Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jose Raul acknowledges asking the Legion of Christ for $26,000,000

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From the Post-Bulletin, E. Eduardo Castillo, AP story:

"MEXICO CITY — A man who says he is the abused son of the founder of a conservative Roman Catholic religious order acknowledged Friday he asked the group for money to keep quiet.

Jose Raul Gonzalez said he asked The Legionaries of Christ for $26 million because the Rev. Marcial Maciel had promised him and his brothers a trust fund when he died and as financial compensation for Maciel's alleged sexual abuse."

4 comments:

Eric said...

Why is this news? Why are you posting this?

Do you doubt that Raul is Maciel's son?

Do you doubt that Maciel sexually abused his own son from the time he was seven years old?

Aren't those the real issues here?

Why the stupid Legionesque ad hominem attacks?

Why doesn't the Legion's "exquisite charity" apply to the Legion's myriad statements over the years about Fr. Maciel's victims?

The Monk said...

Eric - thanks for your comment. I think it's "news" because heretofore all we had was a letter from Fr. Skertchly stating that Raul asked for money. This is Raul's confirmation of that fact.

I don't know if Raul is Maciel's son. I do know that the LC has MM's DNA (that's how they "verified" Norma's story.) So it would seem to me to be a no-brainer to do a DNA test. I guess I am surprised that Raul and family went "public" without tangible proofs - at first I really respected their courage because I figured they weren't interested in money. Now, I really don't know. DNA is probably the solution.

I honestly don't know if MM abused the children since they were seven. It's certainly feasible granted what we now know about him.

With regard to the "real issues" (abusing his sons?)- I'd say first prove the filial relationship (DNA.) If they are not his sons and were abused by him, that is equally reprehensible and repugnant.

Not sure where you see my "Legionesque ad hominem" attacks - or is your comment just to give me an example?

"Legion's exquisite charity?" You won't find me talking about it. I think their view of "Charity" is flawed, incomplete and self-serving.

My book is about MY story - and of course the LC and MM are a huge part of it. In it, I only talk of my personal experiences and I can tell you (newsflash!) that "exquisite Legionary charity" isn't highlighted. I didn't experience it - when I was "in," when I left and after I left. I appreciate your comments.

Eric said...

Monk,

Why do you doubt that Raul and his family have tangible proofs? I read they held up letters written in Maciel's distinctive handwriting. Raul also claimed to have pictures (which he could not show on television) of him sexually gratifying Fr. Maciel.

For decades, Fr. Maciel and his minions have defended the Legion's interests by undercutting the credibility of his and the Legion's accusers.

Maciel's victims were only after money, or interested in destroying the Church.

Reporters who wrote about the accusations were liberals interested in destroying the Church.

And it isn't just about sexual abuse. Lots of regular old RC people, like myself, have been the victims of whisper campaigns (or worse) after we left the Movement. We weren't "properly integrated," we were proud, vain, lacked charity, and so on.

This was no fluke, it was the Legion logically working out its charism. Fr. Maciel proclaimed that those who leave the Movement will sooner or later find “that it was your egotism, pride, vanity or sensuality you were feeding your lives on rather than God’s holy will.”

This is the context in which I wrote my comment. I hope you will understand why those of us who have witnessed and experienced such abuse at the hands of Fr. Maciel's "rocketship to heaven" are a little sensitive when we see accusations launched against those who threaten the Legion.

The Monk said...

Eric - in terms of your comments here I more aligned with you than against you! I honestly don't seek to "defend" the Legion. Maybe in the world of outrage we experience on other LC/RC blogs my tone may seem defensive compared to some of the more vituperative attacks.

Here is something I feel strongly about as an ex-LC: there has never been any outreach by the LC to former members. When I first left, I wanted (with Fr. Peter Cronin and Paul Lennon) to help create an "alumni club" - a group that would provide support, job leads, starter funds, networking etc. for former LC. In fact, that's when I started to write my "memoirs" about my time in Gabon. At that time (mid 1980s) the issue was cult-like behavior of the LC - the most awful aspect of which is that even after we leave LCs don't seem to want to stay in touch and support each other. Paul bravely continued that campaign "against the cult" - however, I was more interested in what in the States we would call an "alumni club," supportive of the aims I just mentioned rather than a "watch-dog' group. There is space for both. However, there doesn't seem to be anything for the many who have left who find it hard to completely turn their back on their LC life and former "brothers." I would have pressed hard for LC support for such a group - in hindsight, they must realize they were ill-advised to dump their former companions. That's a big part of the MM legacy and lack of "charity." The LC responds better to honey rather than vinegar and I would like to have played them at their own game.

Anyway, it's probably water under the bridge and I do realize that your RC perspective is completely different. As a parent, I share all your sensitivity to the abuse and manipulation. I get a lot of "private" comments about all of this - including correspondence from LCs who have left or are in the process of leaving. I have done everything within my means to help them - including getting jobs for some. Maybe that's why my blog seeks to be more of a "half-way' house... focusing on the half-full side of the equation rather than the glass half empty.