Sunday, March 28, 2010

A few things

Comments are back open now, and we'll see how things go--though I will simply delete any trolls who show up to leave drive-by posts, so don't worry about responding to any that you see.

Blogging will be extremely light this week, and will probably stop altogether for the Triduum. I will keep checking in on comments, though, so if any of the Legion posts from last week start to get out of hand I may briefly initiate comment moderation. I don't ordinarily like it because it makes conversation so hard--several people may make the same point, and then the blog owner frees up comments, and only at that point is the repetition clear. But I don't mind turning it on for Holy Week if it becomes necessary.

I do want to offer one brief apology, to Danielle Bean, if her feelings were hurt by my use of her post, and to any of her fans who were offended as well. I was using her post to illustrate a larger point, and while I myself am of the opinion that what one presents publicly is open for public inspection, for argument or discussion, for shredding and dicing, so to speak (and I've seen this done to everything I've written, here, at the old Crunchy Con blog when I used to substitute host there, and even with the couple of pieces I've published at MercatorNet, though the commenters there are pretty polite), I sometimes forget that not everyone who presents words or ideas publicly is comfortable with that level of not-always-positive scrutiny. However, I'm an argumentative redhead who is perfectly comfortable with the give-and-take of heated discussion, so I can't impose my experiences on others. If Danielle was offended by my post then I'm sorry for any hurt feelings etc.; it can't be easy for anyone who is still working for the Legion in some capacity right now. Most of us are quite eager to hear what Rome will say about the Legion, but for those employed in Legion apostolates there must be some painful anxiety, as well, and I ought to have considered that.

I still think, though, that the point I was trying to make ought to be restated, as I'm not sure it was understood. I'm not saying, as some have accused me of saying, "Drop all contact with the LC/RC at once, or you are a bad Catholic/bad person generally/etc." Any determination of what to do about the LC/RC, its ministries and apostolates, support of those, etc. has to be made by individuals using prudence and discernment.

What I am saying is this: given that the Legion has been investigated by Rome, that its future status is uncertain, and that there is the possibility (yes, an understatement, but I'm trying to be fair to all sides on this one) that Maciel's crimes and sins may yet prove to have negatively impacted many aspects of the foundation, formation, charism, and ministries of the Legion all of which would need major reform at the very least, what options do Catholics have as regards the Legion?

I think there are three options:

A. Continue to work with and for LC/RC ministries, schools, etc. in the belief that the God did select and use Maciel, the "flawed vessel," to establish the Legion and that God further entrusted a perfectly valid charism to Maciel who then bestowed it upon the Legion as any founder of any religious order or movement might.

B. Refuse to have anything to do with the LC/RC under the grounds that Maciel and his order have done more harm than good, or that there is no charism, or that the order has absorbed too much of its founder to be trustworthy, or some similar grounds. Boycott all Legion ministries, schools, apostolates, businesses, etc. and refuse to lend any financial support to any outlet of the Legion or Regnum Christi.

C. Proceed with great caution in regards to the Legion, knowing that Rome has yet to pronounce on their status. Limit contact to one or two small areas (e.g., subscription to F&F or the National Catholic Register, perhaps, or a book purchase from Circle Media, or involvement in a K4J club at one's parish) without giving any financial support to the Legion generally.

I may be leaning more toward "B," myself, for various reasons, but that's me. What I was trying to write about before was that if you are a person who has chosen "C," then it is my belief that you are going to need to be careful. It isn't always easy to be sure you really are limiting your contact with the Legion as much as you might think you are; the still-growing Legion list post illustrates why, and it is not uncommon for people in or involved with the LC/RC to steer people from one apostolate to another without mentioning that the second is also LC/RC. Putting the most charitable possible interpretation on this, we can say that perhaps people in or closely involved with the LC/RC simply forget that those of us on the outside aren't aware of all the many branches of the Legion and all the works and apostolates which are affiliated with them.

