Pasaje largo en castellano de la carte original de las víctimas más abajo.
Article below by ReGAIN staff:
Pope Francis, Cardinal Braz de Aviz,
Compel Legion of Christ leaders to
Have Mercy on Fr. Maciel’s Victims who continue to be
victimized by the institution’s Devious Methods!
ReGAIN has previously alluded to the ongoing saga of Pedophile Founder of the Legion of Christ’s “historical victims” who have never received proper compensation for their sexual, psychological and spiritual abuse.
The leadership of this Vatican approved religious congregation has demonstrated time and time again their lack of human and Christian response to the plight of the victims.
Remember that Pope Benedict XVI described the Founder, Fr, Maciel, as a man “lacking moral scruples.” I fear the present Legion leadership suffers from the same spiritual malaise. Fr. Maciel, the conman, was full of tricks. One of these was to predate his letters. For example, he would delay answering a letter or demand -filed, say, in September- and answer at his convenience – (when it might be too late!) in November-, but dating his response in October! Present Legion leadership is using the same trickery in responding to the victims’ demands. Normal people are easily duped by psychopaths!
Another Legion trick is to divide the victim group by reaching out in devious ways to individuals. The victims had formally demanded they be approached as a group. Instead of honestly and nobly to the victims’ legitimate demands, Legion leadership has used a series of subterfuges more befitting a MAFIA and cult-like organization than a bona fide Catholic Religious Congregation.
What kind of Christianity is this?
What kind of Vatican oversight is this?
What kind of a so-called religious order is this?
The time for excuses, platitudes and promises is long past.
Legion Leadership, stop acting like a Mafia and Intra-Eclesial Sect.
Compensate victims immediately or accept your sins of negligence before God and man..
In our previous article we have explained how the Legion of Christ leadership has continued to stone-wall and play games with the victims who have been requesting clear acknowledgement of abuses, restoration of their reputation and just compensation for damages.
Their heretofore fruitless efforts have been going on for over 20 years!
As the Legion hosts its latest Chapter General in Rome seeking their illusive charism and miracle renewal through restructuring and producing reams of obsessive-compulsive documents, victims have attempted once more to make the Legion respond. In their latest effort -and here one must commend them for their patience with the Legion and hope in Holy Mother Church! – they reformulate previous unanswered demands:
Summary by ReGAIN staff
That the Legion of Christ as an institution formally and unambiguously reinstate the good name of their Founder’s sexual abuse victims who were once branded “enemies of the Church and of the Legion.”
That the Legion as an institution extend such an apology to all the media that once were instrumental in the detraction and calumnies spread about the victims, other former Legionaries, family and friends. This apology should be communicated unequivocally to all Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi members.
There can be no real reconciliation with the “historical victims” until the Legion of Christ makes a just, appropriate and complete compensation to the victims.
In order to bring this about, a team of three Legion delegates with full authority should interface with a team of three delegates chosen by Fr. Maciel’s ‘historical victims’ to effect a true meeting and dialogue between the parties.
The victims group demands the right (because of advanced age) to transmit or transfer to others the benefits derived from the settlement.
The victims will not accept any “silencing” by Legion authorities as a condition for compensation. This has been a consistent part of the Legion’s de facto historical Modus Operandi with diverse victims and their families.
Some are still in the ranks. But many of those first brave spirits are scattered to the four winds -or continents. One as far as Australia, with a poet’s name. Another to Cuernavaca, Mexico. A third to Natal Province, Brazil. The greater the abuse, it seems, the farther the distance from the crime scene. Where does that leave me, living in La Antigua, Central America?
Me, of an older generation. Early enough to know the first Mexicans, Spaniards and Irish -some of whom were sexually abused. Too late to know the middle generations personally: The Garza-Sada, Monterrey, Mexico empire. But I observed from the outside the Legion’s golden days of power and glory, as the darling by popes and princes, wealthy vulnerable widows, millionaire entrepreneurs like Carlos Slim, politicos Fox and Sarkozy; when the founder-player moved Queen Sodano and Rooky Dziwisz across the Vatican chessboard.
My personal claim to glory: a thorn in the side of the untouchable order, daring to strip naked the wantonness of Maciel and his “Work of God.”. I had my 15 minutes of fame; six months, rather, as Legion well-greased lawyers raked another “disgruntled old man” over the coals in the City of Alexandria -not Egypt- for daring to uncover feet of clay. And for listening with an understanding heart to the buffeted survivors’ tales of woe.
But for some reason, Michael Francis is center stage in my mind-memory today. One of the very first Irish who felt the sting of Maciel’s venom in his own flesh. Who tried to confront him later from safer ground; but never got the chance. The viper always slipped away into the night to continue plundering other beds. Many are still ashamed to admit it. Michael dared to speak. He wrote to me. But the investigative reporter considered his angry writings too “off the wall” and I was left alone to rue that abuse. Until today.
He got away from the trauma, from the stifling Legion, and continued in the priesthood for several years; first in his dear County Sligo and then in Brazil where he worked with the poor -until losing faith in the Catholic Hierarchy. He fell in love with a warm woman who fell in love with a poor survivor she encountered on a lonely stretch of beach. Far from the maddening crowd of LC true believers in Dublin, Atlanta, Rome and Mexico City Michael found hope, life and love.
Facebook brings his children and his children’s children to me, filling me with a brother’s joy. They all look like him: the oval face, the shock of dark hair, the twinkle in the eye.
Oh, how the winds of misfortune have scattered us! But, oh, how we have survived! And how our Irish noblesse thrives!
There is another God, paradoxical and so different from the Legion of Christ’s, who looks after his “little ones.”
See Luke 4,18 related to Is 61,1:
“To preach the Gospel to the poor” (corresponding to the Hebrew, anawim, God’s little ones)
“Abodah Zarah 20b contains a discussion of R. Joshua ben Levi according to which “meekness (anwah) is the most important virtue, for it is written in Is 61,1: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He anointed me to announce to the poor (anawim) the good news”. It is not written ” to the pious”, but to the poor, which means that meekness is the most important virtue”. Meekness acquires a messianic and eschatological meaning.
Translation of an article by Pascal Hubert, La verité vous rendra libres, Golias, Magazine, #174, Mai-juin 2017, pp. 2-13 ; (a commentary on the book De l’emprise à la Liberté. Dérives sectraire au sein de l’Église. Témoignages et réflexions, Éditions Mois, 2017)
“The Truth will set you free”, according to Jesus’ famous words, in the Gospel of John. The problem arises from the fact that inside certain (Catholic) religious communities or movements, freedom is restricted and even perverted to the point where serious deep sect-like aberrations are present (as we will demonstrate in the following dossier). This fact is often hidden and minimized by the Church and its institutions. The victims’ word is seldom understood, often disparaged, which leads to increasing their pain. It was therefore important to confront this denial, to write a book like De l’emprise à la Liberté, which gives voice to those who have been victims of these sect-like aberrations. It is equally important that these testimonies be analyzed and interpreted by a diversity of experts: a theologian, a philosopher, a psychologist, a lawyer, new evangelization experts, and a canon lawyer. This way, the existence of these sect-like aberrations can be recognized, leading to a global and precise vision of this devious phenomenon. Among others, three Catholic movements are described in the book: Focolare, Opus Dei and Legionaries of Christ. At the heart of these movements, the most troubling point is that they spring from a dogmatic theology based on devotion to pain (Fr., ledolorisme) and blind obedience. Let us say it straight off: these are among the most conservative movements inside the Church; each one proudly proclaims it, unwilling to accept modern changes as something positive.
Thus, once we have applied the litmus test of freedom, it becomes perfectly normal to discover that certain ecclesial movements lack proper freedom. A costly freedom for former members who will often have to struggle for years to escape their mental bondage and recover freedom. The witnesses also wanted to describe this for us. Let us heed the words of Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor:
Man’s most pressing need is to find a being on high to whom he can delegate the gift of his freedom…Men rejoice being lead once again like a flock of sheep.
