Friday, January 15, 2010

Business as usual for the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi?

I saw the following on Erin Mannings blog. She lists the "attitudes" from Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi members who "post on line."  She concludes that these are not the attitudes that will foster any real reform. She says, "Sadly, I suspect--though I do not know for sure--that among the rank and file of ordinary Legion priests and ordinary Legion consecrated women and ordinary Regnum Christi members, it is an attitude that is all too prevalent."  She suspects, she does not know for sure, attitudes prevalent among the rank and file.

I was one of the early Legionaries. I was a member for twenty years and I knew Maciel better than most of his latter day detractors. I submit that the statements  collected by Erin, in context, contain at least as much truth as falsehood. Maciel was a flawed human being, he founded a Congregation which has done a great amount of demonstrable good and led tens of thousands of people to a deeper relationship with Christ and the Church. Later, we found out he was not the man we thought him to be. So, my question: does God write straight on crooked lines..... or does He not? How about letting God be God?

Here are Erins' Attitudes:

    * Father Maciel was a flawed vessel. Like all of us, he was subject to temptation, and he sinned. So did many saints. (Some go further, and say that Fr. Maciel may yet be canonized, despite all, because if he sincerely repented and lived out the end of his life in a state of holy penance...etc. But this opinion is rarely voiced when outsiders might hear it, except by the rash but zealous member.)
    * Despite Fr. Maciel's flawed vessel status, the Holy Spirit chose him and worked within him to create this great new work of holiness, the Movement (e.g., Legion of Christ). The work remains one of great holiness, and the Movement must still be fostered, encouraged, and spread exactly as if Fr. Maciel were beatified, instead of proving to be a flawed vessel.
    * The proof that the Legion is a work of great holiness is its charism. That charism is described variously as Love, Charity, bringing Christ's Love/Charity to the world, etc. (However, since all Christians may properly be said to have the vocation to present Christ's charity to the world, the Legion still doesn't seem to articulate well exactly what the charism is--that is, how are they to bring Christ's love to the world. The Sisters for Life do this in pro-life ministry, for example, and the Benedictine Monks at Clear Creek Monastery in Oklahoma do this by embracing the monastic life.)
    * Those who leave the Legion, attack it, criticize it, or otherwise denigrate it have shown themselves unworthy of Fr. Maciel (though a flawed vessel) and his great gift to the Church and the world. They need many prayers, as the state of their souls must be dark indeed to cause them to set themselves up against God's great work of holiness in the world, the Movement.
    * The greatest victims of Fr. Maciel's imprudent and sinful (objectively) actions are those in the Legion who must now bear up under the weight of unjust suspicion and renewed attacks by the Devil against the great work of holiness that is the Legion, and who must also explain over and over that Fr. Maciel was a flawed vessel, but the Legion is not flawed in any way, as how could it be? since it is such a great work of holiness, etc. ad infinitum.

No comments: