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« Propaganda 101: As The World Turns' Progressive Plot Line | Main | The Miraculous Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne »

Wednesday, August 22, 2007



Just so I'm clear, if one is accused of a horrendous crime:
Silence is suspect.
Claiming innocence is suspect.
Pointing out inconsistencies in the accuser’s accounts is suspect.
Humbly submitting to the Vatican’s pronouncement is suspect.
Seeking relief from an organization engaging in unrelenting attacks against you is suspect.
Using heterodox and/or secular sources, which in every other case you would dismiss as biased, as your primary information is fine.
Comparing the organization to a non-Christian cult (much like Protestants do for the Catholic Church as a whole) is fine.
Using the allegations against the organization’s founder to smear the entire organization is fine.
Did I miss anything?


If my memory doesn't fail me, Jesus never silenced His accusers. He requested silence from witnesses to His power and His miracles at times, but not his accusers and not even Judas. Hmmm...
I know that when abuse allegations have been made in a community, certain things are sure to happen:
1)Those who never witnessed or heard of any abuse (usu. the majority) will have a conflict of loyalty and conscience.
2) The alleged victims instantly become the enemies of the majority and are shunned.
3) The victims (real or no) will become so angry and frustrated at the betrayal of their "family" that they will appear (or even become)irrational. They will then either self-destruct (thereby feeding the judgments against them) or take the bait and attack the whole organization as evil and uncaring.
This is the natural human dynamic in such situations. The truth, when all this is going on, is nearly impossible to discern. There is never a perfect solution, humanly speaking. The only solution to be found for all is through faith in Jesus Christ (Who is Truth, and Whom we do know) and confidence in His love.
Speaking as one who took the self-destructive route rather than swallow the wolf's bait (although either road is the devil's detour), I can say that there is healing at the end of this road, but rarely does the whole truth of the community come to light on earth. It is always painful (for the disenchanted as well as the blindly loyal) to accept that we may never understand a reality that feels essential to our identity.


Just so I am clear:

Whenever a charismatic, messianic leader is accused of gross misuse of power, his hardcore followers always, always deny the very multiple, consistent, global (across a large geographic area) accusations. Even when they are consistent and local.

In my area I had Orthodox Catholics saying Fr. Ryan Erickson, of Hudson, Wisconsin had nothing to do with the molestation of an altar boy, and the subsequent shooting/murder of the boy's father and the father's business intern, whom confronted Fr. Erickson. The orthodox in the area exclaimed 'HE DID NOT DO IT, HE WAS ORTHODOX!' They were emphatic, they were certainly fanatical. All evidence pointed to this priest as guilty.

Oh, so very few priests/bishops are wrongly accused. Almost always there is fire where there is smoke with the priestly scandals. And when the smoke and fire is found, there is usually a lot more than what is initially found. Usually decades and multiple incidents over multiple parishes.

Maciel is almost certainly guilty.

He hardly took a humble punishment. His organization is still just that - his organization. They are most certainly still under his guidance, albeit in cognito. If he was taking his punishment humbly, his organization (L.O.C.) would step down and take it.

If Fr. Maciel was not guilty, he would take zero punishment from the Holy See. I certainly would not, if I was not guilty.

What a crock.

These messianic failures work the brains of their followers even in their 'silence.'

It is like reading about Squeaky Fromme and or the followers of Koresh and Jim Jones.

Nothing their leader does could ever be wrong, or suspect.

How about this: Your religion provides a fine spiritual path to salvation. You don't need to be told to have faith, pray and live a life of morality, close to Jesus and his church.

I'd like to say the naivete (in the least), if not outright neglect of their God-given will and intellect surprises me, but sadly, it no longer does.


If ReGain's agents did what is reported--unlawfully take documents belonging to the Legion--then the Legion has every right to use the civil authorities to get them back. I know of no orthodox Christian doctrine that allows one private actor to steal the private property of another even if the latter is pursuing some sort of justice. If the documents were contraband or proof of wrongdoing, the state could seize them as evidence. Indeed, the very fact that the state has not done so would seem to indicate that ReGain is in the wrong.


I don't know whether Fr. Macial is guilty of the horrible crimes of which he is accused, but I checked the ReGAIN website several years ago and saw quickly that it was full of dissent. It would be so much easier to hear their grievances if ReGAIN's leaders insisted on orthodoxy on their pages and operations. Without that, it's hard to take them more seriously than, say, former members of Opus Dei.



I see no evidence of dissent from Church teaching on the ReGAIN website. Perhaps you can give examples from their current website so we can all see that your claim has merit.




