Monday, March 15, 2010

More on the Legion of Christ

In the comment boxes below the "Monk and me" post about the Legion of Christ, the conversation continues, and has been quite interesting.

A commenter wrote something I wanted to respond to--but my response was longer than the comment box allows. Rather than chop it up, I thought I'd move it up here, so the conversation can continue.

The commenter wrote:
Criticizing a religious order for their spirituality,rule and method of maintaining discipline seems to me a bit out of our league. (Discerning is not the same as criticizing. One can discern that they do not 'fit' with a particular order, without feeling it necessary to tear it down.)
I replied to this by creating a hypothetical example. Like all analogies, this one doesn't work perfectly, as there's a difference between the third order of an established religious order and a brand-new order with a recent founding. But aside from such imperfections, I think this highlights some of the differences between how defenders of the Legion see things, and how those of us who are more critical do.

Here's what I wrote:
This is not a good understanding of what is going on here, not at all. Discernment, properly speaking, is one's recognition of a call from God. Right judgment, on the other hand, something that even the laity may exercise, has to do with evaluating the goodness of something and making prudent decisions about it.

Let's take a hypothetical example: I might or might not discern a call to become a lay third order member of a religious order, perhaps--but if my local chapter of third orders of a chapter is holding pagan religious ceremonies in which they declare Gaia a goddess, I'm as capable as any priest, or even the Pope himself, of exercising right judgment about the likely spiritual fruits of such a group. What I cannot do if I am not a priest, bishop, or Pope, is discipline the group formally or shut it down altogether. But I am perfectly within my rights as a layperson to collect stories from those who have experienced the pagan worship and left the group, and, having ascertained to the best of my ability that these stories are true, to warn other Catholics that at least my local chapter of this group has gone very wrong in its theology.

Now, let's extend the analogy. Suppose I go out to the Internet, and discover that many, many of the third-order chapters of this particular order have embraced Gaia worship, and that while one important and popular third-order priest has been removed for celebrating and encouraging this worship, many other priests he personally formed and trained serve as spiritual leaders and directors for the vast majority of the lay chapters of this order. Would I be exercising right judgment, or sinning, to think that the possibility that many chapters have been infected with Gaia-worship is a good one?

Further, let's say that there are two kinds of accounts from people all over the country who have been in or associated with this third order. One large group has left and been dispensed from their vows (if they had taken any) because they still see paganism taking place and not being properly addressed by the leaders. The other group, though, insists that no paganism is going on, and that things are fine. Why, Pope Benedict himself discusses environmental issues! Why should not the members of the group care deeply about the Earth and write prayers which reference it as an important part of God's creation, etc.?

Finally, after years of debate, Rome steps in with an Apostolic Visitation to find out what's going on with this third order, both religious and lay. The side of the debate which has warned of paganism continues to discuss the matter while waiting for Rome's verdict--but the other side now insists that as Rome is investigating, it's nobody's job to continue to make right judgments about the groups, and in particular all this talk of institution-wide paganism is just uncharitable and needs to stop.

That is (aside from the imperfections of the analogy) what is going on, here. The Legion has had an unhealthy and dangerous tendency to treat Maciel as a living saint and to hold both Maciel and the Legion itself up as guaranteed by God to be good. The phrase "God's great work, the Legion..." has been used endlessly, as have similar phrases.

Now, stripped of the possibility of honoring Maciel as a saint, facing the reality that he was instead a gifted and sexually deviant con man, the Legion has still not come to terms with the fact that this con man formed their order, gave them all their spirituality, wrote their rules, set up their disciplines, and is the only credible source of any "charism" they might have! That is the crux of this matter, and it is the one that many of us will continue to discuss as we wait, confidently, for Rome's pronouncements.
As I said, the analogy isn't great. But the central idea is, I think, sound, and does illustrate some important differences between the pro-Legion side, and the side that is critical of the Legion.

The pro-Legion side is insisting, over and over, with many different variations in the tune, that it simply does not matter that their order was founded by a sexually deviant con man. But no matter how hard they try, they can't remove Maciel from the founding of the Legion. Who wrote their prayers? Who created their rules? Who established their order? Who trained and directed their spiritual formation? Who set up the discipline? Who insisted that his mother's birthday be celebrated as a feast day, and pushed for her canonization? And, most importantly of all, from whom does their charism flow, if there is, indeed, a charism?

Those of us on the other side of the debate are saying (some of us placidly, some with the understandable frustration of having been involved in this battle for endless and mostly thankless years) that yes, it DOES matter. It matters hugely. Many religious orders were founded by saints. Others were founded by people who, while never canonized, were nonetheless known to have lived good, Christian, blameless lives. There is no religious order in existence whose founder was a sexually deviant con man, a fraud, a trickster/impostor who covered up the evil of his life until his death.

At this point, Legion supporters usually mumble about flawed vessels and baskets of good fruit. It is quite true that there are good people in the Legion, and that some of them have even managed, despite the fraudulent founder, to do good things. But no other order says, "In spite of our founder, we have managed to find a way to be good and to do good for the Church." This is not something which can merely be swept aside, ignored, or overlooked.

And it would be dishonest to talk about the baskets of good fruit while ignoring the grain silo full of rotten fruit, too. There are victims who were sexually abused. There are victims who were spiritually abused. There are Catholics who have received seriously flawed formation and questionable theological and moral training. There are men serving as Legion priests who were robbed of their real vocations to marriage and family life. There are men who left the Legion and remain in the lay state, who were robbed of priestly vocations in different orders or in dioceses (because the Legion tended to equate failure to become a Legion priest with proof that one was unworthy to serve God as a priest at all, and was quite possibly headed for damnation). There have been people whose hard work creating an apostolate was "stolen" when the Legion moved in and took over their publications or schools or other good works. There have been people wrongfully sued by the Legion to keep them quiet about these and other works of darkness.

Can a good-fruit-bearing tree grow in poisoned soil? Supporters of the Legion say it can. I disagree, and look forward to Rome's ruling, whenever it may come.

44 comments:

Simon said...

If anyone thinks the charism and justification for the Legion's existence isn't fatally undermined by the counter-sign of Maciel's life, I challenge them to respond to R Michael Dunnigan's dispassionate, charitable, and definitive article on this very subject:

http://krestaintheafternoon.blogspot.com/2009/04/sign-and-counter-sign.html

RC said...

The analogy to Gaia worship is flawed. In this instance you have a religious order who promotes good old fashioned tried and true Catholic spirituality: saying the Rosary, holy hours before the Blessed Sacrament, morning meditations on the Gospels, morning, noon and evening prayer,bi-monthly confessions, retreats using the Spiritual exercises of St Ignatius, study groups of laypeople focusing on the encyclicals, weekly get-togethers where lay people could focus on supporting each other within the context of the next Sunday gospel. All of this, often without seeing a Legionary priest or consecrated woman for months on end.

This is hardly Gaia worship. And it is hard to see how all that prayer could have poisoned the soil.

Red Cardigan said...

Oh, RC, let's stipulate that my hypothetical Gaia-worshipers do all that, too! It's just that they have a special extra prayer book with prayers to Mother Earth, they have pictures of the planet posted on their walls, they celebrate Earth Day as a first-class feast day, and they solemnly lecture people to inform them that true respect for Gaia means eating *all* of her fruits with the proper utensils, which they are happy to demonstrate in case you're backward enough to believe a banana may be held in the hand while you are eating it.

island breezes said...

Erin,

You've missed my point. I guess you have a perspective you really want to get out there.

My point was that you aren't qualified to judge. I'm not saying anything about what matters, or doesn't. What you say, or I say, won't alter the facts, which we don't actually know. Someone who does know, is doing the necessary. What is the thing we should be doing?

I'm sure this thread is bringing a lot of traffic, but are there any other worthwhile results? Really?

RC said...

Red Cardigan: What prayer book are you referring to? And which prayers specifically? The prayer for the Pope? The prayer for the General Director? The prayer for the Fidelity of the members? In a prayer book of 144 pages, those account for 1.5 pages. For the sake of clarity, you might try being more specific.

As for a poster of the planet, what better way than to remind us that the Creator made all things. And there are all kinds of earthly feast days: mother's day, thanksgiving, etc. We can thank the Lord for this extra chance to rest and spend time with our families. As for table manners, what is wrong with knowing how to eat a banana with a knife and fork? Impeccable table manners are simply good etiquette in which we demonstrate our consideration for others.

In any case, it is of greater usefulness than the nuns telling us when we were young that a messy desk in school was a revelation of the disorder and sinfulness of our souls.

