Pope Francis addresses the Fr. Marcial Maciel, Legion of Christ Founder, scandal for the first time

Improved translation from the original Spanish

Pope Francis speaks for first time about the Marcial Maciel scandal

ROME, 14 Mar 15 / 3:17 a.m. ( CNA ) .

In his interview with Televisa Mexico’s Valentina Alazraki , Pope Francis spoke for the first time in his pontificate about the scandal of Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, whom he considers “a very sick person” and he recalled how both St John Paul I and his predecessor, Benedict XVI behaved correctly by investigating the case.
When asked about whether he knew Maciel or heard about a cover-up in the case, the Holy Father stated “I never had contact with the Legionaries of Christ. Because they were not in Buenos Aires and the first parish was given (to the) by my predecessor, the parish of Santa María de Betania; the parish had been left (vacant) by the previous religious, the Picpus (Congregation of the Sacred Hearts). There were three of them (Legionaries); there were three LC religious in Buenos Aires; in other words, I never met them. I heard about  them.”
“When I came (to Rome) to take, not the course, not the course for new bishops but the Ecclesial Movements Encounter, I stayed with, in other words the course was held at their building, a university, no? This was the other contact I had with them. In other words, I never got to know them,” he stated.

Francis recalled that “when I heard about the big scandal (uses popular Spanish: “el escandalazo”) it hurt me a lot. I was shocked.”
“How could this person go that far?
Evidently, he was a very sick person because besides all the abuses I think there were two or three women mixed up in it, children, with one or the other of them, I don’t know, like there was something going on there, and a lot of money. It all goes back to the same; that corruption begins with deep pockets. Right? But I believe it has to do with a sick person. A very sick person.”
The pope indicated that when the Vatican “became aware of it, it began to act firmly.”
“Then Cardinal Ratzinger took up the case and he kept working on it –Pope St John Paul II gave him the green light; and when he (Ratzinger) became pope he took action because the process was ripe.”
“But I want to make it very clear that then Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope St John Paul II were aware and they decided: Let’s go ahead. One in the investigation; the other in giving the green light.”

Responding to the concern about if “there was cover-up” Francis indicated that one can presume there was, although in all justice you are presumed innocent. But it would be unusual if there were not, if he did not have some kind of “godfather” around, half duped, half suspecting who would not know. Well, I have not researched that.”

The Pope went on to clarify that “the (Sex Abuse) Commission is not for the abuses but for the protection of minors; in other words, to prevent it. Right? The problem of child abuse is serious; most abuses occur in the family and neighborhood environments.
I don’t want to give numbers so as not to make mistakes. Just one priest who abuses a minor is enough to shake the whole Church structure to confront the problem. Why? Because the priest has an obligation to educate this boy, this girl, in holiness, in the encounter with Jesus. And what he does is destroy the encounter with Jesus.”
The pope underscored that “we have to listen to the abused. I listened for a whole day to two Irish, two English and two Germans. Their interior destruction…I mean they (the abusers) are cannibals. It’s as if they devoured the children. They destroy them, right? Even if it were just one priest it would be enough to fill us full of shame and make us do what needs to be done.”
The pope stressed that “we have to keep going ahead and not turn back. I mean, to destroy a creature is horrible, just horrible.”
“And that is why I am so grateful both to Pope Benedict who had the strength to state it publicly and to Pope St. John Paul II who had the courage to give the green light to the case of the Legionaries,” he reiterated.

You can read the full interview in its original Spanish at the following link: https://www.aciprensa.com/noticias/nueva-entrevista-el-papa-francisco-explica-como-fue-su-eleccion-hace-dos-anos-82104/

El Papa Francisco habla por primera vez del Padre Maciel, Pederasta y Fundador de la Legion de Christo y Regnum Christi

Reproducimos a continuacion pasajes de la entrevista de la reportera Mexicana, Valentina Alazraki con el Santo Padre.

Antes, teniendo ReGAIN tanto interés y conocimiento del tema, nos permitimos dos palabras sobre los comentarios del Papa. La primera impresión de nuestros editores es que el Santo Padre no se percata de toda la malicia y los estragos causados por el Padre Maciel y por los hombres formados personalmente por él. A los que estamos cerca de las victimas del Padre Maciel y de los superiores legionarios nos da la impresión de que, como dicen los norteamericanos, “He just doesn’t get it.”  No basta decir que el Padre Maciel fuera una persona “enferma” ni que fuera sólo un pederasta. Y queda por resolver la pregunta básica: ?Como pudo un hombre tan corrupto, tan destructor de vidas, un verdadero psicópata, y totalmente carente de fe, esperanza y caridad fundar una congregación religiosa? A nuestro humilde parecer como creyentes católicos sostenemos que tanto Benedicto como Francisco se quedan cortos y rehúyen de los interrogantes radicales y profundos acerca del fenómeno de la Legión de Cristo y del Regnum Christi. Esperamos no escandalizar a nuestros hermanos y hermanas al reclamar a nuestros líderes un revisión de la tardía y tibia actuación de las autoridades en el caso Maciel/Legión. Es muy triste constatar que el Papa Francisco parece estar justificando a sus predecesores su falta de vigilancia y vigor en el caso Maciel y no reconocer que ellos también fueron víctimas de su engaño.

Papa Francisco habla por primera vez sobre el escándalo de Marcial Maciel

https://www.aciprensa.com/noticias/papa-francisco-habla-por-primera-vez-sobre-el-escandalo-de-marcial-maciel-68745/

ROMA, 14 Mar. 15 / 03:17 am (ACI).- En su entrevista con la periodista Valentina Alazraki de la cadena mexicana Televisa, el Papa Francisco habló por primera vez en su pontificado sobre el escándalo de Marcial Maciel, fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, al que considera “un gran enfermo”, y recordó que tanto San Juan Pablo II como su predecesor, Benedicto XVI, actuaron con rectitud al investigar el caso.
Consultado sobre si conoció a Maciel o supo de algún encubrimiento del caso, el Santo Padre señaló que “yo nunca tuve contacto con los Legionarios de Cristo. Porque no estaban en Buenos Aires y la primera parroquia se la dio mi predecesor, en la Parroquia Santa María de Betania, cuando la dejaron los religiosos, los Picpus (Congregación de los Sagrados Corazones) y se la dio a ellos. Eran tres. O sea en Buenos Aires tres religiosos, o sea, no los conocía. Oí hablar de ellos”.
“Cuando vine a hacer, no el curso, porque no estaba el curso para nuevos obispos, pero sí el encuentro de Movimientos laicales, me hospedé, o sea el curso se hacía en un edificio de ellos, en una Universidad ¿no? Es el otro contacto que tuve. O sea que no los conocía”, dijo.
Francisco recordó que “cuando me enteré del ‘escandalazo’ realmente me dolió mucho, me escandalicé”.
“¿Cómo esta persona pudo llegar hasta esto? Evidentemente que era una persona muy enferma, porque además de todos los abusos, creo que también había dos o tres mujeres de por medio, hijos, con una o con otra, no sé, o sea que había algo ahí, y mucha plata. Volviendo a lo mismo no, lo de la corrupción empieza por los bolsillos ¿no? Pero creo que se trataba de un enfermo. Un gran enfermo”.
El Papa señaló que en el Vaticano “cuando se tomó conciencia de la cosa, se empezó a actuar fuerte”.
“Entonces el Cardenal Ratzinger llevó la cosa adelante, y la llevó, la llevó, la llevó y el Papa, San Juan Pablo II le dio luz verde para llevarla, o sea, él dio luz verde, y cuando lo hicieron Papa, ya actuó, porque estaba maduro el proceso”.
“Pero, quiero dejar muy claro que el entonces Cardenal Ratzinger y San Juan Pablo II eran conscientes y dijeron: adelante. Uno, en la investigación. Y el otro dando luz verde”, subrayó.
Al responder a la inquietud de si “hubo encubrimiento”, Francisco señaló que “uno puede presumir que sí, aunque siempre en justicia hay que presumir la inocencia. Pero sería raro que no, no, tuviera algún ‘padrinito’ por ahí, medio engañado, medio que, que sospechaba y no supiera. Bueno, eso yo no lo he investigado”.
El Papa precisó que “la Comisión ésta no es para los abusos, sino para la tutela del menor. O sea para prevenirlo ¿no? El problema del abuso de menores es un problema grave, la mayoría de los abusos se dan en el entorno familiar y vecinal.
“No quiero decir números, para no equivocarme. Un solo cura, que abuse de un menor, es suficiente para mover toda la estructura de la Iglesia y enfrentar el problema. ¿Por qué? Porque el cura tiene la obligación de hacer crecer ese chico, esa chica, en la santidad, en el encuentro con Jesús. Y lo que hace es destruir el encuentro con Jesús”.
El Papa destacó que “hay que escuchar a los abusados. Yo los he escuchado acá. Una mañana entera la pasé con seis: dos alemanes, dos irlandeses y dos ingleses. La destrucción interior que tiene. O sea, son antropófagos. O sea es como si se comieran a los chicos. Los destruyen ¿no? Aunque haya un solo cura es suficiente para avergonzarnos y para hacer lo que hay que hacer”.
Francisco señaló que “en esto hay que seguir adelante, y no volver un paso atrás. O sea, destruir una criatura es, es horrible, es horrible”.
“Y en eso yo agradezco tanto al Papa Benedicto que tuvo esa valentía de decirlo en público y a Juan Pablo II, que tuvo la valentía de abrir luz verde al caso de los Legionarios”, reiteró.
Puede leer la entrevista completa en este enlace: https://www.aciprensa.com/noticias/nueva-entrevista-el-papa-francisco-explica-como-fue-su-eleccion-hace-dos-anos-82104/

Righteous Wrath in the Christian Tradition, to all Cult, Clergy, Legion of Christ & Regnum Christi Victims

Reproduced with kind permission from author, Leon J. Podles, and Touchstone Online Archives

Original title: Unhappy Fault

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=22-06-012-v

Unhappy Fault
Leon J. Podles on the Integration of Anger into the Virtuous Life

Any institution tends to preserve itself by avoiding conflict, whether external or internal. In addition to this universal tendency, many Christians have a false understanding of the nature and role of anger. It is seen as something negative, something that a Christian should not feel.

In the sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church, those who dealt with the bishops have consistently remarked that the bishops never expressed outrage or righteous anger, even at the most horrendous cases of abuse and sacrilege. Bishops seem to think that anger at sin is un-Christian. Gilbert Kilman, a child psychiatrist, commented, “What amazes me is the lack of outrage the church feels when its good work is being harmed. So, if there is anything the church needs to know, it needs to know how to be outraged.”

Mark Serrano confronted Bishop Frank Rodimer, asking why he had let his priest-friend Peter Osinski sleep with boys at Rodimer’s beach house while Rodimer was in the next bedroom: “Where is your moral indignation?”

Rodimer’s answer was, “Then I don’t get it. What do you want?” What Serrano wanted Rodimer to do was to behave like a man with a heart, a heart that is outraged by evil. But Rodimer couldn’t; his inability to feel outrage was a quality that had helped make him a bishop. He would never get into fights, never rock the boat, never “divide” but only “unify.” Rodimer could not understand why he should feel deep anger at evil, at the violation of the innocent, at the oppression of the weak.

Emotional Deformation

The emotions that are now suppressed are hatred and anger. Christians think that they ought not to feel these emotions, that it is un-Christian to feel them. They secretly suspect that Jesus was being un-Christian in his attitude to the scribes and Pharisees when he was angry at them, that he was un-Christian when he drove the moneychangers out of the temple or declared that millstones (not vacations in treatment centers) were the way to treat child abusers.

Conrad Baars noticed this emotional deformation in the clergy in the mid-twentieth century. He recognized that there had been distortions in “traditional” Catholic spirituality. It had become too focused upon individual acts rather than on growth in virtue; it had emphasized sheer naked strength of will. In forgetting that growth in virtue was the goal of the Christian’s moral life, it forgot that the emotions, all emotions, including anger and hate, are part of human nature and must be integrated into a virtuous life.

Baars had been imprisoned by the Nazis. He knew iniquity firsthand and that there was something wrong with those who did not hate it:

A little reflection will make it clear that there is a big difference between the person who knows solely that something is evil and ought to be opposed, and the one who in addition also feels hate for that evil, is angry that it is corrupting or harming his fellow-men, and feels aroused to combat it courageously and vigorously.

