de la Legión de Cristo en España, Miguel Ángel Cativiela, LC, ha descrito la actual situación de la congregación religiosa como la de un enfermo que acaba de ser operado. La crisis que vive la institución desde que se hicieran públicos los excesos de su fundador, Marcial Maciel, ha sido, reconoce, «un "palo" bastante grande».

The territorial secretary of the Legion of Christ in Spain, Miguel Angel Cativiela, LC, described the current situation of the religious congregation as that of a sick person who just had an operation. The crisis that the institution is living since the excesses of its founder, Marcial Maciel, were made public, have been, he admitted, "quite a great blow".

Es la primera vez que alguien de peso dentro de la estructura directiva de la congregación de los Legionarios de Cristo en España realiza un diagnóstico de la complicada situación por la que atraviesa, a excepción de la carta hecha pública por su director general, Jesús María Delgado en septiembre de 2009.

It is the first time that anyone of any weight within the command structure of the congregation of the Legion of Christ in Spain has made a diagnosis of the complicated situation which it is going through, with the exception of a letter made public by the director general [sic], Jesus Maria Delgado in September, 2009.

El padre Miguel Ángel Cativiela, LC, que desde hace seis años trabaja como secretario territorial de la Legión de Cristo en España, ha asegurado en el último boletín bimensual que edita la propia congregación que «estamos muy bien», aunque matiza. Porque es evidente que la respuesta sorprende de primeras, habida cuenta la complicada situación actual de la congregación tras descubrirse el escándalo de la doble vida de su fundador, el padre Marcial Maciel, y la visita Apostólica que se está llevando a cabo desde hace meses.

Fr. Miguel Angel Cativiela, LC, who has been working as territorial secretary of the Legion of Christ in Spain for six years, assured in the latest bimonthly bulletin edited by the congregation itself, that "we are very well," but he clarifies. Because it is evident that the response is surprising at first, given the complicated situation that the congregation finds itself in after uncovering the scandal of the double life of the founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, and the Apostolic visit that has been taking place now for several months.

Todo lo que cura escuece
Everything that heals stings

El matiz de ese bienestar del que habla el padre Cativiela es claro: «Cuando a un enfermo que le acaban de operar le preguntan "¿qué tal estás?" y te dice "bien", se supone que está bien dentro de que es una persona a la que la acaban de operar». Vamos, que hay dolor y que no está curado del todo, se entiende; y que todo lo que cura escuece y molesta.

The nuance of this well-being of which Fr. Cativiela speaks is clear: "When a sick person who has just been operated on is asked, 'how do you feel?', and he says 'good', one can assume that he is well within the limits of a person who has just had an operation". That there is pain and that the healing is not complete is understood; and that everything that heals stings and is painful.

Porque el recién operado «no puede saltar por ahí, correr y hacer vida normal y nosotros, en una situación delicada por los hechos que hemos ido conociendo, pues estamos bien, dentro de que sí, es un "palo" bastante grande».

Because a person recently operated "cannot jump around, run, and live a normal life, and we, in a delicate situation given the facts which we have come to know, we are well, within the limits that yes, it is a very great 'blow'"

Mirando al futuro
Looking to the future

Una vez hecho el diagnóstico, el secretario territorial de los Legionarios de Cristo en España, entiende que «la mayoría lo ha asumido y que lo que está haciendo es mirar hacia delante», aunque reconoce que «no estamos reaccionando todos de la misma manera». Y remacha: «Nos lo han dicho muchos eclesiásticos, todavía nos queda mucho bien por hacer».

Once he made the diagnosis, the territorial secretary of the Legionaries of Christ in Spain, understands that the "majority have absorbed it and what they are doing is looking forward", even though he recognizes that "we are not all reacting in the same way". And he reiterates: "Many churchmen have told us, we still have much good that we must do."

El padre Miguel Ángel Cativiela, en consonancia con la actitud general de espera y confianza en ver «qué quiere el Santo Padre de nosotros», asegura que «estamos en las manos de Cristo, a través de su Vicario» y se muestra confiado: «Las disposiciones para cumplir fielmente lo que el Santo Padre nos diga son muy buenas, por lo que yo puedo ver».

Fr. Miguel Angel Cativiela, in agreement with the general attitude of awaiting with confidence "what the Holy Father wants of us," assures everyone that "we are in Christ's hands, through his Vicar" and is confident: "There are very good dispositions to comply faithfully with what the Holy Father will tell us, as far as I can see".

________________

1. Legionaries are notorious for using inept analogies to make themselves look good and to divert further inspection. This is not a case of a sick person after an operation. The operation has not taken place yet. The Vatican has not pronounced. Medicine has not yet been prescribed.

2. "Good dispositions to comply faithfully with what the Holy Father will tell us"? Well, the last time, when the Holy Father dissolved the private vows, the Legion obeyed in letter only, continuing to enforce the spirit. So what evidence is there that this time will be any different?

3. There is no consideration made about the cause of the malady. And how it effected the whole organism.... Damn, am I the only one who thinks that these people are delusional?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fatal Flaw


From Pete Vere's blog, Catholic Light

A fatal flaw in Legionary formation
By Pete Vere on February 11, 2010 11:33 AM | No Comments

I received the following email from a former Legionary who had been ordained with the order. I've removed the names of individual Legionaries to protect confidentiality:

Hey Pete, hope you are well.

I want to comment personally with you on your comment [over at Ladon Cody's ExLC blog] that "Holiness comes from the inside. God alone knows who is holy and who is not. Externals can be deceiving. For instance, how many of us thought at one time that Maciel was holy?"

When I was still in the Legion, I commented with [John Doe], who was still in, and he told me that he commented with [another Legionary] back then and they agreed. The point is that Legion formation essentially was set up to work from the outside in. It made use of externals to build what they called the charitable or priestly heart. The idea was to practice external things: kneeling for meditation, opening doors for others, making little sacrifices at meals and tons and tons of other things, with the aim of internalizing them. The idea was not that those things would come from the heart, but that they would change the heart through simply doing them.

