Father Peter Byrne, LC, a long time Legionary priest recently departed from the Legion. Before leaving, he wrote to his superiors and fellow Legionaries sharing his frustration and distress after his plans to travel to Mexico were denied. He had intended to give conferences to parents about formation of children and to pick up some information for his doctorate. According to the letter, which is available in English at Click Here or in Spanish at Click Here he states that the Legionary powers felt that his presence might
perturb the communities, because of the letter that he wrote regarding the sale of the UNID university.
Father Byrne had publically and privately requested implementation of positive changes in the Legion, including justice for Maciel?s victims, conformity with the Gospel, more transparency in the government and finances, co-responsibility and accountability, investigation and publication of true story of the founder, Father Marcial Maciel and exclusion of racism, deceit and exclusion of free speech and critical thinking.
Previously, in 2010, Father Byrne had written a letter to the Legion Director General Alvaro Corcuera, denouncing the worship that was being paid to the Legion founder even after instructions for the Vatican to remove his photos. Father, Byrne had also requested that Father Macielâ€™s remains be relocated from the main altar at the chapel in Cotija to one of the sides.
Father Byrne was critical of the Legion in his letter, saying that it is
the same old Legion that did not listen to Father Maciel?s victims. He referred to those who had covered up for the founder continuing to visit communities and to preach retreats.
Father Byrne’s comments in his letter indicate the futility of expecting real positive changes to come out of the current reform process, which has now had several years to change old attitudes.
One would expect that changes such as those proposed by Father Byrne would be part of the reform process being carried out by the Legionary hierarchy with oversight from the Vatican Commissioner.
A request for justice does not seem to be an unreasonable request and that is certainly in harmony with the Catholic faith. It should a no – brainer to expect conformity with the Gospels. There is certainly nothing unreasonable in any of the above valid suggestions proposed by Father Byrne and he should have a right to express his opinions. However, in keeping with the old style Legionary policies, daring to voice such concerns is considered reason to ban Father Byrne from visiting the place where he lived for years and where he wished to continue his studies.