Skip to content

Posts by maritalp

Family Before Apostolate… Activism Begins at Home

Along with Jacqueline, her husband, Keith, and Fr. Phil, a priest who happened to be one of our mutual friends from canon law school, I found myself savouring the country buffet. Months had passed since the four of us had last gathered for some fun and fellowship. The conversation was not as heavy as what some might expect from three canonists and a catechist. From The Lumberjack Games and smoked barbeque to Belgian Trappist ale and the subtlety with which The Wiggles promotes a Catholic worldview, we all bantered back and forth, laughing and arguing between mouthfuls of country fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and boiled turnip greens.

Read more

Andrew H. Boyd

My stint with the Legion of Christ ‘discerning my vocation’
By Andrew H. Boyd

 This is the account of Andrew H. Boyd’s experience in the Legion of Christ’s Immaculate Conception Precandidacy: entering on July 27, 2000, at sixteen years old, to July 5, 2001.

Andrew is currently an Officer in the Army, and has served his country in Iraq.

I suppose I was always attracted to their orthodoxy and their unity. When I saw so many Legionaries at the Youth and Family Encounter in October 1999, it was like seeing a parade of victorious soldiers, and I wanted to be a part of this glory that they boasted of.

After that experience with the Legionaries, they caught on that I was a suitable and open candidate. They continued to invite me on retreats, and always told me how I should be generous to God and join the Legion of Christ. I received letter after letter, trying to convince me to go to this Immaculate Conception Apostolic School in New Hampshire.

After one retreat, during spiritual direction, the Brother gave me another strong proposal to go to the Apostolic School. I felt a little sorry for this guy, since he had been trying so hard to get me to go, I figured I would go to make his job easier. I knew he was being expected by his superiors to recruit people, and I did pity the guy.

The Legionary priest that came around in my area was at our house one time when I came home from school. He tried also to convince me to go to the school. He described the school a bit, telling me about the sports, the food, the hikes in the mountains, and all the fun stuff. I was thrilled to hear all this cool stuff, because it sounded like a life of fun. I told him I would go, and I quickly began to consider going and staying, and living the rest of my life as a legionary, a soldier for Christ. I was sixteen at the time, and really wanted to be on my own as an independent man. Also, I was sick of the immorality of my classmates at the public school I attended. I wanted to go on an adventure, leave the sinfulness of the world, and the Legion was my way out.

My pastor and my youth director had warned me about the Legion. They cautioned that the Legion is very closed minded, and that they are very cult-like. However, I ignored this advice, since the Legion was so faithful to the Church. Despite that fact that my pastor t like the Legion, he supported my interest in a vocation to the priesthood, and he kindly paid my tuition for the year. After I left the Legion, he told me that he knew I would see right through them, and that I would return. I myself had strange feelings about them, they always seemed so secretive and very set in their different ways. However, I wanted to be one of them so much, so I just ignored these feelings.

I remember my first few days in the Legion during the summer program. I was very shocked at how demanding the life was, and I really wanted to get out. I had no privacy, sleeping in an open dorm with one hundred and twenty beds and having only a locker for your few possessions. Everyone dressed the same, combed their hair the same, and even thought the same way. I felt like I was among a bunch of clones.

I told my spiritual director that I really felt I couldn?t live the life. I said it was too hard. He told me that I needed to be more generous with God, and concentrate on the reward in eternity, and not on these temporary feelings I had. I was very convinced, and was pretty sure that I wanted to stay. He also assured me that the Pope approves everything the Legion does, down to the timing of the schedule. During this four week discernment process, they didn?t read my mail, there wasn?t nearly as much silence, and many rules for us visitors were not enforced to the same degree.

My brother at age twelve entered with me into the Legion. He really didn?t want to stay, but I talked him into it. I must apologize to him for being a factor that took away a year of his childhood. Thankfully, he left at the end of the year, as I did. He too, realizes the problems in the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi.

After the Summer Program, my brother and I went home for a weekend visit before the school year started. My mom and dad cried, but I just wanted to get back to what the Legionaries had assured me was my vocation. When I arrived back in New Hampshire, I remember during breakfast, we were not allowed to speak for the first time during a meal. Instead, another Precandidate was reading a letter of Fr. Maciel to the community through a microphone. Sometimes the rector would allow the community to speak, but it was usually silent. I also began to receive my letters opened, and I was ordered to leave my outgoing mail unsealed. Occasionally, I was told to rewrite letters, for many stupid reasons. Other times, my friends would later testify, they never received letters that I remember sending to them. I wasn?t allowed to call anyone, only receive one phone call a week from my parents. Also, since my younger brother was an Apostolic, and I was a Precandidate, we were not allowed to speak to each other. We were in two different communities, and in the Legion, talk among the communities is forbidden, probably to avoid mutiny among the ranks. However, my brother and I were allowed ten minutes to talk every two weeks. These are just some of the rules the Legion uses to control people?s thoughts, to keep them from questioning, to strike fear into them, and to keep anyone outside informing them of the problems with the Legion.

