Vatican Admits knowing about Legion Founder’s Sex Abuse since 1943!

Vatican Knew of Serial Abuser Maciel Going Back Seven Decades

(English & Spanish)

Vatican Knew of Serial Abuser Maciel Going Back Six Decades

by David Nussman  •  •  January 2, 2019    20 Comments

Cardinal João Braz de Aviz says a ‘mafia’ in the Church covered up notorious Fr. Marcial Maciel


MADRID ( – A high-ranking cardinal says the Vatican had information on notorious abuser Fr. Marcial Maciel as early as 1943.

Cardinal João Braz de Aviz is head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. In a speech last month widely reported in Spanish media, he said that the Vatican had known about Maciel for decades and did nothing.

Spanish Catholic magazine Vida Nueva quotes the Brazilian cardinal as saying, “Who covered him was a mafia, they were not Church.”

Cardinal Braz de Aviz was speaking in Madrid, Spain, addressing the 25th general assembly of the Spanish Confederation of Religious

Maciel, a Mexican priest who founded the religious institute the Legionaries of Christ, was first investigated by Vatican officials for allegations of drug abuse from 1956 to 1959. Despite numerous investigations into his behavior over the course of decades, it was not until 2005 that the Vatican determined child sex abuse allegations were credible and cracked down on Fr. Maciel. Church officials removed Maciel from his leadership of the Legionaries. Then in 2006, Maciel was commanded to retire to a life of prayer and penance. He died in 2008.

Father Maciel has been accused of molesting seminarians, fathering children with secret “wives” and even sexually abusing his own offspring.

Some are speculating that Cdl. Braz de Aviz might have brought up the case of Fr. Maciel to deflect blame for the current clerical sex abuse cover-up scandals tarnishing Pope Francis’ pontificate. The current pontiff has faced intense criticism since Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò testified in August that Pope Francis lifted disciplines that had previously been imposed on accused homosexual predator ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

The cardinal claims his congregation has “nothing to do” with cover-ups like the one that kept Maciel in ministry for decades. He said the congregation now follows “a very good process” for responding to abuse allegations.

He emphasized that it is important for Church leaders to “be immediate in the face of abuse,” adding, “What comes to us immediately has to be heard.”

Speaking about the clergy abuse crisis in general, Cdl. Braz de Aviz said, “I have the impression that allegations of abuse will grow, because we are only at the beginning. We’ve been concealing for 70 years, and this has been a tremendous error.”


El Vaticano conocía la pederastia de Maciel desde 1943

por Carlos Esteban | 02 enero, 2019

La Santa Sede conocía la pederastia del fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo y la ignoró durante 63 años, ha reconocido el prefecto de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada, el cardenal João Braz de Aviz.

“Quien lo tapó era una mafia, ellos no eran Iglesia”, ha asegurado Braz de Aviz en una entrevista concedida a Vida Nueva el mes pasado, cuando estuvo en Madrid hace un mes para clausurar la asamblea general de la Confederación Española de Religiosos (CONFER). “Tengo la impresión de que las denuncias de abusos crecerán, porque solo estamos en el inicio. Llevamos 70 años encubriendo, y esto ha sido un tremendo error”, dice Braz de Aviz.

La información ha saltado a las páginas de la prensa secular y la da hoy el diario español de referencia, El País, que ya en 2006 informó de la investigación a que había sido objeto Maciel entre octubre de 1956 y febrero de 1959 por encargo del cardenal Alfredo Ottaviani.

El peor caso de abusos en todos los sentidos, desde pedofilia a drogadicción, pasando por suplantación personalidad, poligamia e incesto, fue posible a lo largo de décadas y con la protección de la Curia pese a las constantes denuncias que llegaban a Roma, algo que podría haberse atajado, quedando en un desagradable incidente menor, antes de mediados del siglo pasado.

Catholic Parents, Beware of Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi recruiting young boys!

Archive picture of Legion of Christ ‘junior’ seminarians, middle school age.

Catholic (Convert) Parents Beware of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi recruiting your young sons!

Note: because the Legion of Christ received so much bad publicity from the Founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, scandal and the subsequent investigation/supervision of the order by the Vatican, 2000-2018, the Legion has morphed into Regnum Christi (or other front names).

