Archdiocese of Mexico organ Admonishes Legion of Christ over Provocative and Insulting “Instituto Cumbres” High School Graduation Video

In the past few weeks the Mexican media picked up on a video “of unbridled privilege and sexism” produced by the graduating class of the Instituto Cumbres, the Legion of Christ flagship high school in Mexico City. The directors have since decried it and the students have made it private but there are still versions of the sickening video on YouTube:

Several articles have appeared in the media[1], but what is surprising is a scathing essay from the Archdiocese of Mexico, one of the institutions that was thought to be in Father Maciel’s pocket.

The original document can be found on the official page of the archdiocese, SIAME (Information System of the Mexico Archdiocese) at:

Below is a rough translation

A Reflection on the Instituto Cumbres video and the Education in Legion of Christ schools.

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Guillermo Gazanini Espinoza, SIAME

Why dedicate a reflection about the graduation video of the 2015 Instituto Cumbres students? Because of the paradox involved. Graduating from a high school of Christian orientation for the upper classes, administered by a religious congregation recently discredited, bludgeoned and damaged by scandal, the video now adds to this a series of images which seem to contradict one of the Legion’s charisms (i.e., Christian Education. The anger generated by the graduation video goes beyond clerical spheres and leads us to wonder whether the “Christian inspiration” attribution is not just a label on a product: when the results of such an education seem to reflect a reality that is the direct opposite to the Gospel and to  Church doctrine; demonstrating instead a culture of death, frivolity, shallowness, if not downright evil.

S this culture and how we have reached this alarming situation. To portrayal a group of young people who think they are special because they are educated (?) in an elite school, possessing degrading power over other human beings, capable of manipulating wild animals and their neighbor is not just a crazy gesture by a bunch of teens. It is something already embedded in their families and in a class difference living in a fantasy world accentuated by pain and cynicism. Epithets such as empty, egotistic and stupid do not suffice. In these families- if such they can be called- there grows an evil that affects us all: savage competition, wanting to be ready to dominate and subjugate others. Their parents, patronizing the bad manners and caprices of their pigmy children fail to transmit to them the basic values of respect, solidarity and temperance which would help them to grasp the fact that they can’t do whatever they want. A glass sphere contains a vile vacuum which corrupts their children and putrefies their souls. Their projection does not lead to maturity; they grow in stature but not wisdom as they watch their fathers and mothers follow their separate paths. They may be successful entrepreneurs but they have failed in their vocation as parents; fashion-conscious and worldly mothers who have destroyed the portion God entrusted them with; Daddy’s boys dressed in silk and protected by all that money can offer, but decimated in their interior, consumed by meaninglessness and lack of love, the absence of the father who knows how to guide and the mother who teaches how to love.

It is a crisis of the family that produces generations of stupid idiots, spiritually handicapped and whose great fear is to be like the popular and under-privileged classes.

These are family nuclei which exist at a belly level; materialized; whose maximum ideal is corrupt and indecent wealth, lacking the human desire to overcome their personal misery and producing disgusting youth who have no hunger to grow in human values; such parents produce dehumanized offspring; it seems these young men have everything except life principles based on the Gospels; their goal seems to be to join the world, charge for their services instead of transforming it; their desire is to dominate and compete, making Christ an attractive slogan for business markets; these schools are incapable of breaking the boundaries of egoism and whose ideals become social threats brimming with control, domination and classism reeking with selfishness and cynicism which put satisfaction and competition above service and compassion, solidarity and justice. When their (Legionary) spokespersons say “in some or many way we have failed,” they are admitting the truth. They have failed to bring Christ to the conscience and practical lives of families and have instead run a lucrative business which allows a religious congregation racked with scandal to survive. They are right when the say they have failed little or much when their leaders are incapable of living Evangelical ideals and are enmeshed in the struggle for power, control, their bella figura and photo-opportunities with the powerful and the politicians. They have failed seriously when they have been unable to staunch the scandal due to the excesses and frivolity of their students; they have failed seriously when they have, because of these anti-values in their students’ souls, allowed corruption to seek the semper infimus (always lowest) to prevail over semper altius (always higher) (Tr., alluding to the Instituto Cumbres’ motto). And very guilty for not putting on Christ and instead wearing the purple toga of the rich who strive to impose their trademark and not the Gospel, producing images of aping clowns who refuse to bear witness to Christ crucified.