I struggled with the life over the months. I expressed many doubts to the rector and vice-rector, who were both my spiritual directors and confessors, even though forbidden by Canon Law (can. 630 # 4,5). I would always question the Legion?s methods; that was what Spiritual Direction was for me most of my time there. I asked why the Legion does things this way, why the Legion reads the mail, and all those other cult-like characteristics.

Despite the small problems I had, I really tried to love the life, and my first few months there, I did. I really wanted to be a Legionary. I wanted to serve Christ, and make the world a better place. However, I could not ignore the truth, and the way that I really felt.

My view of the Legion first turned around when I was in Rome, January 2001, for the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Legion. It was a bit of a stressful trip for me, very hectic, and I was quite miserable. But the second I realized that the Legion wasn?t right, was when a group of us was walking the streets of Rome. Sitting next to a wall, on the sidewalk, was an old, homeless Italian woman, holding a sign, screaming and crying to us walking by. I waited to see what my superiors in front of the group would do. They were having a conversation, and continued to talk to each other, pretending that this woman wasn?t there. I was shocked, were we Christians or what? In order to avoid being a bad example of the Catholic Church to the surrounding Romans, I gave the woman a ten-dollar bill that I had, receiving a gratie from the woman. Then my superiors ordered me to keep on walking. I understand that she could have been a fake, however, we could have at least stopped and offered her some prayers. It was identical to the Pharisees mentioned in The Good Samaritan.

That day, I told the vice-rector about the incident. He shrugged it off and said, Don?t worry about the poor, they are taken care of. I asked if I could take a few of these old lunches that were going to be thrown away, so that I could give them to any poor people we saw. He said, Andrew, don?t worry about it, they are taken care of. I knew then that I couldn?t be a part of this order.

When we got back from our trip, I began to doubt even more what I thought was my vocation. Later on, sometime in February, I wrote the rector a note, and I told him I really didn?t like the way the school was run. I said that so many things in the Legion were stupid. He wrote back a nasty note, telling me that I shouldn?t doubt, and that my vocation is not a shopping mall where I can pick and choose. But then, who said it was my vocation? That is what I am trying to find out, right? Later on, I would find that my premise was false.

Later on that day, while I was with the community at dinner, he came in the door, pointed to me, and motioned for me to come outside; oh, yeah, I was afraid of what was coming.So, Andrew, did you get my note? he asked, with snowflakes falling in front of his face.
Yes, Father, I did, I timidly replied.

Listen, Andrew, I am tired of putting up with your attitude. So you need to stop questioning and doubting me, or go home as soon as possible!

I was speechless. I had honestly expressed myself to him, and now I was about to be kicked out of the school. My pastor had paid off the year?s tuition, and if I had left, my grades would be a mess. However, I felt a great sense of guilt, and that I needed to stay. I had been told I would go to hell if I did not remain faithful to what they said was God?s will. Well, I don?t know, Father, what do you think?

Well, Andrew, I can?t deal with you anymore, I am tired of explaining everything to you! I am not going to waste my time or Fr. X?s time with you. You need to learn to simply obey. Do you question everything your father tells you?

Okay, I guess; whenever I would ask ?why?,? he would say ?because I said so.?

Exactly, because he said so! he exclaimed.

But Father, I never really listened to that. He then grew very angry.
Shut up, alright! You did do some things without questioning, without a reason. Andrew, I don?t understand half the things I do. I at first thought you were generous, but now I am questioning that generosity. It went on for a few more minutes, and I, being rather tall, would have to bend down whenever he made his attempts to hit me on the head with his cell phone.

Okay, Father, I will stop questioning, I said with my head down.

So, I decided to stay, but to keep quiet about hating the place. I remember looking at the calendar, and seeing all of the months from February to July, when I would return home. It would be a long wait. Not speaking to anyone about my problems drove me crazy. However, I would occasionally receive some spiritual direction from the guys who did the laundry, even though I was not supposed to talk with anyone outside of my community. A word of thanks to them.

