Sunday, May 2, 2010

Heaven's Vengeance


Sins that cry to Heaven for Vengeance:

1) Willful murder,

2)Sodomy,

3)Oppression of the poor, and

4)Defrauding the labourer of his wage.


These are my final thoughts on the Legion of Christ.


It was with great disappointment today that I read of the verdict of his Holiness, Pope Benedict, on the matter concerning the Legion of Christ. I acknowledge that the Pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals. He is, however, wrong in his approach to the Legion. I am disappointed in his lack of clear leadership, particularly in regard to the apostolic schools, of which I am a victim. I had hoped that he would, at the very least, shut them down. It seems that they will live on, to recruit boys for some time to come.
There is no need for apostolic schools. Few, if any boys go from the schools onto the priesthood. Boys should be at home with their parents where they will learn how to be men from their fathers, not some brother only a few years their senior. As a product of the apostolic school in New Hampshire I can say with certainty that I never learned the art of being a man in today’s society. At twenty-seven years of age I am still conflicted in just what that entails. Had the Legion not stolen me from my parents at the tender age of twelve, through manipulation and deceit, I would have learned how to be a man from my father, God love him.
I left the Legion at seventeen years of age. I was deposited at the Via train station, in Cornwall, Ontario, with one change of clothes and two-hundred dollars in my pocket. I had no knowledge of the world, only fear. I didn’t know how to open a bank account, apply for a job or go to school. I had no knowledge of the world and how it works. As a result I learned everything I initially knew about sex from internet pornography, shortly after I left the Legion. This is the greatest travesty of the Legion’s formation of youngsters, they do nothing, NOTHING, to prepare them for life outside of being a member of the Legion, no exceptions. Remember, as a Legionary, all I ever read were the works of Nuestro Padre. He didn’t exactly groom boys for life as a Catholic layman, as we have all come to learn. I made a living in dead end jobs for nearly three years when I was finally accepted into the army. The war in Afghanistan came for me not long after that. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, as they say.
The only reason I continue to go to mass is for the simple fact that I still believe that Jesus is present in the sacrament of the altar. Despite my shitty experiences with the church and her manipulator, the Legion of Christ (spit) I know that it takes a priest to bring Christ to us, under the appearance of the bread and wine. My confusion now, is what I must do to attain salvation for me and mine. I am done with “congregations”, and other groups that claim loyalty to the church. I am done with a church that refuses to see just what these groups are and what they are doing to innocent young people and their families. I am fed up with Bishops who allowed the Legion into their diocese’s in order to poach the young and vibrant into their cess pools. Give me the sacraments! Give me the traditions of the church! Give me the sacramentals handed down to us from the popes! Everyone else that may claim to have a charism should get the fuck away from me and mine, lest I become truly angry ...

21 comments:

Cretos said...

I can understand your frustration and I'm angry at the way you were treated in the Legion. Right now I feel the way you do about "movements" and "congregations". I left RC about six years ago when I couldn't get answers about all my growing concerns.

I'm not an expert on the Vatican, but I don't think the Pope's statements amount to a verdict. It may be clear that the Legion will live on in some way, but I think there will be a lot of important changes. I also think it is way too early for the Legion to be trumpeting any kind of victory here. Their founder has been found to be guilty of the worst crimes and declared spiritually void. The order will need to have an administrator take over to institute a reform. There will be a purification of the order. No details yet about what this will look like exactly but I take the statement to be a pastoral one meant to encourage the members not to lose faith as they are about to experience major changes. Just my thoughts.

Like you, I'm hoping that one of those changes means the end of minor seminaries.

I will pray for you and other victims of the order, and I'll pray for God's will in changing and dealing with the order.

Anonymous said...

I hear you. I hear your pain and your disappointment. And I share it. I am so sorry. I am sorry that the Church has failed you. I am sorry that the Pope has failed you. As a Catholic layperson and as a mother I am sorry that I, too, have failed you. I am crying today. I am in grief and mourning with you and for you. It is a sad day. I wish I could hug you. I wish I could relieve your pain. I wish I could make it all go away. All I can do is pray for you and that feels so inadequate. May God bless you, and bring you peace and justice.

giselle said...

