Alvaro Coucuera, Legion Superior General Steps Aside Unexpectedly

Alvaro Corcuera, Superior General of the Legionaries of Christ unexpectedly announced that he was stepping aside according to Associated Press writer Nicole Winfield Click Here

His replacement will be 38-year-old vicar general, the Rev. Sylvester Heereman, who will govern the Legion until a planned general assembly in 2013 or 2014 to elect a new superior.

The article reminds readers how earlier this year, Father Corcuera admitted that he knew in 2005 that the Legion’s most prominent priest, the Rev. Thomas Williams, had fathered a child, yet he kept the news secret and continued to allow Father Williams to keep teaching and preaching about morality.

The interim Legion Superior is German-born and was ordained in 2006—after Maciel stepped down (he had entered the Legion in 1994). He was head of the Legion in Germany and then all of Western Europe before being named vicar general in February.

The circumstances of Father Corcuera?s departure are somewhat vague. There are some unspecific references to concerns about his health were he to continue. The Legionaries of Christ website has a letter written by Cardinal Velasio DePaolis Click Here that explains:
But his efforts, carried out in a climate that was frequently one of suffering and misunderstanding, have weakened his energies to the point of causing us to fear that if he continued his efforts, especially in this year leading up to the General Chapter we might have compromised his health
The letter does refer to a discussion between the cardinal and the superior and an invitation extended to the superior general after consulting with his collaborators and that the invitation was accepted in humility.

ReGAIN Comment:

There have been reports that Father Corcuera suffered from migraine headaches. This could possibly have been a factor in his health concerns. It is not surprising that someone who is required constantly to act like a religious order and movement superior general, while living in an environment of deceit would suffer from some sorts of physical or emotional stress. Perhaps his conscience is crying out from within and causing some inner torment. Based on what is reported from the Legion and from the Vatican Delegate, it is impossible to know what is really happening. The environment of secrecy in the Legion has not changed noticeably since the reform process was implemented. The reports hint that Cardinal DePaolis has forced Father Corcuera (the founder?s appointee) to at least temporarily resign his post. Unfortunately, the lack of openness about what is happening constantly reinforces a conclusion that there is a lot to hide. It remains unclear whether or not this was a resignation or a firing, whether it is a permanent or a temporary change. The real reason for the change remains obscure. All of the founder?s main assistants that he formed and who covered up for him remain in the picture, albeit in different roles. The scope of the reform seems to be restricted primarily to rewriting the constitutions.

Those who are familiar with Father Heereman, the replacement for Father Corcuera see him as a yes-man, very similar to his predecessor (some would even say a clone). Nicole Winfield mentions that he is still a product of the Maciel-era priest training program, having entered the Legion in 1994. Based on the comments of life-after-rc Click Here he is not known to be an independent thinker and as one commenter puts it he is: clever enough to sell other’s decision’s but not enough to question them.

Although this change in Legion leadership could be seen as a baby step in reforming the Legion, it is seen by many as too little, too late.

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Scicluna, The Hunter of Pedophiles, Has Been Hunted Out of The Vatican

Whispers in the Loggia Click Here for Whispers in the Loggia Article has reported that Monsignor Scicluna, the Holy See’s highly regarded lead prosecutor for sexual abuse cases, including that of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi has been sent back to his native Malta as an auxiliary bishop. An Italian commentator was referred to by Whispers in the Loggia as saying that Scicluna, the hunter of pedophiles has been hunted out of the Vatican.

Msgr. Scicluna was chosen in early 2005 by then Cardinal Ratzinger on behalf of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate complaints about Father Marcial Maciel. Msgr Scicluna carried out his delicate investigation in a highly effective manner and he showed genuine dedication in the pursuit of justice. Following the investigation carried out by Msgr Scicluna, Father Maciel was banished from publicly practicing his priesthood or speaking publicly and he was sentenced to live the rest of his life in prayer and repentance.

Msgr. Scicluna provided a voice in the Vatican, to empathize with the emotions felt among the church’s rank-and-file and victims as the sexual scandals continued for decades. He has been a valuable member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for a number of reasons. One of these is his fluency in his native English language. This is a valuable asset for dealing the the current reform of the leadership group representing the U.S. womens’ religious orders.

Msgr. Scicluna dared to refer to the deadly culture of silence while speaking at a Vatican sponsored conference on abuse by using the word omerta (likening the secrecy of the Vatican to that of the Mafia).

Many felt that because of his competence, character, accomplishments, courage, and excellent reputation he deserved an appointment to the curia. Instead he has been taken out of his position where he was achieving positive reform from within the Church and moved to a “safer” place where he is less likely to step on the wrong toes.

ReGAIN editors are grateful to Msgr. Scicluna for his achievements, integrity and efforts and we wish him well in his new posting as bishop-elect, deputy to Archbishop Paul Cremona in Malta.

Since bishop-elect, the Reverend Monsignor Charles J. Scicluna’s recent appointment , Paul Lennon wrote to him expressing gratitude for the way he had treated Paul and Juan Vaca when they had met in 2005. Paul immediately received a message back, expressing that the Lord will never fail to hear the cry of those who suffer. Mons. Scicluna added that he was happy to be back with his people and that he has promised to lay down his life for them.

He said he recognizes that he has moved back from HQ to the front lines in the war against sin and crime and he requested prayers that he may be faithful to his new calling.