A few weeks later, the rector was giving a conference to all sixty plus Precandidates. I was scared to death when I began to realize where he was going with this talk. If any of you here, are still doubting, get out now! I don?t want you here. You?ve had plenty of time for discernment. The discernment process is over! You all only want to discern, and never commit. Well, it is time to commit. Get out now!
Funny, I thought the purpose of a seminary was to discern. Meanwhile, I was keeping my head down very low, because of the recent talk he and I had. He had used me as an example in front of the community before, and I didn?t want it to happen again. Despite my caution, I made eye contact with him for on split second, before darting my eyes back to the ground. Then, he let me have it.
And how are you doing over there, Andrew?

Fine, Father.

Are you going to abandon us?

No, I replied firmly.

I don?t know if I would want you with me on the front line, can I trust you?

Yes, you can.

Are you going to the Novitiate?!? he screamed even louder.

Yes, I responded with frustration. I was still open at the time, but I knew if I didn?t say ?yes,? then I would be kicked out.

Good, he said.

You can clearly see what he was trying to do. He was trying to make me commit in front of the group, and make me feel as though I had to go on. Not to mention trying to keep others from questioning his authority. But it didn?t work on me, even after future attempts.
Another time, we were watching the movie Men of Honor, a movie about deep sea diving in the Navy. I don?t know if I should let you guys watch this, because some of you might want to go join the Navy. Everyone smiled and looked at me, since I had spoken of my time in Naval JROTC. What, you want to join the Navy?

Well, Father, I did want to go in the Navy.

Yes, but, you have already committed to the Novitiate, so we know you won?t be joining the Navy.

After the movie, he asked, So, Andrew, do you still want to join the Navy?

Well, Father, I could be a chaplain, I said, trying to lighten up the situation.

Yeah, we could send you to celebrate Mass at the bottom of the ocean, where you could breath up all your hot air!

I was really pissed off. I am a big guy, and it was hard to keep myself from throwing my chair at this priest and decking him. Where was the charity? Alter Christus? Huh? But I now realize that he was using the cult methods of breaking someone down, by making someone feel bad and worthless. Although I did well with school, he would tell me how I wasn?t the brightest of people. Every chance he had to put me down, he took it with pleasure.

It was absolute hell for me. I would stay awake at night, not sleeping at all, wishing I were not there. I was troubled the whole time, because I almost thought God was on their side. What really drove me crazy was that I could tell no one how I felt. I couldn?t tell my family, since all communication with them was monitored, and I hadn?t visited home during that time. I lived like that from March until July, the whole time pretending to love the life, and making up stuff to talk about in Spiritual Direction.

If I said I felt called to married life, I was asked why I would want to marry a 250lbs woman. We were told one time during meditation to take a look at a woman after eighty years of life, and to take the idea as a confirmation of our vocation. I was told that in the world it is all work, school, and driving an ?85 Toyota. As far as some of them were concerned, the Legion was the only option.

In early May 2001, Fr. Maciel showed up. Everyone was hurrying around to make the place look immaculate, like he was some sort of god. I was a little concerned about him coming, since I had heard false stories about how he can read someone?s soul, if they have doubts or anything of that sort.

He gave a few conferences to all one hundred and twenty Apostolics and Precandidates at the school. One talk that I remember very clearly, was how we shouldn?t have doubts about our vocation. He said that the Legion is God?s will for us, and since Christ needs us, it is very bad to doubt God?s will.

The next day, on a hike, one of my classmates was casually speaking to Fr. Maciel. Then, the rector came between the two, and said in Spanish, Nuestro Padre, this Precandidate has doubts about his vocation. He then told my classmate what he had just said. You could imagine the embarrassment for this guy, right after a conference about how doubting is bad.

You don?t have doubts about your vocation, do you? Fr. Maciel said in Spanish, translated by the rector. Don?t you know that Christ needs you?

Imagine if I told the doctor I was sick, and he said, Oh, no, Andrew, you are not sick, you are perfectly fine. Absolutely insane.
I was standing right by them during this conversation, and I was getting a little scared that the rector would do the same to me. However, I did a good job pretending to love the life, and the rector couldn?t read my soul as he claimed. I even looked Maciel straight in the eye, and thanked him for coming, and he couldn?t read my soul.

There is a big problem with what Fr. Maciel said to this guy, to all the others, and to me. I was clearly not called there, neither was my classmate, who left, nor my younger brother. However, the whole time each of us was there, they told us it was, and that we shouldn?t doubt. They were leading us astray from what God truly wanted.