I think it would be helpful if those in the LC/RC would mention the connections clearly all the time in recognition of the fact that people are not always aware of them. An RC member running a Challenge chapter or group might invite members to attend a Pure Fashion show, but just remember to mention that Pure Fashion is also a Regnum Christi endeavor, and so forth. In that way those who are, understandably at this point I would say, wary about getting overly involved in an organization whose future status is not known could be certain that they are not inadvertently doing just that.

In the meantime, the Legion list might be a good way for "C" people to make sure that their involvement with the Legion goes only as far as they are comfortable having it go, for the time being.


chimakuni said...

IF and that is intentionally in capitals - IF there is all good with LC/RC then why do those who are involved with it hide that they are?

I know women in RC at our parish who keep it a secret - like some sort of club that is just too good for mere mortals...

Give me the Church without secret clubs any day!

Charlotte said...

That's nice that you apologized to Danielle. But it would also be nice if you knew for sure that she was offended, instead of having it being inferred.

Red Cardigan said...

Charlotte, I understand where you're coming from. And I certainly didn't take seriously some of the anonymous comments/emails I got.

But with comments turned off, I thought about the situation, and realized that even though I don't think I took Danielle's post out of context or used it unfairly to make the point I was trying to make, I do realize that on the human level it has to be very tough, right now, to depend on the Legion for your livelihood/employment.

Though I'm sympathetic to Legion victims who have said clearly that there were major, major problems with the Legion for a long time and that those in the position of being employed by the Legion (even if not LC/RC themselves) have no one but themselves to blame for not listening sooner, I would say that the time for that has come and gone. Right now there are men and women who depend on the Legion for their paychecks, and they're no more to blame for what's coming than the men and women who worked at ordinary office jobs at Enron.

The sad thing is that I think non-LC/RC Legion employees are in a precarious position no matter what happens next. If Rome seriously curbs Legion activity, they may be out of work; but if Rome does not, the Legion may eventually replace them with "fully integrated" LC/RC professionals (which, looking at it objectively, would be in the Legion's best interest). Either way the future is shaky for them.

All of that in mind, I should have remembers that whatever Danielle writes at F&F, she does so as a paid employee of, ultimately, the Legion. In suggesting that she should have mentioned parenthetically that is also a Legion affiliate in the post, I was assuming she would have the same freedom to do so that you or I would--but in a paid employee position one is often not free to word things exactly the way one would like (as I know from one disappointing effort to craft a department newsletter for a bank I once worked for).

Anonymous said...

It seems that MM did a good job of manipulating people.
I too await to see what the results are from the visitation.
I am trying to keep my opinions to myself though.
Whether or not people totally abandon everything to do with LC/RC is up to that person.
I agree that I would like to know if a group is connected with them.

On another note, I am all for exhuming his body and if he was buried in vestments, remove them and cover him with something else. This sounds extreme but it would help those victims that have been ignored for so long have a closure - that if they had known, had believed the victims, he would not have remained a priest.

You will also have to understand since MM was a manipulator extraordinaire, there will be those who were totally unaware of what was happening.

I think it should be mandatory that all in the LC/RC take courses in what manipulators look like/how to deal with them. In Sheeps Clothing by Dr. Simon is a good one that has practical advice for EVERYONE.

Praying for them and all involved.

Deb said...

I would like to hear from men and women who are still involved in the LC or ministries of it. I'd like to know how they are responding to this and what they think the LC should do. The LC priests have been silenced in the past--in terms of what they could say about the order. Are they being told the truth now? Are they allowed to research and ask questions themselves? Are they told they have a way out, a place to live out their vocation elsewhere if they want to leave?

I'm just wondering of some are staying because they really have no choice. If the LC has been their whole life, do they have the skills to exist outside of it? If your family is provided for because you work for them how much freedom to leave to do you have?

It seems like very few LC members have come forward and publicly acknowledged anything about their journey. The silence too me is worrisome.

Anonymous said...

There also seem to be, sort of, "degrees of separation" to employment involvement with lc/rc. E.g. Mark Shea has his writings printed in the NCRegister from time to time. Mark Shea also posts scathing blasts on the whole lc/rc mess. To me, that's honest and because of that honesty, I won't write off all of Mark Shea's writings with "he's tainted by lc/rc!"

