Thursday, April 15, 2010

An ideal that sacrificed the intellect

If you haven't already seen these blog posts via Life-after-RC, do go and read them--it's a two part account from a former Regnum Christi member:

Struggling with the Elephant in the Living Room: Part 1

The Elephant in the Living Room: Part 2

I want to highlight a bit from that second post:

And then, in 2009, the news of Fr. Maciel’s scandalous behavior, the founder of Regnum Christi, was released to the lay people.

I thought I had moved past RC, for the most part. I thought I was an outsider… but it turns out I wasn’t. I was angry at the news. Hurt. Betrayed. Bewildered. And I knew I had to drive the long drive into town, early in the morning, to meet with my dear sisters and support them in this horrible trial.

What I discovered was a mixture of reactions, which is to be expected of any group of people, considering different personalities and pain thresholds. But I did encounter one reaction more common than my own… that ‘tranquil peace’, the ‘joy’, the gratefulness that Fr. Maciel was also a sinner like the rest of us… the ‘let’s move on’ attitude, especially from our suffering priest leaders…

My reaction then turned to shock. Having been actively away from the movement for over a year, I could not believe what I was hearing, and I discerned that truly, what didn’t sit right with me was not a matter of personal preference. It was the belief in an ideal that sacrificed the intellect; that asked us to continue down a road when we had been lied to by the founder of our group and his cohorts… grave lies and deception, and that we were supposed to believe that our remaining associated with the founder and his movement would bear good fruit, and we were supposed to gloss over it, move on, and simply focus on Christ.

Don’t get me wrong… there has been tremendous good fruit borne from people in Regnum Christi. I myself grew spiritually while I was part of the movement. There are amazing RC apostolates that continue to help build up Christ’s people and His Church… But I believe these good fruits do not spring from Fr. Maciel or even the Regnum Christi movement iteself. They spring from the goodness of God and His Church, and the holy people that would be responding to Him no matter what movement they are a part of.

Emphasis is in the original; do look, though, at what the blogger is saying here. She is saying exactly what I have been saying from the outside: that the good being done by LC/RC members is being done apart from, and even in spite of the Legion and Regnum Christi.

Worse, the spiritual formation that makes everyone default to a Pollyanna-like "everything is good, everything is fine..." attitude, and the notion that this is what is required of good, holy Catholic people, to see everything as what the blogger calls a "case study" and to draw a bright line between the critical, judgmental, secular world and the serene, untroubled, tranquil LC/RC member, are among the most ingrained and entrenched problems in the Movement. Even if some RC apostolates are doing good work in spite of Maciel and the Legion, they have been very, very wrongly taught in terms of how Catholics should think about things--or, indeed, as to whether Catholics ought to be thinking much at all.

It is, as the blogger so pithily puts it, "...the belief in an ideal that sacrificed the intellect." But no valid Catholic movement would ever teach its members not to value the intellect, not to respect its proper role in the life of every human being, not to raise questions in prudence and to seek truth even in "negative" situations.

Regardless of any isolated "good works" being done in LC or RC apostolates, it is crucial that these erroneous ideas be rooted out everywhere they exist, most especially in any organizations that involve the young: schools, Challenge/ConQuest clubs, and so on. Catholic children need to be capable of counteracting the evil of the world with a synthesis of faith, intellect, sound teaching, and conformity of the will to God's will; they will not be able to counter the world and its darkness by merely spinning as much as they can, "charitably," to be not really so dark, after all.


shalimamma said...

well, what a joy to discover your wonderful blog! I'm adding you to my list of blogs! Thank you for posting this... and God bless you... I bet we have a similar home school. 'Lumpy' is a word that is very fitting in our home, for just about everything ;) Keep up the good work! ~shalimamma

TROLL said...

Oh, dear, and to think that all of these articles are having not a whit of influence on the serene women of RC. They simply go on doing their morning Gospel reflection, their noon Angelus, their daily Rosary, their nightly examen, their weekly hour of Adoration and Mass as often as they can, and spiritual communion even more often than that. They simply go on working to build the Church and serve other people, particularly their husbands and families with all of the serenity their daily walk with Christ gives them.

Red Cardigan said...

Troll, I must be getting to you, for you to write as you did above. I hope the serene women you describe are offering many of their serene prayers for the victims of Maciel, especially the young seminarians both physically and spiritually raped by the man whose rule they follow. Or would that too much disturb their serenity?

Anonymous said...

As someone who is following the Vatican's response to the allegations against Maciel, I came upon this wonderful blog and wholeheartedly support the blogger's response to Troll--people's lives have been destroyed by the founder of the Regnum Christi movement, and serenity is not an appropriate Catholic response--the outrage that I feel in reading Troll's self-satisfied response cannot be expressed in words--I hope that in all those prayers she is praying for the victims of Marcel Maciel.

Susan said...

Dear Troll,

The pharisees followed all the precepts too, didn't they?

Is it enough to check one's intellect at the door, follow all the rules, and be obedient?

One thing this RC debacle has taught me - all my prayers and adorations and nightly examens won't mean anything if I am ignoring how I may be hurting someone. (Or ignoring my enabling of another hurting someone.) And furthermore, I can easily be blinded into thinking that it's ok to be deceptive "for the Kingdom." All in RC are, to some extent. THAT should be a part of the nightly examen.

The serene, prayerful RC woman ought to be in her parish, leading by example in her meekness and prayerfulness.

Anonymous said...

Troll, if they are "building up the Church" that is very good news, because last I checked, they were building up Mission Network, RC apostolates designed to serve RCs, and nary an RC on the scene at my parish doing the work of, er, the Church. I could really use a hand here at the parish, so as soon as I sign off here, I shall run to the doors and throw them open to welcome all these builders of Church to the work of the CHURCH!!

Anonymous said...

As annoying as it can be to read them, I am very glad the Trolls of the world are still out here posting. They exemplify the methodology more than any explanation of it ever could.

I've sometimes wondered if Troll and others aren't posting for the "anti-Legion" side (for lack of a better term). It would be a brilliant (if devious!) strategy, to post as a "supporter" spouting such nonsense and utter lack of Christian values that people beginning to question the movement might read and begin to have their eyes opened.

I'm probably being too "charitable" in my interpretation, though, and Troll probably really does believe in the methodology he/she has obviously integrated so well.

Either way, I think it's a good thing these people keep posting.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, dear, and to think that all of these articles are having not a whit of influence on the serene women of RC."

That is a shame...I was one of those "serene" women in 2006 after our Pope sanctioned our founder and I chose to follow Maciels and the LCs version that Maciel was innocent and like Jesus being accused. I continued my prayers and RC work blinded by the world around me because I thought everything I was doing was so good and holy.

I am so glad to be living in the truth now. The truth is LC/RC was founded by a fraud and many people were hurt. Sure there was good stuff but it came thru all of our good intentions and God allowed fruits despite the tainted methodology.

I have a different kind of prayer life that is more real and stripped of any of Maciels methodology. My trust has been broken but me and Jesus handle that together. It has been a difficult year to face this ugly truth and enter into the pain of the true victims in this mess.

I wouldn't trade my pain and realness with forced serenity any day. My peace comes from Christ and not from being faithful to some Movement that chose keeping members in over telling them the truth.