About a week after Fr. Maciel showed up that May, my parents visited for Mother?s Day, as did most other parents with kids at the school. I took my mom, dad, brother Tristan, and two little sisters on a hike up a mountain. On our way down, I told my mom how I felt, I hate it here mom, it really sucks. She was surprised, and happy to hear as I could tell, for she had heard some bad things about the Legion while we were there, and didn?t like a lot of the rules. She also was never told that we would only have thirteen days summer vacation. I told her to keep it secret.

The next phone call I received from her, she asked, So, Andrew do you really think Tristan should be there at the school?

Well, yeah! So how is the weather in Florida? I replied, trying to change the subject, since they are able to sometimes listen to the conversations.

But, didn’t you tell me when I was up there, that you didn’t think he should be there? she asked.

Well, I don’t know, mom, how is everything else at home? I said impatiently.

Oh, do they tap the phones there?

Yeah, mom, I think so, and maybe you shouldn’t say anything about that.

On June 1, 2001, I received my candidate uniform, and became Br. Andrew Boyd, cLC. I had honestly seriously considered continuing and going to the Novitiate. However, I already knew I couldn?t deal with so many things in the Legion. Praise God I didn?t go on.
It was about two weeks before the end of the year, late June. I had my biweekly, ten-minute talk outside with my younger brother. I told him that I wasn?t going on to the Novitiate. He was very disturbed, and urged me to speak with my Spiritual Director about it. I told him I would wait until after exams, since I didn?t want to get kicked out early. But he told me not to put it off. I told him it was too risky, and then told him that this had to be between him and myself. While I said that, I remember seeing the rector and vice-rector talking and watching us. It was a bad sign right there for me.

My brother was no longer of my family, at that time, and he told the rector that day. I remember it so well, while I was at dinner, the rector came through the door, and pointed at me, motioning for me to come outside.

So, Andrew, how are you doing? he said in his high, at first soft voice.
Fine, Father. Why do you ask?

Well, it’s just that your brother was a little concerned for you because you might not go on with your vocation. Is that true?

Yes, Father, I have been thinking, that I really don?t feel at peace here, and don?t think I was cut off.

Then go home then!!! he shouted, throwing a football at the ground. Go on vacation, and don?t come back! You keep doubting, so you could never be a Legionary! Now pick that up! pointing to the football he had just thrown down. Fr. X told me not to let you in. He said, ? No, Father, don?t let him in, he is too proud.? But I believed in you Andrew, I wanted to give you a chance.

How could you disrespect me, and lie to me so much. Has anybody else in your life, besides your family, tried to help you as much as we have? I feel so hurt that you have been lying to me this whole time.
The argument went on for hours, with us screaming at each other, being heard by the community, which was outside doing Stations of the Cross. One minute he would tell me that I was a ?lost cause,? and the next minute he would say that there was still hope. I tried to give him reasons why it wasn?t for me, but he wouldn?t accept anything.

He eventually gave up, and I felt a little sorry for him, I could tell he was very upset. I know he wanted me to stay, especially since he had me commit to the community to going on to the Novitiate. I don?t think he will make that mistake again.

I went home July 5, 2001. I was honestly very happy when I left, but quite sad at the same time, since I was leaving all of my brothers whom I had lived with for a year, and they allow no goodbyes in the Legion, out of fear that others will be influenced to leave. My brother decided not to go on, two days before his flight was to go back. However, at thirteen, he had to go through a four-hour phone call with the rector, trying to convince him to come back. I praise God that he is not there.

I consider myself fortunate, to not be in a worse state like others that were in the Legion, who left and went crazy, or who completely lost their faith. The Legion does do some good, but the price at which it comes is unacceptable. As long as they use these methods, I must always tell the truth about them.

Andrew H. Boyd


The Lying Legionary

By Glenn Favreau

For Christians, no treatise is necessary to show that lying is sinful. The notion is engrained in us, as a type of expression of the natural law. It is sinful to lie, but it is also inhuman, in other words, to lie makes a person less of a human being.

Lying by Example
The Legionary of Christ is trained to lie from the very onset of his vocation. There are no classes in lying taught immediately after Gregorian Chant class on Friday nights, because the approach is more “subtle” given by example as well as by command. Within the Legion, a variety of subterfuges justify the lying, and amazingly, even many of those who have left the Legion years ago still engage in the practice. Along with the lies, many former members wish to advance the “Kingdom” by sending ReGAIN letters in support of the Legion, which are laced with profanity and obscenities. The ability to distinguish between what is appropriate and objective sin is obviously lost, as such letters usually end with a curiously contradictory “In Christ” or “I will pray for you.”

