Error/Ambiguity re Papal Indulgence for Legionaries of Christ

INDULGENCE AND FORGIVENESS

by ReGAIN

October 31, 2015

ReGAIN is alarmed at the ignorance of Catholic Doctrine demonstrated by media outlets commenting on the ‘plenary indulgence’ granted by Pope Francis to the Legion of Christ as if it were some kind of forgiveness for all the order’s sins and crimes.

Such impulsive, knee-jerk reports cause confusion for the readers, spread ambivalence and false information, thus playing into the hands of the Legion of Christ. They create the impression that all is forgiven to the Legion of Christ by the pope. This is totally simplistic and incorrect.

An indulgence does not forgive or pardon sins, misdeeds or crimes. It is only the “remission of temporal punishment” -a price that must be paid to Divine Justice in the next life for the damage caused by our sins in this life; an indulgence means that reparation time in Purgatory after death will be shortened or totally wiped clean by complying with certain conditions (prayers, alms and good works) laid down by Church authorities. Remember that the excessive and indiscriminate granting of indulgences by the pope provoked in part the revolt of Martin Luther in the 15th century.

Pardon for sins is not given by indulgences. Pardon of sins committed is only given through a personal act of full contrition (in the internal forum –one’s spiritual intimacy) and or by the Sacrament of Penance, “confession” whereby a Catholic, who is truly sorry and repentant, confesses his sins to a priest or bishop.

To the best of our knowledge, indulgences are for individuals, not groups or organizations. What the pope has done is to grant members (individuals) of the Legion of Christ the opportunity to gain an indulgence, partial or total if they comply with certain conditions. I don’t see Pope Francis granting an indulgence to the ORDER of the Legion of Christ as such, as several reports would have us believe.

The Legion of Christ order and some of its leaders have been accused of individual and community sins. If the Legion wants to be forgiven for these it must use the means available to all Catholics as explained above. There is no carte blanche for sins, injustices, lies and deceit.

Pardon of sins is not given by indulgences. Pardon of sins committed is only given through a personal act of full contrition (in the internal forum –one’s personal relationship with God ) and/or by the Sacrament of Penance, “confession” whereby a Catholic, who is truly sorry and repentant, confesses his sins to a priest or bishop.

The Legion of Christ has been accused of individual and community sins. If the Legion wants to be forgiven for these it must use the means available to all Catholics as explained above. There is no carte blanche for sins, injustices, lies and deceit.

Let is be clear that the Legionaries have been very vague and lukewarm in seeking pardon and making amends.

They continue to fight tooth and nail in legal cases to avoid responsibility and monetary retribution. Their compensation of sexual abuse victims has been paltry. Only one of the original eight Maciel accusers has received compensation. They continue to drag their feet and butress themselves with powerful lawfirms to avoid payments to victims of other Legionary sex abusers.

Ambiguous and mistaken reporting colludes with the Legion leadership in deceiving the public, especially Catholics, into believing that all is well in Camelot.

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