in due honesty it must be noted that the Vatican appears not to have published the Pope’s letter to Fr. Maciel on its official website, at least as of this posting, 12/20/04http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/2004/index_en.htm
I address you today as one of many ex-Legionary of Christ priests and religious who wander the world -with or without proper canonical dispensations- after exiting this religious congregation. I write full of amazement at the praise you recently appeared to lavish on Fr. Maciel, founder and self-appointed director ‘ad vitam’ of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement. Your Holiness did not mention either Fr. Maciel or the Regnum Christi among your favorite Catholic Lay Movements in your latest memoir RISE, LET US BE ON OUR WAY. Whither comes the present enthusiasm? Though lacking any worldly or eclesiastical honors, I dare pose such questions to You with the confidence and dignity of my Baptismal consecration, as Saint Augustine bishop says.I must mention that some ex-confreres of mine addressed you in the same vein seven years ago, and have yet to receive any kind of response from the Holy See. They expressed their consternation in a Spanish language open letter published in the Mexican news-magazine Milenio, in December, 1997 . On that occasion they were scandalized by your words of praise for Fr. Maciel, a priest they maintain sexually abused them as seminarians. I bring this to your attention as perhaps you were not aware of that cri de coeur. I also wonder are you at all aware of the allegations against Fr. Maciel, or whether you have been shielded by those around you from such unsavory matters. If this is the case, in vain did my confreres suffer, struggle and write, and in vain will this second cry seek your pastoral attention. Even so, let my eight confreres be comforted by the words of Our Divine Savior: â€œAre not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet without your Fatherâ€
First of all, Holy Father, are you aware of the existence of the letter I am referring to?
Did you, Holiness, have anything to do with this letter attributed to you?
Did you actually read and/or familiarize yourself with this letterâ€
Did you, as Supreme Pontiff, sign your signature?
Or was this letter of praise the work of some other Vatican dignitary, some other â€˜friend of Fr. Macielâ€
If yes is the answer to the above questions, I would venture to say, with all due respect, that you are not sufficiently informed about Fr. Maciel, the Legionaries, or the Regnum Christi. It may give you pause to discover that a growing number of American bishops, successors of the Apostles, are gradually having misgivings about how the Legion and Regnum Christ operate stealthily within their dioceses. Your, or the writerâ€
The Legion has never targeted the â€˜working classâ€
Your praise for Fr. Macielâ€
When you, Holy Father, conclude with: â€˜I entrust you, dear Father Maciel, to the heavenly protection of the Virgin Mary,â€
2. Matthew 10, 29-31
4. Canon Law Codex 239,2; 246,4; 630 in article â€˜LC Constitutions vs. Canon Lawâ€
5. Bone fide sources attest that Cardinal Sodano’s brother is the builder of Fr. Maciel’s secret mausoleum under the Legion’s Guadalupe Basilica on Via Aurelia 675, Rome. For a description of Card. Sodano’s relationship with Chilean dictator Pinochet see
6. â€˜glamorous powersâ€
7. Luke 17,1-3; see also 9,46-48; 10,21, et alibi
Text of congratulatory letter to Fr. Maciel attributed to his Holiness, John Paul II
1. â€œI am pleased to unite myself spiritually to the joy and to the thanksgiving that from you, Reverend Father, and from the hearts of all the members of this religious family rise up to God, source of all good, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the priestly ordination, that was conferred upon you November 26, 1944 in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City. On that day, the path of formation to the priesthood which you began at 16 years of age, with the heartfelt dream of stirring up priests totally dedicated to the preaching of the Gospel and to the moral and social improvement of the poorest and most marginated of our brothers. This project of love for Christ, fidelity to the Church, and service to mankind came alive in Mexico City on January 3, 1941 with the birth of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, whose Constitutions were later on definitively approved by me in 1983.
2. Your sixty years of priestly life, Reverend Father, have been marked by a noteworthy spiritual and missionary fruitfulness, with various apostolic works and activities such as the Regnum Christi Movement, the network of Mano Amiga schools, numerous educational and charitable institutions today present in 16 countries of the 5 continents with the purpose of promoting family and human values, university centers for study and formation. And what should we say about the apostolate of the priests of the Legionaries of Christ, as well as the effort of the entire Congregation for the integral formation of future diocesan priests, especially through the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum and the two international seminaries, Mater Ecclesiae of Rome and of Sao Paolo, Brasil?
I cannot, of course, forget the service that you have rendered in these years to the Holy See, which has benefited on various occasions and manners by your generous and competent collaboration, whether during one of my apostolic trips or in the activity of branches of the Roman Curia.
3. The profound inspiration which has guided your educational, cultural, and pastoral action â€“ an inspiration that you have transmitted as a precious treasure to the religious family you founded â€“ has been the constant concern for an integral promotion of the person, and especially as regards the human formation, that as I had the opportunity to write in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis, â€œwhen it is carried out in the context of an anthropology which is open to the full truth regarding the human person, leads to and finds its completion in spiritual formationâ€� (n. 45).
Reverend Father, the joyful recollection of your 60th anniversary of priestly ordination falls during the Year of the Eucharist. This providential coincidence constitutes an invitation to meditate upon the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the Christian community and especially in the formation of future priests and in their subsequent dedication to ordained ministry. This is what I underlined in the previously cited document, recalling â€œthe essential importance of the Eucharist for the priestÂ´s life and ministry and, as a result, in the spiritual formation of candidates for the priesthoodâ€� (n. 48).
4. For all these reasons I am happy to join in with the canticle of praise and of thanksgiving to the Lord that rises up from many hearts for the â€œgreat thingsâ€� (cf. Luke 1:49) that the grace of God has accomplished in these 60 years of your intense, generous, and fruitful priestly ministry.
As I invoke a renewed outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that your priesthood may continue to bear abundant good fruits, I entrust you, dear Father Maciel, to the heavenly protection of the Virgin Mary, Mother of priests, and I send you affectionately a special apostolic blessing, which I willingly extend to all the Legionaries of Christ, to the members of the Regnum Christi Movement, and to all who participate in the jubilee celebration.â€�
From the Vatican, November 24, 2004
Joannes Paulus II