Self Importance and the Rule of Discretion
Legionaries often keep secrets, under the guise of what they call “discretion,” with the excuse of protecting the Legion from the scheming of its “enemies.” We were told countless times that if a certain fact got out, the enemies of the Legion (Jesuits, Masons, Communists, and Zionists) would sabotage the work of God for the Kingdom. What sort of organization, admittedly small and of limited influence, would be so willing to do so much in the name of a false sense of self-importance? Do these groups really even know who the Legionaries of Christ are, let alone even care if they take over yet another struggling Catholic School?

It’s the Mexican Way!?
Another flimsy excuse for abusing the truth is the dubious statement, “The Legion is Mexican in origin, and it is the Mexican way.” I know many Mexicans who would take issue with such a bigoted statement. And, even if the argument were to be entertained as true, then evangelizing such a society about integrity and the importance of telling the truth would be an obvious mandate of the Church. Using this purported defect to advance the project of evangelization should be unconscionable and indefensible. Good things are never to be pursued by bad means.
The Legionary is trained in a variety of instances to lie. The examples below, together with corresponding excuses are compiled and attested to by various ex-members. These instances are not isolated. They are the norm and they are habitual.

On Leaving the Legion
Superiors often lie to their subjects regarding those brothers and priests who leave the Legion. “He was mentally ill” or “He was sent on a special secret mission for the pope by Nuestro Padre” are just a couple of the ridiculous examples we witnessed, used by worried superiors wanting to keep hold of the men under their watch. There must be a better way to protect the remaining vocations than to lie about the discernment process of exiting members.
Parents are routinely lied to about the spiritual well-being of their sons, and by their own sons themselves. Legion rules dictate this. The religious may never reveal the true nature of his spiritual life to his parents. Parents are not only left out of vocational discernment, but are deceived as to its progress. A parent is often the last person to know when his or her son leaves the Legion, and that phone call is often to ask for money for the plane ticket home.

Render onto Caesar!
To avoid undesirable consequences for the Legion and to advance the Kingdom of Christ, Legionaries often lie to legitimate legal authorities. The Legionary seems to think that he will be held to a different standard than any other person because of his “divine mission.”
With the excuse that “everyone does it” (usually in Italy and Mexico), Legionaries constantly lie to civil authorities. This is done in matters of construction permits, vehicle registration, tax exemptions, fiscal reporting, and so on. Once again, the Kingdom is more important than the truth, the end more compelling than the illicit means to achieve it.
Legionaries even lie to immigration officials as if the Legion were more important then this vital regulation of public welfare. Young Latin Americans are brought to different countries, including the United States, and are granted student visas when in fact these young people are being used as cheap labor in Legion houses. Without any educational process in place, not even a local language class, the Legion attests under oath that they are students.
Young workers from other countries are often lied to when they are told how much they will make, and assured that the Legion will provide for their high school education. That is simply a fallacy. Future “apostles” -even entire families – who actually move from one country to another to be missionaries, are told of the wonderful work they will do for the Kingdom. At times, they are suddenly told that their participation is not needed and they have to return to their home at their own expense.

Un-Intellectual Misinformation
The Legion is expert in falsifying educational records. Seminarians who fall behind or fail in their studies have their grades adjusted by their superiors so that they can graduate or get degrees. The Legion has no qualms about lying to the state with regard to educational requisites for high school degrees. (Certain high-ranking superiors in the United States have benefited from this. The existence of high-ranking superiors without the ability to pass high school subjects speaks volumes of the intellectual formation in the Legion of Christ). Seminarians who have not yet finished their required studies will have falsified educational records sent to the Vicariate of Rome for ordination. (Certainly, in the secular world, even so-called “best selling authors” would find their resumes in question if the truth was told about their real qualifications. But if the excuse that everyone pads resumes is valid, then the Legionary priest is not setting a very high example.)

The Almighty (Buck)
The Legion of Christ is notorious for not paying its creditors on time and for often defaulting on bill payment. The Legionary brother who fields creditor calls is an expert in lying to people who are legitimately owed money that the Legion has used in the form of goods and services.
Anyone asking for money from the Legion of Christ for any purpose has heard the same lie for decades now: “Given the economic crisis that the Legion is passing through due to the devaluation of the Mexican peso!.” Many readers will laugh at this as they have seen it so many times. I personally had a macro for it on the computer that I used to write letters for the General Directorate and for Marcial Maciel in the early 1990s.
Benefactors of the Legion are constantly lied to as to the destination of their donations. Whether their gifts were solicited for the missions, the welfare of the Candidates, the building of a particular seminary, or the altar of a new chapel, funds are simply not earmarked that way in the Legion’s “centralized” economy. Additionally, the same altar will be “bought” over and over again by many benefactors who have been led to believe that their hard-earned money will be the crowning touch of the wonderful chapel.
On a subject that certainly crosses the line of impropriety, Legionaries who work in the financial offices are told to throw Mass intentions into the garbage without keeping track of names, with the excuse that “There are just too many, we will just lump them all together.” The money, of course, is not returned to the donor. Mass intentions are sacrosanct, and lying to the faithful in this regard is particularly evil, especially when these Mass intentions are specifically solicited by the Legion.