Just Wrath

Wrath is a necessary and positive part of human nature: “Wrath is the strength to attack the repugnant; the power of anger is actually the power of resistance in the soul,” wrote Josef Pieper. The lack of wrath against injustice, he continued, is a deficiency: “One who does good with passion is more praiseworthy than one who is ‘not entirely’ afire for the good, even to the forces of the sensual realm.”

Aquinas, too, says that “lack of the passion of anger is also a vice” because a man who truly and forcefully rejects evil will be angry at it. The lack of anger makes the movement of the will against evil “lacking or weak.” He quotes John Chrysostom: “He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but the good to do wrong.”

Pieper observed the disappearance of the concept of just wrath in Catholic moral theology and spiritual life:

The fact, however, that Thomas assigns to [just] wrath a positive relation to the virtue of fortitude has become largely unintelligible and unacceptable to present-day Christianity and its non-Christian critics. This lack of comprehension may be explained partly by the exclusion, from Christian ethics, of the component of passion (with its inevitably physical aspect) as something alien and incongruous—an exclusion due to a kind of intellectual stoicism—and partly by the fact that the explosive activity which reveals itself in wrath is naturally repugnant to good behavior regulated by “bourgeois” standards.

Pieper’s quote from Aquinas’s commentary on John is relevant to both anger and forgiveness. Aquinas is commenting on the passage in which Jesus tells us to offer the other cheek:

Holy Scripture must be understood in the light of what Christ and the saints have actually practiced. Christ did not offer the other cheek, nor Paul either. Thus to interpret the injunction of the Sermon on the Mount literally is to misunderstand it. This injunction signifies rather the readiness of the soul to bear, if it be necessary, such things and worse, without bitterness against the attacker. This readiness our Lord showed, when He gave up His body to be crucified. That response of the Lord was useful, therefore, for our instruction.

The philosophical error that is at the root of this rejection of the passions is not stoicism so much as nominalism and a false concept of freedom which has become ingrained in Western Christianity.

Anger as Energy

The Reverend Kevin Culligan, a priest in his sixties, was angry when he was a teenager, but says, “Since then I have been uncomfortable with anger.” He has been afraid of losing control of himself and doing something “I would later regret or have held against me.” He feared becoming “irrational.”

But then he saw a television program about a boy who had been abused by a priest when he was eight years old, and he saw the arrogance of the church officials who dismissed the boy’s cries for help. Culligan shouted at the TV set: “Those bastards! Look what they’ve done to the Church!” He felt the hot wrath of God in him against those who had made the Church a den of sexual predators.

Culligan reflected that “many current spiritualities regard strong emotion—fear, joy, anger, sadness, hope, pity—as ‘obstacles to spiritual growth.’” But Jesus felt the full range of human emotions, including anger, and Culligan decided that “our emotions too—our rage as well as our compassion—are sacred” because they give us the energy needed to rebuild the Church and do God’s work.

One Irish bishop said the calm way everyone approached sexual abuse helped mislead him about the seriousness of the matter:

“I think if it had come to me differently . . . if the parent had come roaring and shouting at me, it would have affected the response. It would have made me sit up more and be aware. The experience of having direct contact with a parent who was very angry and very upset would have alerted me more too. If someone had come thumping at the door outraged and making demands, which they are quite entitled to do, I would have learned a lot faster.”

As Gregory the Great said, “Reason opposes evil the more effectively when anger ministers at her side.”

Diplomatic Weakness

This lack of aggressiveness among clerics has been noticed by psychologists. The National Conference of Catholic Bishops published a study that said, “Priests are often, by temperament and personality, anxious to establish harmony and to please. By theology and vocation they are concerned to be healers, reconcilers, and builders of the community.” Almost all psychological studies support this assessment: Priests and seminarians are “unassertive, dislike violence . . . and have a high need for abasement (i.e., want to give in and avoid conflict).” This dislike of conflict is present in other churches and their clergy as well.

Diplomats rule in the Vatican, and diplomats dislike confrontation, anger, and hatred, because such emotions make diplomacy difficult. The Vatican has appointed the bishops; the bishops have trained the clergy. Therefore, hatred of iniquity has been felt to be something that did not fit into the Christian life. The Catholic bishops had and have this lack of anger, and thereby betray a defect or weakness of the will in their rejection of child abuse.

