What is Meant by Parallel Church?
In his letter banning the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement from the archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, Archbishop Harry Flynn stated that the Legion is vague in its dealings and appears to be building a parallel church. How can this be? What parallel, or rival church could he possibly mean when the Legion professes to be Christ-centered, focused on the Gospel, consecrated to Mary, and faithful to the successor of Peter? How could anyone who reads the Legionary brochures or visits the Legion’s website be anything but confused.
Appearances Are Confusing
Those who have attended Mass presided over by a Legionary priest know that the Legionaries perform the liturgy with great reverence. Their clean and confident appearance suggests the orderliness we are to strive for in our own personal lives. How can an organization that looks so good and claims to be the Roman Catholic Church possibly be labeled and dismissed as a rival church? There are only two possible explanations: 1) either the Legion is, as it appears to be–a successful and effective wing of the Catholic Church–and the charges against the founder are false, or else 2) the Legion of Christ is not what it claims to be in its propaganda, and those who have brought criticism against the organization and charges against the founder are telling the truth. A third explanation, which the Legionary propaganda machine is already spinning in its many publications and internet news agency is that Archbishop Harry Flynn is ignorant and has made a hasty decision which, in time, he will recant. What is the truth beneath the veneer?
Appearances May Be Deceiving
What if the explanation is the second? Could it be that the perception of orthodoxy is just a veneer? Why, if they are defenders of orthodoxy, is the focus primarily on Father Marciel Maciel? Why, if it is Catholic, would the Legion and Regnum Christi center on the Movement and on unquestioning obedience to and dependence on the founder and director? Are all those photos, which the Legion circulates of the Holy Father and the Legionary founder, Marciel Maciel, intended to make the one interchangeable with the other?
The fact is that the focus and center is not on Christ and the Church. Legionaries and those who want to be Regnum Christi are required to be unquestionably obedient to the directors because these directors are accountable to God. What if the devotion to Mary and fidelity to the Pope is merely window-dressing? A display of piety in order to hoodwink and confuse the faithful? Let us look closer and try to determine the truth.
Claim vs. Fact and Example
1) The Legion claims that its mission is to support and motivate the laity in their calling to build up and support the Church. In response, the laity is to create and sustain apostolates that will reach souls.
Their internal mission, however, is quite different. The laity is the facade for an ever-growing need for fundraising, power, and control on the part of the Legion’s elite circle of superiors.
(Example: Who is it that really pulls the strings for Helping Hands Medical Missions and Familia, two apostolates that originated in the English speaking world and now are non-profit corporations taken over by the Legion? Apostolates that have been begun by the laity have been seized by the Legion in less than honest and upright ways, their founders have been discarded, and Legion-appointed puppets have been given the official title of director. And aside from the laity, what about the hundreds of priests and seminarians–not to mention the consagrada, the consecrated women–who have been used, manipulated and pushed out the door when no longer useful?)
2) The Legion claims that the laity holds positions of responsibility.
In reality, there are highly-visible members of Regnum Christi who appear to hold positions of responsibility, but they are there only so long as they tow the party line and speak as the mouthpiece of the Legion. Any deviation from the Legionary propaganda or talking points and they are replaced by anther high-visible member of the laity. The former Regnum Christi leader begins the confusion of the degradation shuffle; he/she is no longer included in meetings or consultations; decisions are made without his knowledge or input; his office is changed to a windowless closet in a remote part of the building. When he/she asks the Legionary authorities about this situation, he/she is urged to greater R.C. commitment and then pointed to another very important apostolic work that needs his/her talents. If the layman balks at being demoted from a good work that he founded or administered,, he is admonished about his pride; the Litany of Humility is recommended to him. This Litany, which includes several lines of self-deprecation, is a great favorite in the Legion and Regnum Christi. Repeatedly, through this degradation shuffle, the lay founders have been forced out of the works that they originally brought to the Church. The once-thriving apostolate is co-opted by the Legion as soon as it becomes an effective money-maker, which can send the obligatory 20-30% of its income to the central pool of Legionary money in another country. What happens to these lay founders, who were at one time hailed as fruits of the Holy Spirit by Fr. Maciel himself as co-founders with him of the Movement? Does the Holy Spirit condone such ill treatment of people of good faith? Does the Holy Spirit continue to inspire stolen goods? (Example: A better word for what the Legion calls work of apostolate may be institution since it is simply one of over a hundred non-profit corporations owned by the Legion; see: front organizations on Regain website. These institutions are staffed by Regnum Christi members–paid and unpaid–and have become yet another means to generate income for the already economically wealthy few that command the Legionaries and Regnum Christi corporate empire.)
3) The Legion of Christ claims that poverty is essential to its mission, and the seminarians and priests are given nothing that they can claim as their own, except their crucifix. (Examples of Legionaries who continue to control their personal wealth are Father Luis Garza, LC, the Vicar General of the Legion of Christ and his sister, Paulina Garza, who is a director of consecrated women. Both are incredibly wealthy regardless of any vow of poverty.) In fact, the Legion brings in vast amounts of unaccounted monies, which are pooled in a central account and located outside of the USA. There are hundreds of constantly changing (and being renamed) front organizations for the Legion that skim more than 20% from its schools and universities, from KidsNet (K4J), and other operations. Recently, the Legion began creating universities (which are tax exempt) instead of headquarters (as at Thornwood), so as to avoid having to pay several million dollars in taxes. Universities are exempt from many of the investigations (possibly federal investigations) that would otherwise look into similar questionable business operations. Anyone interested in knowing the magnitude of the Legion’s structure can begin to get a good idea through some simple searches on the web (see: http://www.legionofchrist.org). Also, many of the front-organizations for the Legion and Regnum Christi hide under the umbrella of dioceses and can be found in the Official Catholic Directory under the Legion of Christ. Your parish may have a copy of the OCD.
The Elderly are Cheated out of their Property
As with their seizing independent apostolates started by the laity (contrary to the exhortations of the Pope), the Legion is not above using fraud and deceit in relieving defenseless seniors and others of their property with no regard to the well-being of the owners who are duped, thanks to their generosity. Who could refuse the requests of the teams of clean-cut priests, seminarians, and eager youths who pay personal visits to those who have the where with all to become cofounders with the Legion? These teams are coached in doing whatever it takes to increase the wealth of the Legion. What moral lessons are they teaching the seminarians about poverty and charity under the guise of generosity of and for the Legion? How can such men remain uncompromised when they are used as tools for this kind of fraud?
It’s all about the Economy
But another question that is often raised, even by the bishops, is that of why the Legionaries do not work in parishes or do missionary work. Their excuse is their claim to being missionaries to the wealthy. Yet, the real missionary societies, such as Divine Word Missionaries, Missionaries of Africa, the Salesians, etc., do not act like the Legion; they occasionally preach missions in wealthy parishes to raise money for their missionary work, but not on a round-the-clock basis like the Legion does. And to what missionary activities does the Legionary money flow? The Legion’s only legitimate missionary effort, Helping Hands, goes once or twice a year at most. It operates on a shoestring budget, run out of the tiny kitchen and garage of a generous but poor Mexican woman, and the doctors have to pay their own way to make the medical mission. Further, other orders–like the Dominicans, Jesuits, Franciscans and others–have a history of taking on parishes under the bishops, so why not the Legionaries? If the bishop were to offer the Legion a wealthy parish, as has happened recently in New England, the Legion is very pleased to take it over, as an exception. However, if it is a not-so-wealthy parish, then the Legion is much too busy with not enough priests, thank you. It’s all about money and men–both are actively siphoned off from the parishes and programs of a diocese in order to set up a rival, a parallel Church as Archbishop Flynn has stated. Several bishops have complained that their diocesan seminarians have been lured from diocesan seminaries to Legionary seminaries with the boast that they will find there the best of everything — the most challenging and orthodox training available and the greatest adventure! In fact the Irish bishops have forbidden the Legion to work in Ireland, and the extremely valuable property owned by the Legion outside of Dublin houses non-Irish seminarians, as there have been no Legionary vocations from Ireland for many years.
It is said that traditionally most Catholics make donations to an average of between four and six charities each year. Some of these might be: the missions, vocations, Catholic education, works for the family, youth work or evangelization. The Legion’s master plan is that, if you can create enough apostolates that address each of those areas of charitable giving within the Church and give them enough publicity, you can divert the charitable monies away from the Church and into the Legion’s coffers. These resources are then passed through a common clearing-house, such as Horizon Institute, and then out of the country. Little or nothing returns to the apostolates or those whom the apostolates were founded to help. The Legion also holds title on a considerable amount of real estate, developed and undeveloped, in Ireland, Mexico, and around the USA as well. Then there is the matter of the charges against Maciel, and other Legionary superiors, of sexual molestation. Other dioceses have had to face bankruptcy because of the rash of such scandals perpetrated by priests within that diocese. However, the charges against Maciel have been summarily dismissed by the Legion itself and never investigated by the authorities in the Vatican. Thus, the Legion continues to rake in money (a seminarian in Cheshire claimed on the phone that it was a million a day that was taken in by the Legion) and not incur any penalty for possible sexual abuse of some members.
The Media as Advertising for the Parallel Church
Another less obvious characteristic of the parallel church is the Legion’s move to create its own news and spin on the news. While most dioceses have a paper, the Legion has several major media resources. One of the most important projects of the Legion is to control the major media voices of the Church. It has been remarkably successful in this way through a series of acquisitions in the early 1990s and through staking a claim to the internet in multiple websites as well as major news service sites (such as the popular Zenit).
National Catholic Register
The Legion is actively trying to establish itself as the means of creating news about itself. While its media resources are disseminating the news of the Church, the Legion is using every opportunity to promote itself in the process. Here in North America the Legion bought Circle Media ten years ago and now owns the National Catholic Register, a major weekly Catholic newspaper. It not only suppresses news that is unfavorable to the Legion (damage control), it constantly does image-laundering for itself. The National Catholic Register is a tool to promote and reward those who support the Legion and its institutions. It runs articles and stories that sing the praises of the Legion’s own works and activities as well as those of their affiliates even though the institutions are often only shams that have little or no substance to support them. What a great means they have to appeal for donations to these Legion-owned apostolates. What an astute plan for establishing respectability among the many other legitimate Catholic apostolates, which are given some exposure (especially in paid advertisements) but which come across in the Register as looking like the poor relation compared with the glamorous and glorious Legion! A discerning reader needs only to keep an eye on the front page of the Register for a couple of weeks. It becomes obvious that the Register has a set of talking points that are designed to win over those in the Church who might question the work of the Legion, especially our bishops. Notice how carefully they tread so as not to offend anybody. There will be all kinds of articles supporting the Legion and covering Regnum Christi events especially in Rome with the Pope, but do you think you will ever see notices by bishops expelling them from their dioceses? Is there any in-depth coverage of the founder’s case (not cause) being re-opened in Rome? [Example see NCR, January 16-22, 2005: There is a little side-bar box on page 3 that briefly tells that the Legion has been expelled from the Archdiocese of St. Paul / Minneapolis. Nothing said about the case against Maciel being re-opened in the Vatican, though.].There are several interesting and subtle ways in which the Register vouches for the validity of the Legionary propaganda. There are pictures of the Pope everywhere. But as if the Pope’s presence was not enough, the Register features a photo of Jesus Himself as a fan of the Legion and Regnum Christi (http://www.ncregister.com/current); online Register for January 16-22, features a photo of James Caviezel in his role of Jesus advertising a rosary, study guide, and stations of the Cross created by the National Catholic Register and Faith and Famiily magazine! Another interesting concept at this flagship publication, the Register, is that of stuffing the paper with so much information, both trivial and substantial, that readers have no time for any other periodical. And in that way it helps restrict the readers to the one publication. The Legion has the financial resources to get the best writers and load each week’s paper with timely articles. It is a simple way to choke out the competition. Further, every Regnum Christi member is expected to take out a paid subscription to the National Catholic Register, which bumps up the Legionary income by peer pressure to support the news. Another subtle twist is that many regular contributors to the Register depend on income from their articles. As with the secular press, is it possible to be objective about the Legion in the Legion’s own paper or any other publication with immunity and not be punished in some way most likely by never having an article in the Register again and by being slandered in hushed whispers?
Faith and Family
Like the Register, the magazine Faith and Family (for Catholic homemakers), is now owned by the Legion through the same Circle Media acquisition. Faith and Family was chosen over another magazine for Catholic women, Canticle Magazine (http://www.caticlemagazine.com), even though Canticle was offered to Regnum Christi as an apostolate and means of raising funds. It became obvious that Canticle would not be the moneymaker that Faith and Family would be, nor would editorial control be relinquished to the degree that the Legion would have liked. Not only did Faith and Family come to the Legion with a sizeable circulation, it was promoted for all Regnum Christi women. Further, it was bolstered by hundreds of paid advertisements as well as free advertising for the various Legionary events and conferences. Canticle, on the other hand, could not further the Legion’s self-serving plans. Although it had a small circulation, it offered substantive assistance and Catholic interpretation of the hard issues facing a woman’s life in today’s society. For many years, Canticle carried a strong message to women that their vocation was to image the Church in its mission as Virgin, Mother, and Bride, and it was universal in its target readership. In each edition of Faith and Family, however, one finds members of Regnum Christi highlighted as being models of true Catholics, called to work for the Church. However, in examining their efforts more closely you will see that their volunteer spirit is free labor going to build and support Regnum Christi activities, rather than the Church at large.
Internationally, the Legion controls the daily internet news service Zenit. Through this free service, the world receives the news from Rome that the Legion wishes to promote. (n.b., the material on Zenit is copyrighted and requires user registration plus a fee to reprint material contained there; thus it is a money-maker as well as an intelligence gathering center for those who wish to use the material from Zenit). If it should conflict in any way with the agenda of the Legion or the Regnum Christi Movement, Zenit will not mention the anti-establishment news, but even the smallest event that can be twisted to the benefit of the Legion finds its way into a news service article.
Sacerdos, a magazine for parish priests, is another of their media tools used to reach diocesan priests and give them the pitch on the Legion and Regnum Christi. Regnum Christi members are encouraged to push all these publications as well as the internal publications of letters of the founder.
Regnum Christi: Divisive in Parish and Family
When a Legionary institution enters a Catholic circle — whether parish or home — the first thing that happens is divisiveness. What about the members of Regnum Christi, these zealous individuals whose first apostolate is to recruit to the Movement? Regardless of what area of work they are assigned, members are to be constantly on the lookout for those social and economic leaders who will further the work of Regnum Christi. Once recruited these leaders are diverted away from parish life and given their assignments within the confines of Regnum Christi that correspond to their abilities and training as well as their ability to bring more large donations to the Legion. They are given flattery and attention by the Legionary priests and the Regnum Christi leaders, which inflates their ego: I am part of a great undertaking, involving so many important people; I must be doing something important for Christ! The Legion knows how to keep members so busy that they have no time for anything else. Marriages and families have been badly hurt, split or destroyed because one spouse, usually the wife and mother, is completely taken in by Regnum Christi and those handsome Legionaries, and begins to give her whole attention to what she is told is Christ’s work. She thinks that her husband is just not giving enough of himself to Christ. She thinks that her children will get the religious formation that has been lacking in their lives. She begins by giving one or two nights per week to Regnum Christi activities: encounter groups and Familia. Then there are more added on: Schools of the Faith, Holy Hours, day-long conferences, four day conferences, helping at the apostolate. When she finally burns out or draws back, she is left behind by her friends in Regnum Christi who have no time for anything except building up the kingdom.
Spiritual Direction is Formation in Legionary Methodology
In the greater Catholic tradition of spiritual direction, two people try to find the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit in a director-directed relationship; there is no coercion in true spiritual direction. In other religious organizations, the sacrament of Confession is separate from spiritual direction; moreover, confession is never made to one’s superior. However, this is not so in the Legion, and most priests and seminarians who leave the Legion are mistrustful of authentic spiritual direction, as it has been misused in the Legion to manipulate their will. As with the Legion, the lives of the Regnum Christi members are guided by the spiritual guide (a lay person) or a spiritual director (Legionary) and their works for Christ are manipulated by apostolate directors â€” again usually the same Legionaries or Regnum Christi laity. They are told that they must follow the Regnum Christi methodology but are seldom, if ever, able to see and read the real Regnum Christi Handbook or Regnum Christi Statutes or a good translation of either. These works, like the secretive constitutions, may not even exist in official English translations. Their spiritual directors must transmit verbally the wisdom of the founder because only a provisional copy of portions of the handbook is available and these are a poor translation from the Spanish. Not surprisingly, these interpretations to change from year to year, or even from month-to-month.
Violation of Confessional
Perhaps the most serious violation is the violation of the seal of the confessional. Every Legionary seminarian and every Regnum Christi member has a file that is kept on what they have said and done. These files are kept at the Legionary offices in Rome. When a penitent makes confession to his/her Legionary priest, the priest will ask if this information can be brought up with a spiritual director. With or without the penitent’s consent, the information that was intended only for God’s ear becomes part of the record of that seminarian, priest, or Regnum Christi member. This is a useful tool for blackmail of an individual or of an individual’s family.
What it Means to the Family When a Child is Recruited
Recruits to Regnum Christi are bright, winsome, and good-looking. The recruits are instructed initially to return to their parishes and win over the pastor and those of the community so as to give legitimacy to Regnum Christi, and gain economic support for its apostolates. Further, they are encouraged to identify candidates for the Legion seminary and give these names to the Legionary priests, who will then go after these candidates. However, what is more insidious is promoting ConQuest boys clubs and retreats, Challenge girls clubs and retreats, and KidsNet or K4J activities for very young children and their mothers. It looks so good to faithful Catholic families, including home-schooling families looking for activities outside the home, that few questions are asked and only at the beginning. Sometimes the methods of recruiting are disguised in the invitation to come to a birthday party; the party becomes a session of older girls and boys pressuring the young guests to be cool and join this great club of Jesus and the Pope! Then one day Johnny or Suzie comes home from one of the retreats and announces that he or she has made a commitment to Jesus through this program and without first obtaining parental consent. It puts the parents into the very awkward position of having to extricate their child from the program, especially when they are bombarded with pressure from the other children and their parents, especially the Regnum Christi parents, to let the child stay in the program. For those boys and girls who do stay close to Regnum Christi, there will be an invitation to go with a group of others to visit the elite apostolic schools where the red carpet is laid out for them. They are treated as important and as grown up. Rules are ignored, as in a group of sixteen-year-old boys who were given beer at a recruiting event and then treated like men by the older boys, who drank beer with them. The younger boys will be so eager to go back to the apostolic school with their newly found elite friends that the parents have a greater difficulty refusing them. Parents who are looking for a way out of the hard work of raising a teenager, sometimes see the prospect of boarding school for their child as a help. Either way, once those young boys and girls are there, though, the process of de-personalizing them and turning them away from their parents and family begins. Their relationship with their natural family is undermined and in many cases destroyed, so that the Legion becomes their new family. Once within the Legion, the process of stripping these boys and young men of their ability to think for themselves begins and they become merely instruments of the Legion. This happens as well for girls and young ladies in the consecrated institutes.
My Name is Legion
If at any time it appears that they don?t fit the Legion mold, they can be told that they do not have a vocation and sent away. When they are ripped from this new family dependency, they no longer have an anchor in the world and so drift aimlessly. Why? It is because these young people have been exposed to the Legionary cult-like formation in the apostolic schools, seminaries or consecrated life only to be told later that they do not have a vocation. How sad it is to see the hundreds of those lost and confused young people who leave the Legion after years in their institutions. Such damage has been done to their relationship with their families that it takes a long time to recover, if they do at all.
Many a young man, who has felt God’s call to the priesthood long before being exposed to the Legion, has left the Legionary seminary convinced that God no longer wants him. After all, he has been told this by his Legionary spiritual director (who has become the voice of God for the seminarian), and it is impossible for him to conceive that this spiritual director could be wrong. The Legion has been claiming to have anywhere between 2000 and 3000 seminarians each year for the last ten years; they now claim to have 600 priests world-wide. How many thousands of priestly vocations have been destroyed beyond recall when a young man leaves after 5 or 10 or 20 years. Worse is the life of a woman, who has given her life to serve Christ and is later nudged out if not openly expelled after as many years (in Mexico, these former consagradas are called Legionary widows). Then, after nearly a score of years, her youthfulness and opportunity to have a fruitful family life is waning rapidly. How devastating that she (and her parents) were led to believe that this was the same as a religious institute with canonical approval from the Vatican. It is not. There is no canonical protection for consecrated women in Regnum Christi. Whereas she has been duped into believing that she is serving Christ and married to Him for life, she has made only private promises (not binding vows) to an institute (not Christ and the Church) that has made absolutely no commitment to taking care of her for life. Instead, she is looked upon as free labor (Be more generous, for the Kingdom!); she does not foresee when she is twenty that she will be dismissed when her usefulness is spent. In fact, men and women who leave (or are dismissed) from the Legion or Regnum Christi are smeared with the tar of traitor and never mentioned again within their former circle; photos of former Legionaries are excised from the ranks, leaving blank holes in the picture where the face of a traitor once smiled among the ranks of his brothers.
Very High Rate of Attrition
What about those men who have survived the cuts and been ordained? Over the past 12 years the Legion has reported that an average of 40 young men (excluding the 59 in November, 2004) have received Holy Orders each year; the overall total ordained would be about 540 priests. In 1991 the official count of the Legion was reported as 385 priests worldwide. That would give them a total of over 900 priests. But, they reported in their Legion-owned National Catholic Register and Zenit news service in December 2005 that they have over 600 priests now. Where are the rest? What has happened to the other 200 to 300 priests? Being a young order, very few have died. Instead, they have been leaving the Legion at an incredible rate: 40 are ordained and 20 leave. Yet some who leave manage to remain priests, quietly serving at a diocesan post, if an understanding bishop can be found who will take them. Because the Legion wants to hide this scandal of the high rate of exiting priests, the Legion makes it very difficult, and in most cases impossible, for a former Legionary to get into a diocese. The Legionary superiors exclude many of these exiting Legionaries from the greater Catholic priesthood because of calumny against them of a delicate nature–which can neither be proved nor disproved. It is, however, an often- repeated pattern in the Legion’s dealing with exiting priests and seminarians. Only a small number have continued in the priesthood in dioceses or other orders. Most have left the priesthood completely and some have even left the Catholic Church. These hundreds of men represent thousands of vocations that have been and are daily being ruined by the Legion. Bishops and diocesan seminary rectors should be aware that the Legion has even been so bold as to go into diocesan seminaries, persuade candidates that they should come to the better seminary where the real work of the Kingdom is being done and take them to the never-land of Legionary formation.
Offer Sacrifice on the Legion’s Altar
In his letters banning the Legion from the archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Archbishop Flynn spoke of his getting vague and ambiguous answers from the Legion. Legionary spokesmen do not give direct answers to questions about Legionary policy or organization. That is part of the methodology of the Legion to support its position. Its history is really quite vague as are its numbers. The Legion must deceive not only the hierarchy of the Church but the laity as well to maintain its position. Moreover, if a bishop, such as Archbishop Flynn, bans the Legion, he is subtly undermined and portrayed as an enemy of the true believers of the Catholic Church. Often, a silent whisper campaign attempts to link him to aspects of scandal. The Legion wants to form a ring around the Church through which the faithful must pass, much like the way that the Patriotic Church in China works. As mentioned above, the Legion wants this same ring around the Church to re-direct all money intended for the maintenance of the Church into the Legion funds, which are banked and recorded only in another country. Legionary books are never made public or revealed to Church authorities, as Archbishop Flynn pointed out.
Trashing the Church
One theme the Legion promotes is that the dioceses are all bankrupt, both materially and spiritually, and it falls upon the Legion and Regnum Christi to save the Church. Is that supporting the Church, or is it rather casting a shadow over the Church, so that the elite Legionaries can portray themselves in their propaganda as the saviors of the Church? The most unfortunate part of this deception is that it uses and destroys those faithful Catholic families, which have worked hard and sacrificed to raise families in a hostile culture just to offer up the lives of their sons and daughters along with their wealth on the altar of the Legion.
Setting up a Rival Church
When the Legion destroys vocations that could be filling many diocesan seminaries, monasteries and convents, removes good people from the service of their parishes and diverts funds away from the diocese, you can see what Archbishop Flynn meant when he referred to the parallel church and why he and others have told the Legion that they were no longer welcome in their diocese or archdiocese (see: Legion and RC Banned from Diocese of Columbus, OH). The Legion is not welcome in several other unpublished archdioceses and dioceses for these.and other irregularities.
Follow the Church or follow the Legion
The normal reaction of the Legion to an article such as this is to categorically deny it. However, the Legion is not able to present one consistent history. Several histories have been published over the years in Legionary publications — contradicting or covering the preceding history. These several versions can be found only by difficult research, not readily available to diocesan authorities or ordinary lay people. Nor can accurate facts and figures about the Legion be found in print. While all other orders make their constitutions public, the Legion does not. It prefers to deliberately obfuscate, as aspects of that constitution could alarm Church authorities if they were available to them. (an unofficial version of the Legionary constitution is available on the Regain website; the Legionary norms are currently being translated from Spanish into English and will appear in Spring, 2005) We would urge all those who have been associated with the Legion to attempt to educate themselves about this order and where it has co-opted the authentic promises of Catholic orthodoxy. There is the gift from Jesus Christ in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, faithful to the Pope and his bishops. There is the opportunity to find true guidance and authentic Faith, not an elitist sham. There is the opportunity to help in the true renewal of the Church — through, with, and in Jesus Christ, in the Unity of the Holy Spirit.
The Good Shepherd or False Prophets
Those connected with Regnum Christi and the Legionaries of Christ have a choice: either follow the Catholic Church through its hierarchy with the Vicar of Christ, Pope John Paul II, as its head, or follow the Legionaries. It is really quite simple and not a new concept. Many sects and other cult-like organizations have led the faithful astray in the past and are doing it today. The Legion is one of those organizations. That is the concept of parallel church.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us! Our Lady, Queen of Apostles, pray for us!