So many actions of every day and every moment were like magic formulas to be recited or practiced and, voila, a charitable heart! A holy priest! It is a huge internal flaw of formation in the Legion of Christ. A fatal flaw.

There is no recovering from something like this. There is nothing to save in LC formation because it is backwards.

Unfortunately, there is a whole sector of people in the Church who fixate on this type of externalization and are caught up in it, and call it holiness. It is only worth something if it does come from the heart, and then, if it produces no real fruit, it is still just a noisy gong, a clashing cymbal.

They asked for it

Whatever you may think of the comedy, any sacrilege is a direct responsibility of the Legion. If you play with fire like they have, then you deserve what you get.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Heart of the Matter, yet again

From 'and sometimes tea'

"I will freely grant that I have no idea what the journalistic standards of El Mundo are or whether this account can in any way be taken without a very large grain of salt. But the problem is: it has been a year since the world learned that Marciel Maciel was living a double (at least!) life. We still know almost nothing more than that, and while no one needs salacious details or to wallow in the immorality of the tale, it is not at all asking too much to ask to know if there was ever a time when the Legion was not seriously tainted beyond repair by its strong association with this man.

It is my hope that this is exactly what those conducting the apostolic visitation have been asking, with serious diligence and attention to the details (which, whatever they may be, as yet have not appeared in any American media source). A clear pattern, though, is emerging, a pattern of a man who was willing to pass off another's spiritual writings as his own, who was able to create a climate of secrecy so strong that even after his death and disgrace it still surrounds the Legion he founded, and who may well have been engaged in sinful and deceptive behaviors from the earliest days of the Legion. What that pattern will mean to the organization which he not only founded but influenced deeply in ways that may be impossible to measure is not yet clear, but as the pattern is revealed, the picture of the Legion's future--if any--will begin to be seen with the utmost clarity."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In What Alternate Universe?

From a comment below:

Anonymous said...

"'A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.' ~ Matthew 7:18

Contrasting the works of the Legion, there's no way you can have a monster found it and be in charge of it, etc. I think Fr. Maciel will one day be canonized a Bigtime Saint."

February 9, 2010 7:52 PM

Will He Dare Cast Them Into the Sea?

"Los que escandalizan a los pequeños merecen que les cuelguen una piedra de molino al cuello y los tiren al mar". Valiente, decidido, como lo viene siendo desde siempre en esta dura cuestión, profundamente evangélico, Benedicto XVI volvió a lanzar un mensaje de "tolerancia cero" hacia los pederastas en el seno de la Iglesia.

Condena tajante, sin tapujos, y sin excepciones. Venga de donde venga. Un gran gesto del Papa, y un interrogante que, en muy pocos días, comenzará a ser desvelado: ¿Se atreverá a echarlos al mar? ¿Lo hará la próxima semana, cuando entregue a los obispos irlandeses la carta de disculpas y de reglas de actuación ante el escándalo de los abusos sexuales en este país? ¿Será ejemplar en la condena de las actitudes de Maciel y quienes conocían, aprobaban o silenciaban los abusos en la Legión?

Aunque después alguien nos acuse de ingenuos, estamos convencidos de que el Papa no va a dar un paso atrás en su decidida defensa de los derechos de los niños, y en la persecución y la condena a estos maltratadores.

"Those who scandalize the little ones should have a mill stone tied to their necks and be cast into the sea." Valient, decided, and, as it has come to be in this difficult question, profoundly evangelical, Benedict XVI again launched a message of "zero tolerance" against pederasts in the heart of the Church.

A categorical condemnation, without beating around the bush, without exceptions. Where ever it may come from. A great gesture from the Pope, and a question, which, in very few days, will be unveiled: "Will he dare cast them into the sea?" Will he do it next week when he gives the Irish bishops the letter of pardon and rules of action regarding the scandals and sexual abuses in that country? Will he set an example in condemning the attitudes of Maciel and those who knew, approved, or silenced the abuses in the Legion?

Even if afterwards we are accused of being naive, we are convinced that the Pope will not back down in his firm defense of the rights of children, and in the prosecution and punishment of those who would mistreat them.

From Religion Digital
. Jesus Bastante

A Kingdom Divided. New Take on Old News

Real divisions, or the Legion's way of trying to send up a smoke screen and pretend that this is a "gringo problem"?

El superior general prohíbe el debate interno
Lucha interna de la Legión de Cristo


José Manuel Vidal | Madrid
Actualizado sábado 30/01/2010 13:12 horas

"Todo reino dividido queda asolado" (Lc. 11,17). Perfecto conocedor de esta máxima evangélica, el superior general de la Legión de Cristo, Álvaro Corcuera, llama a sus miembros a cerrar filas y les prohíbe el debate interno y, por supuesto, externo sobre los pecados del fundador, Marcial Maciel, de cuya muerte se cumplen hoy dos años, y sobre el futuro de su Obra. Al tiempo que intenta silenciar a las voces más críticas con los actuales responsables de la congregación.

A un mes de que los visitadores nombrados por la Santa Sede entreguen el informe correspondiente a Benedicto XVI, el director general de la Legión de Cristo ha enviado varios escritos a los miembros de la congregación, para que cesen las discusiones internas que abundan entre ellos. Discusiones que escapan al control de la dirección, porque se suelen realizar por medio del correo electrónico y de comentarios en diversas páginas web.

Por lo que de esos intercambios se desprende, en estos momentos hay dos corrientes enfrentadas en el seno de la Legión: la de los que reclaman un profundo cambio interno y la de los que optan por un cambio cosmético que se limite a pasar página en el asunto de los pecados del fundador, Marcial Maciel.

A ambas corrientes, que están dividiendo a la Legión, Álvaro Corcuera les pide caridad y llama a todos sus miembros a "consolarnos y acompañarnos mutuamente; ser cirineos unos de otros y vencer nuestras penas, fortaleciendo a nuestros hermanos".

Porque, para el director general de la Legión, lo que tiene que primar, ahora, entre sus miembros es "vivir el don de la paz". Y hasta les dice cómo: "Animándonos mutuamente, comprendiéndonos, queriéndonos de corazón, perdonándonos mutuamente, no recriminándonos ni juzgándonos, ni mucho menos humillándonos".
Norteamericanos contra españoles

Las propias fuentes de los Legionarios reconocen que, en estos momentos, hay desunión y diferencias de criterio decisivas en el seno de la Legión de Cristo. Por un lado estarían los anglohablantes que, muchos más críticos y radicales desde el principio, solicitan una discusión abierta sobre los pecados del padre Maciel y un cambio de la "cultura interna" de la propia Obra. Hablan incluso de una refundación.

En este bando se encuentran los que más abiertamente acusan de complicidad con Maciel a algunos de los actuales dirigentes de la Legión. También es entre ellos donde se están produciendo más abandonos por "diferencias irreconciliables" con la actual cúpula dirigente. El último en irse fue el norteamericano Richard Gill, uno de los legionarios con mayor prestigio en la zona.

El otro frente, constituido mayoritariamente por los Legionarios de habla hispana o lusa, se muestra partidario de que la Legión se olvide de su fundador y corrija los problemas actuales de la congregación por medio de una mayor fidelidad al espíritu fundacional. En definitiva, los primeros quieren renegar del fundador y del pasado, mientras los segundos optan por una conversión que no condene ni su memoria ni su pasado.

Pero el debate es tan doloroso y tan intenso en el seno de la Legión que, tras una primera misiva, Álvaro Corcuera se vio obligado a enviar una segunda, con fecha del pasado día 24 de enero. En ella, como cuenta ACI, la agencia peruana de información religiosa, asegura que el intercambio de opiniones entre los Legionarios es "una muestra de confianza y de que nos queremos todos", pero pide mucha prudencia.

Y Corcuera añade: "Pienso que por esta vía quizás no terminaríamos nunca e incluso se podrían generar malentendidos y contraposiciones. Tenemos que seguir todos trabajando y también buscaremos los mejores caminos para que todos, y especialmente los sacerdotes, puedan aportar serenamente sus dones y sus reflexiones para responder a lo que Dios nos pide en este momento, de manera especial por medio de las indicaciones que esperamos de la Santa Sede". El director general concluye así su segunda misiva: "Por ahora lo dejamos madurando en el corazón de cada uno, en familia, ayudándonos a purificar y construir esta obra a la que Dios nos ha llamado".

Monday, February 8, 2010

Marcial Maciel and Fr. Alvaro, a promotional video



Totally stolen from Pete on life-after-rc

And below, um, Landon's personal translation. Is it accurate enough for you, Jack?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A tale of two vicars. You make the call.

Vatican daily publishes article on priesthood by Legionaries of Christ vicar

.- L’Osservatore Romano published an article on Thursday by Father Luis Garza Medina, the Vicar General of the Legionaries of Christ, in which he reflected on what priests should do in response to the challenges “that confront humanity” and the “drama of modern man.”

In his article, Father Garza provides a series of reflections on the Year for Priests. The Legionaries' Vicar General notes that “the priest, animated by the awareness that Christ is the only Savior of the world and that he has been made a minister of redemption by means of the Sacrament of Orders, is called to live in today’s world, amidst the challenges that this presents for the Gospel of Christ, with confidence and holy audacity.”

Father Garza said the priest must be “a man of God” and that “his will and faculties must be imbued with the sentiments of Christ.”

He also said that the priest “should be a man of prayer, a man who listens to and meditates on the Word in order to lovingly comply with what God wants of him. He should celebrate the sacraments with the fervor and anointment proper to the sacred things he is charged with, knowing that because he is a man of God he should make a special effort to resist the dizzying and constant rat-race of the modern world.”

After pointing out that “the priest is a man profoundly aware that salvation comes from God,” Father Garza wrote, “The priest seeks the good of the person, he doesn’t seek to reduce him to a number or a statistic” and should be a sign of communion for his peers and for the entire Church.

COMPARE TO

From the article below:

The Legionary priests, alarmed by Maciel's attitude, immediately called Rome. The then number three person of the institution, Luis Garza, knew right away that this was a grave problem. He consulted with the highest authority, Alvaro Corcuera, hopped on the first plane to Miami and when directly to the hospital.

His indignation could be read on his face. He faced the once all-powerful founder and threatened him: "I will give you two hours to come with us or I will call all the press and the whole world will find out who you really are". And Maciel let his arm be twisted.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Whole Article

ANNIVERSARY / TWO YEARS WITHOUT MARCIAL MACIEL

The Legionary who died four times and did not want to go to confession. Up until now, thanks to the "Cronica", it is known that he had at least six children and various identities. On the second anniversary of the death of the founder of the Legion of Christ, we reveal his last hours, in the presence of an exorcist.

IDOIA SOTA | JOSÉ M. VIDAL

The day that Marcial Maciel died, like in Pedro Paramo, a insistent whisper was heard as that which the wind makes when it whips the branches of a tree in the night. When we tune our hearing, just like in the above mentioned novel by Juan Rulfo, this murmur, pressed like a swarm of insects, comes together as words almost empty of sound, and full of piety: "Pray for us".

The day that Marciel Maciel died (yesterday it made two years), the luxurious Legionary house in Jacksonville (Florida) was converted into a constant flow of cassocked men. Even to this day, they have a strange look on their faces. A sign in which we can guess that the Marcial Maciel's end does justice to an excess laden existence, lived totally on the margin of any civil or divine law. Something horrible happened in the room where the founder of the Legionaries of Christ died.

More than a dozen people were chosen to accompany him in his last moments, and, from that day on January 30, 2008, they were left with only one certainty - and for some even a consolation - that the founder of the Legion of Christ was dead. What was the cause, what happened or even when did it happen are questions that have given rise to more than one answer.


