I have been away from this blog for a good long time. Mostly, I was just upset about the verdict from Rome on the case of the Legionaries of Christ. I thought his judgement was far too lenient considering the number of lives and families that have been ruined due to the Legion's tactics. I had hoped that the Legion Apostolic schools would be shut down, recruiting suspended and the Legion leadership removed. Not too long after my last post I had a nice long talk with Pete Vere and he gave me reason to hope, pointing to the case of les fils de Marie, a Quebec group that was eventually shut down by Rome. He pointed out that it took about ten years once the Holy Father stepped in for them to essentially cease functioning. Today I got another boost from Xavier Leger, blog master over at ex LC blogspot. He sent me an e-mail, part of which I post below, pointing out that there is still hope after all that justice may be served. I guess the main point I am taking from this is that I ought to be more patient. Perhaps I am too idealogical, hoping that justice would be metted out swifty, firmly and fairly. It seems to me that the faithful can no longer, nor should we have ever, relied upon church heirarchy to achieve justice for us. It seems to me that this may have to be pursued in the civil courts. Another option I thought of was child social services in the state of New Hampshire. Has any former apostolic ever contacted this service from the state to let them know what transpires under the guise of education? Perhaps not!
As promised Xavier Leger:
You're disappointed because you hoped that the visit would have lead to the closure of the Apostolic Schools. To tell you the truth, I had the same reaction as you. Worse, I hoped that the Vatican would take an exemplary measure and would require the radical dissolution of the congregation. Knowing the compulsive dispositions of some legionaries to chat up and to manipulate the Vatican authorities in their interest, we may be tempted to think that the Church "has been fooled, once again."
However, however... there may be another reason behind it. It is not just a question of saving great interests and capitals. But to avoid a human tragedy. You know, basically, that the Legionnaires are extremely vulnerable, and especially teenagers.
Their system of training, their religious discipline, and their apostolic methodology have made them unable to live normally in the world, as you might have noticed it by yourself.
They are not "immune" because they are living for a long time in a perfect world, a world where one is never confronted with evil. Also, on this simple point of view, a radical dissolution would have been very complicated.
But that's not all: if the Pope had dissolved the congregation, his decision would have been seen as a stab inconsistent with their representation of their vocation. All these apostolics and pre-candidates do not work hard, for many years, serving the Church and the Pope? Do not they have left anything behind them? Have they not sacrificed their youth? The human drama that would follow would surely have led many of them, in any case the most fragile, to madness, depression and even suicide.
But do not worry. The system will not survive very long. The wreck began, water entered the ship and now, despite the desperate efforts of crew members to save the furniture, I do not think the Legion will survive. In the whole history of the church, it never happened that a congregation has been founded by a monster lacking in any religious sentiment.
I believe that the Apostolic Visitation, despite the shortcomings that we have witnessed, and few attempts of some legionaries to fix things, allowed the Holy Father to have a real idea of cultish behavio within the congregation. In the midst of polite phrases and sentences of consolation, the statement points out the serious shortcomings of the Legion and condemn without appeal, the behavior of Father Maciel.
I think the result will be easier than you might imagine: the delegate sent by the Vatican will have the mission to let the congregation “slowly die by itself”. I guess the first steps will be to immediately stop "the vocational recruitment" and the apostolate of training the trainers of seminaries. I also believe that the Legion of Christ will not welcome anymore the training session for the new bishops, and that the Maria Mater Ecclesiae will be assigned to another congregation. (If I am wrong, so, we are in great great trouble...)
In a second step, the delegate will change all the things that contribute to the “feeling guilty” of members: instructors will have the correct speech as "You have a special mission", "God has thought from His eternity to ...", "If you leave, you will betray your calling ...". The religious will have more holidays, and more time with his family. He will also have more opportunities to be informed. He will have more time to sleep, more personal intimacy, more freedom in everyday life. Some acts of piety will become optional. The books of MM will be burned up, the practical exams also. Gradually, they will re-discover - or discover - their freedom ... and not having the pressure of guilt upon their shoulders, they will leave one by one the Legion.
And that's how I think that the prophecy of John Paul II will be fulfilled : "Veranno tempi duri per i legionari se vogliono essere fedeli a la sua vocazione” (hard times are coming for the legionaries if they want be faithful to their vocation). A prophecy which is not, in my opinion, a moral judgments, but a simple observation.
With those few words, I wish you a good continuation in life.
Let us be united in prayer to God who is, above all, a GOOD FATHER.
Xavier Léger, from exlcblog.info