Thursday, March 11, 2010

What (and Why) I Hate

In the previous thread, "Just Wondrin" asked:

And why do you personally hate the LC/RC so much? Just curious

I don’t hate the people in the Legion and in Regnum Christi. I hate that Maciel used them. I hate that he abused the boys entrusted to his care. I hate that he and his lieutenants lied to them and told them he was a living saint.

I hate that he fooled good people. I hate that he hurt and fooled some of my friends. I hate that he pretended to have a charism, and that he exploited the 3gfs. I hate that he lied to advance his goals, and misled countless young men and women.

Basically, I’m angry about the people he hurt. I’m ashamed that, as an outsider, I believed the lies for so long, and even recommended his group to others. But mostly, I’m furious that he took advantage of people’s love for God.

Maciel is like one of the money changers in the temple. People came from all over the world to worship at the temple—for them the trip was a pilgrimage, a chance to be near the divine. The money changers used them to make a profit. It is WRONG to use the faith of innocents like that. It is wrong to lead children astray, to replace their free discernment with your will. It is wrong to tell people they’re building up Christ’s kingdom, when really they’re building up yours. Anger is a natural reaction to Maciel’s crimes—it’s time to pull out the whip and start flipping tables over before any other innocents get used.

True, Maciel is dead, but the men who covered up for him, the men who lied for him, the men who gained power by hiding his crimes? They’re still there. And people in LC/RC have a right to all the information.

So I don’t hate the Legionaries or Regnum Christi members—but I hate the structure Maciel created to control them. I hate that they still feel obliged to remain, that the leadership keeps trying to convince them it’s their ‘vocation’ – I hate that they’ve been poorly catechized, so that they think it’s legitimate to equate Maciel’s life with St. Peter’s.

I want the light of truth to scour the Legion clean -- and I want the church to help heal those have been hurt, and to keep others from the same fate.

There is No Charism. There never was. Your Vocation was NOT to the Legion. God doesn’t call us to follow false teachers. Regnum Christi is a free association, NOT a vocation equivalent to marriage. The Church has no room for dark secrets and manipulated vocations. I want the temple to be cleansed of the money changers.


Anonymous said...

"’s time to pull out the whip and start flipping tables over before any other innocents get used."

Yes -- righteous anger has been suppressed for too long -- for the benefit of the Regnum Legion money changers. Actually, as you point out, they were worse than money changers -- criminals of the basest sort.

"And he found in the temple them that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. And when he had made, as it were, a scourge of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen, and the money of the changers he poured out, and the tables he overthrew. And to them that sold doves he said: Take these things hence, and make not the house of my Father a house of traffic. And his disciples remembered, that it was written: The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up."

Jn 2: 14-17

Just Wonderin' said...

Thanks for the explanation! Love the temple moneychangers analogy!

I, too, am just a bystander (with boys in Conquest), and trying to make some sense of all this. Some of the nicest, holiest people I know are in RC.

One of the arguments I've read is that many of the accusations against the LC are substantially the same as those against the Church herself--priest abuse scandal, human failings, etc. Of course, no one ever claimed that "the gates of Hell would not prevail" over the LC! And it seems that they certainly have.

However, I do find these most recent accusations a bit suspicious--when I read the accounts, Maciel's "child's" request for cash comes across as a bit extortion-ish. Paying him off without further investigation of the situation hardly seems prudent.

I would love to hear more about what your RC friends are saying about this whole thing. I haven't really brought it up, much, to mine, because I'm too afraid of hurting their feelings!

There was an excellent RC 'defense' article here:
a couple of days ago--perhaps the blog will be back soon!

Missy68 said...

Just Wonderin'
The "nicest, holiest people you know" have been trained that way in order to recruit you. It's all a facade. It's fake, not real. It's just more of the Maciel methodology shining through to dupe people into wanting what they supposedly have, which, in reality, is nothing... just fakeness and lies to get people to join their ranks.

Nat said...


I don't blame her for deleting her blog. It stated:

"I would gladly leave RC and the Legion in disgust (because I don't want to be associated with sin and scandal anymore than anyone else) if God gave me leave to do so, but He has not. Just like He never gave me leave to abandon my husband or my children."

When good people say strange things love them even more (they need it). But also realize someone not very nice taught them this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

JW - Just the fact that you cannot bring this up and have an honest dicussion with your RC friends is not healthy.

The reason why there are "nice, holy people" in RC is because we (I am an ex RCer) were attracted to the fullness of the Church that was shown in RC but it was tainted with Maciel's methodology that has led to so many of these problems. But there are nice, holy people in many places in the Church.

I have also redefined "holiness" in my head - it is the person who is willing to drop everything - even attachment to a human institution - for Christ.

We were told last Feb that Fr Alvaro was doing his own investigation and that never happened. If it did and the LC followed God's way in this, they would have approached this family (that came out in the news last summer but have said they had discussions with LC in 2008) and asked if they were abused, apologized and provided restitution for them. The LC did not want to deal with this problem and wanted it to go away so the boys took another approach. Amazing how the LC barely communicated any details to us and said we cannot make Maciel's sins public, but than went public with the son's sin of "asking money for silence". It appears the LC have already provided a similar arrangement with the other woman/child (Norma) who has been taken care of financially for years.

