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 careMost 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 toOnce 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.....