Friday, March 12, 2010

The Monk and me

The gentleman who blogs at The Monk who Stole the Cow comments on my links to Deirdre Mundy's posts below that post; in part, he writes:
MM did appeal to young people - me included (when I was young!) By the time I left the LC I had become aware (over a period of let's say 5 years) that MM was Machiavellian, a manipulator. Deep down I thought there was a deeper problem - the lethal combination of narcissism and charisma. That particular combo can lead people to abuse their follower's minds and bodies. During my time, I never say any hint of child molestation. I could believe that he might have had an affair - but I never saw any evidence.

That's all a belated way of saying that despite his awful sins I do think that God, through the good priests of the LC (not really through MM) attracted lots of young people to the Church. They are not all "manipulated" and led astray. Let's face it, I don't know of too many Catholic movements successfully attracting young Catholic leaders.
And here's my reply:
Monk, all due respect, but don't you see a rather big flaw in that sort of reasoning?

The idealism and passion of youth demands purity of heart from their leaders. Deirdre referenced the Soviets, but I can't help but think of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. Some of its actors, too, were very young, swept up in a notion of a pure new way of doing things; and some of these young men, including Robespierre own young brother, perished on the guillotine when the corruption within the very leaders of the Terror became known to the public.

What attracted young people to the Legion? Maciel, and his ways of doing things. His picture was everywhere; his followers spoke of him reverently as "Nuestro Padre," or "Our Father," as if he were almost on a par with God; the belief that he was a living saint and would be canonized soon after his death was held even after he was ordered by the Vatican to seclusion. His acceptance of those orders was held to be the humble holiness of a man of God, knowing his accusers wrong, but refusing to defend himself like Christ during His passion.

Maciel didn't attract young people to the Church, but to the Legion. He encouraged them to believe they had found a better way to holiness than the rank-and-file in parish life. He fostered a subtle spirit of--not disobedience, but pride, that deadliest of all deadly sins, the pride that said, "We are not as other men." After all, they were the privileged attendants of a living saint, were they not?

Now all of that has collapsed into a stinking, rotten pile of ruin. What are the "young leaders" attracted to the Church by Maciel to do now? Oh, wait; they were not attracted to the Church, but to the Legion--and the Legion is so badly, so deeply, so pervasively flawed, that instead of recoiling in horror from the relentless bad news about Maciel, many in the Legion are circling the wagons. Maciel was a flawed vessel, some of the accusations are probably wrong, these new revelations from the second family we've heard from are motivated by greed and likely untrue or at least exaggerated, God doesn't want us ever to leave the Legion because it is His work, we were promised Heaven if only we embraced our vocations or apostolates, we can't leave without placing our own salvation in extreme jeopardy because we will have proved ourselves unworthy of God's great gift of the Legion--we are the true victims of Maciel, because the real charism he somehow had founded something so great and holy that only the flawed or evil will ever abandon it...and on and on, in a the nightmare symptoms of a badly co-dependent relationship, not of a real call from God.

You say, "Let's face it, I don't know of too many Catholic movements successfully attracting young Catholic leaders..." as if that somehow makes it imperative to preserve the Legion at all costs. But what attracted young people to the Legion has proved to be something empty, worthless, and founded on sin, not something holy, eternal, and founded by a humble follower of God. We could probably attract lots of young people to the Church by sins other than pride, you know, but that wouldn't make it right.
I invite others to join the conversation! Let's be respectful, though. I'm especially interested in hearing from those who have been or still are involved with the Legion of Christ, Regnum Christi, or any of its various apostolates (including Challenge and Conquest clubs, Pure Fashion, K4J, etc.) or who buy or make use of things which are tied to the Legion (including Faith and Family magazine, National Catholic Register, etc.). What's your perspective on this? Has the Legion produced enough "good fruits" apart from Maciel to deserve to continue? Is everything irreparably flawed? What would you do, if the decision were up to you?


annef said...

We've never been directly involved with RC, but have been through the 'discerning' process a couple of times. I was put off, though, because instead of discernment it really felt like recruitment. Years after that, we did have our kids involved with K4J and had no problem with it. After the scandals came to light, we pulled our children out. One tie I cannot bring myself to sever is my subscription to "Faith and Family" magazine. It is such a lovely publication. I don't know if I'm wrong in continuing my support of this branch of the Legion. I would appreciate others' opinions on the matter.