All my writings, on the left column of my site and found on Regain are orthodox. The orthodoxy of the LC's is a veil for a private agenda -- is that unheard of in Church history? The documents cited in the case (constitutions and letters of the founder) have been bound and distributed to members, clergy, cardinals, and benefactors. Now they're being used against them so they want the names. It's the computers of Regain members that they want (read the complaint) because they want to know who inside the Legion is cooperating with "the enemy."


The documents listed are found on so many websites that they pop up like rabbits on a google search. Maciel himself used to give away copies of his constitutions to cardinals for their reading pleasure. Letters of the founder were sent to individuals during decades and these individuals have taken them with them and have had them for years, publishing them and reprinting them. The Legion even sells some letters on its Circle Press site. What kind of a Legion fishing expedition is this? Agents of Regain breaking into seminaries to open the vaults and take away the secret archives of the writings of a pedophile? Make very little sense to me.


You missed the whole forest for the trees Rhett.
You seem to have an excuse for everything the Legion does. So just answer the question: is suing your detractors in civil court the Christ-like thing to do?



It has been a few years, and I recall clearly reading about women's ordination and the like. I have to get back to planning my son's birthday party!, so I only had time for a quick search, but found

-a glowing review of a John Cornwell book about JPII. This author of "Hitler's Pope" rails so strongly against JPII's defense of the Church's teachings on the priesthood, contraception, etc., that even those on his side consider it "mean and bitter writing", judging by Amazon reviews.

-a link to the Opus Dei Awareness Network

God bless you all, and may God bring to justice all who harm His children.


To read the full book review:

"Yet his papacy has also been marked by what many perceive as misogyny, homophobia, and ecclesiastical tyranny.... The Pontiff in Winter brings John Paul’s complex, contradictory character into sharp focus. ... Cornwell raises serious questions about a system that grants lifetime power to an individual vulnerable to the vicissitudes of aging and illness."


This was copied from the Random House blurb about the book. If this is what makes Regain unorthodox, it is a far stretch. As much as a strecth as a suit for detinue.
Woman's ordination has never been treated in any way on Regain. Wrong website, NCM.
Justice to ALL those who harm children.


A link to the Opus Dei Awareness Network!!! O Shades of Hell Fire!!!
There are dozens of links, hundreds of articles on the regain site, many not even written by regain, but by others concerned about the Legion.
Please stop trying to shoot the messanger.


as a former legionary (1996-8), i believe that the legacy of JPII in this matter--who did more to establish the legion as the 'neo-jesuits' within the church than any of his predecessors--IS going to be a real question here, regardless of one's take on the berry and renner book or the orthodoxy of regain (of which i am not a member, nor have ever been). BXVI recently dissolved the two "private vows" the legion had previously employed to keep its members in compliance--those of a.) not criticizing the legion/its founder/one's superiors in any way; and b.) informing one's superiors of any brother/father who violates the forementioned "vow". contrariwise, JPII ended the years of wrangling with the congregation for the clergy over the legionary "constitutions" and its curious "private vows", personally signing off on each himself (according to the story we were told in the novitiate), overriding the concerns of curial canonists. now that the church has dissolved those tenets of the order's constitutions (as well as the allowance the legion had been granted in having superiors serve as both spiritual directors and confessors simultaneously, in violation of canon law), how will JPII's actions on this matter be seen? after all, the "private vows" and this dispensation from canon law are essential to understanding how the legion has been allowed to operate from within, with the holy father giving his personal stamp of approval to these now-defunct regulations of the legion *after* the church was made aware of allegations of abuse regarding 'nuestro padre' in the 1970s.


The complaint specifically states that the documents were "stolen from the Legion" and "posted them on the internet." If the allegations are true--and the Legion must prove them to be so by a preponderance of the evidence--then the tort of conversion was indeed committed.

Angelus, I don't think that suing one who steals something is immoral. Indeed, the Legion is using the process specifically established by the sovereign (in this case, the Commonwealth of Virginia) to obtain property that it says was stolen. Viewed in such a manner, its actions seem to be in order.


Angelus, I--for one--would view any site that links to the ODAN site with suspicion. While I looked over the articles on the ReGain website and didn't see anything heterodox, an organization that cross-links with ODAN is not going to be one that will be given the benefit of the doubt by me.