Some people who get paid from lc/rc orgs never, ever write anything critical of the scandal and are far more secretive about their own involvement with lc/rc. Those people I am far more likely to avoid entirely and stay away from anything they are involved in (books, journals, blogs, pay to hear them speak, etc.)

There's a difference. One I can trust. The other I cannot.


Red Cardigan said...

Oh, Kay, definitely. People who sell freelance articles to F&F or NCR or any of those things are in the same position as any freelancer to any magazine or newspaper. They're not "employees" in any sense of the word.

I, personally, wouldn't choose to write for a Legion publication--but then, I've pretty well burned that particular bridge. :)

Anonymous said...

My spouse is employed by LC. I can tell you how I feel, but I will do it anonymously.

I feel that we are employed by a cult and that it has its tentacles into us. When the original revelations came out last February, I really, honestly, had some hope that perhaps the Legion was going to show its true colors and do the right thing. The Legion did show its true colors, only it wasn't the colors I had been hoping for.

I believe in my heart this organization was borne out of evil and deviance and that nothing can change that fact. I feel that even the priests we know and like are horrible malformed in their spirituality and would use and abuse others in the name of the good of the Legion in a heartbeat. I want us to be free of it for good, but in this economy it is not so easy to find another job. We are actively looking, but to be completely honest, my spouse does not feel nearly as strongly about this matter as I do. He is more willing to wait and see what happens with the results of the Visitation in hopes the Vatican can bring some good out of this. He also feels he has been able to effect good in his position.

To truly face the fact that this order is a cult means to face the fact he has been cruelly used as a tool for evil (and this man is the most honorable I've ever known). I don't have any desire to pound him over the head with that fact but would rather have him come to it on his own and make his own peace with it.

I must add that had he ever seen signs of child abuse, financial impropriety, etc, in his own particular position, he would have been out the door immediately (and straight to the police station). The problem is that the evil this order perpetuates is so much more insidious than that.

I feel suffocated by the Legion and wish I had never heard of them, much less ended up with our financial lives entwined in them.

So that's the feelings/opinions of one person whose livelihood is directly enmeshed in that of the Legion right now. If I were the one employed by them, I think I would have had to leave the day the priests started regurgitating the talking points in response to my questions. But that's easy for me to say; it's not my job, and it's not been a place I have enjoyed working for many years.

Some of the other people I know who are in similar positions are equally horrified but most have large families they have to feed. And keep hoping against hope that perhaps the Church will turn this thing over to another order of priests and make something good out of it.

I feel that anything I type here on the web, even anonymously, could be used by the Legion to fire my husband, and I have mixed feelings as to what my reaction would be to that. One part of me would be so relieved to be free from this sickness gripping our lives, but then again, there is the mortgage to be paid and many mouths to feed, and I don't want to be the one responsible for my husband losing a job. We already went through one really financially stressful period in our lives a number of years ago, and the idea of repeating that experience makes me ill.

A good friend pointed out we are whoring ourselves out for a paycheck, and I can't help but totally concur with her assessment.

chimakuni said...

Dear Anonymous - I cannot help but think of Doug Keck,(EWTN) who used to work for Playboy Magazine. I do not know what his job was at that filth and promoter of so much evil, but even if he was only a person who filled the soap in the men's rooms - he was being paid by an evil entity.

I can certainly understand your concerns about your source of income if your husband were to depart from his job. By no means, when I wrote what I did above, do I judge someone, who because of economic reasons and of no conscience decision on their part, works for the LC.

I have no advice, but I do hold you and all others who are caught in this web of deceit and evil in prayer.

God Bless -

TROLL said...

I think that your A could be split into an A i) and A ii) with A i) being as put put it and A ii) expressing that MM was good in people and organizational skills, and brought a group of men together who did some pretty incredible things, and continue to do so two years after MM's death. After all, it is Jesus himself who said that He was with us whenever two or more gather in His name. The charism is given to those who undertake the good Lord's work, and not just to one person. who knows, maybe the person the Vatican will appoint to trim and prune all that human effort will be the one that has it.