Father Told Me So
Another source of lies in the Legion is the superiors themselves. Often, individual Legionaries are specifically instructed to lie ! both to individuals outside the Movement and to each other. One common example would be the dispatch of a religious on an unannounced assignment; he would often be told to tell his fellow religious something other than the truth. Again, this is a perfect example of the obsession with secrecy and self-importance of the Legion itself.
Entire communities, and the entire Legion itself are at times told to lie by major superiors. Usually the mandate comes in the form of a letter indicating what to say to “outsiders”when asked certain questions. Half-truths are to be told about apostolates, rather than revealing some all-important project that is going to “lock Satan in Hell forever.”Unfortunately, the motivation is often pride or actual fear that ulterior motives may be revealed.
Legionaries routinely lie about the true nature of many apostolates, especially those designed by superiors for recruiting for the Regnum Christi. Too often, people are told the truth about recruitment and incorporation into the Regnum Christi only after many high-pressure tactics and love-bombing have firmly planted the hook in them.
Stories abound of Legionaries lying to people whom they visit when on road trips to recruit or look for funds. The motivation is to get more money, better meals, or better lodging. So the unsuspecting hosts will offer one or more of these things, being led to believe that the poor priest and brother have nowhere to stay the night, when in fact, they have already secured more humble lodgings elsewhere.
Legion superiors have for many years manipulated reports of the numbers of religious and priests in the Legion. Self-reporting to the United States Catholic Directory or the Pontifical Directory (Annuario Pontificio) is notoriously inaccurate with regard to the Legion of Christ. This manipulation is perfectly calculated to give false impressions about growth and presence in a given place. Ironically, these statistics are falsified in both directions: either to give the impression that the Legion is much greater than in reality, or to minimize a large presence in a city or country, depending on the needs and whims of major superiors.

If Only the Bishop Knew
Bishops and diocesan officials are the targets of many lies by the Legion of Christ. Without mentioning the many specific examples which have been documented in dioceses and by the press, there is a certain trend that is worth delineating: bishops are told only a part of the truth of the activities of the Legion and the Regnum Christi, when they are told at all. Leaving out important points such as the planned foundation and take over of Catholic schools (using the excuse that the school is private and will later seek diocesan approval) is a typical approach. Recruitment of vocations for the Legion is a secret not to be shared with bishop who simply will not understand or who is not getting any vocations for his own diocese at present anyway.

Wouldn’t it be Nice! – if it Were True
Young men who are targeted for recruitment by the Legion of Christ have been told a whole series of lies regarding life in the Legion in order to hook them and reel them in. One of the most vicious of these lies concerns the promise of education. For decades, the Legion has promised young men that they will study for a civil career in the Legion. I was told that only twenty years ago. The Legion has never delivered on that promise. On the other hand, if a Legionary leaves under difficult circumstances, the congregation will occasionally “lose” critical transcripts, forcing the man to retake years of classes. Lies, in this case, go hand-in-hand with personal retribution.

Weak Vocations of the Miracle Congregation
The strong and revolutionary vocational training program of the Legion of Chris -?that promises the Church such robust and faithful young men -is the same training program that treats its own members as if they cannot handle the slightest challenge to their vocation. The brothers are lied to constantly about any detail that a superior might thing will cause the infamous “vocational crisis” in them. It seems such a contradiction that the well-formed Legionaries cannot know about important news events, church dissenters, any questions or criticisms of the Legion, or family difficulties. From the youngest member to the oldest, from the novice to the new priest, the Legionaries are “protected” from these“vicious,” potentially “crisis-causing” events. Superior either simply omit such things from the subjects’ world of knowledge, or lies outright about the details.
If, for example, a brother is never told of the marital problems through which his parents are passing, even to the point of separation, then those who deprive him of letters from home which outline that situation are lying to him (not to mention depriving the family of essential prayer support). What good is his vocation if he “saves” the world and yet denies his own family the honest communication it deserves?

Hat in Hand Humility Hype
Legionaries are trained to be very humble with outsiders (although some arrogance does seep through) in order to gain confidence and sympathy. “Here are these nice young men, so poor and humble coming to ask me to give them my house and my life savings for the Kingdom. How can I resist?” Those who are best at this type of scam are sent out to represent a multi-million dollar corporation – run by a priest who is a member of the richest family in the world, the Garza Medina family and founded by a man who taught his spiritual sons to lie to cover up his sexual abuse of them – indeed, a man who could not fly in less than first class or stay in anything less than a five star hotel himself.

The Whisper Campaign
One of the most insidious and evil forms of outright lying in the Legion by individual Legionaries is employed to deal with “dissenters” who leave the Regnum Christi. They deftly combine ostracizing with backhanded whispers about these traitorous souls. Many ex-members of the Regnum Christi find themselves subtly but effectively blackballed, losing a considerable number of their friends and associates. If individuals opt out of the Regnum Christi, then they are totally out – and lies about them, their motivation, and their spiritual and moral life will guarantee that they be treated like lepers among the “chosen ones” who are still under the thrall of the Legion and Marcial Maciel.
God help any diocesan priest or bishop who does not see eye to eye with the Legion. He will be targeted by a campaign of innuendo and tarred as not faithful to the Pope. Whispers and innuendo are the tools used to carry falsehoods to the point of destroying individual reputations.

Oh yeah: and all for the good of the Kingdom.
The fact that the Legion covers this behavior with so-called fidelity to the Pope, then wraps it up in a cassock and tops it off with perfectly-gelled hair makes the reality no more pretty or acceptable. A lie is a lie is a lie. And a liar is in league with the powers of evil. The sooner that members see what this “inspired” methodology masks, the better’ and an honest evaluation of real integrity would find that their “Kingdom” is built on very shaky ground indeed.

Help Available

Now that Fr. Maciel, the Founder of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement has been disciplined by the Vatican on charges of sexual abuse, and even though the Legion uses this fact to claim that he is even more holy, we offer our assistance during this period of inevitable fall-out in the Legion and the Regnum Christi. We reach out to all those concerned, and encourage anyone to contact us who needs assistance, even parents of those who are close to ordination. All is not lost for your loved ones.


“Coping with Cult Involvement, A Handbook for Families and Friends”
by Livia Bardin
go to CONTACT ReGAIN bottom left homepage


 Former Legionaries:

  • New York City area
    Juan Jose Vaca
  • Washington, DC Metro Area
    Glenn Favreau
    cell 202 276 9404
  • Washington, DC, Metro Area [MD & VA] 
    J. Paul Lennon, MA
  • California area
    Kevin Fagan
  • Atlanta area 
    Edward Fink
    ex apostolic and pre candidate
  • Ireland 
    Aaron Loughrey

Former RC Consecrated:

  • Marita La Palm

Former RC members:

  • Genevieve Kineke
  • Annick Stevenson
  • Ruth Heer
    (former instructor of Familia)

New York, NY
Diocesan Priest, PhD., Psychologist
[not xLC or LC affiliated]
will work with xLCs pro bono
We also recommend expert exit counselor CAROL GIAMBALVO’s home page for resources: readings, retreats, support groups, etc.

Home Page:

ICSA Director of Recovery Workshops

Thought Reform Consultant

President, reFOCUS:
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2180, Flagler Beach, FL 32136
Phone: 386-439-7541 Fax: 386-439-7537

N.B. Carol’s sensitive use of the word ‘cult’ refers to a very wide range of potentially damaging, including Religious, or even Catholic, organizations.
In the Diocese of Tyler, Texas
victims of abuse of any kind by the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi and/or anyone who may have been hurt or abused by a priest, deacon, religious, or anyone working in the name of the Church. The Promoter of Justice, Rev. Gavin N. Vaverek, serves as victim assistance coordinator, confidential phone line (903) 266-2159.

A privately owned page for outreach to Ex Regnum Christi Members:

Damage Caused By Fr. Maciel And The Legion Of Christ That Will Not Go Away

ReGAIN envoy to Mexico, August, 2014

While Fr. Juan Solana LC was writing without thinking, minimizing the Founder’s crimes and comparing him to Mary Magdalen, I was paying my way to Central Mexico to relax and then meet with a few of Maciel’s most damaged victims now in their 70’s whom I have gotten to know and care for

Encounter With Maciel Victims

Arturo Jurado & his wife, Chela, warmly hosted our informal encounter at their home above San Miguel Allende on August 24th, topping it off with succulent paella. Some of those invited could not make it for reasons of health or expense. The former Legionaries I met were all Mexican founding members.

