One question I asked here before is this: while we wait, what level of contact/participation with the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi and its many affiliates, apostolates, media sources, fundraising efforts, etc. do you feel comfortable with?
Take Faith and Family, both the magazine and the online site, as one example. It is produced by Circle Media which is affiliated with the Legion of Christ, but there's not a huge amount of LC/RC content in it, aside from some content written on occasion by LC priests. Moms may enjoy the homemaking tips, craft ideas, etc. both on the online site and in the magazine. So are there any "red flags" that people should be aware of, or is this a Legion affiliate that doesn't have much of the Legion about it?
My concern is that there's not really any such thing as a Legion affiliate/apostolate/ministry etc. that doesn't connect closely back to the Legion, sooner or later.
Take this seemingly straightforward, non-Legion post by Danielle Bean (who, I think, has said before that she is not involved with Regnum Christi herself, if I recall correctly), encouraging people to check out First Communion gifts, holy cards, Lenten resources, etc. for sale at the gift shop of Catholic.net. Danielle mentions that "Though you are guaranteed the same low price, a portion of the proceeds from all purchases made at the Catholic.net store goes to support the work we do at Faith & Family ... in the magazine, on the blog, and in our podcasts." That kind of sounds like the good people at Catholic.net just love Faith and Family and willingly contribute to the magazine and website out of their proceeds, doesn't it? I know of other Catholic businesses which donate a portion of their proceeds to various pro-life ministries and other works, so it's not an uncommon thing to come across.
Except, of course, that Catholic.net is also Legion. From the "About" section on Catholic.net's site:
Catholic.net is a web based apostolate, directed by the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement, intended to equip Catholics with information to help them build a Christlike character, so that they can engage and transform the culture with the Truth of the Gospel transmitted to us by the Holy Mother Church, which is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.In other words, if you shop at Catholic.net, a Legion affiliate, some of the money will go to Faith and Family, another Legion affiliate. The rest of the money also ends up...in the Legion. UPDATE: The for-profit Catholic business, not owned by the Legion, which is facilitating this arrangement is Aquinas and More, and the owner appears anxious in the comment box conversation that everyone should know that. I did not mean to imply that the Legion, a non-profit religious order, owns a for-profit religious goods store and collects *all* profits involved in the sale of goods. My concern is that the percentage of the money donated via Aquinas and More goes, not directly to Faith and Family, but first to Catholic.net. The relation to the wider point is simply that people who have had experience with the Legion are used to the mixing of apostolates and donations etc., and are justifiably wary when this situation occurs. END UPDATE.
In Answer to our late Pope, John Paul II, Catholic.net aims to form an online Catholic community committed to evangelize the social world by building up the Kingdom of Christ through their Families, Parishes, Dioceses, and general communities. To foster this commitment Catholic.net promotes interaction among Catholics worldwide through information sharing and online interactive tools. Fundamentally Catholic.net serves as an online platform to build synergies among the various apostolic initiatives.
Now, I can already hear the objections: what's wrong with supporting Legion affiliates, a lot of good, hardworking, innocent people work in these ministries and apostolates, should they suffer because of Maciel, etc. ad infinitum. I'm not saying people ought to be boycotting all Legion affiliates--such matters can only be determined by individuals. However, there's something troubling to me about the way that post of Danielle's is written, especially the fact that she doesn't mention that Catholic.net, like Faith and Family, is a Legion affiliate. I'm not saying this is intentional, but it does end up giving the impression that one totally independent Catholic company is supporting the work of another--like I said, not unprecedented at all. But this isn't the case when two Legion affiliates are entering into a symbiotic relationship with each other, where all the money raised will end up in the Legion, whether it goes to Faith and Family, Catholic.net, or some other Legion affiliate.
I'm not trying to pinpoint Faith and Family here; I'm just at the point where I'm tired of this particular game. The Legion has so many different ministries, apostolates, affiliates, and so on operating in parishes and dioceses all over America--yet if a Challenge club is urged to attend a presentation on Pure Fashion, or a Familia group urges all its members to purchase a "wonderful" book published by Circle Media, the same dynamic is at work. There is something disconcerting, troubling, by people in one apostolate or ministry telling people to go buy something offered by another, without ever discussing the fact that the Legion is behind both.
At this point, I won't knowingly get involved with anything at all that is connected in any way with the Legion of Christ or Regnum Christi. The tactics at work here don't inspire confidence or trust, and whatever Rome decides to do about the Legion, the lack of forthrightness on the Legion's part whenever this sort of situation arises is not the sort of thing I expect from my fellow Catholics.