To express sorrow but not anger at the mystery of evil that is child abuse demonstrates only part of the virtue of fortitude, as Thomas Aquinas explained:

Whereas fortitude . . . has two parts, namely endurance and aggression, it employs anger, not in the act of endurance . . . but for the act of aggression. . . . Sorrow by its very nature gives way to the thing that hurts; though accidentally it helps in aggression . . . as being the cause of anger.

Sorrow at evil without anger at evil is a fault, a fault that the Catholic bishops have repeatedly fallen into in their handling of sexual abuse and that the late pope fell into when he tolerated the bishops’ faults. Until just anger is directed at the bishops, until bishops (including the pope) feel just anger at their fellow bishops who have disgraced and failed their office, the state of sin in the Church continues.

Virtue Without a Name

Meekness, which is the virtue that moderates anger, is misunderstood as passivity. Moses angrily confronting Pharaoh was the meekest of men, because he moderated the plagues to allow Pharaoh time to repent. Meekness moderates anger so that it is in accord with reason. Since most people suffer from an excess of anger, the virtue that increases anger in those who are deficient in it so that it is in accord with reason does not have a name, but it needs one.

—–

Leon J. Podles holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia and has worked as a teacher and a federal investigator. He is the author of The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity and the forthcoming License to Sin (both from Spence Publishing). Dr. Podles and his wife have six children and live in Naples, Florida. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

——

“Unhappy Fault” first appeared in the July/August 2009 issue of Touchstone. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll find more of the same in every issue.
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Legionario de Cristo Enfermo Mental, segun sus superiores

¡Tú eres un Enfermo Mental! – le dijeron sus Superiores Legionarios

Un Sacerdote Legionario describe como fue diagnosticado por sus superiores como Enfermo Mental, internado con engaño en un hospital psiquiátrico y tratado con medicinas psicotrópicas peligrosas; su instinto de auto-conservación, la amabilidad de un compañero y la ayuda de seglares y gente humilde le salvaron.
Este sacerdote, al escribir, quiso mantener el anonimato al máximo y por tanto no da nombres de personas o lugares. Usa con frecuencia “N” en vez del nombre del Legionario en cuestión.
Sólo se sabe que fue un sacerdote Legionario que salió de la congregación hace anios y ahora ejerce su ministerio en una diócesis.

Testimonio:

“Esto que comento pasó muy rápido y no tuve tiempo de reaccionar; casi como que no me di cuenta. Se acercaban las vacaciones. Nuestra comunidad ese año iba a ir a tal lugar a la casa de la familia X como el año antepasado, pues el mar era muy agradable y familiar.

Dos semanas o poco menos -no recuerdo bien- antes de las vacaciones, vino de visita a nuestra comunidad el Padre Asistente de la Vida Religiosa pues iba de vacaciones con las comunidades X e Y…que estaban en Z lugar y pasó por nuestra comunidad. Comió con los sacerdotes y religiosos y al final, delante de todos, me invitó a acompañarle a vacaciones. Ya no tenía mucho qué hacer y no me venían mal unos días extras de vacaciones; además decían que con el Padre N. te la pasas muy bien. Acepté inmediatamente.

En ese momento no me di cuenta de que el superior de la casa me apuró para que terminara rápido la maleta. ¡Por Dios, me acababan de invitar! Después me di cuenta que el superior me estaba “apurando” también. Me subí al coche y salí con el Padre. N.; pero no fuimos al lugar de vacaciones, sino que nos dirigimos a una cierta ciudad. El Padre me dijo que le tocaba chequeo médico y que pasaríamos al hospital. Me preguntó mi edad y me dijo que si ya me habían hecho la revisión. Le dije que no. Entonces me ofreció que me hicieran la revisión médica. Pensé que lo que decían del Padre N sí era verdad porque hasta revisión médica iba a tener sin tener que insistir al superior.

