Regain extends condolences to Paul and Libby Sellors, who, we are told, were removed some months ago from their leadership of Familia in America, which they founded some nine or ten years ago. The Sellors have remained silent since their ousting in order to protect those who are not disillusioned with Regnum Christi and Familia, including their own daughter. Their name has been retained by the Legion as the founders of Familia, but they are no longer the directors. Our condolence is sincere and we are very sorry that such good people have been served so disloyaly, and with so little appreciation, for all their years of hard work, personal investment in Familia, and trust, even if misplaced trust, as we with Regain know all too well.
For those unfamiliar with it, Familia is a very popular organization whose stated mission is the re-evangelization of families. Familia is also to be found in the list of “front organizations” used by the Legion and Regnum Christi. As a gateway to Regnum Christi and the Legion, Familia has been used by RC/LC for effective recruiting and fundraising; it has been widely promoted in parishes (often wealthy and orthodox parishes) where RC/LC seeks a toe-hold.
Familia did not begin as an RC/LC project, however. Paul and Libby, who were sincere and devout Catholics living in the midwest, began Familia in their own home about ten years ago. Drawing on their own resources, the Sellors used their dining room and living room as offices when Familia began to grow. Familia was intended (by the Sellors) to reevangelize families and to provide wholesome social events. Their progam was intended to set up study groups of Church encyclicals, especially On Human Life, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, and On the Family. Almost from the beginning, however, the Legion moved in to “help” Paul and Libby, who were soon introduced to Mexican leaders of a similar family movement, who were supposed to teach Americans “how it was done”south of the boarder and under Legionary guidance.
Like many of us before, the Sellors trusted the Legion to guide the Familia project that they had begun, and soon there was a kind of “franchise” being promoted by their fellow Regnum Christi members in their own parishes. At the beginning the Legion seemed helpful and supportive, but the divisiveness of the LC/RC methodology invariably made itself manifest, as it always does in any Catholic community into which that methodology is introduced. Soon after Familia is introduced into a parish, men and women are divided into separate groups, and the focus subtly shifts from “focus on the family” to fundraising and recruiting for conferences and Legionary schools. Instead of entering more fully into the mystery of the sacrament of marriage, husbands and wives too frequently are further divided from each other — with emotional attachment being re-centered on “The Movement” or “The Legion,” to the detriment of both marriage and family.
Regain wonders what excuses, what rationale, were or will be given by the Legion of Christ to other Familia-oriented people, and to the Sellors, to explain why they have been removed from leadership of Familia? Other than saying nothing whatever about it, there are three possibilities that suggest themselves to our collective mind — parphrased from similar experience of other exLegionaries or exRegnum Christi members:
1) Solicitious consideration. The Sellors will be told that, “You have worked so hard for the Kingdom, and we don’t want you to wear yourselves out. Let others take over for you for awhile, so that you can rest.”
2) Or appeal to apostolic commitment: “We think that now Familia has become so universal, that a Legionary priest would be better as leader, because he will have more mobility than you do. Besides, we have other very important apostolic initiatives for you to take over for Christ’s kingdom; you’ve been so good at establishingFamilia, that we want to use your talents to establish another VERY IMPORTANT initiative (like daily fishing on Lake Minnetonka, perhaps?)….”
3) Or hints of “classified” dark knowledge about the state of souls of the Familia founders (said to others, who ask about the ousting): “They are wonderful people and have worked so hard to get Familia going. It has spread so rapidly that it is clearly a work of God! But they are beginning to try to take Familia in a direction that God does not want it to go. We’re very sorry, but we have had to remove them because we can’t be too careful about how we protect the apostolates that God has given to the Legion and Regnum Christi, and we have to guard against the work of the Devil. Even here, we can see how, through pride and possessiveness, the Devil has been at work. It’s too bad, but we have to remove them in order to save them from the sin of pride and to save the apostolate from corruption. I’m SURE that YOU understand…”
The explanation may draw on all of the above, but will likely fall more along the lines of justification # 3, in our opinion, because this is the most commonly whispered lie that the Legion spreads when they are trying to justify having thrown out a jewel of a human being, or two jewels, like the Sellors.
It is Regain’s hope that Libby and Paul will be able to have many more good and happy years together with their good family and friends. We would wish them free from the baleful influence of the Legion and Regnum Christi. They are welcome to join us in Regain; we’re here to help. At the least, they will no doubt find themselves incorporated into the unincorporated club that has thousands of members, the FFL: Former Friends of the Legion.