Seems to me that you are a lot more like those old nuns than I am.
Certainly you are not giving evidence of discerning the frivolous from the serious.

Red Cardigan said...

Island Breezes, what exactly is it that you think I'm not qualified to judge? That, as of right now, the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi are organizations founded by a sexually deviant con man? That's pretty much what I'm saying. Trust me--these posts aren't driving traffic to my blog at all; I get a lot more when I discuss politics. But hey, thanks for the Legion-inspired charity on display in what you write! (Note for the dim: I'm being sarcastic.)

RC, you keep missing the forest for the trees. I'm not sure, given what you wrote about the "Gaia-worship" example, that you even understand what an analogy is. I'm also not sure if you aren't just a really annoying troll--you're beginning to seem like one.

Don said...

I vote troll.

freddy said...

I'm curious, y'all:
If you had a friend who confided that her son was thinking about the priesthood, and thought the LC might be a good fit, but was a little concerned about what she'd heard in the news about MM and the LC, how would you respond?

Troll, formerly known as RC said...

Trolls ask inconvenient questions and point out flaws in thinking, especially those of analogies that don't work.

TROLL said...

Freddy, I would make sure that Son knew what was going down in LC regarding the founder, and the possible complicity of some of the leadership, advise him to await the results of the AV, then let him make up his own mind. The main thing is that he make an informed decision.

Red Cardigan said...

Troll, actually trolls play mind games, derail conversations, and add little to nothing of value. But I do like your style. :)

Amy R said...

I am unable to stay away from discussions about the LCs...so yeah, it drew me to your blog. It is so completely outrageous what transpired (obviously, I mean the revelation of their infamous founder's double life), and it completely makes every single thing, outreach & member of the Legion, whether priest or whatever, suspect. It is terrible for the faithful priests in that Movement, but I'm sorry. I wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot pole now. I won't let my daughter be in the RC girls clubs or Pure Fashion organizations, and it gives me the creeps when friends of mine allow their daughters to be in the current sessions of it, citing the prayer, the manners & decency, etc. that their duaghters are learning. My sons used to go to their daylong retreats for boys. NO MORE. My grown daughter went to a RC girls camp. NEVER AGAIN. It's ALL tainted, every last speck of it, because "they" won't own up. Even now!

TROLL said...

Freddy, I would also advise your friend's son to call Bishop Chaput directly and ask him for his advice.

Red Cardigan,thanks but I will be on my way.

island breezes said...

Your tone isn't charitable. And its a bit of a stretch to complain about a lack of charity , and to try to write me off as 'Legion inspired'. You have probably had more to do with the LC than I have. However, my experiences have been good. When I heard the bad news, I prayed for all involved. I found it sad. I didn't go into attack mode.

You started this thread. You shouldn't be thin skinned about the responses that don't agree with your stance.

I don't. But you're still in my sidebar links.

pax

island breezes said...

Something to ponder, but perhaps not really relevant.

Two summers ago I sent my 2 middle sons to a Regnum Christi camp in Cape Breton. I expected that there would be a LC priest there for Mass and confessions etc. (Yes, after the scandal broke.)

The local Bishop forbade the presence of an LC priest in his diocese , and he personally took over the spiritual duties at the camp.

That Bishop was arrested this fall for possession of child pornography...

Lauretta said...

island breezes,

I have a question. Imagine that you were from a family in which you were sexually abused by your uncle. Your younger sister, however, was not abused and had a very good relationship with the uncle.

Your sister was always bringing up what a wonderful guy your uncle was and the great times that they had together. She was so appreciative of all that he taught her and all the fun times he spent with her.

How would you feel when she was recounting these stories? And, also, how would you feel if someone else in the family was going to let their daughter stay with the uncle for a period of time? How would you react? Would you say anything to the family member that wanted their daughter to stay with the uncle?

TROLL said...

Lauretta, how would you tell that story if Uncle was dead?

Lauretta said...

Troll,

The scenario would be different, wouldn't it? It would have to be more on the lines of a story I read awhile ago in the news about a father and his sons who were abusing people. The father died but the abusive sons were still in the family. Would I trust my daughter to spend time in the home with the abusive sons who had been so well trained by their father?

Anonymous said...

The original comment which spawned this thread -

"Criticizing a religious order for their spirituality,rule and method of maintaining discipline seems to me a bit out of our league."

That is the opinion of that person who likely NEVER comments on anything beyond his/her own "league".