Marcial Maciel was one, triune, or even quadruple. He had, at least, five different identities. He was Raul Rivas, Norma Hilda's lover and father of little Norma (both live comfortably in Madrid) and Jaime Alberto Gonzalez Ramirez, the partner of a Mexican woman and father of three children in Switzerland. Sometimes he was Juan Rivas. And he was always Marcial Maciel, founder of one of the most powerful religious congregations, fundraiser of incalculable fortunes of doubtful origin, and pederast punished by the Pope in 2006 with retirement and prayer. They all died on January 30, 2008, two years ago. His personal secretaries were in charge of killing them all. How, if they didn't, were they going to update all of the documents of "Nuestro Padre" as they still called him? There were million dollar accounts, properties scattered throughout the world, trust funds in the Bahamas.... An empire calculated at some 20,500 million euros between what he had in himself, in all of his versions, and what he had put in the name of his Legion.

This is how his gift of being in many places at the same time can be explained, and how Marcial Maciel died, at the same time, in Houston (Texas); Washington; Cotija, his hometown in Mexico; and in Jacksonville (Florida). A few hours after he left this world and much before the media came to know the news, Wikipedia reported his death in Florida. Just minutes later, suspiciously, the on-line encyclopedia eliminated the place of Maciel's death in his biography. Two days later, the first obituaries appeared in the press. The Denver Post and the El Paso Times reported that the founder of the Legion died of natural causes in Houston (Texas).

Were they natural causes? Some Legionaries affirm that he had liver cancer. Others talk of open heart surgery in Houston in 2003, And there are those who dare to say that he suffered from dementia. "They had to invent different ailments, each with its own cause, for each one of his identities", explains Jose Bonilla, attorney for the Mexican children of the Legionary.


MACIEL'S "STATEROOM"

Whatever the cause, the real Marcial Maciel died in a chalet in Jacksonville (Florida), but his remains were taken to Cotija (Mexico), the city where he was born. It was a small house with some 10 or 11 Legionaries, organized ad hoc for the founder to rest in a year before he was to go into "heavenly glory", the exact term used on the official website of the ultra-catholic congregation. On January 30, 2008, the inhabitants of the house saw a sudden increase in their numbers, by at least 8 people. The following met together in Maciel's room: Alvaro Corcuera, the current General Director of the Legion of Christ; Luis Garza Medina, Vicar General; Evaristo Sada, General Secretary; Marcelino de Andres, who Maciel left as trustee of the fund for his children; Alfonso Corona, a superior; John Devlin, the founder's personal secretary, and the two Normas. And, as if this conclave were not surreal enough, there was even an exorcist present in his rooms to assure that the soul of the father was not taken by some demonic spirit.

Why? It seems that for the previous two years, the founder had lost the faith. He did not go to mass, did not pray... The Legionaries who took care of him came to know that he felt "repulsed by religion". And aversion to religious objects is an unequivocal sign of possession. In fact, they say that from as early as 1946, the first Legionaries witnessed rare phenomena of the mephistophelian type. The father had at that time "a room in the house of the Sacred Heart", un chalet con a statue of this devotion. A "strange room". First, it had no bed. "Maciel slept in a coffin". Second, it was strange due to the odd phenomena that occurred there. One night, his companions heard strange noise in Maciel's room and, upon entering, they were met with "balls of fire which circled the founder's room and then the fire vanished".

Others attest that, one day in the sacristy, fierce dogs appeared. Maciel ordered the young men that were with him to leave the room and, the same way that the dogs appeared, "the dogs disappeared from the room whose door was closed". Another time, he was in the chapel. Upon hearing a noise, the Legionaries "opened the door and found the pews thrown about and Maciel under one of them". Presence of the Evil One?

Maybe many of these stories are mere fables. A hint of magical realism in a life filled with fantastic episodes.

Whatever the case may be, someone must have seriously considered possession and had an exorcist called to his deathbed. Luis Garza himself had already had to deal with the founder's rebellion. According to Legion sources, Maciel became quite ill six months before he died. The Legionaries took him from Jacksonville to a hospital in Miami "which was very discrete". The disgraced founder arrived there accompanied by three priests and a consecrated woman (lay women with a vow of chastity).

"I WILL STAY WITH THESE WOMEN"

He was in the Miami hospital for three days. On the second day, the Normas appeared in his room and stayed by his bed, taking care of him, much to Maciel's pleasure and creating scandal for the Legionaries.

-Father, you have to come with us- they told him when he was to be discharged.

But, by then, Maciel was much closer to being Raul Rivas than the founder of a religious congregation and he indicated the two women, responding firmly: "I want to stay with them".

The Legionary priests, alarmed by Maciel's attitude, immediately called Rome. The then number three person of the institution, Luis Garza, knew right away that this was a grave problem. He consulted with the highest authority, Alvaro Corcuera, hopped on the first plane to Miami and when directly to the hospital.

His indignation could be read on his face. He faced the once all-powerful founder and threatened him: "I will give you two hours to come with us or I will call all the press and the whole world will find out who you really are". And Maciel let his arm be twisted.

His physical stature had been deteriorating a lot since 2005. "He did not walk well. He had the illnesses of old age. In the last months, he experienced various organ failures. I imagine that a medical report could say that he died of cardio respiratory failure. He was 87 years old: he was an old man", a Legion of Christ spokesman told the Cronica.

But the few elect who were with him at the end of his life had a hard time seeing him as an old man. For them, the last hours of the founder were a real calvary. Marcial Maciel refused to confess his sins. He did not want to and did not believe in God's pardon. Maybe he had spent too many years accostomed to fooling the divine representative in the confessional. How to suddenly declare him a pederast, he has relations with both men and women, he had at least six children who he never took care of like a real father, the abused drugs, he coveted and obtained great quantities of money, he plagiarized the spiritual guidelines of his congregation, he lied and damaged hundreds of people without it bothering him in the least way, and God knows what more. This, God does know. So, why confess his sins? "I said no!" he blurted out to Alvaro Corcuera, who was trying to anoint the dying man with holy oils.