From Bondage to Freedom: A Textbook Case
Let us say it clearly: sect-like groups in the heart of the Church are a scandal. Remember that they portray themselves as prophetic and often rail against society’s morals.
It is necessary to point out how the Church, and certain movements inside it, find it hard to ever question themselves. They are used to observing the law of silence – to save their reputation- instead of protecting the victims from their devious maneuvers; a sad and painful reality, clearly proven by the world-wide pedophile scandal. Very often it is the victims themselves, with the help of the media and support associations, who have to denounce the crimes committed. And so, as recently as March, 2017, the Cash Investigation team and journalists attached to Mediapart, through their articles and the book, Église, la méchanique du silencehave decried the Church’s silence and accused 25 bishops -five of whom are still in office, the others have retired or are deceased- to have “covered- up” 32 “predators” who attacked 339 victims. These cases go back as far as the 1960s but half of the events “were proven after 2000”. When invited to react to this documentary, the episcopal conference declined, preferring to denounce in their communiqué the lack of journalistic ethics.
And even more astonishing than the above is this other reality, until now almost unknown to the public, of serious sect-like aberrations in the very heart of the Church.
The aim of De l’emprise a la Liberté. Dérives sectaires au sein de l’Église. Témoignagesetréflexions, is precisely to break this other taboo, using the testimonies of former members who have left three ecclesial movements: Focolare, Opus Dei and Legionaries of Christ.
As the opening flyleaf reveals: “motivated by spiritual thirst, by a desire for holiness and closeness to Christ, they have approached these movements full of trust; treated, however, with un-Gospel-like manipulation, they now feel deeply betrayed. The collection of their testimonies leaves no doubt this sentiment is justified.”
Such testimonies -in the form of answers to a questionnaire about their experiences inside these movements- have provided the raw material for a variety of experts to explain and clarify said movements. The experts are the following: Dominque Auzenet, priest, exorcist (France); Vitalina Floris, cloistered nun (Belgium); Vincent Hanssens, a psycho-sociologist, professor emeritus, Catholic University of Louvain; Jean-Marie Hennaux, S.J., professor at the Jesuit Faculty of Theology, Brussels; Pascal Hubert, practicing lawyer in the city of Brussels; Damiano Modena, former personal assistant to Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, (Italy); Renata Patti (Italy); Miguel Perlado, psychoanalyst (Spain) and Monique Tiberghien, psychotherapist (Belgium). Louis-Léon Christians, professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, wrote the preface.
Let us not deceive ourselves, these testimonies, no matter how eloquent, only point to a much wider and deeper reality, denounced for decades without major success.
Among many other books, one appeared already in 1996 which sounded the alarm:
Shipwrecked in the Spirit. Sects in the Catholic Church The authors explained how “everything happens inside these communities and inside the Church in such a way that there is a kind of taboo, a never-articulated but de facto control. Problems are systematically eluded or hidden, or simply become the subject of misinformation. In a certain way, the Church in its institutional places, just as in the charismatic institutions themselves, demonstrates an astonishing inability to face reality (…)”.
That same year former Focolare Gordon Urquhart’s The Pope’s Armada appeared. His well-documented study focuses on sect-like aberrations within three new movements: Focolare, Communion and Liberation and the Neo-Catechumenate.
A third, highly informative book, by Olivier Legendre appeared in 2010 which revealed a Cardinal’s daring statements: “There are four main movements that have been accused of sect-like aberrations: the Focolare, The Neo-Catechumenal Way, the Opus Dei and the Legion of Christ. It would be dangerous to cover over these accusations with a mantle of silence. It would be better to investigate and reach clear conclusions.”
The serious and wide-spread reality of sect-like aberrations was made known by the French press in 2013. Remember how the president of the French episcopal conference, Monsignor George Pontier, answered a group of some forty victims of sexual and spiritual abuse at the hands of fourteen communities, movements and religious communities: Béatitudes, Famille monastique de Bethléem, Legion of Christ, Regnum Christi, Fraternité Eucharistein, Emmanuel et Fraternité de Jesus, Soeurs mariales d’Israel et de St Jean, Ancien collaborateur du père Labaky, Memores Domini (Communion and Liberation), de Nazareth (Community of Nazareth, Opus Dei, Points-Coeur, Communautés Saint Jean (Communities of Saint John) and Fraternité diocésaine de Saint-Jean-de-Malte.