Hopefully the Legionaries of Christ will have the intelligence and courage to correct this mistake in the name of many previous generations who sincerely strive to live a life in conformity with Christianity.

One thing is sure, and may the reader forgive the following statements. It is illusory and stupid to change rules in an effort to transform souls and lives. This is the old cliché of religious congregations which function through the repression of the rule: such and such misbehavior incurs such and such a punishment. And one hundred and eighty hours studying human rights and such does not make a person. Legion leaders: there is need of spiritual experience, of love and acknowledgement of suffering, going beyond petty limits and creating a real Catholic presence in each and every soul entrusted to you; and not to do so for money but out of love. Because the materialization of society is present at all levels and the task of Christian education is to liberate objectified beings from the present trauma; this is the struggle of today’s youth; it is what Christ brought to the cross: to destroy all that oppresses us and bring about the Kingdom of Christ in its full potential which overcomes the plans and powers enslaving the world.

(See acknowledgement and full Spanish language text below)

Sistema Informativo de la Arquidiócesis de México

AVISO LEGAL: Los textos publicados en este sitio han sido, en su mayoría, elaborados por SIAME (Sistema Informativo de la Arquidiócesis de México), titular de los derechos de autor y explotación económica. Los textos, imágenes y vídeos publicados de terceros pueden estar sujetos a restricciones establecidas por los titulares de los derechos, en estos casos, su publicación estará acompañada de la fuente. Los contenidos elaborados por SIAME son libres de reproducir para fines de divulgación y promoción, con la única obligación de citar como fuente de proveniencia Se prohíbe cualquier uso para finalidades comerciales o de explotación patrimonial.


Una reflexión sobre el video del Cumbres y la educación en las escuelas de los Legionarios de Cristo

Viernes, 27 de marzo de 2015 15:00 hrs

Guillermo Gazanini Espinoza

Ojalá que los Legionarios de Cristo tengan la inteligencia y agallas para reparar este error en nombre de muchas generaciones anteriores que se esfuerzan sinceramente por hacer una vida muy congruente con el estilo del cristianismo

¿Por qué dedicar una reflexión sobre el video de graduación 2015 de los alumnos del Instituto Cumbres? Por la paradoja en la que nos situamos. Egresados de un colegio para las clases pudientes y de inspiración cristiana, regenteado por una congregación desacreditada, vapuleada, azotada por el escándalo, ahora suma esta colección de imágenes que parecen demeritar uno de sus carismas; el enojo rebasa las esferas clericales para hacernos cuestionar si realmente eso de inspiración cristiana no es adicional a una marca cuando los resultados llevan a la práctica de todo lo opuesto al Evangelio y a la doctrina de la Iglesia sobre la cultura de la muerte, lo banal, superfluo, lo que es del malo.

