Will Pope Francis be in an awkward position having to blindly approve new constitutions statutes and Legion leaders?
Who within the Legionaries of Christ in Fr. Marcial Maciel’s inner circle covered for the founder as he carried out his secret life style, traveling around the world to spend time with his different families under different aliases? If we were waiting for Cardinal DePaolis, the Vatican overseer to let us know, we could wait a long time and never know.
Jason Berry his written an article on the National Catholic Reporter
http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/ex-legionary-curial-overseer-neglects-investigation-inner-culture that identifies four Irish LC priests who were among Fr. Maciel’s closest confidantes and who wielded considerable power within the Legion. These included:
- Fr. Anthony Bannon, who was chief fund raiser in North America
- Fr. Owen Kearns, who led the media attack against Maciel’s pedophilia victims
- Fr. Raymond Cosgrave, Maciel’s point man in establishing the Legion in Chile during the 1973 – 1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet
- Fr. John Devlin, Fr. Maciel’s secretary for decades and a keeper of the secrets ReGAIN’s Paul Lennon was quoted in the article. He provided some background information regarding
- Fr. John Devlin, who entered the Legion in 1961, the same year as Paul. According to Paul, Fr. Devlin was one of Maciel’s right-hand men. He would do anything for Maciel.
Jason Berry points out that Fr Devlin was charming with the big donors and he cemented ties with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who was one of the LC founder’s staunchest supporters and he questions where and how Fr Maciel found the millions of dollars he needed to support his two families while traveling between Rome and New England for decades.
Referring to the culture of lies within the Legion, Jason Berry’s article questions how long Fr. Maciel’s inner circle knew what was going on. He goes on to note that Cardinal Velasio DePaolis has avoided any direct confrontation with any of the inner circle members. He points out that the culture of structural lying is still vibrant within the order
Although there were numerous questions about these four members of Fr. Maciel’s inner circle, Cardinal DePaolis neglected to investigate any of the people who obviously had some involvement in the LC founder’s secret life.
Now that Cardinal DePaolis’ three and a half year term has been completed and so many questions remain (because of the failure to do any investigation) Pope Francis is likely to be left holding the bag. He is the one who will assume responsibility for (blindly perhaps) approving the revised constitutions and newly elected leaders and decide whether or not to continue overseeing the Legion.
Many people believed that the Vatican was conducting a reform of the Legionaries of Christ and of Regnum Christi. Obviously, Cardinal DePaolis had a very limited scope of work and the LC and RC leaders and members were aware that it was simply a renewalto develop new statutes and constitutions and elect new leaders. Now that has been done but none of the questions have been answered (or even asked it appears) the Pope will either have to buy a pig in a poke or send in another investigator who is willing to actually investigate who did what and who is still doing what inside the Legion.
So that means that once again another Holy Father in Rome will be exposed to criticism because of the scandals associated with Fr Maciel’s Legionaries of Christ. Pope Francis is already dealing with criticism from the United Nations, who have recently singled out Father Marcial Maciel. Based on the ineffectiveness of Cardinal DePaolis to even bother to check for anything untoward going on in the Legion during his three and a half years, will the Holy Father and the Vatican and the Catholic Church have to deal with serious consequences and valid criticism? If so, this is very unfortunate for those Catholic religious orders and movements that have genuine charisms from the Holy Spirit and who are devoting their lives and energy to do something beautiful for God.
If self-serving mind controlling cult groups with controversial child molesting founders and no obvious spiritual charisms who have a reputation for preying on wealthy seniors are considered as equivalent to other Catholic religious groups and are supported by the Vatican, then it waters down the genuine fruits and works that come from inspired religious groups.
We hope and pray that Pope Francis will be given the gifts of the Holy Spirit including wisdom and knowledge from the Holy Spirit that he may deal more effectively with this unfortunate situation than his predecessors have been able to.