ROME, March 29, 2010 – At the end of April, the five bishops who have completed the apostolic visit among the Legionaries of Christ as ordered by the Holy See will present to the Vatican authorities the contents of their reports, delivered in mid-March.
A previous, long-ago apostolic visit among the Legionaries, between 1956 and 1959, ended with absolution.
This time, however, everything gives the impression that will not be the case again.
It is likely that the Vatican authorities will put the Legion under the command of an external commissioner endowed with full powers.
And he will have to be obeyed by the current heads of the congregation, who are the real obstacle to any movement toward renewal, no matter how slight.
But this leadership group is anything but resigned to giving way.
Freed from the annoyance of the visitors, and not yet subjected to the command of the commissioner, during this interim period which they are hoping will last for "several months" they are doing everything they can to consolidate their power and win the support of the majority of the 800 priests of the Legion, and of the other religious and lay members.
On March 25, during the annual meeting in Rome of the territorial directors with the director general and his council, they released a statement in which for the first time they publicly describe one by one and "reprove" the sinful actions of their founder, Marcial Maciel (1920-2008), ask forgiveness from the victims, and affirm that they can "no longer look to his person as a model of Christian or priestly life."
But how trustworthy is this distancing of the Legion's leaders from their founder, and in particular from the "sudden revelation" – or so they say – of his misdeeds?