Infiere una reflexión más honda sobre quiénes provocan esto y porqué hemos llegado a un punto de alarma. Ver a un grupo de mozalbetes que dicen ser especiales por estar educados –y esto muy entrecomillado- en una escuela de élite, con un poderío ficticio y degradante del ser humano, capaz de manipular hasta las fieras más salvajes y someter dominando al prójimo, no fue cosa ni locura de juventud espontánea. Ya está arraigada en las familias y en un clasismo que vive en la irrealidad acentuando brechas muy profundas entre el dolor y el cinismo. No creo que les calen adjetivos como: vacíos, egoístas y mamones. Entre esas familias –si es que se les puede llamar así- crece un mal que afecta a todos, la competencia salvaje, la idea de estar preparados para dominar y someter. Los padres, patrocinando la malcrianza y caprichos de vástagos enanos, no imprimen en sus hijos las ideas básicas de respeto, solidaridad y templanza para saber que no todo es posible en la vida. Una esfera de cristal encierra en su interior el vacío pestilente que corrompe a los hijos para hacer putrefacta su alma. Su proyección es intrascendente para madurar, elevarse en estatura, pero no en sabiduría al ver a los padres y madres que marchan cada cual por su camino. Empresarios exitosos, pero fracasados en la primera de sus empresas; madres fashion y de mundo y, sin embargo,  han devastado la primera porción que Dios les confió; hijos de papá, arropados en pañales de seda y protegidos con todo lo que el dinero puede dar, pero diezmados en su interior y consumidos por el sinsentido, por la falta de amor,  la ausencia del padre que sabe guiar o la madre que enseñó a amar. Es una crisis de la familia que multiplica generaciones taradas e idiotas, discapacitadas espiritualmente donde lo denigrante, para ellos, es vivir según las clases débiles y populares. Son núcleos de papá, mamá e hijos cuya formación es la del ser humano vientre, de existencias cosificadas, del bienestar corrupto e indecente como el máximo ideal para sus entorpecidas familias, sin impulsos superadores de la miseria personal donde nacen niños y jóvenes asqueantes y sin hambre con el ideal de crecer en plusvalía producto de la imaginería de casa, no para crear seres humanos y más bien para producir seres deshumanizados.

Y por otro lado están los colegios de élite. Un Instituto Cumbres cuya mejor acción ha sido cobarde y timorata a través de inútiles comunicados a fin de deslindar la marca Instituto Cumbres de las acciones de sus malcriados pupilos capaces de invertir una buena cantidad en su producción 2015. Si la dirección del colegio no tenía conocimiento del contenido del video, vaya a saber el amable lector de qué otras cosas ha sido incapaz cuando, desde 2014, otro video de graduación causó indignación en las redes. Lo malo de esta producción es la desafortunada proyección de la esencia de la educación cristiana que dicen otorgar; tal parece que tienen de todo, menos principios basados en el Evangelio; su afán es enrolar y cobrar y no transformar el mundo,  dominar y competir haciendo de Cristo un eslogan atractivo de empresa, de mercado, escuelas incapaces de romper la medida del propio yo y cuyos ideales se transforman en amenazas sociales de control, dominio y clasisimo, con fuertes orientaciones egoístas, cínicas, anteponiendo la satisfacción de la competencia sobre el servicio y compasión, sobre la solidaridad y la justicia. Cuando sus voceros dicen que “en algo o mucho hemos fallado”, tienen razón. Han fallado en llevar a Cristo a la conciencia y vida práctica de familias para regentear una empresa que genere ganancias y permita sobrevivir una superestructura congregacional devastada por el escándalo. Tienen razón en decir que han fallado en algo o en mucho cuando sus directivos son incompetentes en realizar los ideales basados en el Evangelio y se encuentran sometidos por el ansia del poder, del control, de la figura y el retrato con pudientes empresarios y políticos. Han fallado en mucho cuando desde tiempo atrás no pudieron atajar el escándalo por los excesos y frivolidades de sus formandos;  han fallado en mucho cuando, por estos antivalores en el alma de sus muchachos, permitieron la corrupción encumbrando al semper infimus y destronando al semper altius. Y culpables en mucho por no revestir de Cristo y permitir el uso de la toga púrpura del rico cuando entre ellos, lo mejor, es la competencia para situar la marca y no al Evangelio, de producir imágenes dignas de una cultura de bufones, culpables en mucho por no dar testimonio del Dios crucificado.

Ojalá que los Legionarios de Cristo tengan la inteligencia y agallas para reparar este error en nombre de muchas generaciones anteriores que se esfuerzan sinceramente por hacer una vida muy congruente con el estilo del cristianismo. Una cosa es cierta, y el lector sabrá perdonar mis siguientes palabras. Es iluso y estúpido cambiar un reglamento para transformar a las almas y hacer diferente la existencia de un alumno. Ese es el viejo cliché de las congregaciones religiosas que funcionan por la medida represora de la norma, a tal conducta merecer castigo. Y 180 horas de cursos sobre derechos humanos y teoría de género no hacen una persona. Directivos Legionarios: hay necesidad de parusía, de amor y reconocimiento del sufrimiento, de traspasar las fronteras raseras y hacer, de verdad, una presencia católica en cada alma confiada no por dinero sino en base a la caridad. Porque la sociedad cosificada está en todos los estratos de la sociedad y la tarea de la educación cristiana es liberar de la trama actual que hace seres humanos-cosa, es la lucha de la juventud y es lo que Cristo también llevó a su cruz: aniquilar lo que nos oprime y ser la Iglesia del Reino de Dios con un sentido de totalidad escatológica que rebasa a las propuestas y poderes que esclavizan este mundo.


Does Pope Francis really Understand the Legion/Regnum Christi Phenomenon?

Francis with Legionaries

Dear Readers,
ReGAIN appreciates your interest in the previous article highlighting Pope Francis’ comments regarding the Fr. Maciel/Legion of Christ phenomenon. The present article is a probing commentary follow up.
The first investigation of the Founder in the years 1956-59 ended with Fr. Maciel’s reinstatement as General Director in ambiguous circumstances: the interregnum between the death of Pope Pius XII and the installation of Pope John XXIII. More recently, after Fr. Maciel’s death in 2008 at the age of 88, the Legion revealed that he had committed many sins/crimes and lived a double life. These revelations shocked many Catholics, including members of the Legion of Christ religious order and its Regnum Christi lay movement; a good number left and that time and the bleeding continues.
The outcry spurred a second Vatican “visitation”/investigation which later led to a period of Vatican oversight led by Cardinal Velasio de Paolis and an effort to “renew” the institution founded by the depraved founder. When interviewed about the Maciel case Pope Benedict XVI decried the founder’s sins but decided that the Legion was worth “saving.” In a nutshell that is the watershed moment. To confirm this notice how the words used in Vatican documents always used the term “renewal” and never “reform” of the Legion of Christ. So this fundamental decision by Pope Benedict would mark the whole Vatican “intervention” with the Legion: many superiors, trained and hand-picked by Maciel, were allowed to stay in the posts. There was some slight re-shuffling of certain superiors organized by the Vatican Delegate and the Legion superiors, but no disciplining or holding accountable for collusion with the corrupt founder during his more than sixty years at the head of the Legion.

It is difficult to understand why the Assistant Superior General, Fr. Luis Garza, was removed from key posts and sent to Mexico. Could it be that there he could be closer to his rich family and to the Legion’s riches? Some important figures during the Maciel administration, his lackeys and hatchet men, were sent away from the USA -where they might be sued- and sent to “safer” places such as Ireland, Rome, Mexico and South America…De Paolis and the Legion superiors chose too Maciel clones, Frs. Corcuera and Robres Gil -originally handpicked by Maciel to found the Regnum Christi youth section- to lead the renewal and the new Legion.