Why are they visiting blogs that are discussing these matters if they find it so distasteful or wrong?

What I see here is essentially people throwing stones at another group of people to get them to stop throwing stones.

Why do some of these Legion fans insist on telling others not to talk about it? Exactly why can't I discuss the Legion, even while it is undergoing a visitation?

Should we refrain from talking about any investigation while it is underway?

Should we avoid reading or discussing criminal cases before the courts, because "We're not lawyers"?

How about sports? Can we speculate about trades or who has a chance to make it to the playoffs if we're mere armchair athletes?

Sure, I bet that original comment was made by someone who never discusses ANYTHING that is "out of their league".

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see this blog. Thank you for commenting on the LC situation. It is a part of LC/RC formation to infuse us with a poor understanding of charity. Charity is not allowing any negative talk or critique of their methodolgy. It's a shame. I began to understand through my life out of the cult and in regular parish life that it is ok to actually critique. You are right on. When we don't want to face the truth of a situation, we deflect. The RC devotees like to deflect. It's easier than facing the mirror.

Red Cardigan said...

Island Breezes, I've never had anything to do with the Legion personally--I'm an outside observer.

And I'm not the least thin-skinned--but thanks for your concern.

This isn't attack mode, either; just ask some of the posters here who know me from other blogs. :) Believe me, you'll know it if I really do engage it.

The thing is, I'm still seeing Legion supporters refusing to deal with the truth, which is that the order was founded by a sexually deviant con man. I have encountered people with Legion ties who have said that they still think Maciel is a holy man, as proved by the great work of the Legion, and that he must have repented deeply of his sins before he died.

That is the sort of thing that prompts me to speak (well, write, anyway) about all of this. To call Maciel a holy man, a "very" holy man as one person I read recently put it, is to be turning one's back on the truth--and any group which permits such self-deception ought to be discussed forthrightly, in my opinion.

TROLL said...

Red Cardigan: I don't know anyone who is saying that MM was a holy man. None. People have moved beyond the stage of denial. This does not mean that they are not having other difficulties in understanding what all of this means.

Sexual abuse is a big, big, problem in the Church at present. Msgr Lahey shows us how big a problem it is. Both Msgr Lahey and MM's five families emerged into the light in the same week--I was so disgusted that I found it difficult to pray for about 3 months. But in the end, one suffers more being away from Christ. The Church is a church of sinners, and we know from Church history that religious people can be big sinners. But we also know that Church is bigger than sin.

I see the same thing for the Legion. They are part of Church, not separate from it. There are so many people involved that I think that we have to strive for fairness and not judge without evidence, not smear everybody with the caca of a few people.

If anyone is guilty of wrongdoing, let us consider the evidence of that wrong doing and act accordingly. But condemning without evidence is unjustified, and abusive.

For me it is also a question of loyalty to the good people in RC who have helped me deepen my spiritual life. I am here for them. If they need time away to think, my home is open to them. If they need to talk, I am here for them. I am also in solidarity with the other women of my team, who are also having difficulty dealing with this. We are not going to stop praying together.

And actually, when I hear the criticism of the Legion and RC that have nothing to do with the hidden life of MM, and the lack of controls that enabled this to happen, or the possibility of complicity, I find that the arguments fall down. Being an older person, I have had plenty of experience with religious orders and their practices, and find the Legion to be totally within the ballpark. None of them are perfect. All of them contain people who can be mean, and backbiting, and spiteful. We even have saints who were spiteful. Just go read some of St Jerome's letters to other saints. And all of them could be over the top in wanting to engage others in their way of life. None of this prevented them from doing good work, and giving their lives to the service of others. And yes, they did teach us good table manners, and deportment. Some times I wonder if the more frivolous complaints come from the fact that so many religious orders have been in decline for the new generations, that the new generations have no experience of religious culture in general. The Legion isn't an anomaly.

To my mind, the best outcome of the AV would be a refoundation, with outside oversight brought into the Legion to correct and prune. This would be a foundation in which every member would have a part. Measures like this would protect the fraternity of the religious community, the good works, the jobs of lay people working at the schools and universities. All those young people who love Christ could stay in his service while grieving their disillusionment over MM. They would come of age.

And of course the methodology should be open to discussion. From both sides. Actually, the person refusing to accept a critique of his critique is just as guilty of rigidity as the one who refuses to allow any criticism at all.

Beth said...