OFFICIAL VERSION

In the end, Corcuera could have made Maciel do a profound examination of conscience. He explained more to his subjects. "Nuestro Padre" died in front of an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and his last works were written on a paper: "et verbum caro factus est" (and the word was made flesh). Actually, he just gave him a piece of paper conveniently scribbled. The two versions are compatible. Maciel could have denied confession and been forced. He could have confessed what he considered appropriate and been absolved. He could have died in sin and written something to console the future generations of Legionaries. The truth is know only by those at Maciel's bedside as he died. Outside, the Legionaries of Jacksonville waited impatiently. Some entered and exited. "It was awful", said one of them. "I can't say more. Awful."

Would Fr. Alfredo Torres say this, one of the founders of the Legion, about Maciel's end? "You have done well seeking out my opinion. In your article, you can write 'I have tried to get Torres to comment, but he did not wish to'". At 83, Torres is the only one of the first Legionaries still alive. He runs the Hispanic-Mexican school which the Movement has in Madrid, and, in the midst of the crisis that the institution is passing through, he has become a reference point. "Many priests come to speak to me. From Rome, Mexico, Italy... All of them are not content with writing me and come to speak to me and I put them on the straight road". This is because, in his view, the congregation is at a crossroads. "There are two roads; that of the Church, and that of the street. I will always go by the road of the Church which is Christ. I will accept what the Pope says. Whatever that may be".

Concerning the appropriateness of going public with the fact that Maciel refused to confess and that there was an exorcist at his bedside, Fr. Torres advised: "Publish it. You have to make a living, and, it will also serve to make those involved reflect on their actions".

Reflect? At the moment, the directors of the Legion have faced the visitation with a certain opaqueness.

The superiors sent every center a list of answers to give to journalists, curiosity seekers, and the emisories of the Vatican. The guide offers, mostly, the answer "no" and "nothing" to many questions. "What did Fr. Maciel do? Were there financial irregularities? What do you say about the accusations from past years [concerning pedastry]? Did the superiors know of these things?... But, as well, the formulary offers an argumentative thread for conversations which result from these questions. It suggests that members of the Legion and the Regnum Christi (the lay branch) ask forgiveness for the damage caused by Maciel, that they show consternation that the scandal may have contaminated the Church, and that they manifest that those who may have suffered are in their prayers and that they be sure to try to act according to what Christ would do in their place.

FIRST ACKNOWLEDGMENT

In mid March, a decision is expected from Benedict XVI. Right now, there are between 100 and 150 Legionary priests awaiting this report to define the there path within or outside of the congregation. For the moment, it seems that the most plausible option for the Pope is to appoint a representative of confidence who will give a new direction to the movement. But it is possible that Benedict XVI could order a re-foundation, or directly opt that the Legion of Christ be dissolved.

Meanwhile, the legal counsel for the three children who Maciel left in Mexico, Jose Bonilla, continues with the fight for recognition for the three young people who are desendants of the founder. The first step, as the Cronica was able to uncover, is a letter that Alvaro Corcuera, General Director of the Legion, sent to the lawyer. In it, he recognizes the middle one of the three, Jose Gonzalez, as son of "Our Father". Two more are left. On top of the trust fund in the Bahamas, that Maciel devised him and which has been handed over, the descendants of the founder would have a right in a part of the property that the founder left dispersed all over the world. And, in less than 30 days, the children will file suit to reclaim that property. "The children speak every week with Bishop Ricardo Watty, the visitator in Mexico, who is very worried by the whole affair. More, perhaps, than Maciel ever was. In fact, the father founder of the Legionary of Christ never said goodbye to his three children. They were not even told of his death.

The day that Marcial Maciel died was a coming and going of cassocks which prayed for the soul of he who they called "father". But three of his children were missing. Those who Jaime Alberto Gonzalez Ramirez, his third identity, had with a Mexican woman. If he confessed his sextuple paternity and his multiple sins, it is known only to those who were in the room with the dying man. On that 30th of January in 2008, which many recall with a twist on their face, a incesant and pious whisper of "Pray for us" could be heard, it is said.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Four Lives" Continues

VERSIÓN OFICIAL
OFFICIAL VERSION

Al final, Corcuera habría logrado que Maciel hiciera un profundo examen de conciencia. Ha explicado más a los suyos. «Nôtre père» feneció frente a la imagen de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y las últimas palabras que escribió en un papel fueron «et verbum caro factum est» (y el verbo se hizo carne). De hecho, presentó una hoja convenientemente garabateada. Las dos versiones son compatibles. Maciel pudo negarse a la confesión y ser obligado. Pudo confesar lo que considerase apropiado y resultar absuelto. Pudo morir en pecado y escribir algo para consuelo de las futuras generaciones legionarias. La verdad sólo la conocen los que ocuparon el camarote de Maciel antes de exhalar. Fuera, los legionarios de Jacksonville esperaban impacientes. Algunos entraban y salían. «Fue tremendo», refiere uno de ellos. «No te puedo decir más. Tremendo».

In the end, Corcuera could have made Maciel do a profound examination of conscience. He explained more to his subjects. "Nuestro Padre" died in front of an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and his last works were written on a paper: "et verbum caro factus est" (and the word was made flesh). Actually, he just gave him a piece of paper conveniently scribbled. The two versions are compatible. Maciel could have denied confession and been forced. He could have confessed what he considered appropriate and been absolved. He could have died in sin and written something to console the future generations of Legionaries. The truth is know only by those at Maciel's bedside as he died. Outside, the Legionaries of Jacksonville waited impatiently. Some entered and exited. "It was awful", said one of them. "I can't say more. Awful."

¿Pondría este calificativo el padre Alfredo Torres, uno de los fundadores de la Legión, al final de Maciel? «Ha hecho usted muy bien en querer saber mi opinión. En su artículo puede poner: "He intentado que el padre Torres se pronunciase, pero él no ha querido"». A sus 83 años, Torres es el único de los primeros legionarios que sigue vivo. Dirige el colegio hispano-mexicano que el movimiento tiene en Madrid y, en medio de la crisis que vive la institución, se ha convertido en un referente de las esencias. «Vienen muchos sacerdotes a hablarme. De Roma, México, Italia... Todos los que no están contentos me escriben o acuden a hablar conmigo y yo los enderezo por el buen camino». Porque, a su juicio, en estos momentos la congregación se encuentra ante una encrucijada. «Hay dos caminos: el de la Iglesia y el de la calle. Yo siempre iré por el de la Iglesia, que es el de Cristo. Y acepto lo que diga el Papa. Sea lo que sea».

