Friday, March 26, 2010

Media and Blog reactions to Legionaries of Christ statements

The 25th of March is an important day for me - apart from being the feast of the Annunciation, it marks an important anniversary for me. I think it an interesting quirk of fate that 28 years after leaving the Legion of Christ I get to read two important documents, released on March 25th,  expressing apology and recognizing grievous errors. To celebrate, I took a little jaunt through the news-media and a few blogs to see how they reacted to the news.


(Reuters) - Here is an excerpt from their factual statement:
An influential Catholic priestly order whose late founder was discovered to have been a sexual molester and to have fathered at least one child apologized on Friday to victims whose accusations were ignored.
The order later found that he had lived a double life for decades and the revelations dealt a severe moral blow to the priestly order and its lay branch, Regnum Christi, which has tens of thousands of members.

In a statement believed to be unprecedented in the history of a Catholic religious order, the Legion disowned its founder: "We accept that, given the gravity of his faults, we cannot take his person as a model of Christian or priestly life."

While heading an order of priests who take vows of celibacy, he had a mistress with whom he fathered at least one child in Mexico and perhaps had two other children by another woman.
Catholic News Service says:
ROME (CNS) -- Top officials of the Legionaries of Christ acknowledged that the order's founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, sexually abused young seminarians, and they asked forgiveness for failing to listen to his accusers.
The statement asked forgiveness from "those whom we did not believe or were incapable of giving a hearing to, since at the time we could not imagine that such behavior took place."

"If it turns out that anyone culpably cooperated in his misdeeds, we will act according to the principles of Christian justice and charity, holding these people responsible for their actions," it said.
FreeMalaysiaToday reported:
ROME: The Legionaries of Christ apologised today for the "reprehensible actions" of their late founder Marcial Maciel after a Vatican probe concluded he had molested seminarians and fathered children.
Last year the conservative order confirmed a report in The New York Times that Maciel had secretly fathered a daughter.

"Though it causes us consternation, we have to say that these acts did take place," it said.
The Legion of Christ is present in 22 countries, notably Mexico and Spain, and runs 12 universities. It counts 800 priests, 2,500 seminarians and 70,000 lay members."

Greg Krehbiel
Is the Legion of Christ still up to their old tricks, or are they finally learning? The answer: I’ve been following these clowns for many years now, and while I hope they are stumbling their way to stage 1 in their recovery, there’s another plausible interpretation to this.
The Legion has a history of making pre-emptive leaks and “news releases” to undercut something that’s brewing in the background. (They did it several times when the controversy about Maciel was heating up a few years ago.)
Anna Arco's Diary
 Anna starts with the heading "Maciel can no longer be considered a Christian model" Then she goes on to conclude:

At the heart of the matter lies the question, will the Legionaries of Christ be disbanded, supressed or reformed?
Landon Cody posts the documents without comment

Giselle posts Giselle posts Fr.Alvaro's letter and the Communique. She parses the letter and predictably concludes:
"In summary, that many men and women are under his theological guidance and spiritual headship is deeply troubling. The theology is unsound, the reasoning is flawed and the direction he insists upon is unconscionable. I trust that the proper authorities in the Church can read this for themselves and come to reasonable conclusions about the nature of this group. Prayers for the victims, the blinded members, and especially the anguished family members on the outside who cannot reach their loved ones. God will not be mocked, and one day the truth will out. Come Holy Spirit." With regard to the Communique she says: Obviously written under duress, saying the right words (usually) but with little acknowledgement that the mission itself is flawed. The accompanying letter to members makes it obvious that the obtuse way that they cling to their methodology as it stands corrupts their understanding of the faith. Carrying on without correcting that is the problem. The victims will be making their response known shortly. I'll let you know what they say."
Pete Vere I think is traveling - or re-writing the "Monk who stole the cow story" yet again :-).
I'm sure he will have much to say,i nspired no doubt by the "Five-Saint Novena for LC Resistance" he is praying.

There you have it. Different strokes for different folks. The news is still fresh, so expect lots more comment.

No comments: