Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Troubled

I realize that I've written rather a lot about the Legion of Christ lately; now that the Apostolic Visitation has concluded and the report has been sent on, we can only wait until Rome reaches some decision in regard to the Legion.

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 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.
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.

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.

61 comments:

Nat said...

Like father like son. What you are describing is their willingness to use anyone to reach their own ends.

2nd General Chapter:

"I hope that in this way the image I have always cherished of our apostolate centers becomes a reality: a fish producing “tank” where fishermen are able to devote themselves to an intensive and unquestionably successful harvest... it still pains me to see that our schools and universities are not fulfilling their primary goal: the expansion of Regnum Christi, especially through the recruitment of leaders and the cultivation of vocations for the Legion and for the consecrated life of the Movement".

Charlotte said...

While I don't have any stake or super concern about the Legion/Regnum Christi thing, I did raise an eyebrow yesterday when I saw that post promoting those first communion gifts. My thought was that Faith & Family Live is a big enough magazine/blog that they don't need to use content space promoting items of any sort for sale.

It would be one thing if the post had been about finding Catholic items or baby items, etc., that women are searching for and don't know where to buy them. That's OK to me. But since the reading audience over there is probably 95% Catholic, it's not like the readers don't know what or where to get first communion gifts. That promotion should have been something on their sidebar.

Lauretta said...

I personally don't want to contribute any more money to this group since they are spending so many millions to support Maciel's families. I believe that is deceitful and should not be happening with people's charitable giving.

Not to mention the flamboyant lifestyle that Maciel led with trips on the Concorde, etc. Very possibly his successors are leading the same lifestyle. I believe their money sources ought to dry up immediately to try to bring them around to reality and conversion.

Anonymous said...

I left RC last year. As I rebuilt my faith life, I knew at the time that I wanted to stay clear of RC activities. As you say, why would you avoid such well-meaning people and ventures (I’ve excised the term “apostolate” from my vocabulary), after all, they are merely trying to live their faith and help others to do the same, right?

My reasoning boils down to two things – loss of respect and loss of trust. Oh sure, I can pinpoint individual parts of the movement and agree, adoration is good, gospel reflections with like-minded Catholic women, and silent retreats ably led by LC priests are all worthy of my respect.

It’s the things I can’t respect that keep me away. I have found the LC response to the scandal of the past year to be deplorable, I’m disgusted at the lack of apology to Maciel’s victims, and most recently, the Legion’s callous treatment of Maciel’s son Raul (publicly vilifying him as an extortionist) is beyond reprehensible. How these RCs can align themselves with these priests who have so debased the dignity of the priesthood is beyond me. I don’t think I could face myself in the mirror, no matter how good it might be for me or my family. I would feel like I’m endorsing their mistreatment of victims.

Looking back, I see a great deal of betrayal of my trust. For one thing, I was told terrible lies about Maciel’s victims, and I have seen no evidence of retraction of those stories. Erin, you touched on other untrustworthy behavior, the lack of forthrightness in identifying themselves, whether at retreats, or in their various business ventures. Why are they afraid to tell people who is being supported, or who their venture is being backed by?

Yes, I know there are individual LCs stuck in this bad situation. I feel for them, and I pray for them daily, yet this doesn’t mean I have to sign up for Familia, or read Faith and Family, or support Pure Fashion. In fact, maybe I do more for the situation when I vote with my feet – no financial contributions, no purchase of LC/RC products or services, and no attendance at their events. Maybe what they really need is to hear and see the outrage sincere Catholics are experiencing? Perhaps an honest letter to Faith and Family magazine to explain the reasons for your cancelled subscription will communicate the depth of your concerns for the scandal to the Church. Does anyone’s faith life really hinge on a Catholic magazine? Or Familia?

I don’t discount the possibility that there will be reform, sincere apologies to victims, proper attention to Maciel’s children, and so on. I pray for that. but in the meantime, I’m sure they’ll allow you to renew your magazine subscription if and when the dust settles on a reformed Legion and RC movement. Until then, why not study “Together” instead of “Familia”, why not investigate other retreat opportunities (just google “Ignatian retreat”) , why not meet those other orthodox Catholics we see in the pews at daily mass, and learn, how do they support their faith life?

Jane

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I have refrained from commenting on your posts about Regnum Christi, partly because I knew nothing else about it before reading your posts, and mostly because it is none of my business. It is a quintessential internal church matter, which should be left to faithful Catholics to work out among themselves.

Just once though, I want to note that I appreciate your thoughtful attention to resolving what is obviously a serious scandal that does affect many lives.

Martha said...

It's hard to keep my comments brief, but here goes: I *might* participate in an RC apostolate myself (not likely). At the very basic level, the programs are good. It's only when you start to get into RC itself that you start to hear the weirdness.

However - they could do nothing with my kids unless I was right there. So, that really rules out everything other than maybe the K4J packets getting mailed to my house, or maybe the K4J Vacation Bible School.

Some of the Legion's youth programs avoid the RC/LC think and some do not. Unfortunately, while I would be trying to assess the particular program, they would really be pressuring my child to join. The boys' programs near us have little parental involvement, and tend to pick things your child will beg to do, but you can't really be involved in. (For example: at 10 am they'll say, "Hey we're all going to get slurpees and play laser tag after school!" (and the laser tag place is 20-30 minutes away.) Now, I could either let them take my son, or tell him he can't go, since with 4 kids, I can't drop everything and run out there, get him from school, then take a toddler and baby to laser tag. My son would probably sell his soul for a few slurpees and laser tag, so he'd be begging to go, and I'd be in the position of saying no, or letting him go without a parent, or any parents probably, and this would happen OVER and OVER.

My problem has always been that they like to take the kids (preteens/teens) away, and make parent involvement difficult. I would have to know the people involved very well and have the time to be involved myself. When there are other, more trustworthy groups closer to us, that don't plan things inconvenient for parents to attend - why bother?

Jeannette said...

The lack of forthrightness is definitely a Legion M.O. It's repeated time after time, whether it's K4J, Challenge, Leadership Training Program (I found Pure Fashion to be a little more forthright but maybe that's because I'd been warning parishioners with a whole 'nother set of adjectives than the ones they'd want to be used...).

Martha,
When they take kids along places and make it difficult for parents to get involved, it's a big red flag, VIRTUS-wise. Catholic groups aren't supposed to discourage parental involvement any more. Really, even if we didn't have concerns about the Legion, we wouldn't want our kids in the habit of being comfortable with the situation (especially the one-on-one spiritual guidance).

Martha said...

Jeannette,
I totally agree. My family is involved in Boy Scouts, and they never operate that way. And no parish in this diocese would do anything like that, or their pastor would get canned and we all know it.
But the people (LC seminarians) who run the boys club would tell you they don't discourage parent involvement. They just can't help it if all the dads have jobs and can't be there at 3:30 on a weekday, and if the moms can't drop everything on no notice and go to this really great activity. (!)

(Although in a different context, I was told by Regnum Christi members that older teen events need to take place away from parents because people don't discern vocations when their parents are around. Another red flag.)

There is a Challenge group here that is much more forthright. Surprise, there are more parents involved, and it involves kids from the parish, not just the school. They actually mention ECYD on their website, while the national website does not. Local:www.ChallengeCoppell.org
National: http://www.challengeclubs.com/

This is what took me a while to wrap my head around - you will find some RC sponsored groups that seem open and forthright, and some that do not. Over time I have come to suspect the normal MO is to hide everything, and that the more involved you get in any RC program, the more you find the crazy manipulation.

Anonymous said...

I am so furious with how much damage lc/rc has done that I refuse to give a dime to anything associated with them. And I tell other people not too, also. Why would anyone give money to something that has evil at its core? This org has done real, serious damage to children, to families, to so many people's faith, why support it in any way at all, even tangentially?

F&F has been caught lying in the past; they really are full of themselves and over-saccharine with their "oh, we really are a legionary website!" now, all wide-eyed self-proclaimed innocence. Go back a few years and you'll see they outright lied about their connections when they were asked point blank: "This website is LC?"

Danielle Bean herself did bait-n-switch; it was her website some used to read for the popular "coffee talk" Tuesdays. She started to feed everyone over to F&F and pretty much closed down her own website. She might not be RC ("might", but who knows?), but she led a whole bunch of readers to an RC-run website, without saying a word as to what they were going to be reading. They sell/promote LC books, authors, etc. And now there is an LC priest who offers advice. If it is good advice, remember that it's good IN SPITE of him being LC, not because of it, and that's key. I don't think, e.g. that Fr. Berg was 100% wrong on all he wrote/said before he left and now he's 100% right. But now I can TRUST him. If you have LC after your name, you gave that up.

Maciel formed LC, wrote the rule, formed the first batch of priests; the rest of them were formed from that pot of sickness. Why should I trust any of them? See, that's the part that they need hammered into their brains: I don't have to. It's not my job or responsibility to trust you. You didn't earn it.

My question is how many degrees of separation do I need to feel secure? I ended my subscription to F&F mag and to NCRegister. I don't trust ANYONE affilliated with them, which is too bad, since I know some of those people aren't RC. But sorry, that's part of the problem when you play in the mud - some of it splashes on you. Get out and get clean.

Anonymous said...

RC,
Is there any chance you're wrong? Is there any chance you didn't do your homework on this one before you tried to smear Danielle's name? Why don't you get to work on your apology.

Anonymous said...

More fruit of the movement - maybe someone's name gets smeared along the way...oh well....

Ian said...

Dear Erin,

I wish that you had asked Danielle or me for clarification before writing this post.

If you go to the home page of the Catholic.net store and look at the page title it reads "Catholic.net Store Powered by Aquinas and More".

If you go to Aquinas and More and read about the company you will see that Aquinas and More is an independent Catholic store run by a family of ten (going on eleven) in Colorado Springs. Our store is in no more owned by the Legion than your blog is owned by Google. No one in our family is part of any organization associated with the LC.

The director of Circle Media approached us asking if they could use our store as an affiliate in the much the same way as the thousands of completely non-Amazon-owned affiliates of Amazon use Amazon Astores and the Associate program.

There is nothing nefarious about our relationship and no one is trying to hide anything. Catholic.net asked for the "Powered by Aquinas and More" to be part of the site name.

Apart from the completely wrong conclusion you draw concerning our store and Catholic.net, you also imply that members of the various RC groups are somehow kept in the dark about the other groups associated with RC. Do you really think that RC members aren't aware of other parts of RC?

Finally you conclude, and by your conclusion encourage others to follow suit, that you won't have anything to do with the Catholic.net store, Aquinasandmore.com, Faith and Family, etc. because of a wrong conclusion that you drew without contacting any of the parties involved.

I hope that you will issue some sort of correction as this is not a charitable way to blog.

@anonymous: Have you also stopped giving money to the Church and told others to do the same because of the sex abuse scandal? Do you refuse to buy books from Catholic publishers that produce good books with the bad?

The Devil rejoices in his ability to pull down a man and take everything good that was in some way associated with him because people can't or won't distinguish between the good and the bad.

Do you have some concrete sampling of the F&F lying that you accuse them of? For as long as my wife has subscribed to the magazine there never was any attempt to hide that the priest giving the advice was LC; it was right there after his name.

You also accuse Danielle of being a liar using a typical yellow-journalism tactic of making an unproven accusation and then stepping back and claiming she is hiding something. You also claim a bait-and-switch without any proof or knowledge of Danielle's motivation to do most of her blogging at F&F. Unless you are able to read souls, you have just committed calumny, several times, in fact.

Further, contrary to Catholic teaching, you have placed the sin of some on all without any proof. You cannot, in justice, claim that all Legion priests are bad without proof that all are bad.

I suppose that since Judas also turned out to be rotten that you dismiss all the apostles as bad since they were all part of the same group and a much smaller, tighter-knit group than the LC.

Anonymous said...

"I suppose that since Judas also turned out to be rotten that you dismiss all the apostles as bad since they were all part of the same group and a much smaller, tighter-knit group than the LC."

Do you realize how offensive that statement is? The Church was not founded by Judas or by a pederast. It was not groomed or shaped or deformed to enable and cover up for a pedarest.

Erin's gripe is that the Legion and its Circle Press are "laundering their image" through operations like yours.

It's your call, but don't be surprised if many stay clear of your operation while you work with Circle Press.

Anonymous said...

"The Devil rejoices in his ability to pull down a man and take everything good that was in some way associated with him because people can't or won't distinguish between the good and the bad."

Not to be facetious, but what exactly is the good that is associated with Maciel and the Legion? Maciel, through his deformed order, hijacked orthodox movements within the Church, stole vocations that were desperately needed, and misappropriated resources that should have gone to support the Church. He taught his order how to pose, manipulate, and bend all good things to their own advantage. He must have known, especially after 2006, that his perversions and duplicity would be discovered. In his stunted and impious soul, he must have known the discord and division he would leave as his lasting legacy to the Church. And he did nothing to mitigate this damage; he multiplied it by playing the martyr until the very end. His legacy continues through his order, and everything they touch is tainted with his scandal. This is why every Catholic business, publisher, writer, and apostolate needs to reject the overtures of the Legion; they're not helping you, they are buying your reputation.

Ian said...

@anonymous: I guess that since you didn't even bother to address the calumny you committed against innocent LC priests, F&F and Danielle Bean that you don't have a problem with making baseless accusations.

You also are committing calumny against those who run Catholic.net since you have no proof that they are doing anything wrong.

Further, from what you say it appears that you are unwilling to forgive anyone in any way associated with the Legion even if they are completely innocent of whatever you believe taints everything associated with the LC.

I hope that everyone else can see that your anger has blinded you to the Christian justice and benefit of the doubt that all parties involved deserve.

Red Cardigan said...

Ian, I'll respond to you briefly tonight. Expect a lengthier response in the form of a new post tomorrow. Fair warning: you probably won't much like it.

Now, first things first: quit accusing people, with no grounds at all, of committing the sin of calumny. The Legion has a history of duplicitous conduct, of "taking over" other people's apostolates, and of insinuating themselves into the good work of others and then claiming credit. None of that is calumny--it is part of the history of the LC/RC and its way of operating, which people have been growing aware of in the recent past. Plenty of the details of these sorts of things were handed over to the Apostolic Visitators during the course of their recent investigation. No one here has accused any individual person of doing any specific wrong (unless we are going to call it calumny to discuss the unpleasant fact that the Legion was founded and formed by a sexually deviant con man, but I'll happily ask my own confessor if discussing this matter in public is a sin in any way).

As to your specific charges to me: what, exactly, do you think that you or Danielle ought to have clarified? To be quite frank, when I wrote my post, I was unaware that Aquinas and More was the store behind this arrangement; I presumed that Catholic.net was acting as its own retailer in a manner of speaking, and when I Googled "Catholic.net" to confirm my memory that they were a Legion affiliate I did not go to the store page and see the "powered by Aquinas and More" aspect. After the post had appeared someone alerted me to the connection.

What I said, and what is still true, is that Danielle wrote a post that essentially advertised Catholic goods and said F&F would receive a portion of the proceeds from Catholic.net. But Catholic.net and F&F are both affiliated with the Legion; both are operated by Circle Media. In either case people who buy gifts through the link Danielle provided are agreeing that some of the proceeds can go to the Legion--true, yes?

The whole point of my post is that some of us, as we wait for the report of the recent Apostolic Visitation to be concluded, are trying to decide what level of contact with Legion-owned, Legion-run ministries, missions, apostolates, business, groups, clubs, fashion shows, Bible studies etc. we are *personally* comfortable with. Some people may be comfortable with more contact than others--but what if someone is simply subscribing to F&F, but in no way intends to donate to the Legion? Isn't it unfair to them to assume that *they* know that F&F is affiliated with Circle Media which is affiliated with the Legion, and Catholic.net is affiliated with Circle Media which is affiliated with Legion, and, say, K4J is affiliated with Mission Network which is affiliated with the Legion, and Pure Fashion is...and so forth.

I will be going into this in more detail tomorrow.

Synonymous said...

Hi Ian. I'm the second Anonymous, 10:49 PM. Were your comments directed at me, or another Anonymous? For the sake of this conversation, I will adopt the name "Synonymous"

Ian said...

What you said in your post was "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."

That is an untrue statement.

You then go on to state that "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."

Again, this isn't a true statement since the Catholic.net STORE is not owned by the Legion, it is owned by Aquinas and More, and therefore the money isn't all going to the Legion as you assert.

You further claim that Danielle is using dishonest "tactics" at the end of your post to justify your boycott and indirectly encouraging others to do the same. You have no proof that her post was anything other than honest. Again, accusations without proof.

Those are at least three times in your post that you make accusations without proof with the apparent intent to harm the relationship between F&F and the Catholic.net store run by Aquinas and More.

The definition of calumny is "a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something". I leave your readers to decide if your post and the followup comments by "Anonymous" are anything but.

I agree that the founder of the LC was a sinner and that tactics used by the Legion were bad. What you are currently doing towards Catholic.net is the exact thing that you decry in your previous post about the abuse scandal - you are assuming the worst currently based on past history and that things haven't changed in spite of evidence to the contrary.

To further illustrate my point about the imaginary "secret" connections that Catholic.net has with various organizations, I would point you to the press release written by Catholic.net in which they try to hide their affiliation with statements like "Catholic.net is a Web-based apostolate, directed by the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement".

I would also point you to the about us page on the Faith and Family website where they again try to hide their affiliation by stating "Faith and Family Magazine and Faith and Family Live! are published by Circle Media, the publishing arm of the Legionaries of Christ."

Now I admit that the National Catholic Register site doesn't mention the Legion but if you have ever bothered to pick up the paper it is clear who runs it.

All this together - the claims you made in your post without checking the facts, your current attitude towards LC apostolates which you seem to get based on history, not on the current state of things, and your previous post concerning the abuse scandal - leads at least to the tarnishing of good people's names and harm to organizations that are doing good in the Church in spite of the serious problems that the founding organization has had in the past.

Hopefully in your post tomorrow, which I'm sure will be full of the PAST horrors of the LC that you will use to convince people to reject the CURRENT good that is being done, you will find a moment to apologize for the false accusations you made in your original post.

Ian said...

@Synonymous My comments were directed at @anonymous 10:48 who accused Danielle of "bait and switch" and F&F of lying.

In response to your statement about the Legion needing to be rejected by everyone, you are basing your conclusion on the past history of the LC without any regard for what they are doing to reform now. You also are rejecting the good that is done through things like F&F. What "taint" do you find in the magazine? What taint do you find in the books they print? They've already pulled and destroyed all of Maciel's writing.

What will they have to do to be "holy enough" for you to give them approval again?

You state "His legacy continues through his order, and everything they touch is tainted with his scandal". You could say the same thing about the Church and the abuse scandal, no?

There seem to be a lot of wide nets of judgment being cast around that everything that is in any way associated with the Legion is bad without proof to back up that claim.

There are REAL priests with REAL vocations who have nothing to do with this scandal but have to live not only with the shame of their founder but also with the blanket condemnation that people like you continue to cast upon them.

Your condemnation instead of prayers and support could lead to the innocent men (and women in RC) abandoning their vocations. Blame Maciel and those responsible for the coverup all you want. God will judge their souls. But you need to make a distinction between the bad and the good here.

Anonymous said...

@Ian,
I left RC and I have a pile of good reasons, which charity has prevented me from listing on blogs. As a result of those experiences, I choose not to associate with LC or RC apostolates. I am very cautious about supporting ventures which seem like they may have an LC or RC affiliation. Until I see reform, and apologies to many people who have been hurt, I am not living outside the bounds of Christian charity if I decline to participate or purchase or endorse anything related to the movement.

If I mistakenly decline to support or participate in a non-RC related apostolate out of my desire to avoid these services at all cost, I am also not living outside the bounds of Christian charity.

My experiences of the movement have left me gun-shy of RC/LC apostolates. Fortunately,I have found many worthwhile Catholic events, resources and groups from which to sustain my faith life.

My avoidance of everything RC/LC does not prevent me from praying for the RCs, the LCs, the AVs and the vatican. I have prayed and sacrificed for no other intention as fervantly in the past year as this awful situation. Please keep in mind that much of the outrage you are hearing is from Catholics who are feeling deep anguish for abuse victims,and for the scandal to the Church. The scandal I refer to is not MM's actions, but the LC response and much of the methodology. I believe I can say all this in truth, and still love and pray for everyone caught up in this awful situation - priests, brothers, consecrated, RCs, and yes, innocent bystanders.

Anonymous said...

Also,
ONE simple question:

Are you denying that ANY profits from Catholic.net end up in Legion apostolates?

Anonymous said...

Ooh, me, me! That was me, anonymous. First of all, the situation on F&F was copied and pasted and actually posted in the comments HERE, of all places! And she sure did obfuscate. If I have time later, I might find it. But you can look, too, if you're so sure that you've got the story correct and I don't.

See, when asked if F&F was LC, the correct answer for a thousand, Alex is: Yes. Yes it is.

And she did not say that. She said..something else. Something about how Fr. Kearns just "happens" to be a legionary priest and blah blah blah yadda yadda...all without saying, "YES".

That's a lie. Typical rc/lc.

So, I no longer trust her. Nor F&F. Deal with it.

And then when she said "here is the place we can talk and answer questions .." yadda yadda blah blah
...she shut down the comments.

Now, where have I seen that tactic before?
Such transparency. Such a willingness to engage in truthful discussion. Ha!

Ian said...

@Anonymous As I stated before, the Catholic.net runs just like any other affiliate site.

What isn't true and what Erin hasn't recanted is the assertion that the Catholic.net store is run by the LC and that all the funds go to the LC.

Deb said...

I believe it all needs to be boycotted until the group comes to terms with the foundation they are built on. Being part of the church they should be held to the highest standard.

Faith and family does not openly talk about or disclose their connection to LC.

Recently there was a post on girl scouts and what we what moms thought about participating in girl scouts.
I'm not sure if they turn off comments a day or 2 after the post but comments on this one were shut off after the question was raised about whether or not we should participate in an organization whose founder is a lying, embezzling, pedophile. That discussion certainly was not going to happen there. It was ironic that a post on their site was actually talking about whether or not we should be involved in scouting. I do agree there are issues with girl scouts but I thought it was hypocritical given the nature of the issues with their organization.

I think most who go to the website have no idea about their connections. Father Owen Kearns is one of the editors and he steadfastly denounced all who had accusations against Maciel and wrote about it as well. I am sure he was fooled as well but still has to step up to the plate and deal with the evil foundation LC was built on and how the organization itself fed into that.

Charlotte said...

Deb,
That's interesting about the Girl Scout thing in comparison to the Maciel thing. Kind of ironic.

The question is, does Danielle, herself, decide to turn off the comments? Or is she directed to do so from someone higher up, or has she been pre-directed to do it if anything LC/RC comes up?

Although in F &F's defense, it's not their place, I think, to facilitate a discussion about the LC/RC scandal.

Anonymous said...

Ian, I can sympathize with the trouble this is causing your business and you, a innocent bystander, as it were. But it might help to understand that people who are wary of anything LC/RC are not much different from a woman, let's say, whose husband has had an affair. She may be able to forgive and she may even be working with serious intent on healing herself and her marriage, but it does little good--and great harm--for the offending spouse to ridicule or dismiss her legitimate need for transparency and accountability. And let's say that the spouse comes across an email or a phone call from some third party. It would be understandable that everything and everyone is called in question, even if that third party is innocent. She wants the doors open and the communication lit up. This is what rebuilds trust.

I am probably not explaining myself very well, but I mean this with good will. And I really mean to say that the offending spouse--and those he deals with independently--need to go above and beyond in order to rebuild her trust, if there is to be genuine healing.

Anonymous said...

I just posted something to Ian at 12:08PM. Didn't mean to be "Anonymous"--which is so confusing--but I can be "Anonymous in NY."

Ian said...

@Deb: The F&F website lists their connection with the Legion on their about us page! How is that not up front? Do they need to have a pop up window saying that "F&F is owned by the LC, an organization founded by a sexually sick man". for you to stop making this accusation?

@all Many of you are acting as if nothing has changed with the Legion and several of you have asserted that everything and everyone associated with the LC is deserving of shunning because somehow everyone on every level is somehow involved in some sort of evil conspiracy.

If that is how you think we should all act, then I suppose you will recommend disassociating yourself with the Church since the Communique released today makes it clear that the Vatican knew about the problems back in 2006 and didn't turn over Maciel for prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Ian,
What reforms? I'm not implying there are none. But it's not obvious.

And also, why can't you answer the question? Is there or is there not money from Catholic.net going into Legion apostolate coffers? It's a simple question, really.

Ian said...

@Anonymous: Let's do a little logic game here.

1) Catholic.net is part of the LC.
2) Catholic.net gets affiliate commission from the storefront.
3) If 1 and 2 are true then isn't obvious that the Legion is getting the commissions? I don't understand why you have such a hard time with this and why you seem to think that I'm being shady with my answer. You are striking at shadows that aren't even there.

As far as reforms go, everything written by and about Maciel has been stricken from the LC. I would say that that's a pretty clear start to a reform.

Anonymous said...

Ian,
Dumping everything Maciel wrote IS a good start.

But let's use another example - the U.S. Constitution. Let's say that for whatever reason, the U.S. Constitution needed to be dumped/erased/eliminated. Wouldn't there still be legions (no pun intended) of people, lawyers, and institutions, who had been tutored and influenced by the U.S. Constitution? How would you erase the vast, vast influence of that one document from heads and practice and traditions of all those people?

Documents gone - good. Influence of documents and influence of writer of documents and influence of those who upheld and promoted those documents - still everywhere and still being employed.

Ian said...

@Anonymous Your proof that the tactics put in place by Maciel are "still everywhere and still being employed". is...?

What exactly will it take for you to say that the Legion is okay again? Go ahead, be bold and make your list.

Ian said...

@Anonymous re what do to with people influenced by a bad document: I suppose that you could take the Chinese approach and have a "cultural revolution" but I don't think that's what you really are expecting, are you? What is your solution?

Anonymous said...

Ian, This is Anonymous in NY and I would suggest that you read--or reread--Archbishop O'Brien's letter to the LC/RC leadership written when he was on the cusp of throwing them out entirely because of their persistent and maddening lack of transparency. He doesn't throw them out but he does come up with a list--promulgated for the common good--that I see as completely adaptable for any layperson who is deeply concerned and skittish. Gist: Show me every last bit of your activity, promptly and fully and with sincere transparency. In other words, go out of your way and maybe I will trust you again. That's really not so different from my list "solution" to this trust issue. Here is the link (or google): http://www.archbalt.org/news/upload/Corcuera-Letter-From-Abp-OBrien-06-06-08.pdf

Deb said...

Ian,

They only added the "about us" page after being questioned as to why they do not acknowlegde their connection with LC. So they are not up front.

I am sure that most people that go there have NO idea about the connection

Ian said...

@AnonymousinNY Thank you for the list. That seems perfectly reasonable to me. Was there any further action on this in Baltimore? Is there any indication currently that the LC and RC are moving (or not) in that direction?

Marie said...

Ian,

They have gotten rid of all the writings? Really? Fr. Luis Garza, LC, Vicar General says otherwise. From September 2009:

15. We will edit his writings under another name? That is what we are doing. The ideas about formation are his, they are used in seminaries and all over the place.

This is the vicar general talking here just 7 months ago. Where is your proof?

Deb said...

Red,

I am sure it is very difficult for Danielle Bean. Although she is not a member of RC she is paid to do Faith and Family. I believe her husband is a teacher at the Legionaries high school/seminary in NH. (I am not certain but pretty sure about this)

When you depend on the group for your income your choices are limited.

I believe someone like Danielle (and her husband) can hopefully bring light in a dark place. I am sure there is much heartache in the group and perhaps a time of realizing that God is their foundation not Maciel.

Ian said...

@Deb So someone asks about their connection, they put the information on their about us page and that isn't being up front? It seems that that would be a clear example of them trying to improve their transparency.

Again, do they need to have a popup on the home page telling people to leave the site because the LC was founded by a great sinner before you stop accusing them of continued deception?

Deb said...

Ian,

I find it hard to understand that who is at your foundation would not be part of your website from the begining, that is all

Ian said...

@Marie I've spoken several times to the head of Circle Media who told me that Circle Press has stopped selling and distributing his writings and are disposing of what's left.

Can you please link to the quote above? It makes it really hard to respond to something when quotes are snipped from somewhere without any links.

Ian said...

@Deb You accused F&F of ongoing deception based on something not mentioned on their site two years ago. Do you have any proof that they intentionally hid their affiliation or that they are still being deceptive?

The problem with most of the posters here is that they have taken the horrible things done in the past and made accusations without proof that all this stuff is still going on without providing evidence to support the claim. I'm not denying the possibility that things are still being done that shouldn't be but until someone provides the evidence it's all just baseless.

Anonymous said...

Ian, this is Anonymous in NY about LC/RC reforms in Baltimore: I wish I could answer your question. Archbishop O'Brien wrote that letter in June 2008, before the explosive revelations about Fr. M's duplicity became better known and acknowledged. And I think that is important to note that he wrote the letter without mentioning anything at all about the founder and his sins. Instead, he was entirely focused on the persistent ways in which LC/RC hid their activities. I point this out because it's not enough to "distance" oneself from Fr. M, the founder. Instead, the LC/RC has to prove itself transparent. Maybe the Archbishop would speak well of their current efforts. I have no real way of knowing. Or maybe the Vatican investigation supercedes everything. I really don't know.

Marie said...

Interview link

Ian said...

Someone a few comments back mentioned a Girl Scout post and that comments had been cut off - obviously for some covert reason. I went back to F&F and found the post and comments are still open. Looks like some need to do a little fact checking before making claims.

Nat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nat said...

Ian,

When they renounce Maciel, his spirit, methodology, writings, constitution, rules, norms, teachings, and false ideas of the apostolate and obedience.

When they stop saying they got something good from him.

When they apologize to the Pope for flatly contradicting the clear meaning of that retirement to a life of penance and carrying on for 3 more years about his martyrdom.

When they release everyone from their promises to his order, and stop pushing weird ideas of obedience on lay people.

When they let go of the recruiting network and fund-raising machine that hold them back from a fresh start.

When they with the lack of personal freedom and discernment that Fr. Thomas Berg describes:

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1339296?eng=y

'an unhealthy suppression of personal freedom (which is a far cry from the reasoned, discerned and freely exercised oblation of mind and will that the Holy Spirit genuinely inspires in the institution of religious obedience) and occasions unholy and unhealthy restrictions on personal conscience.

...a simplistic, and humanly and theologically impoverished notion of God's will (its discernment and manifestation) that breeds personal immaturity.

...shielded as they are from virtually all negative information about the Legion and Regnum Christi... they lack the requisite interior freedom to genuinely discern God's calling in their lives at present."

When they stop saying they'll change whatever the Pope wants changed, and put _everything_ up for discussion.

When they toss out the rules in the Constitution that call for the dismissal of anyone who questions what Maciel taught them do.

It's not going to be easy. It will probably requires a re-founding but they have to start.

The worst possible response would be to assume a charism can be cobbled together by retaining parts of Maciel's mission, vision, teaching, and methodology.

Rather than focusing on what can be saved, the Legion must be willing to lose all of the limbs Maciel provided them with.

If any group in the Church in 50 years time traces its history back to this sorry mess, it must be contemplative not conquering, humble not ambitious, and must serve the laity not enroll them into it's mission

You are free to disagree, but they are really good at image laundering and really bad at dealing honestly with what Maciel made them into.

Until that changes anyone who affiliates with any their programs is not helping them to grow up.

P.S. They still have at least one publication with "his" writings without his name:

http://changobeer.blogspot.com/2009/08/horror-horror.html

Marie said...

Another post on the "new" prayerbook that still includes writings from MM.

Red Cardigan said...

Ian, I appreciated what you wrote at 1:35 and have taken the liberty of creating a new post around it. Anyone who would find it easier to continue the discussion up there might want to check it out.

Ian said...

If the new prayerbook is as you say then RC obviously still has some serious issues to deal with. The sooner the better.

I have spoken to someone in RC who has some authority and said that Circle Press is not at all involved in the Christo book mentioned above.

Marie said...

Circle Press, no. What about Circle Media? Are they different entities? They have different names.

Ian said...

@Marie Circle Media runs Circle Press, F&F, Catholic.net and NCReg.

@All Well, it looks that you can check at least one of your demands off the list.
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1001271.htm

Deb said...

Ian,

You are correct. The comments appear open at this time. However, When I wanted to add a comment it was not accepted--perhaps a glitch in my own computer or perhaps a glitch in the F and F website--who knows.

Ian, you are so steadfast in your defense of LC. If oyu had a son would you encourage him to j oin the order or a duaghter to join Regnum Christi in consecrated life. How far does your devotion to them go?

Ian said...

@Deb I have no devotion to them at all. I wouldn't let my kids join as I know enough ex-seminarians who left seriously disturbed about the LC.

My devotion is to the Truth and when things are said that haven't been backed up with fact (Erin's initial statements, now kind of corrected, Anonymous' assertions about the intentions of Danielle Bean, etc.) I will speak up until such claims are proven true.

I have defended Catholic.net and F&F because they do good work and I have yet to see any nefarious intentions in those people I have dealt with (lack of business smarts on several occasions but not some sinister plot unless disorganization is the plot).

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous' assertions about the intentions of Danielle Bean"

That's me again! OK, what about that story don't you get? It happens to be true, exactly as I said it was.

I do not give a tinker's fart what her intentions were. I can only tell you what she WROTE. She wrote that SHE was closing down the comments (if she did that upon command from higher up, that's not my problem, but it is hers). She did NOT say that F&F was an LC/RC connected mag/website. That's a lie by omission.

And if they do admit it now? Too late! I DON'T CARE. They've shown their true colors. They have to now, because the cat's out of the bag. They can't hide it. But they hid it as long as they could get away with it. That's a real show of character, or lack thereof.

It's amazing how you can get so annoyed with me - who is telling the God's honest truth - but not her, for being a liar.

Ian said...

@Anonymous Based on the way you write I'm really not surprised that she shut comments down.

My impression of the F&F blog is that it is meant to be an inspiring place and the whole discussion wandered off into something else.

See my reply above concerning her statement. Again, by calling her a liar you are judging her intent and you have yet to prove that you can read souls. What you have proven in your posts is that you are suspicious of everything and are looking for boogie men where there aren't any. (Repeatedly asking me where commissions go when I clearly stated three, maybe four times, that they go to the LC.)

Above you said the following: "And she did not say that. She said..something else. Something about how Fr. Kearns just 'happens' to be a legionary priest and blah blah blah yadda yadda...all without saying, 'YES'".
She didn't say it like that. That's you wanting to see a lie.

You accuse her of "bait-and-switch". Again, assigning motives without any proof.

Yes, her answer could have been clearer, especially by your standards but you are the one who repeatedly claims to know someone's motivation without asking the person or proving that you can read souls.

Anonymous said...

Ian,
The Anonymous you've been discussing with in the last hour or so is NOT the anonymous that was asking about the commissions - I WAS.

Sorry for the confusion.
"H"

Red Cardigan said...

I deleted the latest anonymous comment--you are free to disagree as much as you like, but you may not attack other commenters.

Deb said...

anonymous @9:45 on the 26th.

I rememeber that discussion on Faith and family and how it took alot of "hair pulling" to get down to the bottom line of YES we are an LC ministry. I did not understand why all the smoke and mirrors about it.

Ian said...

@Anonynmouses Can't all you Anonymous posters pick some screen names like "Bob" or "RCJudy" so that it is actually possible to follow who is saying what?

I realize that some of my responses don't make complete sense because I'm responding to multiple people who are coming from different viewpoints as if they are all one person.

Red Cardigan said...

Okay, everybody play nice.

Ian, I've asked people to pick nicknames too--it's funny how many people just won't do it.