Would Fr. Alfredo Torres say this, one of the founders of the Legion, about Maciel's end? "You have done well seeking out my opinion. In your article, you can write 'I have tried to get Torres to comment, but he did not wish to'". At 83, Torres is the only one of the first Legionaries still alive. He runs the hispano-mexican school which the Movement has in Madrid, and, in the midst of the crisis that the institution is passing through, he has become a reference point. "Many priests come to speak to me. From Rome, Mexico, Italy... All of them are not content with writing me and come to speak to me and I put them on the straight road". This is because, in his view, the congregation is at a crossroads. "There are two roads; that of the Church, and that of the street. I will always go by the road of the Church which is Christ. I will accept what the Pope says. Whatever that may be".

Sobre la conveniencia de hacer público que Maciel se negó a la confesión y que en su lecho de muerte hubo un exorcista, el padre Torres aconseja: «Publíquelo. Usted tiene que ganarse la vida y, además, servirá para que reflexionen las personas implicadas».

Concerning the appropriateness of going public with the fact that Maciel refused to confess and that there was an exorcist at his bedside, Fr. Torres advised: "Publish it. You have to make a living, and, it will also serve to make those involved reflect on their actions".

¿Reflexionarán? De momento, los dirigentes de la Legión se enfrentan a la visitación con cierta opacidad en sus declaraciones.

Reflect? At the moment, the directors of the Legion have faced the visitation with a certain opaqueness.

Los superiores hicieron llegar a todos los centros un argumentario para responder a periodistas, curiosos y enviados del Vaticano. La guía ofrece la respuesta -en su mayoría, «no» y «nada»- a muchas preguntas. ¿Qué hizo el padre Maciel? ¿Hubo irregularidades financieras? ¿Qué dice de las acusaciones de años anteriores [sobre pederastia]? ¿Estaban los superiores al tanto de estos hechos?... Pero, además, el formulario ofrece un hilo argumental para las conversaciones que se salgan de estas cuestiones. Sugieren a los miembros de la Legión y del Regnum Christi (su rama laica) que pidan perdón por el daño causado por Maciel, que se muestren consternados por que el escándalo haya podido contaminar a la Iglesia, que manifiesten que los que están sufriendo están en sus oraciones y que aseguren que tratan de actuar según lo que Cristo habría hecho en su lugar.

The superiors sent every center a list of answers to give to journalists, curiosity seekers, and the emisories of the Vatican. The guide offers, mostly, the answer "no" and "nothing" to many questions. "What did Fr. Maciel do? Were there financial irregularities? What do you say about the accusations from past years [concerning pedastry]? Did the superiors know of these things?... But, as well, the formulary offers an argumentative thread for conversations which result from these questions. It suggests that members of the Legion and the Regnum Christi (the lay branch) ask forgiveness for the damage caused by Maciel, that they show consternation that the scandal may have contaminated the Church, and that they manifest that those who may have suffered are in their prayers and that they be sure to try to act according to what Christ would do in their place.

More on "Four Deaths" (The F*&#er was a Bastard)

«ME QUEDO CON ELLAS»
"I WILL STAY WITH THESE WOMEN"

En el hospital de Miami estuvo tres días ingresado. Al segundo día, se presentaron las Normas en su habitación y permanecieron a su cabecera, cuidándolo, con el beneplácito de Maciel y para escándalo de los legionarios.

He was in the Miami hospital for three days. On the second day, the Normas appeared in his room and stayed by his bed, taking care of him, much to Maciel's pleasure and creating scandal for the Legionaries.

-Padre, tiene que venir con nosotros- le dijeron éstos cuando le dieron el alta.

-Father, you have to come with us- they told him when he was to be discharged.

Pero, para entonces, Maciel estaba más cerca de ser Raúl Rivas que el fundador de una congregación religiosa y, señalando a las dos mujeres, respondió tajante: «Quiero quedarme con ellas».

But, by then, Maciel was much closer to being Raul Rivas than the founder of a religious congregation and he indicated the two women, responding firmly: "I want to stay with them".

Los sacerdotes legionarios, alarmados por la actitud de Maciel, llamaron inmediatamente a Roma. El entonces número tres de la institución, Luis Garza, supo al instante que les rondaba un grave problema. Lo consultó con el máximo responsable, Álvaro Corcuera, subió al primer avión con destino a Miami y fue directo al hospital.

The Legionary priests, alarmed by Maciel's attitude, immediately called Rome. The then number three person of the institution, Luis Garza, knew right away that this was a grave problem. He consulted with the highest authority, Alvaro Corcuera, hopped on the first plane to Miami and when directly to the hospital.

La indignación podía leerse en su rostro. Allí se presentó ante el otrora todopoderoso fundador y le conminó: «Le doy dos horas para venirse con nosotros o llamo a todos los medios para que todo el mundo se entere de quién es usted de verdad». Y Maciel dio su brazo a torcer.

His indignation could be read on his face. He faced the once all-powerful founder and threatened him: "I will give you two hours to come with us or I will call all the press and the whole world will find out who you really are". And Maciel let his arm be twisted.

Su estado físico se había deteriorado mucho desde 2005. «No caminaba bien. Tenía afecciones propias de la edad avanzada. En los últimos meses le fueron fallando varios órganos vitales. Imagino que un informe médico diría que murió de parada cardiorrespiratoria. Tenía 87 años: era un ancianito», detalla a Crónica un portavoz de la Legión de Cristo.

His physical stature had been deteriorating a lot since 2005. "He did not walk well. He had the illnesses of old age. In the last months, he experienced various organ failures. I imagine that a medical report could say that he died of cardio respiratory failure. He was 87 years old: he was an old man", a Legion of Christ spokesman told the Cronica.

Pero a los pocos elegidos que lo acompañaron al final de su vida les costaba verlo como un ancianito. Para ellos, las últimas horas del fundador fueron un verdadero calvario. Marcial Maciel se negaba a confesar sus pecados. No deseaba o no creía en el perdón de Dios. Quizá llevaba demasiados años acostumbrado a engañar al representante divino en el confesionario. Cómo declarar de golpe que fue pederasta, mantuvo relaciones con mujeres y hombres, tuvo al menos seis hijos de los que nunca se encargó como un verdadero padre, abusó de las drogas, deseó y obtuvo grandes cantidades de dinero, plagió la guía espiritual de su congregación, mintió e hizo daño a centenares de personas sin alterarse en lo más mínimo, y Dios sabe qué más. Eso, Dios lo sabe. Entonces, ¿para qué confesarse? «¡Qué no!», espetaba a Álvaro Corcuera, empeñado en ungir al moribundo con los óleos sagrados.

But the few elect who were with him at the end of his life had a hard time seeing him as an old man. For them, the last hours of the founder were a real calvary. Marcial Maciel refused to confess his sins. He did not want to and did not believe in God's pardon. Maybe he had spent too many years accostomed to fooling the divine representative in the confessional. How to suddenly declare him a pederast, he has relations with both men and women, he had at least six children who he never took care of like a real father, the abused drugs, he coveted and obtained great quantities of money, he plagerized the spiritual guidelines of his congregation, he lied and damaged hundreds of people without it bothering him in the least way, and God knows what more. This, God does know. So, why confess his sins? "I said no!" he blurted out to Alvaro Corcuera, who was trying to anoint the dying man with holy oils.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another installment of "Four Deaths"

«EL CAMAROTE» DE MACIEL

MACIEL'S "STATEROOM"

Sea como fuere, el verdadero Marcial Maciel murió en un chalé en Jacksonville (Florida), aunque sus restos fueron trasladados a Cotija (México), su ciudad natal. Se trataba de una pequeña casa con unos 10 u 11 legionarios, organizada ex profeso para el descanso de su fundador un año antes de que éste partiera «a la gloria celestial», como rezaba su despedida en la web oficial de la congregación ultracatólica. El 30 de enero de 2008, la población de la casa se vio repentinamente incrementada en, al menos, ocho personas. En el cuarto de Maciel se juntaron Álvaro Corcuera, actual director general de los Legionarios; Luis Garza Medina, vicario general; Evaristo Sada, secretario general; Marcelino de Andrés, a quien Maciel dejó el encargo de entregar el fideicomiso a sus hijos; Alfonso Corona, uno de los superiores; John Devlin, secretario personal del fundador; y las dos Normas. Y, por si el cónclave no era suficientemente surrealista, en los aposentos de Marcial Maciel no faltó un exorcista para asegurarse de que el alma del padre no estaba tomada por algún espíritu demoníaco.

Whatever the cause, the real Marcial Maciel died in a chalet in Jacksonville (Florida), but his remains were taken to Cotija (Mexico), the city where he was born. It was a small house with some 10 or 11 Legionaries, organized ad hoc for the founder to rest in a year before he was to go into "heavenly glory", the exact term used on the official website of the ultra-catholic congregation. On January 30, 2008, the inhabitants of the house saw a sudden increase in their numbers, by at least 8 people. The following met together in Maciel's room: Alvaro Corcuera, the current General Director of the Legion of Christ; Luis Garza Medina, Vicar General; Evaristo Sada, General Secretary; Marcelino de Andres, who Maciel left as trustee of the fund for his children; Alfonso Corona, a superior; John Devlin, the founder's personal secretary, and the two Normas. And, as if this conclave were not surreal enough, there was even an exorcist present in his rooms to assure that the soul of the father was not taken by some demonic spirit.

¿Por qué? Hacía más de dos años que el fundador parecía haber perdido la fe. No iba a misa, no rezaba... Los legionarios que lo cuidaban llegaron a comprobar que sentía «repulsa por la religión». Y la aversión a los objetos religiosos es un signo inequívoco de posesión. De hecho, cuentan que, ya en 1946, los primeros legionarios asistieron a «fenómenos raros» de tipo mefistofélicos. El padre tenía por aquel entonces «una habitación en la casa del Sagrado Corazón», un chalé con una estatua de esa advocación. Una «habitación rara». Primero, porque no tenía cama: «Maciel dormía en un ataúd». Y segundo, por los insólitos fenómenos que, dicen, allí sucedían. Una noche, sus compañeros oyeron ruidos extraños en la habitación de Maciel y, cuando entraron, se toparon con «unas bolas de fuego que circulaban por la habitación del fundador hasta que desaparecieron».

Why? It seems that for the previous two years, the founder had lost the faith. He did not go to mass, did not pray... The Legionaries who took care of him came to know that he felt "repulsed by religion". And adversion to religious objects is an unequivocal sign of possession. In fact, they say that from as early as 1946, the first Legionaries witnessed rare phenomena of the mephistophelian type. The father had at that time "a room in the house of the Sacred Heart", un chalet con a statue of this devotion. A "strange room". First, it had no bed. "Maciel slept in a coffin". Second, it was strange due to the odd phenomena that occurred there. One night, his companions heard strange noise in Maciel's room and, upon entering, they were met with "balls of fire which circled the founder's room and then the fire vanished".

Otros atestiguan que, estando un día en la sacristía, aparecieron unos perros rabiosos. Maciel ordenó a los jóvenes que lo acompañaban que dejaran la habitación y, del mismo modo que llegaron, «los perros desaparecieron de la estancia con la puerta cerrada». En otra ocasión, se encontraba en la capilla. Al oír un estruendo, los legionarios «abrieron la puerta y encontraron los bancos tirados y a Maciel bajo uno de ellos». ¿Presencias del Maligno?