Keep reading and praying and tell you friends to read and pray. The only way anyone can discern truth with this is to be willing to read all viewpoints, critically think and discuss this and pray, pray, pray.

Deirdre Mundy said...

JW-- Most of the RC people I know are pretty nice too. (Well, they run the whole gamut of midwestern personality-- )

That's part of what makes me so MAD about this whole thing. They joined RC because they were interested in the faith and wanted to help the Church. And Maciel used their good intentions to further his own sick goals. And their leaders are still lying to them!

As for the incest report--no reputable source doubts that Maciel abused his own sons -- the question is whether they tried to trade money for silence (and it seems to be a 'yes.') They probably thought it would fly b/c Maciel bought off one of his OTHER children that way.

Why does noone doubt the incest charges? Because the abusing seminarians charges are true, and Pedophiles seldom turn down easy victims.

He was disciplined for abusing boys and then GIVING THEM IMMEDIATE ABSOLUTION IN CONFESSION. He violated their bodies and then violated the sacrament. Ick. ICK. ICK!

Honestly, this is why I'm thankful all this came out now.. because before last year I hadn't researched what had happened, and I had every intention of enrolling my kids in conquest and challenge when they were old enough. But now? Let them go to a group founded by a child molestor? No fricken way!

The boys can do BSA, and the girls? Well, the girlscouts have their problems (See the Feminine Genius blog), so I guess we'll stick with 4-H!

Our friends who are in RC are basically stuck in the position of defending a lifelong molestor and the men who covered for him. The lines they've been given (the good outweighs the bad, flawed instruments, crooked lines) are like putting a fresh coat of paint on a termite-infested garage.

And my friends also don't want to talk about it. They're just 'not worried' and 'waiting on the pope.'

That's actually one of the reasons I started blogging about it-- because I was starting to choke on the elephant in the middle of the room, and I need to work through it somehow!

Also, I sort of hope they're reading this-- so if they DON'T feel safe having an open conversation about the problems, they can at least know my side of things.

They ARE nice people. And they're stuck. And they've given years of their lives (and sometimes their children!) to a child-molesting conman. It's horrible. It's awful. And the fact that this putrid thing grew in the middle of our Holy Catholic Church? It makes me physically ill.

Kathy said...

I am an X-RC member(14 years in, 1 year out) and I am feeling confused, hurt and some what lost spiritualy. I have lost complete trust in the LC priests
but I also feel a mistrust towards the leadership of the Pope and the Church herself. This is very painful for a lifelong Catholic.
Why didn't the Pope act sooner?
When Fr. Marciel was asked to step down and live a life of prayer and penitence, why didn't the church explain more to the RC members? In fact in the last paragragh of the letter issues by the Pope we were encouraged to continue our work. Why didn't the church apologize then to his victims? Why was the Church hiding what they knew? Why did all this "new information" come out after his death? Fr. Marciel has been investigated by the church before, at least twice,
and nothing really changed. I do not trust the current investigation. I think the Church/Pope/Bishops did and will
continueing hiding information from us. It is very hard for me to attend Mass (daily), offer a sincere confession or even pray.
I have been reading your blogs and I would like to hear your thoughts on all this. Thank you.

The Monk said...

Kathy - you make an important point; I agree with your sentiments. All I can suggest is that the Church never seems to move fast enough - they take the "long view" of things. In part this is a cultural thing - the Vatican moves very slowly for our US tastes.

I was disturbed at the time that the Pope didn't offer any more explanations when he asked MM to step down. As my wife said to me "there is no smoke without fire" but I think the lack of a more definitive statement added fuel to the fires.

Unlike you, I don't quite distrust Legionary priests - at least as "priests." I find them to be well prepared, orthodox, pious and loyal to the Pope. That's not a bad menu in this day and age. I have problems with how they understand their vow of obedience - but I optimistically expect the AV will make the necessary adjustments. They will need our support to even believe they can adjust successfully That's why, personally, I prefer to tread more lightly. When we thrash the LC, like it or not, we end up providing fodder for those who would thrash the Church. (And, no, I'm not saying the LC is the Church and you are not thrashing them - but for the moment they continue to be an approved religious congregation.) I try to hang on to the good - and heal the painful memories through forgiveness. Otherwise, all we pass on is the pain.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Dear Kathy,

I’m sorry you’ve been hurt so badly. I’ll pray for you. As for what to do now? Faith in Christ and his Church is not the same thing as Faith in the men who run it. People will make mistakes. They’ll cover up what should be brought to light. They’ll break promises. They’ll choose a pleasing lie over a harsh truth.