PS. I hope that Aaron saw the retraction (the coward reference) posted on Pete Vere's blog as my efforts to get it posted here have not worked. Aaron did good.

Deb said...

anonymous @ 2:06PM

I'm sorry you have to deal with such a difficult situation. I appreciate your honesty and pray for God's grace to guide you and sustain you.

It does worry me that anyone in the Legion or working for the Legion feels that it is difficult for them to speak openly about their true feelings regarding this situation.

How is anything going to get fixed if people on the inside, priests, lay members and consecrated women can not speak out?

Anonymous said...

There are always repercussions with the Legion. Speaking out against them in public is generally met with swift consequences. You are either with them or against. And if you are against, you are not only of no use to the Movement, you are an enemy to be swiftly dealt with.

I would imagine it would be nearly impossible for priests on the inside to speak publicly against the Legion for fear of reprisal. When Fr. Berg spoke out, it was whispered that he had "hit rock bottom" or some other such phrase that made it sound like he'd lost his marbles.

That is exactly why I remain anonymous out here on the web. The way the Legion has treated so many perceived "enemies" in the past is alive and well. If they had truly changed their m.o., you would hear them apologizing to Regain and all others who tried to sound the alarm. You'd hear them not only apologizing, but THANKING those who tried to warn them about Maciel.

There has been no such cultural change, not as far as I can tell from where I sit with a spouse working for them. My friends with with spouses working for the Legion have long been fully aware they would cut us loose in a heartbeat and would not in the least bit care if we lost our homes or our children went hungry.

It always has been and still remains all for the greater good of the Movement.

And thanks to you posters who have mentioned praying for those of us in this situation; you have no idea how much that is appreciated. I feel guilty asking for prayers because I feel there are so many victims of this cult who have suffered so much more than we ever have.

Red Cardigan said...

Anonymous, thank you so much for writing what you have. More than any criticisms from the outside, it is the reports of people such as yourself on the inside that will effect any real change if that should ever even be possible.

One thing I've heard is that this emphasis on the positive (with threats for reprisals for the negative) may have seriously hampered the Apostolic Visitators in coming to a real assessment of the situation. I pray this isn't so.

You'll be in my prayers as well. It's hard to know what to do in situations like the one you're in, and I know it can't be easy. One thing I'd suggest is that you consider showing your husband the "Integer" website. I was amazed and appalled by it--it is a Legion website designed to fill LC/RC jobs with LC/RC people. I am concerned that the Legion may eventually decide to replace non-LC/RC people with people who are "fully integrated" in as many jobs as they can--not that this is necessarily the case, but I'd sure be worried about it if I were financially involved with the Legion.

Red Cardigan said...

Troll, just so it's clear, I never blocked any attempt at a retraction you made here. I've had reports from other commenters of random commenting difficulty--sadly, I don't have any control over any of that. But rest assured that I don't block or delete legitimate comments.

Anonymous said...

I am curious as to what constitutes an apology over at Pete Vere's blog. Is RC/Troll/Not Richard referring to the oddly worded comment in which he/she refers to him/herself in the 3rd person?

Frankly I was looking for something like "I am sorry I called Aaron Loughery a coward. It was wrong, stated in haste, and without any knowledge of AL or his circumstances. Please forigve me, AL"

(If this sort of apology appeared somewhere and I have simply missed it, I apologize)

Michael said...

In some ways, I would like to do B, but think I will have to settle for C. My wife sees a counselor with Alpha Omega Clinics. But this counselor is so much so a better fit than the secular therapist who didn't understand homeschooling, NFP, and striving to live the Catholic Faith. My wife feels she is making progress with the Alpha Omega counselor. I feel a little more secure in this, though, because she has a spiritual director who is not an LC priest, and who would have no qualms raising objections if my wife mentioned something from a session that was inappropriate.

Similarly, the National Catholic Register is a much better option than the Distorter. Granted, that's not saying much, but it's painful that some seemingly solid shops have LC/RC ties.