Recently, based on a report from Trastevere, Juan Pedro Oriol Munoz of the influential Oriol family in Spain has left the Legionaries of Christ. Following is an English translation of the letter he submitted when he decided to leave.
<i>?How wonderful it is to be a priest! The man who lives looking to God and given to others. The man who knows that Jesus is at the door and knocks.</q> (Rev. 3:20.
Today I begin a new path in my priesthood. I have decided to be exclaustrated and leave the congregation that has been mine and that I came to love so much.
I have arrived at this decision after following a personal process. I don’t wish to look backwards. The only thing I want is to do the Will of God, to please Him and serve Him. And His Will is found in the authority of the Church.
This decision, while not taking away my sorrow, brings me to find peace in the essence of my priesthood: to give my life for Christ and for my neighbor.
Wherever God wants me, He will tell me. I only want what He wants and I would like to keep going forward in the way that he has been bringing me, supported by the prudent advice of virtuous and distinguished priests.
The dream of being able to serve the Church with the ministry of my priesthood is reviving in me, and I can see how grace is already acting. Today, 11 young university students of Guadalajara and Queretaro decided to enter the seminary and they have asked me to guide and accompany them. I know that it is He who can touch heard and I only have to serve always with the purest possible intention.
I would not wish to cause suffering to anyone with this decision, but if I cause any sadness or pain, if it?s not my remotest intention to do so, and I ask pardon for it. If I could ask something in this moment it would be only respect and prayer, nothing more. I accept that not everyone with concede me this that I ask, and I understand. I have prepared my heart (Ps. 57) and I not only will not respond but will try to offer what comes for the purification of my soul, to love Him more, and to be a priest after His heart. The novitiate, the years of formation, and above all, these years of apostolate have been an incessant benediction.</q>
There remain with me forever so many moments ahead with the members if Regnum Christi, and how I have enjoyed the youth with whom and for whom I have lived!
Our Lord gave me the gift of a second father in Fr. Carlos Mora, and I tried to give him the same affection which I always received from him. He is and will be one of my models of priestly life.
I can’t leave out thanking my Legionary companions through all this life shared shoulder to shoulder: so many years together!
I leave behind many brothers in the Legion – who will never stop being brothers for me, and with whom I have been very happy, but one sad and terrible day I lost
the naivety of innocence at discovering the truth of the founder, our truth. And everything began to change little by little in my interior Y todo comenza a cambiar poco a poco en mi interior, to collapse, no matter how much I tried to make it not be so. For the Legion, with sincere nostalgia, all my affection and gratitude, and I desire only the best in the time to come.
I want to thank the consecrated women of Regnum Christi – their testimonies and dedication have been a blessing for me, with their freshness and purity and, upon seeing them, I always remember my dear sister Malen.
With all my heart, I thank my family and my best friends for their company, their unconditional support, and their understanding during this whole process of discernment and conversion. And my sincerest gratitude to Don Juan Sandoval, Cardinal Archbishop of Guadalajara, for his availability and prudent counsel, the counsel of a father, a shepherd, and a friend.
No matter where I have come to, what is important is where I go, where I am going. Many will focus on the fact that today one path ends; for me, what counts is that today I begin another.
This is what I must do today. I do what for me I have to do, facing the consequences.
Tomorrow’s landscape is too uncertain for making plans and if I were to make them I would fall into the abyss, as the Gospel says: <q>Sufficient for the day is its own trouble</q> (Mt. 6, 34), and I like how St. Teresa makes it concrete: <q>I will be faithful today.</q>
I know that what is essential in life is not what you have but what you are in life. Today, I put down what I have carried for years, I leave my Legion home, and what remains is that I am Juan Pedro, priest at the service of my spouse the Church and of the family of the children of God.
Before ending, I want to say that on this path I have learned that there us much more of my parents [or of my [spiritual] fathers] in me than I supposed…
I leave my life in the hands of my Queen of Hope and of Peace, our good Mother Mary, and with her I adhere to the will of my only love and Lord, who today stands at my door and knocks?.
Juan Pedro Oriol </i>
The original Spanish version of the above letter is posted on life-after-rc at: <a href= http://www.life-after-rc.com/2011/05/news-concerning-thornwood/comments/page/2/#comments>Click Here</a>
There is an interesting comment on the life-after-rc site that reads as follows:
<q>I suppose at this point Malen Oriol is not far behind. With this the LC is toast in Spain. I think the next major wave of departures will occur when they wake up to the fact that the reform process will never deliver on the hopes they have put in it. There is simply no foundation to build on. </q>
Posted by: Anonobserv
The loss of support from the Oriol family is a devastating blow to the Legion in Spain.
ReGAIN has heard that there have been 80 priests who have left the Legion and a total of about two hundred and sixty consecrated (3 gf) ladies who have done the same. Apparently there are
more that are in the process of doing the same.
The reform process to date has gone from dead slow to stop, so those on the inside who were hoping to see positive changes will be considering their options. Because of this we wonder if the reform process (or lack of reform) has actually made the environment more spiritually toxic. The same leaders are singing the same song and the members who have any critical thinking ability left are deciding to leave, leaving only those who are more committed to the founder?s structure. When someone has had virtually all of their <q>decisions</q> made for them by superiors and by waiting to see what the Vatican says, it is unlikely that they would be able to make a free will choice to leave.
The ordinary members remain isolated from outside influence. They are still sheltered from the truth. Father Maciel?s voice and words and teachings still resound within. Their news comes from Legion friendly sources (even though there are fewer of these remaining). The deep fears that were ingrained about what would happen if they left have not gone away completely. It still feels safe on the inside and frightening on the outside. From their perspective, as the <q>weaker</q>, newer ones <q>abandon</q> their religious vocation, the longer term <q>faithful</q> ones remain and are drawn closer together. They have lost contact with former friends. The 3gf women have absolutely nothing to take with them to find a new start in life, e.g. no money and in most cases not much to put on their resume. In many cases they might not be welcomed into other religious orders or movements. They would have to rely on their families to get any kind of new start in life. Their <q>consecrated</q> state is non transferable. They have been damaged and need outside help to be able to make an informed decision.
Because the women have been conditioned to rely so heavily on Vatican rulings to decide things, it would help if the Vatican would provide real assistance and guidance, They could insist that every 3gf woman be provided with the entire truth about all details including the founder?s life the lack of charism and the true purposes of Nuestro Padre?s religious order and movement from unbiased knowledgeable sources. They could insist that those who are in need be provided with adequate counseling and financial assistance or training to make a new start in life. This would be fair because it is largely through the hard work of these trusting women and donations from their families that the Legion was able to build up assets of billions of dollars.