This warning is for all Catholics, especially Orthodox and Traditional Catholics, home-schooling parents and even more for converts to the Catholic Faith. By this we mean very devout and generous Catholics who want to protect their children from the ravages of Modernism, hedonism and materialism. These Catholics who seek the very best in Catholic tradition, systematically eschew liberal orders and movements, and seek groups which are very devout, faithful to the Pope and Catholic Doctrine, solid devotions (Rosary, Stations of the Cross, etc.) and strict moral guidance (forbidding pre-marital sex, artificial birth control, etc..) The Legion/Regnum will offer them this.

They are often approached by the Opus Dei, the Legion of Christ and its Regnum Christi lay movement. Because these organizations, New Religious Movements, are loyal to the pope and preach the Catholic Catechism, well-meaning Catholic parents are easily duped.

Some founding members of ReGAIN, 1990-2000 were from the Catholic and Convert group described above. They had been duped by the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi: we had a intensely dedicated (2GF) married woman, a mother of a Legion seminarian, and a wonderful convert couple of Catholic Educators who had given their everything to staff a Legion school in the Atlanta area…

So that the reader does not dismiss ReGAIN’s caveat emptor as some kind of personal vendetta, we are including a message received today from a totally different source.


Quote: When I first heard about Maciel

I was sent a copy of an article in a CA newspaper by a home schooling Catholic couple. C Hernández was dying in the hospital and asked a nurse to write down his testimony. He explained how he left the Legion of Christ and how Maciel abused him repeatedly as a child when he was recruited into his Order as a child along with other young boys erroneously called seminarians.

The couple who sent me the article were concerned that another couple with two little boys who were also Catholic converts were being continually being treated to visitations by two handsome Legion priests.

As converts they felt special when they were told their little boys had vocations to the priesthood and were becoming convinced to send their children off to the Legion boarding school, Apostolic School,  in NH.

Concerned the young converts were being brainwashed , the couple who had contacted me  asked their pastor to intervene and speak with these parents.

Mr. Bell called me from San Diego . Having been educated at Wharton Business School Philadelphia and having looked into the Legion’s Oxford school in Mexico, he was shocked to see the Legion employed the same professor he once had at Wharton. “Why would a “Catholic” institution of higher learning hire a man whose main topic in all of his classes goes back to EST training. Previously I thought EST was Scientology .

Shortly after speaking to their pastor the Bell’s received a letter in the mail from a Col. Laughton or Naughton , I cannot recall exactly.

It contained the copy of an offer to sue them on behalf of the Legion’s good name and was addressed to Monsignor Bannon LC. Bannon’s reply was also included in which he stated that the couple’s motivation may have been just misguided concern for the children. and to hold off but keep them posted.

Mr. Bell was taken aback when he called me and realized he had just been the recipient of a threat. Later they decided to relocate on the East coast.

Then I began to read some articles by Gerald Renner in the “Hartford Courant.”

Mr. Renner was interviewing several seminarians who had escaped after being held in the Legion’s Westchester NY mansion. After they had expressed the fact that they wanted to leave the Legion seminary they were sent there and were held against their will. It was the same mansion previously owned by Sun Myung Moon wherein college students ,whose parents had hired de-programmers, were also held . I saw the film footage of a Documentary on TV recorded by several of the parents of Moonies trying to gain access at the guard house in an attempt to talk to their children.

 Brainwashing appeared to be habitual in these quasi-religious groups and apparently the Legion was applying the same techniques.

Magdala Mary, Catholic journalist

Photo by Ghost Presenter on

The Legion of Christ functions like a Sect

by ReGAIN on December 6, 2018

Navigating Translator (which is in Spanish language!) Click article you want so that it goes center stage; click Espanol; return to Translator and choose “inglés”, Click and that should give you the English version.

Posted on November 24, 2018 by THE TRUTH IF I MENS

 (Google Translation of original French article)

“The Legion of Christ works in all respects as a sect. “

Xavier Leger


“And if Maciel, psychopathic, narcissistic pervert, who spent his life use and abuse constantly others, was himself rocked illusion imagining having founded a religious congregation, not to a sect his own desires? “


J. Paul Lennon

If you want to understand clericalism and sectarian abuse in the Church, with their multifaceted, start with the Legion of Christ. It is a “textbook case” infamous, the reality of the horrors can not be denied.

Marcial Maciel, a Mexican priest, who died in 2008, is the founder in 1941 of one of the most influential congregations of the Catholic Church. He also founded the  Regnum Christi , a lay association whose mission evangelism which claims tens of thousands of members.

