Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stop Gossip: A Resolution for the New Year

On September 23, 2010, Rev. Gordon MacRae marked sixteen years in a cell in the New Hampshire State Prison. Father MacRae is 57 years old. The crimes for which he was accused and convicted are claimed to have occurred when he was between 25 and 30 years old. Brought with no evidence or corroboration whatsoever, the claims were accompanied by lawsuits settled by his Diocese for hundreds of thousands of dollars despite evidence of fraud.

Given the compelling story he has to tell, inasmuch as I can, I read his musings written from his jail cell and published on a blog called These Stone Walls. In his posting dated today, December 29, 2010, he concludes with the following New Year's resolution.  I'd like to make it my own and invite those who publicly discuss the debacle of Fr. Marcial Maciel and the Legionaries of Christ about which I have written ("Driving Straight on Crooked Lines") to read the full text of Fr. MacRae's article the conclusion of which I transcribe below:

"A New Year’s resolution is an opportunity for personal renewal and self-improvement. The quality of mercy in our Church has suffered much during the scandals of the last two decades. As priests and as Catholics, we have a spiritual responsibility for self-assessment. And self-assessment is exactly what I must do after these experiences with Geraldine and my priests’ support group. All that I described above makes me wonder how many times I also unknowingly set into motion a snippet of rumor or innuendo masked as hard news. I’d like to think I wouldn’t hurt a person’s reputation intentionally, but like most people I can excuse a multitude of my own sins while holding others accountable.

So my own New Year’s resolution is to practice truth in justice, to try holding to a higher standard what reaches the ears of others through me. I cannot control what anyone else says or does, but I can pluck the plank out of my own eye before pointing to the splinters in someone else’s eye.

So I resolve in 2011 to make myself a better person by not setting into motion news based on rumor, innuendo, and half-truths. If I have news to tell, I will first check its truthfulness, and then check my motivation for passing it along. If I fail in this – as will we all – I further resolve to view my failure as a sin for which I must seek Sacramental forgiveness and absolution."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Legion of Christ adopts new norms regarding founder Marcial Maciel

Share reports the Legionaries of Christ have divulged new norms regarding their founder, Fr. Maciel.
They were published Friday by the general director of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi, Father Alvaro Corcuera, with the authorization of the pontifical delegate, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis.

• The Legionaries of Christ and its lay movement Regnum Christi will no longer refer to their founder as "Nuestro Padre," celebrate his birthday, or hang photos of him in their centers.
• In institutional writings, the way of referring to Father Maciel will be as 'founder of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi' or simply 'Fr Maciel.'" Among the Legionaries and members of Regnum Christi, it was general practice to refer to the founder as "Nuestro Padre" (our father).
• Photographs of the founder alone or with the Holy Father cannot be placed in Legionary or Regnum Christi centers
• Father Maciel's personal writings and talks will not be for sale in the congregation’s publishing houses, centers, and works of apostolate.
• Legionaries and consecrated members of Regnum Christi to keep a photograph among their personal belongings, and to read Father Maciel's writings or listen to his talks in private.
• The writings of Father Maciel may be used when giving talks and sermons, but without citing the author.
• Maciel’s priest's birthday, baptismal day, name day and priestly ordination anniversary "are not to be celebrated," and "the anniversary of his death, Jan. 30, will be a day dedicated especially to prayer."
• The burial place of Father Maciel, located in a cemetery in his native Cotija, Mexico, will be given the value that pertains to any Christian burial place, and will be treated as a place of prayer for the eternal repose of the deceased. In the same cemetery, members of Maciel's family are also buried, as are several Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi consecrated members.
• The retreat centers in Cotija will continue offering the same services, but a place for prayer, reparation, and expiation will be created there.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Carmen Aristegui publishes a book about Fr. Marcial Maciel

Carmen Aristegui, a well-known Mexican journalist, presented her new book at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday, November 28, 2010. The 296 page book is called "Marcial Maciel. Historia de un criminal" ("Marcial Maciel. History of a Criminal.")

The book, published by Grijalbo, an imprint of Random House Mondadori, documents the life of Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. The author uses material from her investigative reporting including interviews with some of Maciel's victims and accusers.