Erin Manning said...

Annef, I've gotten a gift subscription to F&F myself, though I don't plan to renew it. Yes, the magazine is quite lovely, and I know that for a more "crafty" sort of person the various craft activities and suggestions are very nice to have, so I don't know how I'd feel if the magazine were truly useful to me.

As it is, though, I can't see myself supporting the Legion in any way at present. There's so much work that needs to be done, and so little honest admission of that fact from within the ranks of the Legion, that it is very discouraging.

Anonymous said...

I was a 2nd degree member of RC for several years. You are exactly right when you say that they subtly inflate pride. I feel sad that most people who join truly want to grow in holiness and humility. It is such a shame to see how filled with pride they become as a result of their "formation."

Anonymous said...

I think Monk is wrong to say "......I don't know of too many Catholic movements successfully attracting young Catholic leaders..."

It is not a Catholic movement. That is the problem.
Our Church has 4 marks: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.
Looking at each of those 4 marks and comparing them with the LC/RC claim make it very, very clear that they are falling outside of those 4 marks.
Hence, they are NOT Catholic..


island breezes said...

My six boys have been involved in the summer camps, I have been to a Regnum Christi silent retreat, I know quite a few LC seminarians and priests and I am a daily reader of the National Catholic Register (absolutely faithful, unlike the NCR). I have never met anyone assoc. with the LC or apostolates that I haven't admired as a sincere and radically faithful Roman Catholic. Every priest I have met has been not only faithful, but compassionate and full of the love for the people that all good priests have.(And extremely well educated)

I fail to understand why good Catholics continue to discuss something that is clearly in the hands of those better able to discern. Why not let them? Who here has the information and the spiritual guidance to make a judgement on the 'fitness' of the LC as an order?

All I can say, from my meagre experience, is that in spite of a seriously flawed leader, the LC have much good fruit. Baskets and baskets of it. They produce faithful and uplifting publications. They have 'recruited' a legion of serious soldiers for Christ. They have provided an excellence in Catholic education that can only rarely be found in a diocesan Catholic school (and I venture to say NEVER in a public Catholic school.)

Could it be that North American Catholics are just not prepared to be so radical? The discipline of the LC is not too different from the discipline of the origins of other orders. The LC have not refused to cooperate with authority (that would be the Vatican, not us ) and we have no reason other than our own unwillingness to believe that God can bring greatness wherever He chooses, to be unsatisfied with the supervision of the Vatican.

My only regret is that in this disgusting secular world, our family has never lived in a place that had more access to the LC, so that my children would have a closer relationship with the young and strong Catholic men of the LC. We are grateful for their example, and whatever contact we have had over the years.

They aren't the only 'good guys', but they are some of the only .

They have the 4 marks in spades.

The Monk said...

Erin - I respectfully disagree with your premise about MM attracting young people to the LC. I was LC for twenty years (1962 - 1982.) During that time, MM's work was mostly in the background - fundraising, founding new apostolates, creating the LC "structure." I did NOT join because of MM (although I did leave, mostly because of him.) Young apostolic students in Spain joined (during the years that I helped him) because of the extremely efficient work of Juan Jose Vaca (who later accused MM of terrible things.) Those kids, in my direct experience, did not join because of MM.

I could go on, but you get the drift. People were attracted to serving the Church through the vehicle that LC/RC provided. I have been quite surprised to meet several LC priests who hardly knew MM at all!

Three Bishops who I have known, personally, have resigned in Ireland because to the scandal over there. The people in their dioceses are not to be condemned for belonging to the diocese - they are not members of the Catholic Church because of the Bishop.

In time, MM's passions and deformed personality characteristics caught up with him and changed the final outcome of his life. Agreed! But if my experience means anything to you, we were not attracted to MM - it was to the Church! Later, we converted MM into a cult hero (and we are all to blame for this!) and suffered the consequences. However,as Island breezes so well says the LC has "baskets and baskets of good fruit."

Erin Manning said...

Island Breezes, all due respect, but I think it is the job of faithful Catholics to discuss anything that affects the lives of faithful Catholics. And this is especially true when we are talking about an order known for its former secrecy, and for its way of marginalizing and attacking anyone who offered criticism of it; there is, after all, safety in numbers, and only recently have some of those whose experiences with the LC/RC were less pleasant than yours felt safe to discuss those experiences publicly without fear of retaliation.