Llegamos al hospital X pero no nos dirigimos a la sección de medicina preventiva. Yo acompañaba al padre. Me dijo que esperara en una salita. Fue todo muy chocante. Yo estaba esperando y el Padre N. salió hablando con un psiquiatra. Después el psiquiatra habló conmigo. Seguramente en esa conversación, el Padre N. le había dicho que yo presentaba con síntomas de una persona enferma. Por ello cuando yo pasé al consultorio el diagnóstico ya estaba hecho. Cuando pregunté al psiquiatra cómo sabía que yo tenía esa enfermedad, me dijo que yo presentaba ciertos síntomas muy extraños. Entonces yo dije que no me parecía que yo tuviera esos síntomas. Ahí fue cuando el psiquiatra dijo que si no me daba cuenta de mis síntomas sería necesario internarme en la clínica porque eso sería una señal de que mi enfermedad estaba en un estado muy avanzado. ¿Cuál enfermedad? Entonces con calma preferí aceptar todo lo que él me dijo para resolver el problema fuera del consultorio conversando con mis Superiores. No me pareció que tuviera sentido argumentar con el psiquiatra sobre mi salud mental después de que un Superior lo había convencido de que yo hacía cosas raras.
(Comentario: el superior en cuestión aprovechó su investidura sacerdotal para convencer al psiquiatra del deterioro mental de su súbdito.)

Nunca obtuve un documento de mi internación en la clínica. No sé cuántos días estuve allí; no sabía si era de día o de noche. Pudo ser dos días, pudo ser un mes, no sé; me metían algo y ni hablar podía. Cuando salí me llevaron a la casa donde vivían los Padres N., N. y N. Me aislaron en un cuarto aparte y el Padre N. me cuidaba. Fue muy caritativo conmigo.

Cuando salí del hospital vino el Director Territorial, Padre N. y el Padre N., Asistente de la Vida Religiosa, que me había engañado con lo de las vacaciones. Hablamos los tres y me dijeron que mi tratamiento no había terminado. Les pregunté por qué razón querían hacerme pasar por ese tratamiento y les pedí que por caridad no siguieran adelante porque eran drogas muy fuertes y estaba teniendo consecuencias en mi salud. El Padre Director Territorial respondió que no dependía de ellos; me dijo que estaban siguiendo instrucciones de “Nuestro Padre” y que ellos sólo estaban obedeciendo.

Después de haber llegado a la casa, a los pocos días el psiquiatra dijo que yo estaba teniendo una recuperación maravillosa. Días después dijo que yo no tenía ninguna enfermedad y delante del Padre N. dijo que había que retirar los medicamentos inmediatamente. Pero el Padre N. me dijo luego que yo continuaba enfermo y me mandó tomar los medicamentos. Aquí puedo decir que estuve al menos tres meses en “tratamiento” encerrado en esa casa que muchos Legionarios conocen pero que no se imaginan.

Pero le voy a contar como me curé milagrosamente de un día para otro.
Tenía ya mucho tiempo sin comunicarme con mi familia y era el día de mi cumpleaños. No sé cómo pero mi mamá consiguió el teléfono y habló a la casa donde yo residía. Yo no recibía ninguna llamada y nadie sabía que estaba yo allí -al menos eso creía. Pero era el día de mi cumpleaños y la señora que cocinaba contestó el teléfono y me pasó la llamada. Pero el efecto de la medicina de las 8:00 no se me había pasado así que no podía hablar bien porque no controlaba bien los músculos faciales; no hablaba como borracho sino como mongolito porque era como si las palabras se me escurrían de la boca. Yo le dije a mi mamá que no me pasaba nada pero ella se puso a llorar y yo me angustié y más se me complicó más la lengua. Entonces ella cortó la llamada.

A los pocos minutos habló por teléfono mi papá y yo seguía sin poder hablar, entonces le arrebató el teléfono mi hermano mayor y me dijo que venían a visitarme que dónde estaba. Yo no sabía el domicilio de la casa pero dije tal ciudad y como está cerca de esa ciudad dijeron que tomaban el primer autobús hacia acá. Venían mi papá y mi hermano.

