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I’m sure I’ll get flamed, but this needs to be said. I am so uncomfortable with the tone of the comments this week. It seems people have gotten so addicted to their anger; there is just no end to the vitriol. I know how this feels; I have done my share of piling on too. Nothing has driven me into the confessional over the past year as much as my angry responses to the LC/RC situation. But here we are in Holy Week, and today we are shredding Fr Thomas Berg and Fr Richard Gill, for the offence of defending Fr Luis Garza. I know less about Fr Gill, but both of these men have courageously left the Legion and offered informed criticism. Both were among the first to comment and offer apologies in the early days last February. In an interview with Sandro Magister in July, Fr TB offered an accurate assessment of the challenges the LC face. “I will limit myself to one overall suggestion: help the Legionaries to engage in an honest and objective self-critique.” This stand as one of the best interviews on the subject, imo. ( Imo, Fr TB is a very good man, who has conducted himself admirably through the past year. Other than a couple of public comments, he has stayed out of the discussions and focused his attentions on his new life and worthwhile efforts through the Westchester Institute. I don’t think he’d choose now to jump back into the fray without good reason. Back In Feb. ’09, the LC I know best and trust most (there are a few good guys) described Fr LG as reform-minded and pushing for a forthright response. It seemed he (LG) was facing some difficulty in this regard. A few weeks ago, we viewed a transcribed and translated version of a talk given by LG to the RC consecrated in September, in which LG appeared to be discussing the sordid details honestly. Now we have Fr TB and Fr RG describing him in this manner as well. I realize Aaron L. has a very negative experience of Fr LG in the past. I don’t make light of that. Fr LG should answer for that. But I wonder, is it not possible for Fr LG to have behaved terribly towards AL yet is now finally waking up to the grave failings of the Legion? Is it not possible he is trying to turn things around? Some time ago, I arrived at a weekday mass to find 2 women fighting in the church parking lot. As one woman drove off in tears, the other stood there ranting and raving. I tried to reason with her, and finally said “We’re about to walk into that church, and receive the body of Christ! Are you going to receive Christ into that same mouth that you’re screaming and yelling with?” I couldn’t bear the thought. This is how I feel now. I just can’t bear to see this kind of talk, as we enter into the Triduum. How can we type angry comments, suggest conspiracy theories, and criticize anyone and everyone associated with LC/RC on the one hand, then march into church as committed Catholics, reliving Christ’s last days and resurrection on the other? I just can’t bear the inconsistency. Can we not collect ourselves and live the next few days in prayerful unity with the Universal Church?
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2010 on Father Garza Revisited at life-after-RC
It was one year ago today that Fr Anthony Bannon hosted a "Town Hall Meeting" with benefactors. "Our directors are quietly trying to get in touch with possible victims". One year later, we know that hasn't happened. MAC or Joe, if you're in contact with Fr Bannon, maybe you can ask him why?
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2010 on Blurring the lines at life-after-RC
Dear Lord, I wonder if Lauretta is talking about this comment from the combox at Red Cardigan - with apologies to Aaron if he should read this. This comment is posted by someone aptly named "Troll" - "Aaron Loughery is a coward. If he had any integrity, he would press charges, and let whoever was accused mount a defense in a proper court of law that would determine his guilt or innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, he mounts a whispering campaign, and you gossipers willingly participate. Where is that angel with the flaming coal to purify all your mouths?" I am uttterly sickened.
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2010 on Blurring the lines at life-after-RC
I don’t know how I missed this, from Mar. 16th. Sorry if someone else has already posted it. Apostolic visitors of Legion to meet with Vatican Secretary of State April 30 I wonder why they are waiting until April 30th, or if that, in fact, is swift for the Vatican. What, if anything will happen between now and April 30th? Anyone care to speculate?
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2010 on Blurring the lines at life-after-RC
I am happy to see this kind of thoughtful, reasoned discussion. Joe, thanks for coming in peace. There are many excellent responses; one point I'd like to make is about the vow of charity. Someone stated it was intended to prevent un-Christian backbiting. On the Cassandra Jones blog (, we see the date of the institution of the vow of charity as September of 1956. This was just weeks before the first AV (also known as “the Great Blessing”) took place. Quoting Cassandra Jones timeline: August or September 1956 Maciel asks Legionary José Domínguez, Federico’s brother, to help draft an official fourth religious vow, never to criticize a superior and to report those who do. 15 September 1956 Maciel in a long letter addressed to all the Legionaries of the Front of Mexico explains the “second private vow: “The Private Vow guards against all external criticism, not only [of] acts of government and authority of the Superior but also his entire human personality: temperament, character, physical, intellectual and moral defects and his way of proceeding in any area outside the exercise of his authority. Consequently the Superior MUST SIMPLY BE RESPECTED regardless of any negative aspect whatsoever.” If the Cassandra Jones timeline is accurate, then it’s not that tough to imagine a more sinister intent to the vow of charity that reaches beyond the mere prevention of “backbiting”. Maciel was putting into place a means to tongue-tie his closest Legionaries with obedience, preventing them from revealing details of his activities which spawned the AV in the first place. That is the real, diabolical intent of the vow, it was not created as a means to live virtue. I wonder what might have happened if Maciel had not created that vow, would the result of the first AV been different? What suffering might have been prevented, had Maciel’s deeds been revealed and dealt with?