Only five of the fourteen above-mentioned communities were the subject of canonical process or public exposure: Béatitudes (suspension of their founder, Brother Ephraim in 2008), Legion of Christ (suspension of the founder, Fr. Maciel in 2006), Points-Coeur (canonical punishment of the founder, Fr. Thierry de Roucy in 2011), Communauté Saint-Jean (accusations officially acknowledged in May 2013 against the founder, Fr. Phillipe) and the Anciens Collaborateurs du père Labaky (forbidden to officiate in June 2013).
In his response letter, Monsignor Pontier stressed: “The Gospel of Christ that we are called to serve is a school of spiritual freedom and he who does not serve this freedom does not belong to the Gospel. Several times in the past we have alerted the faithful and families to the danger of certain groups which do not appear to us to promote a true Gospel behavior. We have called upon the leaders to answer our questions. Often, however, we have received from them only mistrust and silence. Let me tell you it is scarce comfort to know that our remarks were justified. Certain behaviors that you denounce are related to the penal code. Nobody is above the law. It is useful to remember. Victims who so wish, have the right to bring their complaints to civil court when the matter so warrants.”
Pope Francis himself has denounced the manipulation of consciences by “the spiritual engineer”. Addressing the World Congress of Church Movements and New Communities on November 22, 2014, he reminded those attending that “man today experiences serious identity problems and difficulties making his own choices. Hence, the tendency to let himself be conditioned, to delegate important decisions to others. We must resist the temptation to take the place of people’s freedom, to guide them without waiting for them to really mature.” He went on to warn: “spiritual or moral progress built on people’s immaturity is only apparent success, and headed for shipwreck.” “It is better to be less numerous and go ahead out of the limelight.” He invited the movements to an attitude of “communion” among themselves, instead of competitiveness marked by divisions, rivalries and comparisons.” In the same vein, it is useful to recall the pope’s discourse a month later, December 22, when offering his Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia at the Vatican. He enumerated fifteen “maladies” that could affect the Holy See’s collaborators: mental and spiritual “petrification”, excessive planning and bureaucracy, “spiritual Alzheimer’s”, rivalry and vanity, existential schizophrenia, putting bosses on pedestals, closed circles, worldly profit and exhibitionisms.
Afterwards, in practice, what really changed? Very little. The Church and the movements or communities inside her struggle with reforming themselves in depth. First the statutes must be reformed and the doctrine re-written, namely the founder’s. But it serves for nothing if the doctrine is changed but the spirit remains basically the same. So, in practice, the aberrations continue.
These movements and communities are the spearheads of a Church in decline.
As the Cardinal reveals to Olivier Legendre: “These movements have learned to make themselves useful to the Church or to certain Church leaders. They have conducted their public relations with one and the other, building solidarities and friendships… In a word, there is a network at the heart of the hierarchy which supports these movements for a variety of reasons.”
In answer to the question: “Why not eradicate the problem? What is at the bottom of all this? A form of denial? A culture of secrecy? A style of governing?” Yves Hamant lucidly responds: “Some of these communities are already relatively established, and they have a number of important members spread throughout the world. Some are clearly irreformable. Dissolve them? Then what to do with the members inside? I pray for them every day. Try to reform them despite it all? It would take considerable human resources. Instead cosmetic changes are made; all kinds of justifications are found; it is pointed out that the founder’s teachings were not totally heretical, etc. Besides, there are people inside the communities who have not been contaminated because they draw their interior resources from elsewhere. Summarizing, things carry on and the young are allowed to join. To fix this problem much courage is needed, together with effort, means and the cooperation of the whole episcopate. But even when it is the case of recent small communities, the bishops drag their feet… Another reason is the institution’s inability to communicate. When it detects a problem in a community, in the best of cases it mandates a canonical investigation, a kind of audit. There has to be a document ordering this? It is secret. The ensuing report? Naturally, secret. The processes ordered by ecclesiastical justice? Secret. The sentence? Secret. The concern of protecting the anonymity of those involved, laudable and legitimate, but could they at least publish the findings? This opacity favors all the rumors and deprives justice of one of its effects: heal and prevent.”
What is a cult-like aberration? (Fr., dérivesectaire)
According to France’s Interdepartmental Mission to oversee and combat sect-like aberrations (acronym Miviludes), it has to do with the “corruption of freedom of thought, opinion or religion” characterized by “the employment by an organized group or an individual (…) of pressures or techniques aimed at creating, maintaining or exploiting in a person a state of psychological or physical subservience, depriving them of part of their free will.”
The characteristics usually associated with a cult-like aberration are the following: adulation of founder or foundress, totalitarian authoritarianism, blind obedience to the superiors, depersonalization, loss of identity and autonomy, recruitment pressure, harassment, proselytism, members informing on each other, being kept busy to prevent critical thinking, unhealthy relationship to money, moral and sexual abuses, verbal and physical threats to members wanting to leave. Based on numerous testimonies, Sister Chantal-Marie Sorlin, circuit judge in Dijon and chief of the CEF sect-like aberrations bureau, has drawn up four major criteria:
Personality cult; the founder takes the place of Christ
Cut-off from the outside world: from family and from outside news.
Mental manipulation: fast recruitment, pressures, inducing guilt (“doubting is from the devil”), blurring the line between internal and external forums, forbidden to criticize the leaders in the name of holy obedience…
Practical incoherence (money, morals…)
One single criterion is not enough to define a group as cult-like aberration but when you have a handful of these signs you can start thinking of a pathological group.
Dominique Auzenet goes into more detail in the book, “the movements from the perspective of sect-like analyses criteria”.
Then what is this “charism” which causes so many aberrations?
We must begin by underlining how the three movements in question were founded before Vatican II and never assimilated one of its turning points, namely: openness to the modern world and to contemporary culture. They do not acknowledge the Church as “a people”.
In the Focolare movement the central idea is unity
In his contributing chapter, Jean-Marie Hennaux, professor of moral theology and Mariology, minutely studies the concept of unity to find out whether the Focolare idea is faithful to Jesus’ words in St. John’s Gospel:
It is necessary to state that, concretely, this ideal of unity means renouncing one’s freedom of thought and action. The “me” is despicable; only “us” is valued in this community. However, in practice, this “us” is in fact the personal thought of the foundress, Chiara Lubich, who identifies herself with Christ: “Every Focolare soul must be an expression of me and nothing else […]. Unity is therefore the Unity of one single soul: mine the soul of Jesus among you, which is me” (from a 1950 letter). This is not the unity of autonomous and free persons but rather a fusion, a confusion within the foundress’ “me” …
Such a concept of Unity can only create an idolatrous worship of the foundress and her writings.
In the Opus Dei ranks, the central idea is holiness in ordinary life
Here, too, the idea is quite seductive. But, in practice, the demand for holiness passes through blind obedience to the power of the clerics to reach this impossible goal.
A reading of TheWay, the founder’s central work, makes it clear: “Be strong. -Be virile. -Be a man. And then… be an angel” Members are also told to: “love, bless, sanctify and glorify suffering!”
Besides, the Opus is known for its elitism, and its juridical statute as the pope’s personal prelature. The dominican priest, Pierre Emonet, stresses: “As regards the married lay person, he better accept not being more than a second-class Christian. If leadership positions are closed to him it is because “marriage is for the flock and not for the commanding officers of Christ. -While eating is an individual need, procreation is only a demand of the species, which individuals can forego.” Thus, the Opus Dei organization is the result of a mutilated ecclesiology, which forgets that the Church is first and foremost a People where all members are equal.”
Finally, we want to make known that the Opus Dei in Belgium did react to the book by means of a public letter published on April 12, 2017. Not, as one might expect, to acknowledge some cult-like element in its womb, but solely with the intention of protecting its reputation and that of its members. While acknowledging “errors” and “blunders”, these “do not constitute aberrations”.
For the Legion of Christ, the central idea is the Evangelization of the World to hasten Christ’s return
In real life, this ideal turns into a frenzied proselytism, leaving little space for freedom of conscience and personal maturation.
Behind the idyllic tableau hides the reality of a perverse founder, Marcial Maciel, who for sixty years was the object of Vatican favors. As so often happens in the Church and the movements under study, the accusations of many victims are deemed calumnies to tarnish the reputation of God’s work.
On the occasion of Benedict XVI’s trip to Mexico in 2012, Maciel’s victims published a manifesto.
Their letter expressed legitimate disappointment at the Church’s deafening silence: “Just like our hopes for truth and justice in the Church, some of the old Legionaries of Christ who were the co-signers of the open letter addressed to you predecessor, John Paul II, have passed away. Since 1997, we had hoped, just like them, that instead of being ignored and reprimanded by church authorities, we would receive some response to that letter; and also, that the Church would respect the truth, charity and law owed to us due to the canonical complaint we had lodged in Rome on October 17th, 1998 with the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, presided over at that time by Your Holiness. […] But we were not listened to, or believed. For the longest time, we have been ignored for being just simple faithful. […] We never received the least response to our legitimate complaints, even when this goes against the rules of Canon Law established by the Church herself. And then, after being reprimanded on several occasions by church authorities for expressing our convictions through the media, it was only through these very media that we learned about the doubtful and confusing Vatican decisions regarding our complaint. And let us insist that this complaint was lodged on October 17th, 1998 at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under your direct responsibility as Prefect. […] Objective facts, followed closely and analyzed during stressful years, have proven that -more than obedience and respect for the rights of the human person- only public indignation and the weight of universal lay opinion have been able to change, albeit extremely slowly, the attitude of denial maintained for such a long time by the Church’s hierarchy. Like many of the faithful, we hoped for a little clarity and reasons to trust. But instead, we have observed an almost systematic ambiguity and, worse still, contradictions between orthodox doctrine and putting it into practice, which have troubled us deeply and caused painful spiritual malaise.”
Which means to say that the light regarding sect-like aberrations takes a long time to reach the top of the Vatican hierarchy. In other words, here as elsewhere, one cannot count on a sect-like movement to question itself.
The law of silence was able, one more time, to protect a reputation, to the detriment of the victims’ healthy truth…
Some similarities between Focolare, Opus Dei and Legion of Christ
Even though each founder has received a “divine inspiration” and each movement possesses its own peculiar “charism”, (unity for the Focolare, holiness in the ordinary for the Opus, evangelization of the world for the Legion of Christ), it is evidently clear that they all possess the same sectarian aberrations which play out in similar characteristics:
Theological and moral conservatism,
Aspiring to ecclesiastical and temporal power, based on their financial strength,
Tendency to function as a “Church within the Church”,
Strongly hierarchical structure,
Strict control of the members and the organization.
Rights of members of sect-like aberrations?
Victims of sect-like aberrations may in some cases have recourse to civil and penal justice.
Thus, French legislature (About Picard law, June 12, 2001, Penal Code article 223-15), followed by the Belgian (law of November 26, 2011, Penal Code article 442) have deemed it right to insert a specific crime, the abuse of vulnerability.
Penal action can be taken against a person who, aware of the vulnerable (physical or mental) condition of the victim has fraudulently abused him to lead him to an action or to abstain from an action gravely endangering his physical, mental integrity or inheritance.
These actions or abstentions may concern the victims’ inheritance, their health, their professional activity, and even their family and affective lives.
It is worth noting that this not only criminally penalizes acts of mental destabilization as in the case of certain sects. It applies to the abuse of vulnerability in general, particularly regarding the elderly, the sick and the handicapped.
Besides the abuse of vulnerability there exist evidently other infractions, especially: swindling, breach of trust, and extortion. Among personal attacks:
Homicide or involuntary injuries, not assisting a person in danger, deprivation of care;
Sexual attacks and corruption of minors;
Violence and threats.