Others attest that, one day in the sacristy, fierce dogs appeared. Maciel ordered the young men that were with him to leave the room and, the same way that the dogs appeared, "the dogs disappeared from the room whose door was closed". Another time, he was in the chapel. Upon hearing a noise, the Legionaries "opened the door and found the pews thrown about and Maciel under one of them". Presence of the Evil One?

Quizá muchas de estas anécdotas no dejen de ser fábulas. Un tinte de realismo mágico en una vida cargada de episodios rocambolescos.

Maybe many of these stories are mere fables. A hint of magical realism in a life filled with fantastic episodes.

Sin embargo, alguien debió de considerar seriamente la posesión e hizo llamar al exorcista a su lecho de muerte. El propio Luis Garza llevaba algún tiempo lidiando con la rebeldía del fundador. Según fuentes de la Legión, Maciel se puso muy enfermo seis meses antes de morir. Y los legionarios lo trasladaron desde Jacksonville a un hospital de Miami «de toda confianza». Hasta allí llegó el ya entonces «amonestado» fundador acompañado por tres sacerdotes y una consagrada (laicas con voto de castidad).

Whatever the case may be, someone must have seriously considered possession and had an exorcist called to his deathbed. Luis Garza himself had already had to deal with the founder's rebellion. According to Legion sources, Maciel became quite ill six months before he died. The Legionaries took him from Jacksonville to a hospital in Miami "which was very discrete". The disgraced founder arrived there accompanied by three priests and a consecrated woman (lay women with a vow of chastity).

to be continued...

More on "Four Deaths"

Continued from below

Poco más de una docena de personas fueron las elegidas para acompañarlo en sus últimos momentos y, de aquella jornada del 30 de enero de 2008, sólo les queda la certeza -y en algunos casos hasta el consuelo- de que el fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo ha muerto. Cuál fue la causa, cómo sucedió o incluso dónde ocurrió son preguntas que admiten más de una respuesta.

More than a dozen people were chosen to accompany him in his last moments, and, from that day on January 30, 2008, they were left with only one certainty - and for some even a consolation - that the founder of the Legion of Christ was dead. What was the cause, what happened or even when did it happen are questions that have given rise to more than one answer.

Marcial Maciel era uno, trino y hasta quíntuple. Tenía, al menos, cinco identidades diferentes. Era Raúl Rivas, amante de Norma Hilda y padre de Normita (ambas en viven holgadamente en Madrid), y Jaime Alberto González Ramírez, pareja de una mujer mexicana y padre de tres hijos en Cuernavaca. Pero también era el progenitor de un chico en Inglaterra y el de una joven en Suiza. A veces era Juan Rivas. Y siempre era Marcial Maciel, fundador de una de las congregaciones religiosas con más poder, conseguidor de incalculables fondos monetarios de dudosa procedencia y pederasta castigado en 2006 por el Papa a la oración y el retiro. Todos ellos murieron el 30 de enero de 2008, hace ahora dos años. Sus secretarios personales se encargaron de matarlos. ¿Cómo, si no, iban a poder poner al día todos los documentos de «nôtre père», como aún lo llaman? Había cuentas millonarias, propiedades repartidas por medio mundo, fideicomisos en Bahamas... Un imperio calculado en unos 20.500 millones de euros entre lo que conservó para sí, en todas sus versiones, y lo que puso a nombre de su Legión.

Marcial Maciel was one, triune, or even quadruple. He had, at least, five different identities. He was Raul Rivas, Norma Hilda's lover and father of little Norma (both live comfortably in Madrid) and Jaime Alberto Gonzalez Ramirez, the partner of a Mexican woman and father of three children in Switzerland. Sometimes he was Juan Rivas. And he was always Marcial Maciel, founder of one of the most powerful religious congregations, fundraiser of incalculable fortunes of doubtful origin, and pederast punished by the Pope in 2006 with retirement and prayer. They all died on January 30, 2008, two years ago. His personal secretaries were incharge of killing them all. How, if they didn't, were they going to update all of the documents of "Nuestro Padre" as they still called him? There were million dollar accounts, properties scattered throughout the world, trust funds in the Bahamas.... An empire calculated at some 20,500 million euros between what he had in himself, in all of his versions, and what he had put in the name of his Legion.

Así se explica su don de la ubicuidad y que Marcial Maciel falleciese a la vez -y que se sepa- en Houston (Texas), Washington; Cotija, su pueblo natal en México, y en Jacksonville (Florida). A las pocas horas de dejar este mundo y mucho antes de que los medios de comunicación conocieran la noticia, Wikipedia recogía su muerte en Florida. Aunque minutos más tarde, sospechosamente, la enciclopedia en la Red eliminó el lugar de la muerte de Maciel de su biografía. Dos días después, aparecieron los primeros obituarios en la prensa. The Denver Post y El Paso Times informaron del deceso del fundador de la Legión por causas naturales en Houston (Texas).

This is how his gift of being in many places at the same time can be explained, and how Marcial Maciel died, at the same time, in Houston (Texas); Washington; Cotija, his hometown in Mexico; and in Jacksonville (Florida). A few hours after he left this world and much before the media came to know the news, Wikipedia reported his death in Florida. Just minutes later, suspiciously, the on-line encyclopedia eliminated the place of Maciel's death in his biography. Two days later, the first obituaries appeared in the press. The Denver Post and the El Paso Times reported that the founder of the Legion died of natural causes in Houston (Texas).

¿Fue por causas naturales? Algunos legionarios aseguran que padecía cáncer de hígado. Otros informan de una operación en 2003 a corazón abierto en Houston. Y hay quienes se aventuran a decir que padecía demencia senil. «Había que emitir diferentes partes de defunción, cada uno con su motivo, para cada una de sus identidades», explica José Bonilla, abogado de los hijos mexicanos del legionario.

Were they natural causes? Some Legionaries affirm that he had liver cancer. Others talk of open heart surgery in Houston in 2003, And there are those who dare to say that he suffered from dementia. "They had to invent different ailments, each with its own cause, for each one of his identities", explains Jose Bonilla, attorney for the Mexican children of the Legionary.