Thursday, April 21, 2011

10 Reasons to Like the Legion of Christ

In the Catholic Church, Holy Thursday is the day that commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and ministerial priesthood.

It is an appropriate day to appreciate the work and dedication of all good priests.

Amongst them are a great many priests (and seminarians, future priests) in the Legion of Christ who have helped thousands of people to grow spiritually, learn their faith better, and engage in apostolic work.

I acknowledge that some people who have been hurt by the Legion of Christ are convinced the organization must be destroyed, that it cannot be reformed. I understand their position. However, as we prepare for Easter, I would like to say something that we don’t see often enough (hardly ever!) on blogs dealing with the Legionaries of Christ: reasons to appreciate their good work and achievements.

10 Reasons to Like the Legion of Christ

1.- Professionalism: Legionary priests and seminarians are enthusiastic, well-educated, and disciplined. They take their commitment very seriously.

2.-They attract great vocations: One can complain about the methodology but historically they have had a great ability to attract the best and the brightest.

3.- Appreciation for the Liturgy:  Devout and “professional” celebrations, first-rate Gregorian chant, reverence and respect. No ill fitting vestments for the Legionaries.

4.- Thriving Lay Movement: current membership of Regnum Christi is still claimed to be about 70,000 youths, adults, deacons and priests in more than 30 countries. One outreach program “Missionary Families” has gathered a total of over 200,000 “missionaries” who have visited 9 million families in 12,000 towns and communities in 30 countries, including the United States. Give them their due: the whole notion of “lay movements” is fairly new. The Church is not just for priests anymore.

5.- Evangelization & Missions: They are directly involved in the catechesis and sacramental care of the native Mayan people in the 19,360 square mile missionary territory of Quintana Roo, in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. 28 Mano Amiga schools serve more than 16,000 children underprivileged children in 7 countries. Last year almost 60,000 people benefited from free medical care from quality doctors and nurses, including a team of 200 medical missionaries who offered their care free of charge. The priests I’ve known in Quintana Roo are superb missionaries, most of them doing their very best despite the scandal. 

6.- Communications: Excellent publications such as “Sacerdos Magazine,” the “Ecclesia” scholarly journal, the electronic newsletter, “e-Priest,” and an abundance of professionally managed websites in multiple languages. 

7.- Education: They have an excellent, international system of schools and universities. They focus on three objectives: Teaching cultural and scientific knowledge, Educating sensitivity and human faculties, Forming the knowledge and practice of their Christian faith.

8.- Loyalty to the Pope: this key attribute is built into their DNA. Hopefully, it will be the feature that ultimately enables total reform of the congregation.

9.- Efficient Fundraisers: like it or not, religious congregations have to raise funds. They have had extraordinary success even when one discounts the financial abuses of the founder

10.- Youth Outreach: despite excesses in recruitment, the Legionaries are outstanding in their efforts to effectively reach out and offer attractive programs for young people - in a field where the Church has been losing ground.


Anonymous said...

11. Great promotion of popular piety such as the Rosary. The Pilgrim Queen project has initiated many young families in saying the family rosary.

12. The Regnum Christi teams are a great way for believers to meet and support each other in their faith in a world often hostile to Catholicism.

13. The LC are great at encouraging people to take advantage of the sacraments such as daily Mass and frequent confession, and to build solid devotional lives.

Anonymous said...

Monk, thanks for your "10 Reasons to like the LC" I only know of two other websites that write about the Legion. One is life after RC and the other is Trastevere. Their latest headlines, during Holy Week are "Maciel the Albatross" and "Legionarios de Cristo: “fervorín, manipulación y propaganda” There are good priests in the order. I am glad you acknowledge them. It is tiring to read so many attacks on the LC and on Pope John Paul II.

The Monk said...

