Nicole Winfield of Associated Press continues to bring more light into dark places. In her latest article Click Here For AP Article she reported that the Legion of Christ has suffered
another blow to its credibility.
Father Alvaro Corcuera, the Director General of the Legion has publically made an admission that although he had been advised about Father Williams, the most prominent Legionary priest fathering a child as far back as 2005, he allowed him to continue in his work, teaching and preaching about morality. The Legionary Director General said that he simply believed at first that the story was just a rumour. He said that he did ask Father Williams about it and when Father Williams denied that it was true, he took his word for it without conducting further investigation. Father Corcuera said that after he became superior in 2005, he confirmed Williams’ paternity and asked him to withdraw from public ministry. However, in spite of this statement, Father Williams was allowed to continue his public ministry work until 2012.
Father Corcuera, the Director General of the Legionaries of Christ has written a letter to the members of the Legionaries of Christ and members and friends of Regnum ChristiClick Here for Letter by Father Corcuera
According to Nicole Winfield, Father Williams made a more recent statement stating he had resisted Father Corcuera’s encouragement to keep a low profile, saying he had hoped to move beyond the child
this sin in my past to do good work for the church. Fr. Corcuera said that in 2010 he placed restrictions on Fr. Williams’ ministry, but as recently as last month Williams was the keynote speaker at a Legion-affiliated women’s conference in the Rhode Island and was scheduled to speak at another conference in October in Michigan.
AP reported that a U.S. victims’ support group, Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests, had called for Pope Benedict XVI to oust Corcuera, and said that if the pope wants
a more holy and pure and safe church, he can’t keep ignoring or rewarding serious wrongdoing.
The SNAP statement says:
Virtually nothing will change if the pope and other Church officials continue to let their colleagues and underlings act recklessly and deceitfully – year after year after year – and get by with saying, when they’re caught, ‘Oops, sorry, I goofed,’ SNAP said in a statement.
ReGAIN Comment :
Reading from Acts 20: 28-30
Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the Church of God that he obtained with the blood of His own Son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them.
The skeletons continue to fall out of the Legion closet and it has finally reached the point where the spin doctors can’t disguise them any more. With the Vatican commissioner watching and with news reporters taking interest in what is happening it is becoming much more difficult to get away with distorting the truth.
A former superior in the Miles Jesus group – which had a similar problem as the Legion, i.e. a dysfunctional founder- stated in May 2012:
It is not just enough to cut off the head; the head has already infected the body.
Fr. Maciel’s great anti-charism according to his critics (including ReGAIN) has been considered to be deceit. There has been suspicion, and now this recent evidence supports it, that the founder had infected the body and the superiors which he chose, including his dear Fr. Alvaro, with the disease of deceit. There are parallels between the founder’s double life and that of Fr. William and in both cases their actions were deceitfully covered up after the death of the founder by the current Legionary leaders.
Nicole Winfield provided a reminder in her article how the Legion did everything possible to cover up for their founder’s misdeeds. When DNA tests confirmed their worst fears and
family membersstarted coming out of Father Maciel’s closet, the Legionary leaders had to backtrack and eventually admit the truth about their founder. They did their best to give an impression that it was unusual for prominent Legionary priests to father children and they acted very surprised and claimed that they just could not believe the truth about Father Maciel. Now with history repeating itself, the Director General, Father Corcuera, being backed into a corner fesses up that he knew for at least seven years that their most prominent spokesperson had also fathered a child and yet allowed him to continue with his work teaching moral theology.
According to the AP report, the Director General said that he had asked Father Williams to withdraw from public ministry. This statement is surprising because it means that either he did not do as he said (i.e. didn’t really tell Fr. Williams to withdraw from public ministry) or Fr. Williams simply ignored the order from his ultimate superior.
In either case, Fr. Corcuera appears to be inept, weak, incompetent and dishonest, not good qualities for a supreme leader. As Director General he had ultimate power and authority to ensure that the right thing was done. His power and authority over Father Williams would be comparable to that of an army general over a captain and in the case of the Legion, Fr. William would have made a vow of obedience. So Father Corcuera’s claim that he had asked Father William to withdraw from public ministry does not make sense considering that he kept on being involved in high profile activity in the field of moral theology.
Some of Father Williams’ statements are problematic. As mentioned in a previous ReGAIN article he had referred to the child as
her child. This time he said he had resisted Father Corcuera’s encouragement to keep a low profile, saying he had hoped to move beyond the child
this sin in my past to do good work for the church.
How does a priest
move beyond the child? This statement seems callous, considering that a son or daughter is involved and the Father is a teacher of moral values. This raises questions such as was there hush money offered to the mother? What would be an appropriate and responsible way to deal with the situation that takes into account the other people involved in this situation?
We agree with Nicole Winfield that that main issue here (based on her headline) is Legion credibility. Based on a number of past articles and testimonies in this website, ReGAIN long ago concluded that there is deceit in Fr. Maciel’s kingdom. Unfortunately this is spilling over to give the entire Catholic Church a bigger black eye and this is evident in SNAP’s statement regarding leaders allowing priests to
act recklessly and deceitfully – year after year after year?
We do not envy Cardinal DePaolis in his job of trying to reform the Legion because the leaders have shown willingness to cooperate in the reform process only in certain limited areas after their deceitfulness has been once again exposed by the news media or when the Vatican imposes changes.