Pope Francis Sets Up Advisory Commission on Sex Abuse

According to a CNN article by Hada Messia, Click Here the Vatican under Pope Francis is setting up a commission to prevent the abuse of minors and to support victims of abuse. Boston Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, a member of the G’8 eight’member Council of Cardinal Advisers from around the world to Pope Francis made the announcement. The eight member council of advisers is helping the Pope to implement reform of the Vatican.

The new commission is expected to tell church officials to collaborate with civil authorities and report cases of abuse, O’Malley said. Included in their scope of work will be the development of guidelines, priest formation programs, codes of conduct, and screening candidates for priesthood.

SNAP, the U.S. based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has commented that the creation of another commission surveying bishops and recommending policies is meaningless.
SNAP has called for more decisive action and allowing clergy sex abuse cases to be handled by secular authorities.

ReGAIN Comment:

The intent of having a commission to prevent the abuse of minors and to support victims of abuse is excellent and encouraging to see. However, in the past, Vatican officials and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have been seen as secretive and evasive and overly soft in dealing with criminal behavior among their own. One of the most famous cases in this regard is that of Father Marcial Maciel, who was able to carry on his secret life as an abuser for nearly all of his adult life, yet was praised by members of the Vatican hierarchy including Pope John Paul II and protected and shielded by others.

Father Maciel was sentenced to live the rest of his life in repentance and prayer but until after his death and the discovery of his mistresses and children, the Legion leaders continued to pretend that he was an innocent victim of slander by detractors, who were out to damage the Legion and the Church. The Legionary founder’s guilt or innocence in any of the particular accusations was left up to peoples’ imagination. Later it became obvious that at least some of the Legion leaders had known about Father Maciel’s secret life but chose to remain silent about it. Even after it was obvious that Father Maciel had been guilty of criminal behavior in a general sense, there were no details about specific cases released. As a result, the Legion got away with a very general statement of apology expressing sorrow in a general sense for what their founder had done to some unnamed people. Because Father Maciel was shielded by the Legion leaders and by some members of the Church hierarchy, his fans and more loyal followers continued to see him as a sort of romantic figure who had fallen in love and had a secret affair with one woman. Based on information on this website and many others, Father Maciel started molesting young boys who had been entrusted to his care in the 1940’s and continued such behavior for many decades.

The reform of the Legion and Regnum Christi is nearly complete and there has been minimal concern shown to date for Father Maciel’s victims. Although an unknown number between twenty and one hundred of his victims of pedophilia were interviewed during the 2005 ? 2006 investigation carried out by Msgr Scicluna (now bishop of Malta) details of that investigation have been kept secret. The May 2010 Vatican communique made it clear that Father Maciel was immoral, devoid of scruple and of genuine religious sentiment. However, until it becomes public what he did to whom and who aided him and covered for him within the Legion and the Church hierarchy, there is general feeling that justice has not been fully served. Should the Catholic Church not be seen as exemplary when it comes to justice?

ReGAIN sincerely wishes that the new commission appointed by Pope Francis will initiate positive changes in the attitudes and actions of the Catholic Church so that they will improve the accountability of bishops who protect pedophile priests and will show a genuine interest in restorative justice for victims. There is an excellent opportunity in the case of the Legionaries of Christ for the Pope to demonstrate such interest in justice by reopening the inquiry into Father Maciel’s crimes to determine which leaders in the Legion aided and abetted their pedophile founder and holding them accountable.

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RTE Documentary “Would You Believe” About the Legionaries of Christ Irish Roots

In the early days of the Legionaries of Christ, their founder Father Marcial Maciel saw an opportunity to break into the English speaking areas of the world by establishing the Legion in Ireland. An exceptional documentary aired on RTE Irish Television includes exclusive interviews with current and former Legionaries with Irish backgrounds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc15RT9q7SY

 

ReGAIN’s president, Paul Lennon and several other friends of ReGAIN including Glenn Favreau, Juan Vaca, Isaac Chute, Genevieve Kineke and others as well as the Legionaries’ spokesperson and former editor of The National Catholic Register, Owen Kearns share some of their thoughts and memories. Jack Keogh who publishes his blog The Monk Who Stole the Cow http://www.monkwhostolethecow.com/ offers his personal recollections and insights about the Legion’s history in Ireland.

 

Some of the information included in the documentary came as a result of leaked Vatican documents about the Legionaries of Christ. Juan Vaca shares his testimony about the long term sexual abuse he endured from Father Marcial Maciel, starting when the Legion founder took him away from his family at the age of ten.

 

Genevieve Kineke in one of her interviews made a classic statement that we feel sums up the Legion’s intention when he founded the Legion: – to con people out of their money and families out of their children.

 

The documentary explains how three successive popes ignored compelling evidence about the Legionary founder, enabling him to achieve his desires.

Legionaries of Christ Declared “Cured and Cleaned” by Vatican Delegate as He Takes His Leave

Nicole Winfield of Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/popes-envoy-legion-ends-mandate-22663956
reports that Cardinal Velasio DePaolis’ three year term has now come to an end and he celebrated his last mass as Papal Delegate near the end of February, 2014. He declared the Legion to be cured and cleaned

The departing Delegate commented that The Legionaries of Christ are reconciled with themselves, with their history, the world and the church.

Nicole Winfield commented that the Legion scandal is one of the most egregious cases of how the Vatican put the interests of the church ahead of sex abuse victims because Maciel was held in such high esteem by Pope John Paul II and Vatican cardinals, despite decades of well-founded reports that he was a pedophile and a fraud.

ReGAIN Comment

Cured and Cleaned? ? ? Wow! What an accomplishment! The delegate’s statements might be more meaningful if they came from an independent and objective outside source rather than the primary person responsible.

We would be interested to hear more about how and in what ways the Legion has been cured and what it was that the Delegate felt needed to be cured and how it was accomplished. This website contains hundreds of articles that provide information explaining what needs curing and cleaning in the Legion. We have been waiting and watching and hoping for years that that the cultish structure and methodology of the Legion and consecrated life in Regnum Christi would be reformed. Unfortunately, that golden opportunity has now been wasted.

We did notice that during the time a Vatican delegate was present that a few of the mind control practices were eased ( (temporarily perhaps?) Although the private vows and solemn promises were eliminated, the spirit of these seems to be lingering on. After all those decades of charity (never speaking ill of superiors) how comfortable are Legionaries and consecrated Regnum Christi members today if they dare to criticize or even question their leaders?

Information control, even under the watchful eyes of the Vatican is still evident. The members were finally allowed to have their own private e-mail addresses. However, there are reports that the information in the members’ e-mail messages coming in and going out are monitored. If so then the improvement in respecting privacy is only an illusion.

The number of total Regnum Christi members have been historically exaggerated. For years until recently they claimed to have 70,000 Regnum Christi lay members. Very recently they have lowered this to 30,000. Can anyone believe either figure?

The Legionaries have been declared to be reconciled with themselves. That’s nice. Does that mean the stampede for the exit doors will stop? They are also declared to be reconciled with their history. We would question that claim because the details of past investigations have not been made public. How can anyone be reconciled with their history unless they know the full truth about their history? How can they feel comfortable about what happened when they don’t know which of their current leaders / superiors aided and abetted their fraudulent founder for decade after decade? How can they be reconciled to their history when they can’t trust their own leaders to tell them the truth about what that history is? How do Legionary members feel about electing a new director general who has been commonly referred to as a spiritual son of Father Marcial Macieland who after his election said that he wanted everything to go back to normal?

We wonder how they can be reconciled with the world. Did they really make a sincere effort to bring about justice with victims? Not according to victimized friends of ReGAIN. We noticed a reluctance by the Legion to acknowledge specific victims as much as possible. The apologies seemed to be few and far between, non specific (for example we are sorry for what our founder did to you). Any payments to victims that we heard about were stingy compared to other similar cases.

The Vatican delegate feels that the Legion has been reconciled to the Church. Does that mean for example that the bishops in the U.S. who banned their activities are now ready to welcome the Legion back?

Because the Vatican did not really see the need for an actual reform of the Legion, we expect that it won’t take long for things to go back to normal unless something happens.

Pope Francis has yet to authorize the changes in leadership and constitutions and to accept whatever the Legion claims to be their charism. Once he does this, he will be dragged into the black hole and he will share some of the responsibility for the whole mess. We hope that his advisors will warn him to not give the Legion too much slack unless he is willing to accept whatever criticism comes at him.