I do appreciate your discussion on this issue. I am so sick about what has transpired. I was waiting for the Legion to take care of the first mess that came out a year or so ago and never felt they got to that. Now we have another wife and sexually abused kids.

Unfortunately, you will not get any serious talk on the issue from LC websites like "faith and family" etc addressing the issue. In fact they hardly acknowledge their connections to LC and Regnum Christi.

I can not understand how anyone with a formed conscience can have anything to do with the LC and their groups and publications which are extensive.

I would strongly sway my son from discerning a vocation to this group.

I hope that those whose financial well being depends on this group have a way out. I hope the vatican provides counseling for them--I can not imagine the pain they are going through.

Lauretta said...

Is it just me or is there not a very large difference between an individual bishop or priest sexually abusing someone and the founder and head of an order doing the same? For the individual being abused, of course, the damage is the same, but what about the larger picture?

It just seems to me that the founder of an order who sets up rules to facilitate secrecy, no discussion about anything a superior does,etc., who then proceeds to sexually abuse and mentally and spiritually manipulate those he later puts in positions of authority over other young people, has a much larger effect over a greater number of individuals than a parish priest or bishop would have.

If there were the head of a diocesan seminary who did the same thing, I would have the same level of concern. Well, maybe not even as much then because the seminarian, when he left the seminary, would have exposure to those who had not been controlled and manipulated in the same way and might have a chance of seeing what he had done to him. In the case of the Legion, however, the vast majority of these people who have been malformed in this way, continue to live their lives in this small, controlled world that is Legion/Regnum.

Am I off-base or is there a significant difference?

BC said...

RC-

That prayer book also says in the examination of conscience area that it's a sin not to fulfull your 'apostolate'. As you know, all of the 'apostolates' are either designed to bring members in to Regnum Christi and/or are fund raisers. When my wife joined, she was told that she was extra special since she joined while the founder was still alive...she was a co-founder of sorts! Her spiritual director reminded her of her promises when she stated that her involvement in RC was causing problems with her marriage. These, among other events, are how the priests and lay in RC are formed and how they were spiritually abused by the founder. She was NEVER encouraged to back off once she voiced how her marriage was suffering. In fact they encouraged her to increase her activity and that the marriage part would work itself out.

They very much operate as a parallel church. In our area the LC/RC activity is exclusively around parishes that are financially better-off. People in the poor communities have no clue about the movement. The RC faithful and LC priests greatly need our prayers...it's like finding out that your parents are not really your parents! Peace.

Anonymous said...

"Troll, actually trolls play mind games, derail conversations, and add little to nothing of value. But I do like your style. :)"

Actually the 7:00 AM from Troll is way more direct than most of the trollish RC posted.

If it's a choice between a Troll posts and a Troll nick. I vote for the latter.

By the way the Not Richard nick posted at Pete Vere's that the article by Sandro Magister is excellent and fair.

What Magister describes is not stuff that all died with "Uncle".

Hopefully the steps Magister describes and the 'decapitation' of the leadership that 'T' favors will lead past ALL the denial.

Simon said...

Lauretta, there's an enormous difference between evil committed by a priest or even a bishop and the evil life of a founder of a religious order. The sacraments are effective ex opere operato precisely because we depend on them even if the priest is unworthy.

But religious orders exist as a sign of radical witness to the Gospel through a particular charism associated with the example and instruction of their founders. If the founder of an order was a fraud or if his life is a source of scandal, then it is literally impossible for the order to provide that radical witness which is the heart of a religious vocation.

This has nothing to do with any moral unworthiness on the part of the individual members of the order. Each of them could be canonizable saints, but that doesn't mean a religious order founded by the likes of Marcial Maciel can possibly survive very long. It won't.

Anonymous said...

"If the founder of an order was a fraud or if his life is a source of scandal, then it is literally impossible for the order to provide that radical witness which is the heart of a religious vocation."

.....and its amazing to me that so many LC are not willing to take the narrow road and leave to another order or diocese where they can freely provide that witness as a priest. I think the attachment to the institution is too great and that worries me most of all. They are LCs before they are priests.

off the fence said...

part 1

Island Breezes,

I really have to challenge you here when you say: "My point was that you aren't qualified to judge. I'm not saying anything about what matters, or doesn't. What you say, or I say, won't alter the facts, which we don't actually know. Someone who does know, is doing the necessary. What is the thing we should be doing?"

