As world attention focused on the Vatican and the selection of the new Pope, Tony Flannery of the Irish Times Click Here raises one of the key issues that will be in his in-basket
What to do about the Legion scandal?
The article points out that amidst the various power struggles and dysfunction inside the Vatican, someone will have to deal with the unanswered questions that keep arising about the Legion founder's relationship with various members of the Vatican establishment.
Tony Flannery asks why Pope John Paul II heaped praise on Father Maciel, commending him as an ideal example of priesthood for young Legionary priests as he ordained them in 2004. Pope John Paul II had once held Father Maciel up as an efficacious example for young people to follow. This was in spite of the fact that there had been a previous Vatican investigation into the Legion founder's life decades previously and there had been credible claims of sexual abuse by the founder that had been widely publicized.
According to the article, Father Maciel poured enormous amounts of money into the Vatican and he was close to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, one of the most powerful men in the Vatican. Tony Flannery says that people want to know how Father Maciel could
continue to be welcomed and honoured by Pope John Paul II and the curia long after it became clear that there were at the very least serious concerns about him. The article identifies that John Paul II, whose health was failing either was familiar with the claims against Father Maciel and in spite of that chose to publicly honour him or was ignorant of the facts and ill advised by those who should have warned him to prevent him from being associated with a scandal in the making at the time.
Mr. Flannery has asked some pointed questions that will be difficult to answer but that cannot be deferred indefinitely if the case for John Paul II's sainthood is to proceed to a conclusion.
There is no more
devil's advocate but the press and other media seem to be fulfilling this role. Victims' groups such as S.N.A.P. are receiving more publicity. Father Maciel's victims, who valiantly persevered in proclaiming their experiences as the Legionary leaders and powerful friends of the Legion branded them as liars were finally discovered to be telling the truth.
People have the right to know the truth. Was the well-loved Pope John Paul II deliberately misinformed about the credible claims of sexual abuse and other aspects of the Legionary founder's secret life and if so by whom and when will justice be served?
In the meantime, Father Maciel from his grave continues to cast a dark shadow over John Paul II because of the close association between the two men that energized the incredible growth in numbers of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi. The only way to clear the good name of John Paul II regarding his relationship with Marcial Maciel would be to let people know who might have misinformed him.
Comment To The Irish Times Article On The Marcial Maciel Scandal Affecting Benedict's And Church's Legacy
Ireland: Beware of the leaven of Father Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ order and the Regnum Christi movement!
Fellow Irish men and women,
From across the seas I would like to focus your attention on the Legion of Christ which is mentioned/featured in the article we are commenting. Despite the Founder's disgraceful life and the constant pattern of deceit marking the Order since its inception in Ireland around 1960, many parents allow their children to join Fr. Maciel's Legion's Lay Branch, the Regnum Christi, whose goal is to
infiltrate the upper echelons of society with Catholic ethos.
The Regnum (Kingdom) is more subtle, secretive, and insidious than the Opus Dei and that is why it flies under the radar with
youth movements such as
Conquest, and other apparently harmless spiritual groups, activities, and retreats.
Let us not forget Fr. Maciel's censure by Pope Benedict (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2006/05/19/AR2006051900247.html ) and the ongoing reform of the group ordered by the pope (http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1001848.htm ).
Caveat Emptor, put your foot down, and do not let your children get involved with this cult-like organization.
Moreover, see the Legion/Regnum featured in several cult-watch organizations such as Steven Hassan's (http://www.freedomofmind.com/ ), Rick Ross' (http://www.rickross.com/ ), and the International Cultic Studies Association (http://www.icsahome.com/ ). On the latter web page you will find at least one Paul Lennon article
legally silenced by the nice Legionaries. ReGAIN,INC (www.regainnetwork.org)contains many cautionary testimonies regarding the Legion of Christ, the Regnum Christi Movement and some of its fronts. Life-after-Regnum Christi blog (http://www.life-after-rc.com/) contains up to date information with a critical eye from a Catholic perspective.
J. Paul Lennon, MA, STL