Legion Finally Admits to Its Cultish Practices

Recently, Catholic News Agency (CNA) published an article about the Legionaries of Christ who have acknowledged deficiencies following their three years of reflection and the conclusion of their extraordinary General Chapter.

Following is a summary of some of these deficiencies:

  1. Re The Founder
    The Legion conclusively acknowledges, condemns, and apologizes for the sins of Fr. Maciel: sexual abuse of seminarians, concubinage with several women, illegitimate children whom he also abused sexually, misappropriation of money and religious authority, drug addiction, and stealing the literary work of others.

  2. Re Excessive Idolization of The Founder
    The Legion admits that they gave undue universal value to Fr. Maciel’s directives and that they misunderstood the concept of founder and had excessive adulation of him and were uncritical of his person.
  3. Re Renunciation of Own Will
    The Legionaries had as novices in training submitted to trials especially those that demand the renunciation of their own will.
  4. Re Pressurizing of Recruits
    The Legionaries were providing candidates with inadequate vocational discernment and help with responsible and mature decision making and pressurized recruits with a certain rush to get immediate result. 
  5. Re Lack of Distinction Between (Role of )Superior and Spiritual Director
    The Legion superiors habitually violated canon law by having superiors take on the role of spiritual director.
  6. Re Violation of Confidentiality
    The Legion superiors habitually found ways to violate confidentiality, using personal information obtained for hidden agendas.
  7. Re Infrequent Rotation of Leadership
    Once the Legion leaders obtained power they tended to remain indefinitely, which leads to having excessive power over others.
  8. Re Reliance on Statistical Reports
    There was excessive pressure to inflate numbers (of membership).
  9. Re Information Control
    The Legion superiors maintained a tight control over members’ access to news
  10. Re Over-Emphasis on Worldly Concerns of Prestige, Institutional Strength and Results at Any Price
    The Legion superiors had hidden agendas that overshadowed concerns over spiritual matters.
  11. Re Acting Independently of Local Bishops
    The Legionary superiors ignored bishop’s pastoral plans.
  12. Re Discouraging Personal Friendships: The Legionary superiors discouraged friendships and encouraged members to open their hearts up to nobody except their superiors.
  13. Re Regulation of Life: The Legion structure regulated each member’s life right down to the smallest details.
  14. Re Legion Spirituality: The Legion structure failed to follow Conciliar priorities and instead used acts of piety as means in themselves. Some still continue to cling to the founder (who has been declared a false prophet and place a lower priority on tradition and Magisterium.
  15. Re Finances: The Legion has mismanaged the finances, is in debt and some of this is due to imprudent, disordered and unbalanced expansion.
  16. Re Provision for (Consecrated Persons’ Senior Years)
    The Legion structure has failed to make adequate provision for their elderly and sick members.
  17. Re Manual, Liturgy and Practical Exams
    The Legion has not given enough priority to making essential revisions to their spiritual literature.
  18. Re canonical Configuration for 3gf Consecrated Persons
    Those who have been consecrated in Regnum Christi have never had a recognized form of canonical standing in the Church and this has not yet been resolved.
  19. Re Respect for Individual Vocations
    The Legion (and Regnum Christi) failed to appreciate or promote individual vocation of each of their members.
  20. Re Using People
    The Legion structure and methodology used people instrumentally, did not know friendship or how to discuss and debate issues respectfully, rejected Conciliar priorities in prayer and liturgy, practiced empty externalism. that inspired both dissipation and an activism that vindicated itself with statistics and prestige, disrespected the freedom of candidates in discernment in the rush to get results, broke canon law in their seminaries by violating the internal forum, mishandled and imprudently spent money, sidestepped the authority of local bishops, and mindlessly adulated their founder.

ReGAIN Comment

These sort of admissions from the Legionaries of Christ have been a long time coming. For years, Father Maciel’s victims and critics of the Legion or of their founder were treated as disgruntled ex members, evil detractors and liars who were out to damage the Catholic Church or who were jealous of the founder.

Speaking for ReGAIN, the content in this website has not been altered and remains for anyone to peruse. The articles and testimonies over the years provided truthful information to educate people about what was happening beneath the charisma of Father Marcial Maciel and the shiny exterior of his creations. We never condemned the ordinary members; it has always been the structure and methodology of the Legion and Regnum Christi. Finally, it seems that the Legion and ReGAIN are more and more singing from the same song sheet.

ReGAIN has identified how the structure and methodology of the Legionaries of Christ and of the consecrated life in Regnum Christi have very closely matched those of typical mind controlling cult groups and how the founder closely matches the profile of a typical cult leader.

The net result of typical cult methodology is to systematically compromise the free will of the individual members, who gradually hand over their independence to the elite leaders, who profit from their free labor. A number of the admissions of Legionary deficiencies attest to the loss of critical thinking of members. For too many this leads to mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and even suicide.

Although we recognize there has been progress by the Legion made in identifying some of the problem areas that we have included in our articles and testimonies we remain very concerned about the lack of actual reform to date.

We wonder how a group of people, who have been subjected to long term mind control, thereby losing much of their critical thinking skills can actually decide for themselves how to pick themselves up by their own bootstraps.

For too long, the members have followed a false prophet, who ran the entire organization as an absolute dictator, making all the critical decisions and deciding what to do with all the money that was raised. Some powerful people remain on the inside. There still has been no investigation regarding which of the senior leaders worked together with the founder to enable him to lead his Catholic religious order and movement on a path he chose to suit his own agenda and lusts.

One example of unfinished business is that there remains a confusion inside the Legion and Regnum Christi between evangelization and recruitment. All cult groups overemphasize fund raising and recruitment because this is the primary reason they exist – to get money and power and an expanding membership. If the Legion and Regnum Christi believe they exist to evangelize then isn’t it time that they learned what true evangelization is all about? There are some excellent Catholic evangelists such as Ralph Martin for example, who focus their efforts on bringing people to make a free will decision to come into a personal relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

The Catholic Church has shown that for at least seven decades it has been totally incapable of recognizing a cult group within its midst and one after another of its popes and members of the hierarchy were duped by Father Maciel. Senior leaders in the Catholic Church accepted favors from the Legion leader in exchange for support to facilitate this incredible error. Isn’t it about time that the Church obtained outside expertise where needed and conducted a thorough investigation to truly reform something that has damaged many peoples’ lives and diverted many millions of dollars away from authentic Catholic apostolates?

Isn’t it also time that the Church sought advice from psychologists and mind control experts to become informed about cult groups, mind control and how groups can operate under the radar? For decades, Church leaders, even including Saint John Paul II praised and encouraged the Legion and Regnum Christi, in ignorance of the sexual, emotional, physical and spiritual abuses and victimization of its members.

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