Are you RC yourself, by the way? I'm curious to know.

At any rate, I'm perfectly prepared to accept whatever judgment the Vatican offers on the Legion. But I don't see "baskets and baskets" of good fruit coming from an order which has conducted itself as the LC has in so many ways, from improper spiritual direction of those in the minor seminaries to insisting that anyone who entered the seminary no longer needed discernment--he was to be a priest, and if he rejected that call God would hold him accountable for the souls he lost forever, etc. I don't see "baskets and baskets" of good fruit when the founder of the order, who was spoken of so reverentially by all LC until so recently, who was considered a living saint and whose picture adorned the walls, has been proved to be such a paragon of wickedness.

You speak of all the accomplishments of the Legion--the publications, the schools, the apostolates. What you don't mention is how many of those were started under other auspices, and then acquired by the Legion because they were successful--or the other sort, which were started by the Legion but which then kept the LC/RC connection carefully hidden to keep pastors from forbidding the programs in their parishes. You also say dismissively that the Legion schools provide "excellence" in Catholic education that is rarely found in diocesan schools; I agree that there are problems with diocesan Catholic education, but not only do I not see Legion education as in any way superior, I also find in your tone the usual smug superiority I hear when defenders of the Legion compare it to all those poor schlubs in the parishes who deserve pity and contempt for not being given the great call by God to join the Legion and do God's work of growing the Legion and...

In other words, you're singing a rather familiar tune. Some of us are pointing out that the composer was corrupt, the score is ruined, and everything from now on will always sound entirely off-key.

Erin Manning said...

Monk, did you, or did you not, use a prayerbook composed of Maciel's prayers?

Did you (collectively) receive his letters and have them read to you?

Did you celebrate his birthday and his mother's birthday as major feasts?

Was his picture on the wall? Did you call him "Nuestro Padre," e.g., "Our Father?"

Did you learn from him the proper way to eat fruit with utensils? Were you taught to do everything as Maciel did, even to the parting of your hair? And did you do all of these things because you were convinced that Maciel was a living saint whose example of holiness in all things was unparalleled and deserving of minute copy?

Oh, no; you say you were attracted to the Church! Then why was the Legion necessary at all?

island breezes said...

Discussing is one thing. Judging something you're not competent to is another. Your tone is that of someone who is not interested in hearing good, only trying to gather tittilating stories of scandal...

I find in indicative of intent, that you think a prayer's effect has to do with who originally wrote it. The effect of a prayer is the auspices of God... which is kind of my point. It doesn't matter if you only see shadows, or the LC seem tainted to you. It matters that holy , young men are becoming holy young priests and soldiers for the Lord.
Thankfully, He's in charge.

island breezes said...

In answer, I am Roman Catholic, but not Regnum Christi.

RC said...

Has anyone here read or seen Elmer Gantry? If not I recommend the book, or the film, with Burt Lancaster. It might shed some light on MM.

RC said...

Not immune because we're Catholic.

Lauretta said...

Could it be that we have a misunderstanding of the objectives of the two "sides" of this debate? It seems to me that those who are critical of the Legion and desiring for it to be shut down feel this way because they do not want anyone else to be hurt in the way that they, or someone they care about, have been hurt.

This really has nothing to do with lack of forgiveness or calumny or detraction or anything of the sort. This has to do with protecting others from harm.

We should all be able to agree that Maciel harmed others physically and psychologically. It is naive, I believe, to think that a certain percentage of those he harmed in these ways are not going to abuse others in similar ways. That is just the nature of these sorts of abuse. They get passed on.

Yes, Jesus came for the guilty but, just as JPII did with his attacker, you don't leave the guilty free to harm others. They have to be stopped from continuing to do harm--by whatever means are necessary. In the case of the Legion, it would seem advisable to take them out of positions in which they could continue to harm others. This would indicate closing down schools, seminaries, etc.

The Church closed down several seminaries in South America for teaching liberation theology in a radical way. I don't think that this group has done anything less serious than those South American seminaries.

Erin Manning said...

Lauretta, a very balanced viewpoint.

Island Breezes, how is it that you are able to judge me based on what you perceive to be my "tone," and not only judge, but condemn? If this is an example of Legion-inspired charity, I don't think much of it.

So Maciel's prayers are fine? Maciel's sins include these things: the violation of his serious vow of chastity, serial pedophilia including the sexual abuse of his own son, fathering children out of wedlock, and using Legion money to support at least two mistresses and their children, in addition to many other acts of duplicity, lying, etc. to cover up this sinful lifestyle. Would you pray any prayer authored by any other person who met this description--provided, of course, that he did not live a life of public repentance and author the prayers at some time greatly removed from such sins?

I would not, because I wouldn't want to model my prayer life on such a person's words.

Anonymous said...

"During that time, MM's work was mostly in the background - fundraising, founding new apostolates, creating the LC "structure... Young apostolic students in Spain joined (during the years that I helped him) because of the extremely efficient work of Juan Jose Vaca (who later accused MM of terrible things.) Those kids, in my direct experience, did not join because of MM"


So if the bad (the money webs and the structures) came from MM and the 'charism' that attracted youth in Spain at least was Vaca that raises multiple questions:

You say Vaca 'accused'. Does that means you won't say if you believed him then? or now?

Does it matter that the Legion 4 years after 2006 still hasn't made a choice on what to public say about the more than 20 and less than 100?

And the picture you paint looks a lot like arguing that Animal Farm has a charism on account of those plans Snowball left behind.

A house divided against itself cannot stand. And the picture your paint makes me doubt the Legion has a Snowball's chance in '311.

RC said...

Seems to me that the Elmer Gantry comparison cuts both ways: the charming but sinning demagogue who was able to sway audiences for Jesus as MM did, and then the demagogue who let the mobs through the streets with torches to the places of corruption. If MM had his day and is now exposed in disgrace, the other is alive and thriving on adrenalin in leading the mobs to throw down the wicked--but Elmer Gantry still.

Anonymous said...


The same "RC" and then "Not Richard?" that called the Catholic Church a cult at Pete Vere's blog.

Whatever ails ya deal with it.

RC said...

Lauretta, what you propose is Shylock's justice. Why not consider:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.

RC said...

Anonymous, if you don't know what cult means, look it up in the dictionary.

Anonymous said...

RC, Context is listed under 'C' in the dictionary.

SQ | March 13, 2010 6:08 PM
...the reason why our 13 year olds should not go to LC Apostolic schools is because it IS A CULT

Not Richard | March 13, 2010 7:41
SQ: The whole Catholic Church is a cult. Love her or leave her.

Anonymous said...


Look up some other words for ya in wikipedia.

Equivocation... is classified as both a formal and informal fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time).

Moral Equivalence... it could be considered a form of the rhetorical fallacy of equivocation.

Enough of your mind games. Say exactly what you mean.

cj said...

Fighting over LC/RC did serious damage to my marriage for at least 8 years. Simply put, if one spouse thought that the LC was wonderful and the other thought they were bad, the entire culture of the Legion/RC was that the skeptical spouse was the ENEMY. He or she was actively working against God and the Church. The idea that RC was a "vocation" damaged the true marriage vocation.

So you talk about "good fruits". I've seen the fruits of the Legion.

RC said...

Anonymous: Go look in the mirror.

RC said...

cj, why did you let somebody do that to you? Why did not not establish boundaries?

Simon said...

The issues around LC/RC have nothing to do with forgiveness or with blaming current members for the sins of their father.

Where there is blame, it's directed at the current leadership of the LC, which clearly knew a lot more about the ugly reality of Marcial Maciel than they have let on, and some of them may even have actively abetted his fraud. Nonetheless, they pumped up the image of Maciel as a living saint, bestowing on select members the high honor of receiving Holy Communion from him, organizing pilgrimages to the shrine of his birthplace in Cotija, promoting the cause of his Mother's canonization (her only notable virtue being that she was his mother), buying up 20,000 copies of his fraudulent biographical interview "Christ is My Life" so they could proclaim it a Catholic best seller, and -- most egregiously -- slandering the abuse victims as liars and enemies of the Church without ever offering even to meet with them or hear their accounts. And all of this continued even after the Pope's banishment of Maciel in May 2006, which the LC's absurdly
insisted was ambiguous, issuing a statement blasphemously comparing Maciel to Jesus Christ and the Holy Father to Pontius Pilate.

