Monday, October 25, 2010

An Apology and an Interesting Item

Sorry to be so absent from the blog this month.  October is a busy month for us - Birthdays, Anniversaries, Reunions, Guests - and when you add in our first foray into fall sports season and potty training and apple picking and cooking squash in all it's delicious variety....  well, blogging was really the LEAST important thing in the world to me. (As it should be...)

Anyway, I just wanted to point out this new article by Sandro Magister on the current struggles within the Legion.

There were a few points I found especially interesting.

Now that he has been made a cardinal, Archbishop Velasio De Paolis will have even more authority in implementing the mandate he has received from Benedict XVI to salvage the Legionaries of Christ, brought to the brink of ruin by their founder, Marcial Maciel, and by the men of his inner circle.
Why should a red hat affect his ability to salvage the congregation?  Will Garza et. al. suddenly say "Oh, my goodness!!!  We were placing roadblocks in the path of the official papal delegate--but how could we hope to oppose a Cardinal?"  That seems unlikely.

So, the only way he will get more authority from his new title is if the rank-and-file Legionaries will respect a Cardinal more than they respect a Delegate.   BUT if it really takes a red hat to get the necessary respect, the congregation is already doomed, in my opinion. 

After all, in that case they're not really being obedient to the Church, but to outward signs of influence.  The Delegate should not have to be a Cardinal in order to reform the congregation. 

In mid-September, De Paolis asked Garza to give up the main offices that he holds, at least those of territorial director for Italy, supervisor of consecrated virgins of the movement Regnum Christi, general prefect of studies and head of the financial holding company Integer. But Garza said no. A chill has fallen between the two
Why does the Delegate simply ask? Why not demand?  Is his hesitation due to the "Roman" way of doing things, or is it necessary that Garza resign on his own?  This is a curious bit of information, but Magister's sources are usually impeccable.  Still, did anyone really expect the Legion's leadership to meekly hand over the reigns?

The maddening thing about these games is that there are men's souls and vocations on the line.  There have got to be at least some men who remain in this congregation because they hope to see it be refounded and changed into something better.  Once they realize that they're signing up for decades of power struggles, they may leave, and the Legion will be left with only the men who cannot leave because they are damaged by the bad formation, methodology and violations of the internal forum.

In a sense, this attempted reform of the Legion has been a huge experiment.  There have been other 'orders' founded by frauds.  However, most of those stayed local and were easily suppressed by the bishops.  This is the first time we've had an international con game disguised as an order.  

The big question for me is - can a religious order have a charism "apart from the founder?"  De Paolis seems to suggest putting them at the service of the new dicastery -- so something like the Pima missionaries, but for RE-evangelization.   It's an interesting idea -- but in the same letter he mentions the concerns about formation.  How can we expect these men to form others if they haven't been well-formed themselves?

I think we're going to have to take a wait, see, and pray approach here.  Personally, I don't think reform is likely at this point.  And if a friend considering a vocation to religious life mentioned he was considering the Legion, I would... vociferously... try to dissuade him.  And respond with a list of other orders to consider.

Some of my friends think the Legion is still salvageable-- because there are men on the inside who love Christ and who joined with good intentions.  The question is, can love for God fix an order where the entrenched interests are full of love for self, money and power?

**NOTE: Edited because I forgot to run spell-check!**


Anonymous said...

pima or pime? reign or rein?

Deirdre Mundy said...

See, this is what happens when I sit down at the computer BEFORE the coffee is done! ;)