Anonymous (1), Thanks for the additions to the list. Clearly my list is not all inclusive. I stopped at 10, "just because"

Anonymous (2), thank you. Each blog has its own "agenda." Seems like Holy Week might be a good time to call a truce... on postings and comments that, albeit indirectly, undermine the Papacy.

Anonymous said...

Top 10 Reasons Why Monk’s Praise of the Legion is Premature

1. The same group of macielista LCs hold positions of leadership and influence, including Fr Luis Garza, Fr Evaristo Sada, Fr Anthony Bannon, Fr Alvaro Corcuera.
2. The good and holy priests existing within the Legion cannot and do not trust their leaders, yet have to live in obedience to these leaders.
3. The Legion has barely scratched the surface when it comes to apology and restitution to abuse victims.
4. The Legion continues to lay all problems, scandal and suffering at the feet of the dead founder, and there is no accountability for harm that has been done by other LCs or the RC movement which has cause deep suffering and loss of faith for many.
5. No one has ever come clean regarding the cover up of the founder's double life.
6. The RC consecrated continue to fall under the leadership of the Legion, these holy souls giving their lives to Christ are not yet treated with honesty, in terms of their status n the Church, the quality of their education, health care, and so on (yes, there is an ongoing visitation, which they had to ask for)
7. The Legion continues dishonest practices, like inflating numbers (example: 70,000 RCs? Entire sections have been decimated, they should be truthful about the numbers and they are not)
8. The Legion continues to operate Apostolic Schools and to recruit young boys to these schools, despite reams of modern evidence for the value of growing up in a loving family life with a mother and a father in contributing to a healthy development.
9. The Legion has still not presented to its members or to RC a frank and factual explanation of the true history of the founder, his depraved double life, and the fictionalized accounts, such as the facts surrounding his death.
10. The Legion continues to characterize those that leave the Legion as cowards, and those that stay as heroic.

Anonymous said...

Really? Criticizing the Legion is undermining the Papacy? What an arrogant and ignorant statement. The Legion and Regnum Christi comprise a tiny percent of the total number of Catholics, most of the faithful have never even heard of them. How full of yourself you are to assume that the scandalous Legion will be the downfall of the Church of Rome. Guess that is the pride the Legion taught you.

The Monk said...

Anonymous @ April 27, 2011 10:17 AM

I am not quite sure what your statement refers to... you say, "Criticizing the Legion is undermining the Papacy?"

One thing is to criticize the Legion, another thing is to criticize the Papacy. Criticizing the Pope's decision to reform the Legion indirectly undermines his authority. That is a fact. I think it is fair to question the reasons and the process - but overt criticism of his decision challenges his wisdom, authority, and decision making.

You imply that my position is "to assume that the scandalous Legion will be the downfall of the Church of Rome." That is not what I think at all.

With regard to the impact of Maciel (and the LC) on the universal church please see

Let's try to converse without knee-jerk recourse to derogatory adjectives and remarks.

Aaron said...

Monk you have provided us with a great list of what the Legion would LIKE US TO BELIEVE but which is not true.

Did you copy this page from Maciel's notebook?!!! Or maybe somebody slipped you a golden hand-shake?

Well, at least we know you are no longer on the fence. Hows' that KoolAid tasting?

I was going to give my own thoughts to your list but such a waste of my time, here's one thought:

The legion of christ attracts and makes itself attractive to young because that is how Maciel designed it as his own personal harem. It creeps me out that you think this is a good thing: children and youth are TARGETED by an organisation founded by a paedophile who went on to form paedophilia in some members and that same organisation has NOT dealt with the paedophilia and has its head in the soil PREVENTING current members knowing about this ONGOING legacy of instiutional abuse to try and stop it.

Not all LC are abusers, that is true, but we cannot tell the abusers apart from the non abusers. You may say this is true for any organisation, but I mean quite specifically that abuse has been fostered and transmitted in the Legion - the abusers did NOT bring their abusiveness in from outside. In that the Legion is pretty unique.

I say: keep you children and youth well away.