Finally, in the absence of a proven penal infraction, it is still possible to sue in civil court for reparation of moral and or material damages committed by the ecclesiastical institution or one of its members (article 1382, French and Belgian code of civil law).
By way of conclusion
Pedophilia in the Church, as well as sect-like aberrations she harbors, have shown the needs for “look-outs”, because victims are rarely understood by the Church, the movements and the communities.
As Maud Amandier and Alice Chablis have written in Ledéni: “The institutional Church has built a façade – rites, liturgical vestments, dramatizations, mass religious celebrations – against the background of the Vatican square. Although the façade is still beautiful, it is beginning to crack, and saving the appearances becomes a priority”.
It is a crushing fact that the Church, structurally saturated with the culture of secrecy, has not taken, or has chosen not to take, the measure of sect-like aberrations in it womb.
On the contrary, it supported Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ, before sanctioning him. And despite its colorful past, Pope Francis granted his order a “plenary indulgence” (pardon of their sins) as it began its process of purification and renewal.
John Paul II canonized Jose Maria Escrivá de Balaguer, founder of the Opus Dei, despite him being a promotor of supreme clericalism. If the simple lay person doubts this, The Way, the founder’s favorite work, and the continuous source of TheWork’s inspiration, will disavow him: “when a lay person puts himself forward as a master of morals, he frequently deceives himself: lay people can only be disciples.” The lay person is nothing more, in fact, than a second-class Christian.
Let us hope that the Church will see clearer in the case of Focolare founder Chiara Lubich’s cause for beatification, opened on January 15th, 2015 (we know that the Church’s official recognition is a sign of orthodoxy and cultishness…).
Bondage advances in disguise, the opposite to freedom… and it is right and just that the “Christian at the base” is aware of what is going on too often behind his back, at the highest levels of the Catholic hierarchy. After all, isn’t he not “King, Priest and Prophet”? He has, therefore, every baptized person’s right to know…
Certainly, the truth that makes us free is not necessarily the one we believed in. But this is the price of freedom. It is always an interior path which one discovers little by little… never a distinct thought or a definitive answer. “Freedom is a country without a road”, said Krishnamurti, a poet of the true path.
So, as we began our presentation with the words of Jesus (“Thetruthwillset you free”), it might be good to remind the movements and communities of these words of Pope Francis: God’s truth: “is inexhaustible, it is an ocean whose bank we barely perceive. It is something we are just starting to discover right now: let us not become slaves of some kind of paranoid defense of our own truth (if he has it; I can’t have it). Freedom is a gift that is too big for us; and precisely because of this it makes us bigger, it widens us, it raises us up. And it places us at the service of thisgift.”27
Pape François, le texte intégral du « discours des 15 maladies, La Croix, 24/12/2014, http://www.la-croix.com/Religion/; Actualite/Pape-Francois-le-texte-integral-du-discours-des-15-maladies-2014-12-24-1258379
Olivier Legendre, Confessions d’un Cardinal, J.-C. Lattès, 2010, p. 267.
« Le silence comme protection contre la perversion : le cas Maciel », in Maud Amandier et Alice Chablis, Le déni. Enquête sur l’Église et l’égalité des sexes, Bayard, 2014, p. 275 ff.
See La contribution de Pascal Hubert, « Les mouvements au regard du Droit. Les dérives sectaires au sein de l’Église et la Loi », in De l’emprise à la liberté. […], pp. 183 à 212.
Maud Amandier et Alice Chablis, Le déni. Enquête sur l’Église et l’égalité des sexes, Bayard, 2014, p. 253.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Scegliere la vita. Proposte per tempi difficili, Milan, Bompiani, 2013, p. 78 (propos repris en français dans le livre L’Église que j’espère. Entretien avec le père Spadaro, s.j., Champs essais, 2014, p.90).
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Scegliere la vita. Proposte per tempi difficili, Milan, Bompiani, 2013, p. 78 (propos repris en français dans le livre L’Église que j’espère. Entretien avec le père Spadaro, s.j., Champs essais, 2014, p.90).