Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jack, I thought you were still in Africa!

This posting by Patrick Madrid caught my eye this morning. Twenty years after I left the Legion I bumped into a Legionary colleague as we picked up our baggage at Mexico City's airport. "My God, it's Jack!" he said when we recognized each other. "Where have you been? I thought you were still in Africa!"

My forthcoming book covers this ingrained behaviour which is the subject of Madrid's comments:

"Historically, the Legion has been very intent on preventing the news of defections from the order by its priests and seminarians from becoming known among the rank and file membership of the Legion and its lay affiliate, Regnum Christ. The euphemism that "Father So and So has been reassigned to a different front" has long been a standard opaque response given when someone inquires as to why a certain LC priest is suddenly no longer around.

With Father Gill's open letter explaining the reasons for his leaving to seek incardination as a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, there can be no doubt as to why he left and where he went. I suspect that more than a few of his LC confreres will follow his lead and that of other Legionaries who exited before him because the scandals and the mishandling of the scandals which have engulfed the order over the past year.
It's such a crying shame that so many such good men have been caught up in the putrid machinations of the founder of this religious order - so many excellent years in the prime of their priesthood spent grinding away in a system that, it now appears quite clearly, was orchestrated by the founder primarily as an engine of cash, pleasure, power, and influence for himself. " See the full article

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