Madrid, Spain, 2006.
feederapostolates of Regnum Christi as possible. In short, find ways to recruit for new members to Regnum Christi and vocations to the Legion or consecrated life. The young consecrated women that were assigned to this parish,
Cana(Canaan), helped to teach the weekly Religious Education classes, as the
inroadto the parishioners and priests. While other parishes had also opened their doors to other consecrated women in their years of formations to help with the Religious Ed program, this parish was the most heavily targeted because of the many young people (ie possible vocations) and a preponderance of wealthy and socially prominent families.
It so happened that the parish was going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, a little over a year after John Paul II gave the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem (a conference center and hotel for pilgrims to the Holy Land) to be under the care of the Legion and Regnum Christi. Seeing this as a golden opportunity to win over the pastor and many parishioners, it was decided that two of the consecrated women who had been teaching at Cana would take a trip to Jerusalem, and
surprisingly encounter the group from the parish also there, and thus would have a captive audience for a week with whom they could impress and rub shoulders. When faced with the question of how they would explain their travel to the Holy Land, a lie was fabricated saying that it was the anniversary of consecration of the one of the consecrated women taking the trip, and so her parents had sent her the gift of a trip to Jerusalem. The truth is that her anniversary was not February 2nd as they acclaimed; but yes, it is true that her parents
gave her the trip, as they were asked to pay for the expenses of her travel, as was the family of the other consecrated women who accompanied her. Very disturbingly, the concocter of this deception was none other than Maleny Medina, former assistant to the general director for the women consecrated (aka the top consecrated in the world) and present assistant to the territorial Director (aka the top consecrated for all of Europe) and directress of the house in Rome. In other words, this lie cannot be written off as misguided over-zealousness of some newly consecrated women, but rather came from the hands of formators, directresses, and superiors (including Fr. Alvaro himself, for he must give permission for all international travel of consecrated members).
All very last minute, as the Regnum Christi is so adept at pulling off (no denying that there are practical benefits to blind obedience and the principle of
doing whatever it takes), the plan was formed, the permissions were obtained, and these two consecrated left for Jerusalem. Also of note is the importance placed on this last minute
anniversary gift. All of the consecrateds of the Movement do a silent retreat of three days ending February 2nd, when they renew their promises of poverty, chastity and obedience, as well as their two specific promises of never to criticize and never to desire positions. Yet for these two consecrated, it was deemed important and urgent enough for them to disrupt their retreat to make plans for their trip (and get money from their parents) and then leave for Jerusalem before the end of the Triduum and before the renewal of promises on February 2nd.
So off they went to the Middle East, and they were welcomed back several days later to a team of consecrated who listened impressed and admiringly to the apparent success story of their winning-over and steps in recruitment. Even more admired and relished was the blow-by-blow description of how they pulled off their story.
Only after time and separation did the immoral elements of this
adventure become apparent, as is often the case when one is blinded by allegiance. Never did Christ bring His followers to a deeper holiness by conniving deceptions. Yes, He went out to encounter them, but never under false pretenses, and certainly never was He looking to win over people because of their influence in society or affluence. In the gospels, there are no passages where Peter or any other disciple is told by Jesus that he must go back to his mother in law and have her give him a money bag when the 72 are sent out. Christ is wise and creative in drawing us to Himself, but deception is never in His itinerary. And to be a true follower of Christ, one must operate by His standards and according to His mandates. Anything outside of His commandments is outside of Christ, and then is not
for His Kingdom.