And it continues to this day. Fr Corcuera STILL refers to Maciel as "Nuestro Padre" and speaks of the "sad facts" about his life only in the most general, vague terms. He's a great man who slipped up a bit--hey, we're all human after all. There's no acknowledgment of the Truth: that everything this man did during his 64 years as Founder and Director General of the LC and RC was part of the elaborate Lie that was his life.

With such a Founder there can be no charism, as the Church understands the term. And so the Legion must either be separated completely from Maciel (in effect, refounded from scratch) or separated from the holy Catholic Church.

Lauretta said...


My comments had nothing at all to do with revenge, nothing.

Is it not an act of mercy to help others to stop sinning? Many members of this group have had their consciences and intellects so warped that they cannot reason or think clearly any longer.

I have heard from young people and parents of young people some of the things that are done in the Legion/Regnum camps, schools, etc. The spiritual manipulation is very hurtful to young people. Many young people go to a camp because Mom and Dad think it is a healthy place for them to spend a week and they are browbeat the whole time into thinking they have a vocation to religious life. Something they have never felt called to at all.

I have read comments from several men who were sexually abused by Maciel or one of his followers and never heard any talk of revenge. They were not screaming for justice, or money or anything. All they were doing was trying to get people to see how unhealthy this group is and to shut it down so that the cycle of abuse can stop.

How many lawsuits have you seen against the Legion by these victims asking for monetary compensation? The Legion, from what I hear, is tremendously wealthy. If these people were after revenge, would that not be one of the first things they would want to do? I have not heard of one lawsuit asking for some of the millions that are in Legion accounts.

From what I am hearing, all they want is an acknowledgment of what they suffered at the hands of members of this group and an end to the cycle of physical, psychological, and spiritual abuse.

RC said...

Simon, I agree with this part of your statement: Where there is blame, it's directed at the current leadership of the LC, which clearly knew a lot more about the ugly reality of Marcial Maciel than they have let on, and some of them may even have actively abetted his fraud.

That are the questions to which I demand answers. Those are the people who are accountable, and those are the people who are to be stripped of responsibility.

The rest of it are human foibles.

As for charism, it is fine with me that there isn't any. Human effort is a modest enough explanation for me at this point.

RC said...

Lauretta, your desire for a pound of flesh is something you have expounded upon with great clarity.

island breezes said...

I think you mean my failure to understand why some Catholics are always seeking 'a pound of flesh'.

For example, when you say to Simon, 'I demand..'. That's the attitude I don't get. Are you demanding things because you want to place your son with them, but you need things resolved first? That would almost make sense. (Except that you can't actually 'fix' them. Someone better qualified is already doing that - the Pope.)

Perhaps you have a reason.Do you?

I have always believed that our role as lay people is to be informed, yes, and to be prayerful.
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.)
Calling out individuals who call themselves Catholic, but betray Catholic beliefs consistently, also has benefit ( to them and to others).
Criticizing MM for his moral failings seems pointless, and also not our domain. He's dead.

Contemplating how he was tempted and why he failed serves to strengthen our resolve, and make us wary of our own failings. Is that what you're after?

I don't make the leap to seeking revenge on the order or trying for 'a pound of flesh'. And I don't understand that leap. As with the abuse scandal in America, I understand the inability of some of the victims to be able to forgive. I pray they are able to overcome that, because that in itself is an impediment to their spiritual health. I welcome the Church's response in 'cleaning house', and pray for the redemption of the fallen.

What else , for us, can be truly constructive or beneficial to anyone?


Simon said...

RC, I am glad to hear you acknowledge the probability of corruption among the current Legion leadership, and that there is probably no charism.

My question then, is What is there left to defend of a group with corrupt leaders and no reason for existence?

Erin Manning said...

RC, you say it's fine with you if there isn't any charism? But this is not fine in the Church's understanding of a religious order--either it has a charism, or it is not a religious order. There is no religious order which does not have a charism. If the Legion does not have a valid charism, then there is no Legion at all, and it *must* be re-founded at the very least.

Erin Manning said...

Loretta/Island Breezes (not to be confused with *Lauretta* who is a different commenter), you write the following:

"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.)"

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.

I'm going to talk about this more, in a new post. See above.

anon said...

"I understand the inability of some of the victims to be able to forgive."

I understand it as well. It's can happens when one omits specific and sincere apologies and reparation and jumps straight to the need to forgive.

As the Vatican reminded all this past week: "the correct starting point is recognition of what happened and concern for the victims and the consequences of the acts committed against them"

But don't worry. Many victims have forgiven. Forgiveness is without conditions. On the other hand presumption does not advance the forgetting.

off the fence said...

Island Breezes,

I was just like you not so long ago. I would get so upset when people would criticize the Legion and think that they are better than the Church and know more than the Pope.

But then I realized something. It's not that people who criticize the Legion feel they are better than the Pope, but like Red Cardigan said, the laity are also allowed to have an opinion!! The Church is not a totalitarian state that controls your every thought! But this is what the LCs I would come into contact would tell me. It seemed like they were shirking their own responsibility to get their ducks in order and put it all in the hands of the Vatican!

I don't know if I'm making sense, but the point is that we are not just here to learn new bits of scandal. We are here to talk about our experiences. Given that you have little exposure to the Legion, you probably have all good experiences. It's like the difference between having in-laws that live next door, and those that live in another country. When I lived close to my in-laws, we always fought. But now that they live far away, we get along so much better.

If I were you I'd listen more to the experiences of those who have had more time with the Legion, and who know who they really are and how they really act. I also thought they were the "good guys," but I have heard way too many stories that prove the contrary for me to think that anymore. It's one thing when it's one brother who was mean or rude, but time and again friends of mine and family members of mine have been hurt by the Legion, and it's affected their lives, their marriages, and their children.

I'd take all of it very seriously, and instead of only judging the Legion by what you see, which by your own admission is limited, I'd listen to what others have to say as well.

RC said...

off the fence: Why do you want to coerce island breezes to walking lock-step with your own opinion. What if you are wrong? Aren't you being just a little too much like what you are accusing the Legionaries of? Why the personal attack? And why do you assume that island breezes has not as much knowledge as you?

IMHO you will find the flaws you accuse the Legion of having, save the double life of the Founder, and those who may have enabled him, in almost every religious institution. And Island Breezes is totally right in stating that the hard work of so many people have brought in gifts as well.

RC said...

Red Cardigan, you said: ... in the Church's understanding of a religious order--either it has a charism, or it is not a religious order.

The Church has recognized the Legion as a religious order.

So I guess you have answered your own question.

Erin Manning said...

RC, have you ever heard of circular reasoning? You just showed us a pretty good example of it.

The Monk said...

Anonymous - your interpretation of my comments about recruitment in Spain is too distorted and convoluted for me to contribute more.

I'd just like to suggest, based on your comment, that you have a very limited understanding of "charism." Juan J Vaca was one of dozens of recruiters in Spain and until the AV says otherwise, it is premature to say all the LC "structures" are bad.

Recently, I quoted John Paul 11 as saying: "you resemble the company you keep." Your comment is so inherently biased I wonder where you're coming from.

RC seems new to these environs - and has managed to raise more than a few hackles. However, the substance of his remarks is bang on. He is well worth listening to - especially now before he ends up resembling the company he keeps!

off the fence said...

RC, I don't think I was being judgmental, I was just inviting Island Breezes, and now you too, to take a bit more seriously the experiences many have had in the Legion that have been bad and even damaging.

I do think I probably have more experience with Island Breezes just because she said that she didn't have them nearby and that her exposure to them were few and far between. I, on the other hand, and I'm sorry if I didn't mention this before, but I was a RC member from 1992 to about 15 years. I was consecrated for much of that, and some of that time I spent in constant contact with the leaders of the movement, and not just of the US, but also around the world. So I do know something of which I speak.

Also, as I mentioned before, I was in the same position as Island Breezes. It wasn't that long ago that I loved the movement and defended it with my life. But things have changed because I just couldn't turn a blind eye anymore to all the bad experiences people in the Legion have had. There just came a time when I said to myself that enough is enough.

I can't go into more details. But again, I'm not judging or anything, I'm just inviting you to take people seriously when they tell their stories. Give them the benefit of the doubt. It might make you realize that when the same thing happens over and over and over again, it can't simply be the case of an ex-rc member who is disgruntled because he didn't get the apostolate he wanted, or a conspiracy to bring down the Church and JPII.

I apologize for my lack of eloquence or clarity in writing down my point of view. I'm not a writer and my ideas might be jumbled. I do wish you the best and I hope that you continue to be happy in RC and never have to endure what I did when the movement turned against me.