Thursday, May 6, 2010

OSV Interviews Father Thomas Williams, LC

Here.

A few points.  Father Thomas says (emphasis mine):

The content of the statement was basically what I expected. I loved the last section, where the Holy Father assures us of his closeness to us, reminds us that our vocation originates in Christ's call, is a genuine gift from God, and represents a treasure for the Church. This gives me great confidence for the future, and also allows us Legionaries to present this path to others as something that the Church appreciates and values. Personally, I was greatly encouraged by the Holy Father's evident concern for us, and paternal care
Most non-LC people read the last part of the Communique to refer to the Universal Call to Holiness.  A few Legion watchers were afraid that the LC were taking this the wrong way.  It appears that they were right.

Fr. Williams is claiming that the Legion's spirituality, crafted by Maciel, investigated by the CDF, and found to be problematic in areas of authority and conscience, is an authentic path to holiness!!!!  This is beginning to be like a Monty Python skit.. it just keeps getting more and more over the top.  I think it's time for the British Colonel to stroll through and inform us all that this is too silly and it's time to cut to the animation.

When he's asked if he's ever considered leaving, Williams responds:
What I found, however, is that I can't deny the vocation I received from Christ. It wasn't my imagination; it was, and is, real. Someone else's failings don't excuse me from living out the vocation I was called to
Once again, there seem to be some problems in the Legion's theology of Vocation.  God doesn't call people to follow evil men, or to join a congregation that dehumanizes members and deforms their consciences.   Fr. Williams may have a vocation to the priesthood, he may have a vocation to religious life.  That is NOT the same as having a vocation to the Legion.  The fact that Williams seems incapable of realizing this worries me.

On the idea that Maciel did not act alone:
I don't believe that Father Alvaro knew anything about Father Maciel's immoral behavior, either, and I have no reason to believe that any of our current leadership was aware of this. I know that for people outside the Legion this can seem unbelievable, but for those on the inside it's just the way it was.
???????  I've seen some people claim that the US Legionaries are much more skeptical and more prone to question than the Mexican ones.  If Fr. Williams is an examplar of "US Legionary," the visitation is going to have its work cut out for it!

On what needs to change:
Most of us have had a really good experience of authority in the congregation, with excellent superiors who truly are fathers and brothers to us.
The visitation said that there were problems with the exercise of authority. You said you had a 'good experience'-- here's my question-- since you can't even understand the Vatican's criticisms, how can you reform?  You're like a high-schooler who's been asked to rewrite an English paper-- and thinks the teacher must not have liked the font, because you can't understand her criticism of the arguments!

Sigh.  I can understand why Cardinal Sandoval said that, if asked, he would turn down the job of reforming the Legion... it seems like an impossible task for one man! Luckily, I suspect the Holy Spirit will be involved too.....

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Every time I see an LC reference to the Pope's expression of his closeness, I want to vomit. Seriously, do they REALLY think this?

I see the role of the Pope like this. If (GODFORBID!!) one of my children commits a heinous crime and goes to jail, I would stand by them through the investigation, trial, and sentencing. I would visit them in jail. I would love them as a mother loves their child no matter what.

But...

Through the investigation, I would be at their side, telling them to be honest about their role, and cooperative with the authorities. If my child was dishonest or not accepting full responsibility for his/her actions, I would admonish them to do so. When the sentence is handed down, I would have my son/daughter accept it and commit to being a model prisoner. I would expect them to humbly apologize and offer whatever reparation he/she could come up with to anyone harmed.

After jail, I'd be present for that child as they struggle to adjust to a new life, to finding a job, and so on. I'd agree, yes, it's hard, but you have made some choices that you must face. you will have struggles. I'll be here for you, but you will struggle.

I'd be just about as close to that child as the Pope can be to the Legion. He is a loving Shepherd, so of course he is "close" to them. If that's what you want to call it.

Anon out of RC said...

"Fr. Williams may have a vocation to the priesthood, he may have a vocation to religious life. That is NOT the same as having a vocation to the Legion."

This vocation thing needs alot of attention, discussion and re-formation. It has taken me a year to pray on this and what it means after being in RC for over 8 years. It was drilled in our head and used to be something so special and meaningful to me - "I have a special call and vocation from all eternity to RC". This past year, it became a burden and ball and chain that I had to remove from my neck since my conscience was so troubled.

I realized after pondering this and living thru the pain of "losing my vocation" as some erroneously would say - I really gained my freedom and my true vocation as a wife, mom, and baptized Catholic who feels called to evanglize her faith. I had that before, during and after RC - no matter what someones tries to tell me. RC was a tool that helped me to spread Christ and I received and gave true gifts because God is so way bigger than LC/RC....but the methodology was flawed and the tool was not as effective as I thought. I pray that all LC/RC are released from the mistaken notion that their vocation is specific just to LC/RC. It is a vocation to the Church as a priest or lay who wants to evangelize Christ..it is there with or without LC/RC. If the institution died tomorrow - we would all move on in our vocation to serve the Lord and His Church.

brian said...

Ms. Mundy I have found your comments on Gisele's blog pity and to the point. you seems to have a great take on theis problem. Although i probably come at this with a more "liberal" church perspective than you I find your input to be very insightful. Keep up the good work here and at G's place.

Anonymous said...

Y ahora que Señora... ¿Qué opina usted?¿No le parece la vida una tombola o un circo? Pasen y vean... Dios mio.