You may not see it now, but your anger is entirely manly. You are a fine man who understands the importance of protecting the innocent. No shame there. This is not the way God wanted you to learn this, but your integrity is intact. The details will come. Be assured my prayers and those of many who share this suffering.

If you weren't outraged, I would be worried, but I sense that the Apostolic Schools will be short-circuited very soon. Blessings always, my brother in Christ.

Pete Vere said...

This is D-Day, my friend. It will take a little while longer before we can liberate the consecration camps.

Richard said...

Prayers for you. God bless you!

Hopeful (hold that thought) said...

Prays for you. I feel the same way you do today and have cried like a baby for the first time since I left RC. I stand with the victims and will continue to do so in the months to come. There are many who see something I don't see. God give us clarity because I've lost my reason to hope.

Anonymous said...

I was never involved in RC/LC so I have no clue of how you and others have suffered in this evil called Legion. I am praying that the Holy Father's initial steps in acknowledging Maciel's sins will lead soon to dismantling the very disordered system that Maciel created. I am praying for you.

Paul said...

"I learned everything I initially knew about sex from internet pornography, shortly after I left the Legion."

Very sad, yet not the Legion's fault. Internet pornography is rampant in the world, damaging both men and women. Many who grew up at home with parents can attest to this.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

How dare you make such a stupid statement. It is the Legion's fault. The Apostolic school took away his ability to have a normal adolescent sexual maturation!

Keep your comments to yourself!!

Paul said...

Anonymous,

Please explain how the Apostolic school causes people to log onto the internet and search out pornography?

Anonymous said...

Paul, there is a time and a place for this discussion, but this young man's blog on this day is not it. Please stop.

A120 said...

It's the next day now, so I'm declaring it the time and place for this discussion.

Paul, let's see if you can follow this. The Legion suppresses and demonizes all forms of sexual expression, understanding, discussion and even thought as a form of control. Twisting one of the most driven parts of our brain into a taboo shames people into exploring sexual impetus covertly. Internet porn is the easiest place to start.

I can understand, Paul, if this is a topic that you haven't put a lot of previous thought into, since it is a very particular situation. But dont fucking criticize this guy's experiences as if the only form of causality that bears responsibility is a direct order. The Legion crippled people to make more docile tools out of them and then dumped them into the world to fend for themselves. It is responsible for many mistakes made by ex-members whom it rendered incapable of making better choices. Next time think things through before making obtuse commentary.

PS, I hope you aren't particularly ashamed of the porn thing, Bonum. I'm pretty sure you're in the same boat as 90-95% of us ICAS survivors on that count.

Anonymous said...

I second that A120!

We gained almost 30 accounts of young boys that struggled significantly after leaving the Apostolic Schools, in one way or another. We took this to the Legion, we took this to our bishop and needless to say we rescued our son. The families suffer these things in silence and shame and only speak of it in whispers and innuendos, still afraid of speaking uncharitably and hurting the infallible Legion.

Paul, I assume you have no direct experience with the Apostolic Schools because you would not be so rash in your judgments.

Sorry, but you got my ire up.

Anonymous said...

Bonum,

All I can say is how sorry I am that this has been done to you. As a mother of a former Apostolic myself, I am both utterly thankful my son is out and terrified that the time he was in will have deleterious effects on him for the rest of his life. He is still young, he is at home with his family, and I can only hope God will protect him from the harm I put in my son's way by sending him there.

I have a sincere question for you, and I have my own reasons for asking it, but I will understand completely if you are not inclined to answer it (answers from any other ex-apostolic school students would be welcome as well): Do you feel the lay teachers were able to have any kind of positive influence there? Did their presence make any difference at all in the difficulties you were having there? I and others would like to think the lay people (not RCs) had even a tiny bit of balancing effect, but I don't want to kid myself, either.

You ARE a man, Bonum. In this Communique the Pope praised all men and women who have tried to out this evil for years. You are one of them. Courage and perseverance are marks of true manhood.

I pray that God will help lighten your yoke a bit and that He will one day help make sense out of all of this suffering.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

http://fatimaondemand.org/en/index.php/special-productions/the-secret-still-silenced

Xavier said...

VPB,
I wrote an answer to you, but the form does not allow me to post a so long message.
Could you please write me on xleger@gmail.com
Thank you,
Xavier L├ęger, (from exlcblog.info)

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

Please explain to me how sending your son to a Catholic school that has great education and religious formation will leave "deleterious effects on him for the rest of his life."

You know, the Legion priests will never replicate what the founder did and many are holy men who just want to follow God and be faithful to his will. Only a small portion of the UPPER Legion priests knew of his high crimes. The founder was screwed up and has major issues and also took advantage of the innocent - leaving effects that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

However, cant we get on with life now that the pope has issued a communique? The formation issues you seem to speak of are going to be fixed. The founder will slowly be filtered out of the system and hopefully forever forgotten. Those who did not like the formation or was troubled by it should have jumped the boat when they realized that.

You cannot expect an order that held their founder to such a high esteem to change completely within one day. They need time. Slowly, positive changes are being made. The Papal envoy is a good thing and the best will come of it.

Your son may have left the school a much better man spiritually. You cannot make assumptions based on other peoples bad experiences.

May God Bless you and also the creator of this blog!

Anonymous said...

"Your son may have left the school a much better man spiritually. You cannot make assumptions based on other peoples bad experiences.

May God Bless you and also the creator of this blog!"

My sincere thanks for your blessings, and I pray that God will send you many as well.

I re-read my entry and see how you could understand that I am simply afraid of things that might happen in the future to my son as a result of his past formation. But the reality is that I already see worrying signs: arrogance about his superior religiosity as compared to the rest of the sinners of the world, no problem with the idea of lying if it brings about a "good" end, etc. Moreover, he has dropped all signs of any kind of authentic prayer life, making me believe that the prayer cards and lists of spiritual obligations he had when under the control of the LCs did nothing to foster a true spirituality in him. So it's not just about what might happen, it's about the bad signs I already see (and, of course, do my best to correct). How much of this is his own character and how much of it was inculcated by his time in the Legion is hard to know. I do know he wasn't nearly as arrogant before he went to ICAS, and he actually seemed to have an authentic desire to grow closer to God.

Local LC priests are still proclaiming how much more orthodox, conservative, etc, the LC is as compared to other orders. One local LC priest reassures that Maciel is definitely a saint in heaven and will one day be vindicated.

"Those who did not like the formation or was troubled by it should have jumped the boat when they realized that."

We did. But your comment that people who didn't like it and were troubled by it should have left (I agree) makes me wonder just why you think those left behind have the wherewithal to reject Maciel and all his works and abusive structures?

"You cannot expect an order that held their founder to such a high esteem to change completely within one day. They need time. Slowly, positive changes are being made."

I agree with you on this as well: you cannot expect men who adored Maciel as a saint for decades to suddenly understand what a monster he truly was and how his sin and depravity had grave consequences on the structure of their congregation. But while they struggle through this and slowly come to these realizations, I really don't believe they should be in charge of forming young souls.

Not a single priest involved with the spiritual formation of my children has apologized for their part (however unwitting it may have been) in teaching my children the poisoned spirituality of a sexual criminal in lieu of real Catholicism. Why is that? It speaks volumes to me. Either they still don't recognize it is poison or they do but don't consider themselves at all responsible in the administration of such spiritual poison to so many young men and women. Either way, it's unacceptable behavior for Catholic priests, and priests who are still so caught up in the deceit of Maciel should not be in charge of forming children until the Pope has guided them through their purification.

Any order of priests who doesn't know who they are, what they stand for, what their charism is, and how the deviantly criminal mind of their founder maliciously affected the structure of their congregation need to take a break from the spiritual formation of children.

Just my .02. I trust Benedict to save all the good in so many of these well-intentioned men by guiding them through the purification in the most pastoral manner possible. He has assured the LC/RC the Church will be by their side as they go through this painful purgatory, and I join my prayers to all others who hope to see the abuse of authority/conscience and the system of power Maciel devised utterly rid of his malicious spirit.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

I have felt the pain, though not nearly to the degree you have. I was in rc for 3 years....now 10 years out. When our group split up and most of us left, there were 2 of us who had sucked up the spirituality....me more than the other.

I thought I was going crazy. My mind was so twisted from the control and the warped spirituality. I guess I received some gift from the Holy Ghost because I totally sensed the evil of that organization the night I left. It was all so real to me....so evil. I begged God to hold in His arms people like you. To protect the vulnerable and shut it down. The horror of that realization sent chills through my body. The horror of the abuse, the horror of the abuse of the mind, everything was just incomprehensible to me....and very real. I KNEW it was VERY evil! I went through a classic textbook case of cult deprogramming, although I didn't realize it until a friend sent me information about it.

But I have to say God really is so good. He permitted us to be a part of this so that one day we could help in some way to bring it down. Maybe by going through this our faith will become stronger, because we trusted in the Good Shepherd to lead us to the truth, to fight the good fight and trust in Him.

I said to a friend of mine where there's smoke, there's fire....and fire there was. That was 10 years ago. I never thought I would see anything like this come out in my lifetime. Now fast forward to today - and the realization that it was more evil than I thought.

Today I read the original St. Michael prayer that Pope Leo XIII composed. If you get a chance, look that one up. It will knock the socks off of you. The pope composed it in 1888 after he had a vision in church of the devil saying that if he was given 100 years - he would destroy the church. That prayer was supposed to be said after every Mass...and it was for many years. Now we have quite a bit shorter version. You'll be amazed how different the two are. It's a whole page long and goes on and on about how the devil wants to strike the shepherd to scatter the sheep....the evil that has entered the church, and on and on. We really are living this...but one day it will end and what a glorious day it will be.

I pray every day for people who have suffered what you have suffered....and I remember the Holy Scripture that says the Lord will wipe away every tear.
From the bottom of my heart, may God richly bless you all of your days.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous (two posts above),

Yes, those are signs of your son loosing everything he may have learned at the school as soon as he left. I have known some students to leave the Apostolic schools and become great examples for Catholic teenagers in our society. They attend daily mass, pay attention during mass, and take part in parish activities. Still, others who have left the schools believe they are free of all superiority and the “rules” that they followed in the Apostolic schools. It seems that since they now have no superior, they feel they can do whatever they feel. Others seem to feel they “have to learn to fit into society” or their new high schools or whatever. And their solutions are to go completely down hill, seeing that most people around them already are. It all depends on what the student takes from the religious upbringing at the Apostolic schools.

The Legion formation was completely flawed when Maciel was alive. The whole purpose of the strict formation was to protect a child molester by forming an army of people who looked up to him and set him on a pedestal. Their silence and atmosphere of secrecy just show some of the flaws during their formation. An order should never hold their founder to such a high esteem until he has been beatified or canonized by a pope. This was one MAJOR mistake the followers of the Legion made. Maciel used the Legion as an institution to steal money from and hid behind his follower’s commitment to him and his “good works.” The formation caused many priests and brothers to be blinded… most refused to believe anything bad that had to do with the founder. An order founded like this will take a while to truly recover from learning of all the evil that their founder did. It will take time, but good changes are happening already. Priests and brothers no longer even mention Maciel and all of his works have been removed from the schools and work places run by the Legion. They admit that he was a bad man but as of yet, are unable to act on what they say. They have not truly realized the full severity of his crimes and how much damage he caused to other people. Of course a priest or brother will not go up to you and say, “sorry I totally told your sons all this bull crap, will you forgive me?” Most are probably too ashamed to mention all the things they once said to defend the founder. You have to understand this. And I bet you that, that one priest who still believes Maciel will be a saint has probably been in the Legion for MANY years. It seems as if the older priests are more stubborn to admit the truth because they have probably seen the founder do so many “good things.”

The local LC priests in my area fully admit the wrong done by Maciel. They never mention his works any more and realize the harm that Maciel did to their order. I truly feel sorry for all the good men in the Legion who joined believing the Legion was a pure institution. The Legion is the one order in the church that is attracting many young vocations. I can see how it would seem to be a viable choice for many young men discerning the priesthood.

I will never join RC because of this scandal but I do believe the Legion does good work. I just hope some of the formation does get changed soon. They are well trained priests but are flawed in their mentality. It is good that their seminarians are spending 14+ years in the seminary. However, the formation that takes place within those 14 years needs to be changed a little.

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

it is not the legion's fault this guy fell into pornography. really, all of you GROW up and take responsiblity for your own damn decisions! Dumb asses!