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?
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.