It appears that the Legionaries’ anxious period of Vatican oversight is coming to an end with the successful conclusion of the Extraordinary General Chapter and culminating with the approval of their new constitutions. Pope Francis signed off on those constitutions.
Mexican reporter Valentina Alazraki’s interview with Pope Francis brought up some of the old doubts about the Pope and the Vatican’s intervention of the Legion of Christ. Pope Francis distanced himself from Maciel and the Legion of Christ and “defended” Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XIV’s actions. All of this in a wide-ranging and almost casual conversation with allowed Pope Francis to be very vague and slide away from unpleasant issues. This writer expressed his opinion in a brief introduction to the interview’s Spanish language version. It said:
“As ReGAIN has so much interest in this subject, we want to say a couple of words about the Pope’s comments. Our first impression is that the Holy Father does not totally comprehend the full malice of Father Maciel and the disastrous effects he and the men formed by him have had on others. Those of us who have been close to the (sexual, psychological, physical and spiritual) victims have the feeling that the Pope (and his predecessors) just don’t get it.
It is just not enough to say that Fr. Maciel was “a very ill person” a pedophile or a pan-sexual abuser; or that he was “an enigmatic figure” with “a life out of moral bounds,” as Benedict XVI described him in Light of the World. J. Paul Lennon has written the only English profile of the personality of the founder (Marcial Maciel, Pedophile, Psychopath and…; in Spanish, Fernando Gonzalez produced an in-depth study of the personality, history of Maciel and the Legion: .

So there remains a profound question to be answered: how could such a corrupt, destructive, psychopathic person, totally lacking in faith, hope and charity found a religious order? Critical minds remain unconvinced by Church leaders’ “Deus ex machine” answer: Maciel bad, Legion of Christ good; “God writes straight on crooked lines.” “God can use an unworthy instrument to create His Work.” That is all well and good, if we can stretch our puny faith another mile. As educated and thinking Catholics we posit that both Benedict and Francis fail to grasp the depth of Maciel’s depravity and deceit and by so doing avoid radical questions and actions regarding the nature of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi. At the risk of scandalizing our Catholic readers we request from our leaders a review of the late and lukewarm intervention of Church authorities in this case. Sadly, Pope Francis’ vagueness and hesitations seem like an effort to justify his predecessor’s omissions” (writer now adds): “lack of oversight, due diligence and vigor in getting to the bottom of the Maciel/Legion murky mystery.
These considerations lead to scary derivations:
• Could it be that three popes and their entourage were also deceived by the incredible con-man who portrayed himself as the founder of a new and healthy religious order? At this juncture there comes to mind the suggestion that Maciel’s powers of manipulation and deceit were well-nigh diabolical!
• If the popes and Vatican department were misled regarding the authenticity of the Maciel/Legion charisma, could they have erroneously approved the order in 1948, thus putting papal infallibility in jeopardy?
• Or, more fundamentally, is the Pope infallible when he decides to approve a religious order?
• More pointedly, did the pope/Vatican err in approving the Legion of Christ when Maciel played games with Vatican authorities and manipulated the bishop of Cuernavaca into canonically erecting the order back in 1948?


One reader, wise2, made the following comment to the previously posted Spanish language article which gives another twist to the discussion:
from your comments here, I’m not sure if you get it.
The issue is not so much how could Fr. Maciel found this order, but it is the profound effect of Maciel on the Legion and how that effect is being propagated in the heart of the Church around the world, including a few minutes from where I live. It seems so much easier to talk about Maciel and not Maciel’s effect on this order. The scandal that nobody is mentioning is thousands times larger than anyone, even you, apparently, will even talk about. The stones are crying out!
Original Spanish comment just translated:
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 una 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.
Traducción castellana del comentario hecho en inglés:
Estimado Editor,
Por lo que Ud. escribe yo no estoy seguro que Ud. tampoco comprende de lo que se trate. El problema no es cómo pudo Maciel fundar la orden sino el efecto profundo que Maciel dejó en la Legión y cómo esos efectos siguen propagándose en el corazón de la Iglesia por todo el mundo, incluso a poca distancia de donde vivo yo. Como que es mucho más fácil hablar de Maciel mismo y no sobre su efecto en la orden. El escándalo que calla todo el mundo es mil veces más grande de lo que nadie, inclusive Ud., quiere abordar. !Las mismas piedras están clamando!
1. Editor
March 16, 2015 at 1:17 pm Edit
wise2, Tell us more. We find you comment well taken.

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:

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

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:

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

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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