"I see no evidence of dissent from Church teaching on the ReGAIN website. Perhaps you can give examples from their current website so we can all see that your claim has merit." -Thomistic
"One of ReGAIN’s criticisms of the Legion Training System is that the Novitiate comes too soon, before young people are mature enough to really make the best use of it, i.e. to discern whether, if, and/or what kind of a vocation they have. You may have already read about there being 15-year-old novices in Legionary novitiates in Spain and Mexico through the 80s. Eighteen to twenty, even twenty-five, is still young to make such a major decision that is going to commit you for the rest of your life! This commitment to renounce sexual and emotional intimacy with another human being [Celibacy], to have to ask permission to use anything [Legion Poverty], and to always obey your superior in all things great and small [Legion Obedience] is too serious to be taken without proper discernment."

It appears ReGain opposes all minor seminaries as these points of 'criticism' are not unique to the Legionaries of Christ.

Does such a statement strike you as being particularly orthodox?

Or again, clicking here you will read:
"THE LEGION OF CHRIST, A CULT?...Educate yourself about this serious danger to your Faith and Family."

But the fact of the matter is Rome has insisted that both the Legion and Regnum Christi are part of the springtime of the Church and of great benefit to the mission entrusted her by Our Lord in Matthew 28.

From the May 19, 2006 communique:

"Independently of the person of the Founder, the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of
Christ and the Regnum Christi Association is recognized with gratitude."

What ReGain calls a cult, the Holy Father calls a worthy apostolate.


Well, my dear Carlitos, Regain appeared at a hearing in Virginia today (as they were cited by the court) and they said that they have stolen nothing. A careful reading of the text of the complaint shows that it is just an accusation. Look at the interrogatories: the Legion is after more than allegedly stolen property.

This site cross links to the Regnum Christi. Are we to classify it by that?


Sorry Tom, the church does NOT advocate taking 9 and 10 year olds from there families to place them in seminary HIGH schools as the Legion does. And the Church just had to demand the Legion modify its draconian norms for family visits of these boys. The Legion lies about how old the kids really are to church authorities. This is all old hat and the Vatican is investigating it all.


Criticizing the Legion of Christ does not make one un-orthodox! Get real.


Oops, forgot to say Tom Hoopes, since we know who you are and who writes your paycheck


"Oops, forgot to say Tom Hoopes, since we know who you are and who writes your paycheck"



Never heard of him until today.

You should have clicked on my name which would have taken you straight to my blog. The mystery of my last name would at that point...well, have ceased to be a mystery.

No; no paychecks for doing a little digging over at ReGAIN.


Well, Angelus, the defendant in a case usually denies the allegations in a complaint (or information or indictment in a criminal case). That's exactly why we have trials where a jury (or judge, in a bench trial) gets to weigh the evidence and determine the credibility of witnesses.

And, yes, a complaint IS just an accusation. That's exactly what it's designed to be. Evidence comes later in the process unless summary judgment is granted for one party or the other.

As to linking with RC, I would argue that not linking to the very organization that ReGain speaks out against would--of course-- be rather odd. If one is going to criticize an organization, linking to the target's website builds credibility by allowing the reader to see the target organization's viewpoint as well as the criticism. That being said, the link to ODAN seems rather unnecessary inasmuch as ReGain's target is LC and RC, not Opus Dei. It is the inclusion of the ODAN link that gives me pause.


NCM: I understand your reticence to take seriously anyone who connects with such groups. When I was in RC, I thought along the very same lines and defended MM to the hilt.

PLEASE consider this: any man who joined the Legion AT ONE TIME was a loyal supporter of the pope, orthodoxy, and committed to spreading the very same Kingdom that you work so hard to be a part of (as do I). These were not flakey people, but men who offered their very lives to Christ and who tried for years to be cutting edge in saving souls. If they have become jaded or cynical, perhaps you could ask yourself, "what happened?"

I now find myself allied with all sorts of people who I do not share theology with because my over-riding concern is to save children from paedophilia and spiritual manipulation. I counsel many, many families and individuals who have been shredded by what they thought was "orthodoxy" that turned out to be cult-like practices blanketed in Catholic piety. It took me years (as a die-hard member) to consider that I had been hoodwinked. I didn't lose my faith, but I understand easily how others did.

The fact that a man has a collar, elevates the host in a reverent manner, and looks deeply into your eyes to plead for your money and your children for the Kingdom may not be as authentic as it appears. Please think outside the box for once!

(My articles explain the game.)


Well, Tom, glad that ab opositio makes you an expert on all that is orthodox. Since your blog title is in Latin, I take everything you say now as gospel. Look back at my post and what I said about criticizing the Legion....

Sorry about the moniker. Too many oops with that Hoopes guy. He will show, give him an hour or so.

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