The Legion and Regnum Christi members have had an improved opportunity for the last three years to gain access to information about their founder and about their true situation. Many have had opportunities to become aware that they have lived in an environment of isolation, deception, manipulation, excessive behavior control, ignorance of their own organization and its true purposes. Hopefully before the leaders tighten up their hold on the members, some of them might exert pressure from within the ranks to bring about the sort of changes that former members such as Father Deomar de Guedes Vaz gave up hope of ever seeing.

If Pope Francis does send in another Vatican Delegate this time to do a real reform, we hope that he picks someone who speaks Spanish and that he is given a mandate to do a full investigation, that he will interview former members and other critics, victims, cult experts, psychologists and exorcists and make real changes to cure and clean those things that previous Delegates failed to notice.

Did the Legionaries of Christ Wrongly Coerce, Defraud and Deceive a Wealthy Benefactor? – Rhode Island Case Is Moving Ahead

Associated Press
http://www.boston.com/news/local/rhode-island/2014/03/06/judge-oks-legion-christ-lawsuit/9K8U0qx8qyZMENdQbiMzZI/story.html
reports that a federal judge in Rhode Island has agreed to let a lawsuit move forward against the Roman Catholic religious order the Legion of Christ, turning down an attempt by the disgraced order to end the lawsuit brought over a late Yale University professor?s $ 1 million bequest.

The lawsuit has accused the Legion of preying on James Boa-Teh Chu and defrauding his son, Paul, of an estate valued between $1 million and $2 million. According to a previous article by Jason Berry in the National catholic Reporter http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/judge-gives-green-light-legion-inheritance-lawsuit the lawsuit seeks $10 million in punitive damages.

The judge has reportedly found that Mr. Chu held a deep regard for the sanctity of Father Maciel and that after his death, his son found documents that he believes show evidence that Legion officials fostered that image even as a Vatican investigation was uncovering troubling facts about the Legionary founder.

According to the Associated Press report, there are documents that demonstrate that Legion officials fostered an image of their founder as a living saint to the wealthy benefactor, even as the Vatican investigation at the time was uncovering very disturbing facts about Father Maciel.

According to the Associated Press article, the Legion denies the allegations in the Rhode Island suit and claims it does not pressure anyone to contribute. Legion spokesperson Jim Fair has stated that the Legion has behaved correctly regarding Mr Chu.

ReGAIN Comment

It appears that the Legionaries of Christ even after completing a three year renewal continue to deny any and all accusations of wrongdoing, following the example set by their founder who denied any and all charges against him.

Over the years, Legionary leaders in unison denied charges about their founder that had come from most credible sources. They showed little to no concern for victims or for justice. They showed only that they cared very much about their own reputation. They feigned surprise when the truth came out about their founder's fraudulent secret life even though it was later discovered they had known about it for years.

Now, years after the founder?s death, the same old spokesperson, when faced with accusations against current Legionary leaders recites the same old mantra of denial.

The magistrate judge in question has heard testimony and has concluded that the case against the Legion has merit.

The Legion is well known for their overly aggressive recruiting and fund raising tactics and for promoting idolization of their founder. Based on past history, Jim Fair?s denial sounds weak, lame and insincere. Who can believe anything the Legion leaders say now, considering their statements in support of Fathers Maciel and Williams when they knew the truth?

Now that this Rhode Island case is proceeding, will the credibility of the Legion suffer further damage when the verdict regarding this lawsuit becomes public knowledge?

Secrets of the Vatican – Shady Financial Dealings, Sexual Abuse and the Bungled Reform of the Legionaries of Christ

An excellent documentary on PBS ? Frontlinehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/secrets-of-the-vatican/
provides a comprehensive list of the horrendous challenges facing Pope Francis and those members of the hierarchy who have a sincere desire to reform the corruption inside the Vatican.

 

Much of it is disturbing to watch. Unless someone has had some inside information, he or she may be shocked to realize the level of corruption that exists. Some of us are familiar with the financial scandals historically and currently associated with the IOR Vatican Bank. Others find it difficult to understand how and why the Vatican Bank should have anything to do with the laundering of drug money. The information contained in this documentary raises the question: – how much of what is happening in the Vatican are we the ordinary faithful entitled to know? Perhaps ordinary parishioners would pray longer and harder if they knew what specifically needs to be prayed for.