Alejandro Espinosa (Cd. Aldama, Tamps. & Celaya) author of at least two books describing his experiences: El Legionario* and El Ilusionista*: these recount in gory detail Maciel’s sexual depredations, the dynamics of his harem and his gift, charism, of creating illusions to exalt himself, deceiving and manipulating others in the process. As a young Legionary and budding writer Alejandro had considered becoming Fr. Maciel’s biographer. An illusion that stroked Maciel’s ego.

Later Sunday evening in San Miguel I strolled around the new shopping mall chatting one-on-one with Francisco Gonzalez-Parga (Guadalajara), author of Yo acuso al Padre Maciel y a la Legion de Cristo*, who was ordained a priest in the Legion. One of Fr. Maciel’s victims and sexual slaves he has made a miraculous recovery from abuse and a conscience-taken-hostage. As we discussed the enigma of Maciel he told of Maciel’s uncanny gift of seduction and suggested that some of the events in Fr. Maciel’s life point to the presence of a Malignant Spirit. He also explained how Maciel was able to blackmail Vatican Cardinals with his knowledge of their sexual depravities, specifically to gain the canonical approval of the Legion May 25, 1948. Gonzalez-Parga was also one of Maciel’s male nurses; he often bought Dolantin (morphine) and on occasions helped the Founder inject several phials into his veins before falling into a catatonic stupor.

Arturo Jurado (San Miguel Allende), as a Legionary seminarian in the 1950s and 60s, often roamed Rome’s clinics and pharmacies late at night in search of the medicine that Fr. Maciel desperately needed and demanded to dull the pain of his sufferings for Christ.
Jose Antonio Perez-Olvera who fell at the feet of Vatican prosecutor, Mons. Charles Scicluna, in 2005 crying: Monsignor, I am here to accuse Fr. Marcial Maciel, the man who destroyed my life! was unable to make the Sunday meeting. Pepe-To?o is a humorous individual who also regaled me and my wife with anecdotes and memories at Chucho el Roto restaurant in Queretaro the following day.
My intention was for us to spend some fun time together to continue our healing process. By showing my solidarity to these brave men and by listening with empathy I wanted to contribute to their full recovery from child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and a myriad of other abuses. As a former Legionary myself I sought healing with them from Multiple Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on by the oppressive system implemented by Maciel and cruel superiors.

The Cost of Damages

Because of the damage suffered in the Legion and the lack of any moral, psychological or financial support after leaving (a walk- away) or being kicked out (a throw-away), some of these men are now living in poverty.

When I asked Gonzalez-Parga why he would not meet with the Outreach Commission to Victims set up by Cardinal De Paolis, he reminded me that four Legionaries (including superiors hand-picked by Maciel such as Frs. Corcuera and Florencio Sanchez-Soler) were sitting on the board of six examining the legitimacy of the claims: It is so humiliating! Why should I subject myself again to my abusers in order to seek compensation clearly due in all justice?

Francisco & Maria Esther are a good example of the plight of many aging former Legionaries. While presently solvent, they have a lot of catching up to do financially. At retirement age they must continue to work full time. They do not have pensions, health insurance or protection against unforeseen crises in their later years. They have paid out of pocket for costly medical interventions. But there are other survivors who are even less fortunate.

Some of the survivors I met, as well as many other former members, seem to be cursed by their Legion involvement -not unusual for victims and people with PTSD ? and depend on the kindness of strangers for bed and board. If any of our readers would like to send financial support, please make out tax exempt checks of any amount to non-profit Regain, Inc (501(c)(3), and post them to acting treasurer
Marita La Palm, 2500 20th Rd. N. #502, Arlington, VA 22201.

ReGAIN will find a way to get the help to those in need in a discreet and respectful way. Thank you for your support of the forgotten victims of Fr. Maciel, the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement.

PS. The most trenchant analyses of the Maciel and the Legion phenomenon are in Spanish, including the outstandingly well researched Marcial Maciel: la Legion de Cristo, documentos y testimonios in?ditos by Fernando Gonzalez, an historian at Mexico’s UNAM University. That is one of the reasons makes articles and testimonies available in English and also provides summaries of important documents.

The writer, J. Paul Lennon, is co-founder of ReGAIN and author of Our Father Maciel who art in bed, A Naive and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ* and Fr. Maciel, Pedophile, Psychopath and Legion of Christ Founder* He checked with the survivors for fidelity to content and edited in their feedback before publishing.

*Books available on createspace, Amazon and Kindle.

%d bloggers like this: