This from Deirdre Mundy over at, http://deirdremundy.blogspot.com/ She hits the ball out of the park with this one.
Or look at St. Augustine. In the brashness of youth he mistook his mother’s simple piety for plain old stupidity. He had to run off, join a cult and lead a life of sin before he recognized the truth – and even then, it took the brilliance of St. Ambrose to bring him around.
Maciel understood this tendency – and that’s how he roped people in. He promised them a chance to do big things, when other adults just wanted their help with donut day. He promised they could be saints, cofounders, even. He asked huge amounts of time and money from them, and they gave, because for the young bigger is always better.
He gave them rallies. He gave them VOCATIONS. He made them feel special and needed. He made them an elite corps. He got them to engage in Apostolate! Look at us, we’re apostles! We’re saints in the making!
But he gave them nothing in exchange. He took their time, their money, their enthusiasm, and used them feed his own sinful desires. He was like a great gaping mouth, swallowing the good and repaying it with evil. He took their enthusiasm and turned it to his own ends with faulty theology and thought stopping phrases. (Lost Vocation, Sure Damnation! It rhymes, so it MUST be true.)
It takes a special gift to do that. Hitler had it. Stalin had it. Mao had it, and Maciel had it. The people who’ve been in RC since high school are like people recovering from the Cultural Revolution. They had enthusiasm and belief, but Maciel twisted them. And now, they have to take a step back and mourn their spent youth and idealism – otherwise, how can they go on?
Way to go Deirdre, I thought you hit the nail on the head with that post! Fortunately, I kept the faith, through the grace of God alone and that just barely. Many, many, many men who left the Legion also left the faith they too are victims of Maciel and his lieutenants, just in a different way.