God won’t. He keeps his promises. You feel hurt and abandoned, but fortunately, Faith does not depend on feelings. As long as you go to weekly Mass and Confession twice a year, you’re fine in the eyes of the Church. So go. Thank Christ for his gift of the Eucharist, even when you don’t feel thankful. If you feel wounded by your local priest, go to confession to a stranger. The Church makes room for all of us, even in our woundedness. Pick a couple prayers you like (St. Michael, Guardian Angel, Our Father) and say those. Don’t worry about the feelings for now. Cling to what you know is true (The Eucharist!) and let the extraneous stuff slide for now. Focus on your family, your vocation at home. Love your neighbor by saying hello or stopping to chat. Let go of larger goals for now, and take time to heal.

I had bronchitis a few weeks ago. After I recovered, I couldn’t jump right into things- I’d make myself sick again. Instead, I did the bare essentials (dishes, laundry feed kids) and eased back into the other stuff. RC was like a case of bronchitis for you. You’re recovering. Ease back in. Keep up with the essentials, but take time to rest and heal too.

As for why the Vatican didn’t issue a clearer statement – news sources at the time seemed to take it as VERY CLEAR:

The Church expects us to exercise JUDGEMENT. It only outright forbids in the cases of really big things (abortion, for example.) In smaller things, like joining a lay movement, we’re supposed to use prudence and an informed conscience.

I’ve been reading a lot on the Maciel case, and it sounds like for some reason the CDF couldn’t act sooner- they had to wait for a pope friendly to their cause. And Benedict acted almost IMMEDIATELY, in Rome-time.

As for the ‘encouraging letter’ – do you have a copy? I’ve never actually seen it. Did the pope actually tell you all to stick with RC, or was that just how the leaders spun a generic phrase of encouragement?

Once again, I’ll pray that you have the strength to endure. There’s been a lot written recently about accedia – spiritual listlessness. Maybe you can look some of it up and see if any of it speaks to you?

Deirdre Mundy said...

Monk – The problem with the ‘Good’ done by the Legion is that a lot of it has been tainted by Maciel’s methodology. People worked with warped ideas of ‘Vocation,’ ‘Charity,’ and even ‘Papal Authority.’ They may have filled holes in the Church, but they didn’t fill them well – they were sold, and were selling, a counterfeit product as the ‘real thing.’

So the apostolates need to start over. Take a break for a few years, assess the damage, and then figure out what really needs to be done. No souls will be lost because ‘Challenge’ was put on hold for a while. No boy will turn into a delinquent just because his parents kept him at home from ages 13-17. When your daughter’s hair has got a piece of chewing gum snarled up in the middle of it, sometimes the best option is to cut it out, trim up the rough edges, and wait for new hair to grow.

Anonymous said...

Some of the nicest people I knew were RC's too. So imagine my surprise when they went to my husband during his RCIA year and quietly told him he needed to get a new sponsor because I wasn't a good enough Catholic. Or when they went to my daughter and told her that her sister was evil (because they didn't approve of books I allowed her to read), or advised my daughter to remove herself from our family movie time and pray the rosary for us (they didn't approve of our choices of movies). All worded "nicely" of course, and not to mention behind my back. Of course when they needed a favor (such as a free babysitter), I wasn't too evil to babysit their kids. There is a huge difference between living holy lives and being holier than thou, and frankly my experience with RG people were the latter.

Pete Vere said...

Essentially, like any other post defending the Legion, Monk's comments can be reduced to two arguments:

- "It's not the Legion's fault victims feel victimized, it's the victims' fault for not being more charitable toward the Legion."

- "Criticizing the Legion attacking the Church."

Of course our response remains consistent:

- "It's not about the Legion, it's about the victims."

- "There can be no healing of the situation until the Legion recognizes, takes responsibility, and apologizes for the harm done."

Jeannette said...

Deirdre and Kathy,
The St Joseph Foundation's Christefidelis newsletter had a really good analysis of the pope's May 2005 statement; you have to register to look at it:

Looking at the first "defense" Pete talks about: Jonah 4 is useful, I think. Jonah has given his fish-scented warning to the Ninevites in the third chapter and they repented in sackcloth and ashes. Jonah wasn't particularly thrilled that the Ninevites repented; he wanted to see some smitin' goin' on! But note the complete lack of Ninevites in Chapter 4; they're TOO BUSY REPENTING to notice Jonah's sulking. (and I dispute that we're all like Jonah here, but that's the general gist of the Legion's blog accusations these days)

Anonymous said...

I hope you won't blame the Church. The LC seems to always shift responsibilty/blame. The fact is that even when a bishop speaks very clearly, LC and members do not heed the message in spirit and truth. The LC has a way of taking everything and using it to defend itself, build itself or detract from its critics. It is a master at what they call "spinning" even the clearest statements.
It is hard to recover from how they use the Catholic faith for their own ends. It is a terrible sin to tamper with something so precious as the faithful's faith.

Anonymous said...

Even their repentance seems cruel.
...That priests would circulate a letter they wrote accusing extortion .... ( Is that pastoral?)
There are other examples still occurring. It is self preservation.