I want to say two things:

1) I really understand where you are coming from. From the reference to Cape Breton I assume you are from Scotland. From you anecdote about the bishop taking over a retreat, and then was arrested for child pornography, I can see how you are very frustrated with your local Church -- and for good reason! For you the Legionaries are the "good guys" and a breath of fresh air. And in so many ways they are. I mean, they come in, they want to teach the faith, impart the sacraments, listen to confessions for hours ... it's like dying and going to heaven! You really want them to be that b/c you are starving for spiritual nourishment. I really do get it. I just want you to know that I'm not attacking you and I do hope that you try to understand where I am coming from.

2) The second thing is that I respectfully disagree with several things said in the statement above.

"My point was that you aren't qualified to judge." -- As a believer and member of the Catholic Church we are all qualified to judge. God gave us brains and the ability to reason. As Catholics we are united by our Pope, and he represents for us Christ. Whatever he says and whatever he writes, we are bound to accept. But, that doesn't mean we are bound to accept it without thinking, and without questions. For 2,000 years the universal Church has debated, discussed, disagreed and split over what Catholics (laity, clergy, hierarchy) believed to be true. God didn't give us the Catechism, but he made us work for it! It's the result of 2000 years of Catholics of all stripes saying what we believe to be the truth, or not. It's true that in faith and morals, the Church has the last say, and that as Catholics we should form our conscience in accord with these, but the situation of the Legion doesn't really fall into that ambit.

off the fence said...

part 2

"What you say, or I say, won't alter the facts, which we don't actually know." -- This is correct. The facts are the facts. And many things we may never know.

But, something to keep in mind is that these blogs matter because the survival of the Legion doesn't depend so much on what the Vatican decides, but on what those who are members of the Legion and Regnum Christi decide. If the Legion has the Vatican's approval, but no members, it ceases to exist. If it doesn't have approval, and it still has members, then it's in schism.

The importance of these discussions is that each member chooses to be one, or each friend (as you are not a member) is one because they chose to be so. And that individual choice is what determines whether the Legion lives or dies. These types of blogs give you the other side and something to consider when making that choice.

"Someone who does know, is doing the necessary." -- That's true, but I'd phrase it as "doing the best he can." The Vatican works very slowly, and within an institutional framework and structure that's 2,000 years in the making. Look at the situation of the Church in general, and the many parishes that seem to have gone astray. The Church doesn't close them down, or condemn them, but they slowly die as faithful Catholics (who have brains and are able to make their own decisions) leave. Do they wait around for the Pope to close down the parish? No, they simply leave!

"What is the thing we should be doing?" -- Exactly this. If we have doubts, we should discuss them. If we think something is being unfairly attacked, defend it. This isn't a waste of time because I know for a fact that participation in these blogs have helped a lot of people gain a lot of clarity about their own personal situation, and helped them to grow and mature in their faith.

Anonymous said...

"From the reference to Cape Breton I assume you are from Scotland"

When "Island Breeze" refers to "Cape Breton" i'd assume Cape Breton Island which is in the diocese of
Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

http://www.antigonishdiocese.com/InstallationMassHomilyAndMessageJanMMX.htm

off the fence said...

Thanks anon, I stand corrected.

I don't know what made me think Scotland... forgive my geographic ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Beth said: "Unfortunately, you will not get any serious talk on the issue from LC websites like "faith and family" etc addressing the issue. In fact they hardly acknowledge their connections to LC and Regnum Christi."

That's exactly right and now, because of their inability to be forthcoming and truthful, whenever I see someone write for them, I discount them and avoid all of their writing, their books, etc. And I tell others to do the same (and give them reasons why).

Everyone even tangentially associated with them should rethink their involvement with them.
I don't trust them. I don't have to. I've caught F&F and LC priests lying. But, hey, they're orthodox! They're exuding a happy Christian front, so that they can attract others to...what, exactly?

So here's a question for those still supporting LC/RC: they want me to send my 14 year old son to their ConQuest club. Should I do it? Why or why not?

Someone's mother

Anonymous said...

off the fence,

Do pray for the members of that diocese. it is devastating.

And do take into account that any from there might easily focus on that and miss the rest of the web Maciel wove.

Lauretta said...

Thanks, Simon, that is exactly how I think as well. You explained it perfectly.

