Fr. Maciel, Legion of Christ Founder, Instrument of God or Satan?


Francis with Legionaries

Pope Francis with a group of Legionaries

August 3, 2015

I have just attended the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests annual conference in Alexandria, VA and have been discussing Maciel, the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi with a good and knowledgeable friend. This brought to the surface the following convictions:



  • After thirty years ministering to Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi survivors, I clearly see once again the path of destruction left by Marcial Maciel/Legion/Regnum in the lives they have sailed through. Because it is not just sexual abuse; it is abuse of all kinds: physical neglect, psychological illnesses, confused consciences, depression and suicide, loss of faith in the Church, Christ and God, financial abuse of members, families and vulnerable adults; as well as exile, calumny, ostracism, lawsuits and threats for those who will not submit.
  • The Popes and the Vatican, after their investigation of Maciel and the Legion, chose to save the Legion of Christ religious order. Pope Francis rubber-stamped his predecessors’ conclusions.
  • Telling us: Maciel bad; Legion good, and asking us to believe that God used the flawed Maciel to create His Work, the Legion of Christ Catholic Religious Order and the Regnum Christi lay movement.
  • The Vatican did this by ignoring and/or twisting centuries of Christian Faith and Tradition which link a religious order’s validity and authenticity to the charism, holiness and inspiration of the founder.
  • We are asked to believe that God performed a new miracle, that the rotten tree has produced healthy fruit.
  • Or is it just that the business created by entrepreneur Maciel, the Legion of Christ Inc., continues to mass-produce priests, astutely recruit well-meaning Catholics, and bring in millions of dollars into the Church, an institution reeling from accusations of corruption and abuse which is losing the allegiance of thinking and discriminating members?
  • What if Marcial Maciel, the verbally, emotionally, physically and sexually abused little Mexican boy, who never sought or received help for his own damaged and warped psyche, became a sexual predator and manipulative exploiter with airs of grandeur, creating the myth that he was chosen by God to save the Catholic Church, Christianity and the world by founding a new and better religious order?
  • Maciel totally lacked self-awareness and restraint, simply acting out his sexual, controlling and ambitious appetite:. Maciel, the psychopath, the Traumatizing Narcissist, who deluded himself into thinking he was creating a religious order and not a sect to satisfy his own desires, using and abusing others in the process?
  • What if the Father of Deceit, and not the Holy Spirit, took possession of that damaged psyche, to create a cleverly crafted diabolical sect within the Catholic Church, endowed with the same spirit that possessed Maciel: lies, deceit, smoke-screens, spiritual pyrotechnics, control, and self-aggrandizement that would continue to wound, damage and deceive generous, idealistic and naïve people in their sexuality, self-respect, maturity, discernment, human dignity, and in their very souls?
  • What if Maciel was able to fool Church authorities and con them into approving his fraudulent order?
  • What if Church authorities have never wanted to acknowledge they were conned by Maciel and refuse to correct their mistake?
  • I throw down the gauntlet and challenge blind Catholic Church leaders, dazzled by glittering images, to see the deceptive “cult in their midst”!

J. Paul Lennon, LC 1961-84, Licensed Professional Counselor.

5 thoughts on “Fr. Maciel, Legion of Christ Founder, Instrument of God or Satan?”

  1. I am a Catholic lay woman and a physician. I am sorry that the order created by Maciel has not been closed and disbanded by the pope. From my perspective, everyone has a vocation in life whether married or single. Former Legionaires can be considered by other orders, if they still wish to live that kind of consecrated life. It does not speak well for credibility for the Church to continue the Legionaires, in my view.


  2. It’s amazing how well he conned everyone with his “holy” facade. How many joined the Legion based heavily on that lie and have to re-learn how to be actually normal? Sad.


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