A la hora de almorzar fui al comedor de los padres y le dije al Padre N. con mucha satisfacción que como era mi cumpleaños me venían a visitar. Se paró inmediatamente y le habló por teléfono al superior local que vino al final de la tarde (el tiempo que le llevó llegar desde su residencia). Me dijo que les dijera a mis familiares que no podían visitarme; que les hablara para que no vinieran. Me molesté y le dije que ellos no tenían voto de obediencia y que además seguramente ya venían en camino. Entonces cambió de tono y me dijo que les dijera que no vinieran porque “Nuestro Padre” me había cambiado al territorio de X y que mi avión salía pronto y cuando llegaran yo ya no iba a estar. Le dije al superior que me habían dicho que yo estaba enfermo pero él respondió que ya me había curado y que preparara mis cosas.

Cuando el superior local se fue, fui a hablar con el Padre N. que me había cuidado tan caritativamente Me dijo que debía darle gracias a Dios por haber recuperado la salud. Ahí yo respondí que yo no creía haber estado enfermo nunca. A ese punto, abriendo unos ojos grandes, me miro directamente a los ojos y enfatizando sus palabras me dijo: “Yo tampoco pienso que en realidad usted haya estado enfermo, pero no lo diga… ¿Qué no se da cuenta en que si Usted insiste en que nunca estuvo enfermo, los superiores lo van a dejar más tiempo aquí? Usted tiene que ir con sus Superiores y agradecerles todo lo que han hecho por usted para curarle, solo así lo van a dejar en paz”.

Fui al lugar a donde me destinaron. Y así se deshicieron de mí borrando el rastro.
Ahí comenzó para mí un calvario distinto; había suspendido las medicinas de golpe y mi cuerpo ya era adicto a ellas. Sufrí unas crisis de ansiedad espantosas, dolores de cabeza terribles, insomnios…

Los superiores en ese lugar se portaron de una forma opuesta a los anteriores. Pedí ir al doctor porque necesitaba algún medicamento para calmar la ansiedad que estaba experimentando al no tener la dosis diaria, pero el superior me dijo que era porque yo no sabía trabajar con pobres. Entonces a escondidas pedí limosna a la gente para poder ir al doctor. Pagué el pasaje y gracias a Dios el doctor no quiso cobrarme. Le expliqué mi situación y me analizó. Me hizo análisis de sangre.
Después me consiguió cita con un especialista; a todas estas citas acudí con dinero que pedía de limosna. El especialista en tal ciudad me dijo que desde el punto de vista médico era imposible que yo hubiera padecido una (nombre de enfermedad) y que antes de un año estuviera completamente curado; es decir, que nunca tuve esa enfermedad. También me explicó que la medicina que tomaba no debía suspenderse repentinamente porque desequilibra los niveles de… en el cuerpo y de allí mi ansiedad y la falta de sueño. Me prescribió varias medicinas. Pero como yo dudaba ya bastante de los doctores, aprovechando el viaje de ejercicios espirituales, fui a ver al Dr. X. en quien confiaba; básicamente me dijo lo mismo –que yo estaba bien- Así que comencé a tomar medicinas para recuperarme.

Les cuento que la Legión no me dio ni un centavo para las medicinas porque eran carísimas. Yo andaba pidiendo limosnas y haciendo colectas para mi medicina. No le contaré pero hablé con el Padre Y y con el Padre Z. sobre la necesidad que tenía de esas medicinas. El Padre Y me dijo que el seguro no las cubría.

Un psiquiatra que me revisó siete años después me volvió a repetir que era imposible que yo hubiera tenido (nombre enfermedad). Él me dio de alta. Ahí dejé de tomar medicinas -siete años después de lo que la Legión me hizo. Casi todo fue pagado (las medicinas, porque las consultas no me las cobraban) por seglares y gente pobre. Si Ud. quiere más datos puedo referirle a los Dres. X, Y y Z, pues esos tres médicos me diagnosticaron y tienen registros médicos míos.”

Part 3: The Forgotten Legion of Christ Missionary

Part 3: THE FORGOTTEN LEGION OF CHRIST MISSIONARY

Visit to Bishop Emeritus Jorge Bernal-Vargas, LC,
Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón, Chetumal, Q. Roo, México
January 30, 2015

By John Lloyd Stephens,
Author of Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan

My mission had been simplified: to find an outlet for Father Ray’s writings. So as soon as I returned to the comfort of Merida’s hotel zone I searched for a place where I could copy his writings. Not such an easy task. I could not count on your normal American efficiency; no Kinko’s available. A few stores offered copying and other services. Copies were relatively expensive by US standards but I was determined to do Ray right. Choosing one that looked most professional I immediately requested my copies. The store accepted my request for three bound copies but I had a feeling it would be a laborious process.  I asked for them to be ready next morning. The employee asked for my phone number so she could call me when the copies and the bill were complete.
Anyhow the next day, after some delay and complications, they were ready and I was able to pick them up. Called Ray but got no answer. I set off for his place now knowing his proper address. Got there. Nobody there. Stretching my arm I pitched his copy through the wrought iron gate in the direction of his front door and made my way back.
I wanted to show the second copy to Monsignor Bernal his LC superior in Chetumal if I could meet him. I would keep another copy for myself in case Mons. Bernal did nothing with the copy I would deliver to him.
We drove back to Chetumal in our rented Renault. Victoria B wanted to hand a little present to Srta. Lilí Conde who had been so kind to us on our arrival to Chetumal two weeks previously. We were unable to meet with her again but left them with the hotel concierge.
John Lloyd still had to finish his mission. At around 8:00 pm he sought out Mons. Bernal near the Church of the Sacred Heart, Parque de los Caimanes. He knew the priests’ residence was nearby. Friendly neighbors pointed the way: “The big patio around the corner.” Walked in. To his left a young Legionary was teaching about 30 people in one of the classrooms. Kept going toward the main two-story building. “I want to see Mons. Bernal!” he called out loudly. A face peeked out through an upstairs curtain.
After a while Mon. Bernal came down the stairs wearing his usual attire, pants and a white guayabera. He had aged and the gaps in his front teeth were more pronounced. “Did he have good dental care here on the missions?” Lloyd wondered to himself. Monsignor remarked that Fr. Patrick, Lloyd’s companion for two years in Bacalar, was not around; he would be delayed because “he was giving talks at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.”

[From the get go Monsignor seemed to be in a hurry. He did not invite Lloyd inside to visit with the other members of the Legion community. The conversation took place strolling around the patio. Was he some kind of persona non grata?, ran through Lloyd’s subconscious.]
The usual pleasantries. Decades had passed since Mons. Bernal had sent his last report to Fr. Maciel regarding Lloyd’s behavior on the missions, since the day Lloyd had confronted Monsignor about him retaining some of Lloyd’s personal and confidential correspondence from the Cardinal Archbishop of Mexico. But all this was behind them. Safer for both to reminisce about the good times. The man of the cloth recalled those companions who had “gone before us in the sign of peace.

“How are you, Monsignor?                                                                                                                                                -“Really nobody now. Just getting old. I’m emeritus now.”
“And what about Raymond, Monsignor? I visited him in Merida and he is very ill.”
-“I know. Bishop Elizondo has been to see him.”
“I understand he is receiving financial aid from the Legion. I was wondering where that was coming from. I mean…”
-“Where from do you think?” –a little testily. (Meaning from local funds and not from Legion of Christ central administration.)
“Monsignor, you know he was written some stuff, homilies, etc. and I have a copy with me in case someone would like to publish.”
-“Ah-a” –otherwise no reaction…
“He is in pretty bad shape and being taken care of by his former secretary.”
-“You know he never took good care of his health. And he is stubborn. He prefers it that way.”
“Even so; he was a close friend of mine.”
-“Bishop Elizondo goes to visit him. He is taking care of him and handling it.”

Monsignor Bernal seemed to be getting increasingly nervous and Lloyd perceived his desire to terminate the meeting.
“Well, Monsignor, thank you very much for your time. Please give my regards to Fr. Patrick and all the other members of the community. Let us stay in touch.”
-“Thank you for your visit, Lloyd, and may God Bless you.”

John Lloyd Stephens, author of Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan, turned and walked slowly across the concrete patio through the wide gate with a heavy heart at the emotional distance he had sensed during his interview; he was also chilled by Monsignor’s coldness towards his childhood friend cum Legionary. He tried to conjure up ways that retired missionary Raymond Cumiskey, officially registered as a member of the Legion of Christ Cancun religious community but living with a friendly family, would be better taken care of physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually during the remainder of his days.

Religious Groups Awareness International Network

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