 

We have increasingly been hearing reports concerning activities of homosexual priests in the Vatican and their actions conflict with the policy changes during the time of Pope Benedict XVI. Many of us would rather not know about such things and we hope that the stories we have heard are untrue. The documentary shines some light into dark areas most of us are not completely aware of.

 

Loyal practicing Catholics have become fed up with hearing about any more scandals involving priests sexually abusing innocent young people. Nothing seems to be more inconsistent with the teachings of Our Lord. But is the Catholic Church dealing with this awful problem in effective ways and if not what can we do about it?

 

The saga of Father Marcial Maciel, the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi continues finding new ways to pile further disgrace on the Church and on the good name of Pope John Paul II.

 

Somehow we know that we have not heard the last about Paolo Gabriele, Pope Benedict XVI?s butler and the Vatileaks scandal. Was it just a coincidence that Pope Benedict made a sudden decision to retire shortly after the stories of the leaked documents became public knowledge ? Was the butler acting in good conscience? Have we ordinary Catholics been shielded from the truth about what happens in the Vatican?

 

Is there a connection between all of the mysteries referred to above?

 

ReGAIN Comment

 

Frontline?s documentary has been produced by quality journalists who have selected people well qualified to speak about events that the Church would rather keep concealed from the general public. ReGAIN friends Jason Berry and Juan Vaca have both been quoted in the section dealing with the Legion.

 

According to Vatican II, we ( all of us)are the Church. If that is true then we have a right to be aware of problematic issues that affect the Church (which is us). Certainly, if our politicians attempted to keep secret the ways in which they spent the money we contributed in taxes and the way the politicians conducted themselves and the dealings they had with controversial organizations and powerful individuals, we would make every effort to bring things into the light so that we could hold them to account. Unfortunately, in the case of our elite Church leaders, by far the majority of Catholics tends to blindly trust in them, considering them to be much more holy than us and being above the sorts of scandals that we sometimes encounter with our political leaders. We forget that even in the presence of Jesus, the early apostles at times displayed human weaknesses such as cowardice, lack of faith and in one case the ultimate in treachery. So should we be surprised to discover that there may be modern day Judases who hold some very high positions in the hierarchy or that some of our spiritual leaders are unable to live up to the expectations we have for them regarding being faithful to the commandments.

 

The documentary reminds us that the Vatican is the last remaining example of an absolute monarchy in the world. At the senior levels, there is no accountability to any human power.

Anyone who regularly reads the articles posted on this website or on others that are critical of the Legionaries of Christ are well aware of the reforms needed in the Legion and Regnum Christi and many are puzzled at how the Catholic Hierarchy could allow someone such as Father Marcial Maciel to get away with such shocking behavior, deceit and crimes without appropriate disciplinary action.

 

If all members of the hierarchy and the clergy were living lives scrupulously in accordance with Catholic Church teachings, then the deceit, the abuse of children, the virtual enslavement and taking advantage of devout people using mind control techniques and shady financial dealings would be considered most unusual and totally unacceptable. However, assuming the information in the documentary to be true, then there is not as much difference as we would expect between the actions of some of the leaders of Holy Mother the Church and the leaders of the Legionaries of Christ. The beam in the eye of the Church hierarchy has been blocking their vision, preventing them from being able to discern the flaws in a religious order and movement that is accountable to them.

 

After all the horrors within the Church identified in the documentary, the last few minutes provide a glimmer of hope and a warning of possible terrible future events. Pope Francis has inherited all of the mind boggling situations and conditions referred to, including the difficulties of dealing effectively with the leaders of the Legionaries of Christ. The new Pope has shown a willingness to courageously accept the truth and to find new strategies to take effective action to bring true justice, holiness and goodness to the Vatican and to the Catholic Church. He will have to step on some powerful toes and he has already shown that he is not afraid to do so. If he is able to achieve some success in dealing with corruption, there will be reactions from those who are at present enjoying the fruits of such corruption. Those people wield considerable power and some are ruthless. We offer our prayers for Pope Francis for his safety and for the wisdom and other gifts of the Holy Spirit needed to deal with the spiritual warfare that is taking place.