Concerning the recent revelation about the bishop, I remember several years ago, the bishop of, I believe, Santa Rosa, CA diocese was discovered to have had a relationship with a man from South America whom he personally brought here and ordained as a priest. I think there may have been some diocesan money paid to keep the man quiet. Anyhow, it was very traumatic for the people in the diocese. I knew several young people from there at the time and they were crushed since the bishop was very personable (won't use the term charismatic). Fortunately, it has blown over now and the diocese has moved on.

Beth said...

anonymous at 3:18

NO!!! Don't send your son to Conquest. Do not do anything that supports or provides money to this group. My boys did Conquest before it suddenly left our parish several years ago and I regret not doing my homework on the group.

I believe Conquest is an evangelization tool to get more boys/men to join LC. I do not want my boys influenced by this group becase I believe at the foundation of it is great sickness.

Anonymous said...

"This isn't a waste of time because I know for a fact that participation in these blogs have helped a lot of people gain a lot of clarity about their own personal situation, and helped them to grow and mature in their faith."

So true. If we just relied on the communication from the LC, we would still be in a state of denial, confusion and not able to process these things that are so important to our walk with Christ and His Church. It is OK to agree to disagree but dialoguing is so critical and understaing the bigger picture instead of the LC/RC from our own personal perspective gives so critical to making a right judgement. The blog discussions have helped me heal.

BC said...

Someone's Mother-

While I don't quality to answer your question (family is out of RC), I would say do not send your boy(s) to Conquest. It is basically an introduction into Regnum Christi. The commitment cards are very similar to the RC cards, the discipline (boys sit on the floor, line up..it's very militaristic). I was a leader last year and once I read thru the materials, I wanted out. I nearly begged them to 'fire' me but they wouldn't because they were desparate for leaders. On my own, I purposely broke their rules and ran the meetings my own way.

Once the boys build a relationship with a LC priest (who hang around the meetings) they will attempt to head them toward a vocation thru camps (no parents!), talks, spiritual direction and retreats. While the preists can have good intentions, their methods are flawed due to MM's shortcomings. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Beth and BC; I was really asking those who still support RC/LC. If someone still really does support them, how do they answer that question? Would they really have the gall to tell a mother: Yes. Send your boy(s) to ConQuest. It's Good. Nothing bad or troubling about it. After all, there have been soooo many good fruits...

How can they live with themselves?

I now know enough to stay far, far away from anything tainted by them, although I too had my sons in ConQuest; the phone call asking me to send them back actually had the priest adding this little tempt: "Don't you want us to take your boys on a trip to Rome?!"

Uh, no. I don't.

And that priest has got a truckload of nerve, ego and stupidity to even ask that question of any mother who can google "LC scandal".

Someone's mother

TROLL said...

There is a great Conquest Camp where the boys and their dads get into costume and play Lord of the Rings for a week. The dads are the Orcs. Some LC priests come in and provide daily Mass, daily Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, daily Gospel meditation and Reconcilliation. A good time is had by all.

If you are interested in Conquest, find out who is running the Club and discuss your concerns with them. Then make an informed decision.

TROLL said...

Someone said: "If we just relied on the communication from the LC, we would still be in a state of denial, confusion and not able to process these things that are so important to our walk with Christ and His Church."

From my perspective, that is exactly where the Legion is at, so I would not expect clarity from them at this point. They are still trying to sort things out. There have been some very interesting stories put out since January about the internal politics of the Legion on this site: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/headlines/

The young priests want reform, not the status quo. But in the meantime, they are also focusing on being good priests.

Frank I said...

To Amy R:

I'm joining this discussion kind of late, but if you're out there, all I have to say is "Rock on, my sister in Christ."

I can't congratulate you enough for keeping your children away from this outfit. If I could only add one thing, that would be to spread the word among all your other friends and save their families the hassle and heartache.

On the Life After RC site, I mentioned a Catholic woman friend with many of the same suspicions that you have had, but I don't think she is quite as far along in the entire process. Your witness to other moms is invaluable.

Anonymous said...

With so many other good outfits still in the church, and not founded by a fraud and predator, why would ANYONE even consider the Legion- its like saying hey, lets consider buying the car with the poor crash rating because, it looks so GOOD on the outside.

Jeannette said...

I just came back and reread these comments; did anyone else notice that in the LOTR camp TROLL referred to, it was the dads who were the orcs? If it were a REAL Catholic camp, the dads would be the rescuers.