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2010 on Blurring the lines at life-after-RC
Mac – One thing to understand is that many of us have been posting here and elsewhere for quite some time. If I look back to a year ago, I began every post saying something like “I have to acknowledge the good” and then I’d list off the good things I experienced in the movement before I commented on the current topic of the thread. However, as time has passed, many of us know each other’s stories, so we don’t repeat them with every comment. There are many who comment daily and it would get really repetitive to start every comment by saying “but first let me acknowledge the good”. We’re not here to discuss whatever was good, it's not the good stuff that keeps me awake at night. We’re here because there are so many awful things to try to understand. I am trying to wrap my head around the incomprehensible conduct of holy Catholic priests, priests to whom I entrusted my spiritual life and that of my family. I want the best for them, I want them to come out of this ok, and discussing it does not take away from my desire to see healing and reform. I’m a mother. I can discuss my concerns about the conduct of my children, with love and concern. I can visit a parenting blog to meet with other parents and discuss our mutual experiences of parenting, I can vent ("Arg! Teenagers!"). This does not make me my children’s enemy. Obviously I want the best for them. I know a number of LC brothers. I don’t want for them to live their vocation under a cloud of suspicion. That cloud of suspicion doesn’t exist because of my discussing the situation at Life after RC. That cloud of suspicion exists because of a long legacy of questionable conduct and leadership on the part of the superiors of the Legion, and not limited to the founder. That’s reality. Is there trouble elsewhere in the Church? Yes, and I respect the right of anyone here to comment on those matters as well, including you. I believe I have an open mind, insofar as I am open to the possibility of a positive resolution to this scandal, one which goes beyond anything we have imagined. I have infinite faith in God’s loving will. This does not preclude me from having an opinion. Because of my desire to see a scandal-free future for the LCs I know and care about, I personally believe that their best hope lies outside of the Legion. I may be wrong, but that doesn't make me closed-minded or uncharitable. Please stop painting us all with the same brush. Maybe it makes you feel good to blast with both barrels, but frankly, I find your comments are unjust and uncharitable. If you truly wish for healthy discussion and debate, I suggest you speak to specific points on which you disagree, and say why. My opinion…fwiw
That's why I'm such a Pete Vere fan, a simple explanation of charitable interpretation. I've saved this on a Word doc for future use, thanks Pete, you're awesome!
According to news sources, Blanca is from Tijuana. If you've ever been to Tijuana, you know it's not a pretty place. A 19 year old woman with a small child in Tijuana in 1977 likely didn't have alot of options. MM surely knew this, and preyed on her precarious life circumstances in wooing her with the promise of a better life. This is just another tragedy in a sea of tragedies related to his perverse, deceitful life. Did Blanca believe that what they had constituted a marriage? Who knows what mm told her, maybe that they could not marry in the conventional sense due to his secret life as a private detective/CIA agent? I am sure she was very naive, and trusted his worldliness. She likely did not regard herself as a mistress.
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2010 on Fisking Giselle at life-after-RC
I'm in.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2010 on Notice for 10 March at life-after-RC
I think there is a good explanation above regarding still showing up at RC events - he is fulfilling his last commitments in his old role (as LC) before assuming his new role outside of the Legion. I really get uncomfortable when a LC priest leaves, as we have all been hoping, and then we're not prepared to give them a chance outside of the Legion. I'm with Dissolution only, they don't have a chance if we don't welcome them. As they find their way forward in a vocation free of scandal and suspicious methods, one hopes they will pass the good news along to their LC friends, and encourage them that the grass is indeed greener outside of the Legion.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2010 on A sincere question at life-after-RC
I am sorry Bonilla is not representing these sons any longer. I felt they were in good hands with him. Yes, the interview may have been a mistake, but a lawyer still advocates for his client, even when he messes up. I thought perhaps the situation could be rehabilitated. Bonilla could give his clients a stern warning, and a short public statement could be made, clarifying Raul's intent. Bonilla could point out in lawyerly fashion that furthermore, the Legion does in fact have a history of making financial settlements with silence as a condition, both with the Normas as well as the lawsuit against Regain. I really hope the sons of MM find new, capable counsel soon.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2010 on The worst damage has been done at life-after-RC
If Watty doesn't come through with an unbiased report, I hope Pope Benedict will see through the bias and deliver Watty his own papal smackdown! I will be so sick if this AV results in a quick rearrangement of the furniture and back to business as usual. Tomorrow is March 1, as Aaron said recently, this may all be over in less than a month.... Obviously I care about the outcome, but I'm also just anxious to know. Whatever the outcome.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2010 on Gut check at life-after-RC
I read that on Trastevere as well, giselle, and found it worrisome. We have to really trust in Abp Chaput to carry the weight of the many testimonies that have come his way. He has welcomed ExLCs into his archdiocese, and I believe he has a good sense of the difficulties which drove them out of the legion. Hopefully, his experience with ExLCs has been positive enough that he is able to share these positive post-Legion experiences with those still inside and contemplating their future. Maybe he is the right guy to present diocesan life as a good option for them.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2010 on South of the border at life-after-RC
I'm taking a "glass half full" approach to Fr Morris because he has made a huge leap towards truth and living a purified vocation by leaving the Legion of Christ behind. I am hopeful that he will improve over time.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2010 on Setting the record straight at life-after-RC
I went looking on the 'net for “thought stopping” comments, and stumbled on a website critical of Amway. I'm not vouching for this site, but I found it very enlightening to compare the criticism of Amway to our own regarding lc/rc. Quoting above link: The leaders of pernicious cults like 'Amway' and 'Scientology' seek to control all information entering not only their adherents’ minds, but also that entering the minds of casual observers. This is achieved by constantly denigrating all external sources of information whilst constantly repeating the group’s reality-inverting key words and images, and/ or by the physical isolation of adherents. Cults leaders systematically categorize, condemn and exclude as unenlightened, negative, impure, absolutely evil, etc. all free-thinking individuals and any quantifiable evidence challenging the authenticity of their imaginary scenarios of control. In this way, the minds of cult adherents can become converted to accept only what their leadership arbitrarily sanctions as enlightened, positive, pure, absolutely righteous, etc. Consequently, adherents habitually communicate amongst themselves using their group’s thought-stopping ritual jargon, and they find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate with negative persons outside of their group whom they falsely believe to be a suppressive threat to redemption in whatever mythical future Utopian existence their leaders peddle.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2010 on Where is the charism? at life-after-RC
On further reflection on Monk’s earlier post, I'll touch on a few points. 1. “So the average Joe in the street (I've not met many RC people and I've met no LC) is willing to withhold judgement and condemnation.” The choice of the words “judgment” and “condemnation” unfairly brands critics, imo. 2. "let's hold our fire until ALL the facts and circumstances are in." On the face of it, this sounds so reasonable. Doesn’t it make sense to have all the facts? However, again, just my opinion, we have enough facts to reach certain conclusions about the lc/rc. We know enough to say there has been suffering, scandal to the Church, deception, loss of trust, financial wrongdoing, neglected responsibility to mercy and justice towards victims, and so on. These facts are undeniable. Furthermore, if erroneous conclusions are drawn from the known facts, all the lc/rc has to do is be more forthright with the facts. It’s completely within the power of the lc/rc to set the record straight. 3. “MM was an extraordinarily complex individual." "Condemn the bad you know to be true. He is more than the sum of his faults." This red herring has nothing to do with current criticism. Bringing in the complexity of MM, in fact, bringing MM into the discussion at all is meant only to draw attention away from the real focus of our criticism, the lc/rc and it current mishandling of the scandal and suffering. MM is dead and gone, and no one is condemning the lc/rc for actions which were his alone. They know that. These all represent “thought-stopping” comments, and standard tactics of the lc/rc. (Note: In quoting the Monk, I’m not accusing him of adhering to these practices. I am sure he merely repeated these points unwittingly and without any sort of lc/rc agenda. No offence is intended)
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2010 on Where is the charism? at life-after-RC
Mary A. - What's strange is that there are people who show up here in defence of the Legion to nitpick whether giselle has been fair nor not, yet they are strangley silent when someone like Aaron posts his comments about his victimization by the lc. I wonder why? It's even stranger to me that these people never nitpick the movement for it's own inconsistencies. You know, like claiming that Fr Alvaro has apologized "in public and private" to victims, when in fact, we have Aaron's testimony that this is not the case.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2010 on Where is the charism? at life-after-RC
Monk said: "So the average Joe in the street (I've not met many RC people and I've met no LC)is willing to withhold judgement and condemnation." That's no different from the average Joe on the street here either. The average Joe is unfamiliar with the details of this scandal. While we are all immmersed in this thing, and care very much about the outcome, the average Joe is not googling "Legionaries of Christ" every day for updated news. Asking the average Joe what they think about Fr ES's speech, or the scandal in general, is like asking me what I think about, say, steroid abuse in professional baseball. What do I know? OTOH, those of us who care more than the average Joe about the outcome of the AV and the status of lc/rc in our parish or diocese are writing letters to the AV, to our bishop, we are discussing our concerns with our pastor, our parish councils, and so on. One hopes that will make a difference.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2010 on Where is the charism? at life-after-RC
anon, are you able to expand on how this came about, the confrontation with the bigger picture?
Dear Monk and Haily, When I look at my posts from a year ago on different sites, they always began with a comment like "first I have to acknowledge what was good..." When you have acknowledged the good enough times, it starts to sound repetitive. Every post I make here would be twice as long if I first launched into a litany of what was good for me in RC. I've been here awhile, I'm not going to say "I am grateful I went on good retreat", or "I am grateful for Father so-and-so" every time I post. I don't lose sleep over the good, I lose sleep over the bad, the tension in my parish, the friendships that have been alientated, the scandal to the Church, the LC priests and brothers whom I care about and see as trapped in a bad situation, etc. I don't come here to reminisce about the good old days, I am here for news, and because many of us share a common bad experience of the movement. I also think that for Haily or Monk, there would be less negative reaction if the comments were directed towards the subject of the thread, and not to make a sweeping criticism that "you all are mean". If you take exception to my post, perhaps it would be preferable to say "Jane, I disagree and here is why", not "y'all are uncharitable". Am I making sense? I sincerely invited Haily to return for further discussion, my intent was not uncharitable. I am glad Monk continues to participate here. Even if I don't always agree with his comments, I believe he is sincere. My opinion....
Toggle Commented Feb 22, 2010 on Our vocation is to walk on water at life-after-RC
Excuse me, Jeannette, are you accusing me of "Ranting"? ;-)
Toggle Commented Feb 22, 2010 on Our vocation is to walk on water at life-after-RC
I wonder what would happen if Maciel's original 8 accusers showed up at your next encounter with Christ, Hailey. "Hi. I'm Juan Vaca, I'm Jose Barba,...etc" and then just stood there in silence, what would you say? I wonder if you and your sisters in the movement could look them in the eye, and say "your suffering at the hands of the movement matters less to me than my good experience of the movement"? Or "your experience of the Legion of Christ was bad, you are owed an apology, but the Legion of Christ has been good for me; even though they have victimized you, they have taught me alot about my faith, and so I'm going to stick with them". Now here's another exercise for you. Go recruit someone to RC. Tell them all about it. Don't leave anything out. Can you do it? I'm talking about living in the truth. I am talking about being honest with yourself. Can you do it?
Toggle Commented Feb 22, 2010 on Our vocation is to walk on water at life-after-RC
You're right. I shouldn't question that number. I guess I've just become so distrustful, after all the lies I have heard from people in the movement. For example, when Fr ES says "Fr Álvaro [Corcuera, director general of the Legion of Christ] has done and is doing so [apologize, that is]publicly and personally, but again we ask for forgiveness...", my first thought is "that is a lie" because I have heard that promised and/or claimed again and again. But it hasn't happened. Call me cynical. God forgive me. But please don't accuse me of wanting the LC/RC to disappear. I'd actually like to have them back. In the Church. As friends. I'd like to see them healed. I'd like to see them live in the truth. Every time a LC leader stands up and offers anything less than the truth, my friends try really hard to get behind him. I'm all for forming the will, but not when one has to use their will to stifle their conscience, their reason. One year of persevering, and I see my friends getting pretty fatigued. When I see drivel like this from Fr ES, I get discouraged because that is one more opportunity for honesty, healing, truth-telling, lost.
Toggle Commented Feb 22, 2010 on Our vocation is to walk on water at life-after-RC
I'd like to get inside that number, 3,500 in attendance. If there are (or was) allegedly 70,000 RCs worldwide, how many are in Mexico? How many would attend a YFE? How many would attend a YFE in 2010, in the midst of a ton of scandal, public scorn, in the middle of an AV? I would think that, in order to show up at a YFE, you would have to be an RC with no issues whatsoever. After everything that has happened, with RC numbers supposedly dropping by the day, is 3,500 an accurate head count?
Toggle Commented Feb 22, 2010 on Our vocation is to walk on water at life-after-RC
Monk, the legion keeps on apologizing to crowds of RCs for offences against people who are not standing in that crowd! That is not an apology. You know it. They need to say who they are apologizing to and what they are apologizing for. They have not done that, they have not even come close. It's not rocket science!
Toggle Commented Feb 21, 2010 on Our vocation is to walk on water at life-after-RC