It has now become the most famous “sexual pervert, pedophile, bisexual psychopath, morphine, forgery, plagiarism, identity thief, liar, manipulative, intriguing, incestuous, crook, thief, criminal, apostate and sacrilege” of the Church , as denounced Xavier Léger outset on its website

As he tells it without speaking boxwood in his book  “I, former Legionary of Christ – 7 years in a cult in the heart of the Church” , Xavier was Legionary of Christ for seven years. He then discovers a system made of prohibitions and humiliations. Shortly after his saving leak, the scandal will eventually also burst: the founder of the Legion , the man any legionnaire had learned to venerate, is found to have abused dozens of children and adolescents. [1]

And it is this man and his evil system that the  Vatican will have to protected against any and during seventy years …

As Xavier Leger recalled in his testimony: “In the words of the First General Chapter of the Legion, it is impossible to separate the figure of the founder of the Congregation itself. In the Legion, Father Maciel is the central point around which all the spirituality and religious discipline. In reality, this is a conjuring trick that uses the Legion of Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom: be worthy of him, who is our daily goal, thousands of legitimate rules and standards that make our life legionnaire a succession of trials and forced us into submission. “

So again, “there are many things that put together made life simply unbearable: lack of sleep, the accumulation of endless acts of piety, playing soothing letters of the founder, the radical separation ‘with the world, the fact of never having time to think outside the box or to wind down, sometimes very violent humiliation of some senior cantankerous … But I think it

[Read: it]

that made me suffer most is still the system of auto forcing us to admit that it was the ‘will of God’, “he says.

Certainly, he said again,  “there are degrees and significant differences of a deviant community to another. However, there is a common substrate: mind control. It finally materializes by processes which are otherwise identical, at least similar: veneration higher, separation from the world, Manichaeism, paranoia, lifestyle insane, self-suggestive prayers internal betrayal, sexual abuse, bigotry, etc . What seems very important to clarify is that the phenomenon of influence is a terrible mechanism precisely because it is invisible: it leads victims to destroy BY THEMSELVES, without a trace. In other words: the perfect crime! “.

Xavier still points that “the archive legionaries Cristo shows the history of the Congregation only lies, manipulation, theft, fraud, double speech. […] Legionnaire be is to have learned since entering the congregation to manipulate people, to seduce the church authorities and benefactors to boast a facade of religion “

This means that this is indeed the structure of the movement that is perverted, and with the complicity barely believable Vatican!

And Xavier, examine all these years in the Legion with a terrible and painful lucidity and disappointment: “By his handling mechanisms, the Legion has created in my strange behavior made pretenses, prejudices, fears that prevent me from thinking freely.
    Out of a cult is far more complicated than getting out of a prison. The bars that imprisoned me for years, I have designed myself in my head. physically leaving a cult, never to return, does not imply that it recovers its freedom; we can stay there much longer prisoner. To succeed in its definitive cure, it is necessary to do intensive work of proofreading and to perform the act the more painful for a former follower: humbly accept the unbearable thought of having done wrong. The antidote was within my reach, but the grip of the Legion kept me far from me to administer it. The only obstacle to healing, so myself. “

Do we still remember that during the visit of Benedict XVI to Mexico in 2012, victims of Maciel had published a manifesto. Their letter and expressed disappointment with a legitimate ecclesial deafening silence“Just like our hopes for truth and justice in the Church, some of the former Legionaries of Christ who were alongside the signatories of the open letter to your predecessor John Paul II, are now dead . Starting in 1997, we hoped with them, instead of being ignored and reprimanded by the church authorities, we would receive a reply to this letter, and then we abide in us the truth, charity and right owed us due to the canonical complaint that we filed in Rome October 17, 1998 at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was headed at that time by Your Holiness. […]. But we have neither been heard nor believed opportunely. For a long time, we were ignored as we were only basic faithful. […]. We never got any response to our legitimate complaints, and this disagrees with canon law established by the Church itself. And, having been reprimanded several times by the authorities, for expressing our convictions in the media, only and precisely because of these same media we have been informed of the dubious and confused decisions Vatican on the subject our complaint. And we still reaffirm once the complaint was lodged on 17 October 1998, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under your direct responsibility prefect. […]. The objective facts, monitored and analyzed during intense years have shown that, more than obedience and respect for the rights of the human person is the public outrage and the weight of the universal secular opinion that allowed to change, albeit very slowly, the attitude of denial held so long by the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Like many faithful, we expected some clarity and some confidence reasons. But in exchange, we observed an almost systematic ambiguity and to the contradictions between recognized as orthodox doctrine and its actual implementation, we were led to civil unrest and a painful spiritual malaise. ” the attitude of denial maintained so long by the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Like many faithful, we expected some clarity and some confidence reasons. But in exchange, we observed an almost systematic ambiguity and to the contradictions between recognized as orthodox doctrine and its actual implementation, we were led to civil unrest and a painful spiritual malaise. ” the attitude of denial maintained so long by the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Like many faithful, we expected some clarity and some confidence reasons. But in exchange, we observed an almost systematic ambiguity and to the contradictions between recognized as orthodox doctrine and its actual implementation, we were led to civil unrest and a painful spiritual malaise. ” [2]

J. Paul Lennon , another former Legionary of Christ, says the same thing: “After thirty years to support the victims of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi , I always see as clearly the damage caused, through its various works by father Maciel. Indeed, it is not only sexual abuse, but different kinds of abuse: neglect, psychological illnesses, perversion of consciousness, depression, suicide, loss of confidence in the Church, Loss of faith in God, financial scams enthusiasts, families and adults in vulnerable situations, quarantine, slander, ostracism, threats and lawsuits against those who refuse to submit … “

As often in the Church and intended movements, the accusations of many victims – before civil society and the media get involved – considered as slander to tarnish the reputation of a desired place by God …

To conclude…

Finally, before the overwhelming evidence and having long supported the innocence of its founder, the Legion of Christ  will recognize in 2009 that  Maciel had a relationship with a woman he had a daughter, and in 2010, the veracity of the accusations pedophilia that weighed on its founder.

May 1, 2010, the Vatican explicitly denounce the crimes of Marcial Maciel, the report concerning the reports of very serious and objectively immoral behavior, confirmed by incontrovertible testimonies. The acts committed by him show a life without scruples and a lack of genuine religious feeling.

In short, pedophilia in the Church and sectarianism within it, have demonstrated the vital role of whistleblowers .

As written by Maud and Alice Almond Chablis, in their book published in 2014 and titled aptly  Denial  : “The institution-church built a facade – rites, liturgical vestments, dramatization, major religious events – with the place and St. Peter for emblems. If the facade is still beautiful, she begins to crack, save face yet remains paramount. ”  [3]

It is a fact overwhelming. the modus operandi is, each time, the same: the Church structurally soaked by the culture of secrecy, or did not want to take the measure of sectarian aberrations within it. [4]

Instead, it will be supported Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ , before sanctioning it. And despite a sulphurous past, Pope Francis did not concede less in the Legion a ”  plenary indulgence  ” (forgiveness of sins), the ground that it started a process of purification and renewal.

As also reminds J. Paul Lennon,  “the Pope and the Vatican, after conducting an investigation into Father Maciel and the Legion have chosen to save the religious congregation. Pope Francis, meanwhile, has blessed the conclusions of his predecessors. They said the premise ‘ ‘ Bad founder; good congregation “ , and asked us to believe that God had used an unbalanced founder to perform His work: the religious congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the lay movement Regnum Christi. “

In Institution-Church, we will have to solve it: the victims are never first …

Do not close our eyes to the excesses: act together!


« La Légion du Christ fonctionne en tout point comme une secte. »

Xavier Léger


« Et si Maciel, le psychopathe, le pervers narcissique, qui a passé sa vie à user et à abuser sans cesse des autres, s’était lui-même bercé d’illusion en imaginant avoir fondé une congrégation religieuse, et non une secte pour  satisfaire ses propres désirs ? »

J. Paul Lennon

Si vous désirez comprendre le cléricalisme et ses dérives sectaires dans l’Église, avec leurs multiples facettes, commencez par la Légion du Christ. C’est un « cas d’école » tristement célèbre, dont la réalité des horreurs ne peut plus être niée.

Marcial Maciel, prêtre mexicain, décédé en 2008, est le fondateur en 1941 de l’une des congrégations les plus influentes de l’Église Catholique. Il fonda également le Regnum Christi, une association de laïcs ayant pour vocation l’évangélisation qui revendique plusieurs dizaines de milliers de membres.

Il est désormais devenu le plus célèbre « pervers sexuel, pédophile, bisexuel, psychopate, morphinomane, faussaire, plagiaire, usurpateur d’identité, menteur, manipulateur, intriguant, incestueux, escroc, voleur, criminel, apostat et sacrilège » de l’Église, comme le dénonce d’entrée de jeu Xavier Léger sur son site web

Comme il le raconte sans langue de buis dans son livre « Moi, ancien légionnaire du Christ – 7 ans dans une secte au cœur de l’Eglise », Xavier a été légionnaire du Christ durant sept années. Il découvrira alors un système fait d’interdits et d’humiliations. Peu de temps après sa fuite salvatrice, le scandale finira d’ailleurs par éclater : le fondateur de la Légion, l’homme que tout légionnaire avait appris à vénérer, s’avère avoir abusé de plusieurs dizaines d’enfants et d’adolescents. [1]

Et c’est cet homme et son système pervers que le Vatican aura protégé envers et contre tout durant une septantaine d’années…

Comme le rappelle Xavier Léger dans son témoignage : « Selon les mots mêmes du Premier Chapitre général de la Légion, il est impossible de séparer la figure du fondateur de la congrégation elle-même. Dans la Légion, le père Maciel est le point central autour duquel gravitent toute la spiritualité et la discipline religieuse. En réalité, c’est par un tour de passe-passe que la Légion utilise le Christ et l’instauration de son Règne : être digne de lui, qui est notre objectif quotidien, légitime des milliers de règles et normes qui font de notre vie de légionnaire une succession d’épreuves et nous contraint à la soumission. »

Ainsi encore, « il y a beaucoup de choses qui mis bout à bout rendaient la vie tout simplement insupportable : le manque de sommeil, l’accumulation sans fin d’actes de piété, la lecture des lettres lénifiantes du fondateur, la séparation radicale d’avec le monde, le fait de ne jamais avoir un temps pour penser hors du cadre ou pour souffler un peu, les humiliations parfois très violentes de quelques supérieurs acariâtres… Mais je crois que cela

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qui m’a fait le plus souffrir, c’est encore les systèmes d’autosuggestion nous obligeant à admettre que tout cela était la ‘volonté de Dieu’ », affirme-t-il.

Certes, dit-il encore, « il y a des degrés et des différences sensibles d’une communauté déviante à l’autre. Cependant, on retrouve un substrat commun : la manipulation mentale. Celle-ci se concrétise finalement par des procédés qui sont sinon identiques, au moins similaires : vénération des supérieurs, séparation du monde, manichéisme, paranoïa, rythme de vie démentiel, prières auto-suggestives, délation interne, abus sexuels, fanatisme, etc. Ce qui me semble très important à préciser, c’est que le phénomène d’emprise est un mécanisme terrible précisément parce qu’il est invisible : il conduit les victimes à se détruire PAR ELLES-MÊMES, sans laisser de traces. En d’autres termes : c’est le crime parfait ! ».

Xavier  pointe encore le fait que « l’archive Légionarios de Cristo montre que toute l’histoire de la Congrégation n’est que mensonges, manipulations, vol, escroquerie, doubles discours. […] Être légionnaire, c’est avoir appris depuis son entrée dans la congrégation à manipuler les gens, à séduire les autorités ecclésiastiques et les bienfaiteurs, à vanter une religion de façade »

C’est dire que c’est bel et bien la structure même du mouvement qui est pervertie, et ce avec la complicité à peine croyable du Vatican !

Et, Xavier, d’examiner toutes ces années dans la Légion avec une terrible et douloureuse lucidité, et déconvenue : « Par ses mécanismes de manipulation, la Légion a créé chez moi d’étranges comportements, faits de faux-semblants, de préjugés, de peurs qui m’empêchent de penser librement.
    Sortir d’une secte est beaucoup plus compliqué que de sortir d’une prison. Les barreaux qui m’ont emprisonné durant des années, je les ai conçus moi-même dans ma tête. Quitter physiquement une secte, ne plus y retourner, n’implique pas que l’on recouvre sa liberté ; on peut y rester encore très longtemps prisonnier. Pour réussir sa guérison définitive, il est nécessaire de faire un intense travail de relecture et d’accomplir l’acte le plus douloureux pour un ancien adepte : accepter humblement l’idée insupportable d’avoir fait fausse route. L’antidote était à ma portée, mais l’emprise de la Légion m’a empêché jusqu’à présent de me l’administrer. Le seul obstacle à une guérison, c’est donc moi-même. »

Faut-il encore rappeler qu’à l’occasion de la venue de Benoît XVI au Mexique, en 2012, les victimes du père Maciel avaient fait paraître un manifeste. Leur lettre exprimait ainsi une légitime déception face à un silence ecclésial assourdissant : « À l’image de nos espoirs de vérité et de justice dans l’Église, quelques-uns des anciens légionnaires du Christ qui étaient aux côtés des signataires de la lettre ouverte adressée à votre prédécesseur Jean-Paul II, sont aujourd’hui morts. À partir de 1997, nous avons espéré avec eux, qu’au lieu d’être ignorés et réprimandés par les autorités ecclésiastiques, nous recevrions une réponse à cette lettre, et ensuite, qu’on respecterait à notre égard la vérité, la charité et le droit qui nous étaient dus, en raison de la plainte canonique que nous avions déposé à Rome le 17 octobre 1998 auprès de la Congrégation pour la Doctrine de la Foi, laquelle était présidée à cette époque par Votre Sainteté. […]. Mais nous n’avons été ni écoutés, ni crus opportunément. Pendant longtemps, nous avons été ignorés car nous n’étions que de simples fidèles de base. […]. Nous n’avons jamais obtenu la moindre réponse à nos plaintes légitimes, et ceci en désaccord avec le droit canonique établi par l’Église elle-même. Et, après avoir été réprimandés plusieurs fois par les autorités, pour avoir exprimé nos convictions dans les médias, c’est seulement et précisément grâce à ces mêmes médias que nous avons pu être informés des décisions douteuses et confuses du Vatican relatives à l’objet de notre plainte. Et nous réaffirmons encore une fois que cette plainte a été déposée le 17 octobre 1998, à la Congrégation pour la Doctrine de la Foi, sous votre responsabilité directe de préfet. […]. Les faits objectifs, suivis de près et analysés pendant des années intenses, ont prouvé que, plus que l’obéissance et le respect des droits de la personne humaine, c’est l’indignation publique et le poids de l’opinion laïque universelle qui ont permis de changer, bien qu’avec une extrême lenteur, l’attitude de déni maintenue si longtemps par la hiérarchie ecclésiastique. Comme de nombreux fidèles, nous espérions un peu de clarté et quelques motifs de confiance. Mais en échange, nous avons observé une ambiguïté quasi-systématique et, devant les contradictions entre la doctrine reconnue comme orthodoxe et sa réelle mise en pratique, nous avons été conduits à des troubles intérieurs et à un douloureux malaise spirituel. » [2]

J. Paul Lennon, autre ex-légionnaire du Christ, ne dit pas autre chose : « Après avoir passé trente ans à accompagner des victimes de la Légion du Christ et du Regnum Christi, je vois toujours aussi clairement les dégâts causés, à travers ses différentes œuvres, par le père Maciel. En effet, il ne s’agit pas seulement d’abus sexuels, mais de différentes sortes d’abus : manque de soins, maladies psychologiques, perversion des consciences, dépressions, suicides, perte de confiance envers l’Église, perte de la foi en Dieu, escroqueries financières des adeptes, de leurs familles et d’adultes en situation de vulnérabilité, mises en quarantaine, calomnies, ostracisme, menaces et poursuites judiciaires contre ceux qui refusent de se soumettre… »

Comme souvent dans l’Église et les mouvements visés, les accusations des nombreuses victimes sont – avant que la société civile et les médias ne s’en mêlent – considérées comme autant de calomnies visant à ternir la réputation d’une œuvre voulue par Dieu…

Pour conclure…

Finalement, devant les preuves accablantes et après avoir longtemps soutenu l’innocence de son fondateur, la Légion du Christ reconnaîtra en 2009 que Maciel avait eu une relation avec une femme dont il avait eu une fille, et en 2010, la véracité des accusations de pédophilie qui pesaient sur son fondateur.

Le 1er mai 2010, le Vatican dénoncera explicitement les délits de Marcial Maciel, le rapport le concernant faisant état de comportements très graves et objectivement immoraux, confirmés par des témoignages incontestables. Les actes commis par lui démontrent une vie sans scrupules et une absence de sentiment religieux authentique.

Bref, la pédophilie dans l’Église, ainsi que les dérives sectaires en son sein, auront démontré le rôle indispensable des lanceurs d’alerte.

Comme l’écrivent Maud Amandier et Alice Chablis, dans leur livre paru en 2014 et intitulé très justement Le déni : « L’institution-Église a construit une façade – rites, habits liturgiques, théâtralisation, grandes manifestations religieuses – avec la place et la basilique Saint-Pierre pour emblèmes. Si la façade est encore belle, elle commence à se fissurer, sauver les apparences reste pourtant primordial. » [3]

C’est un fait accablant. le modus operandi est, à chaque fois, identique : l’Église, structurellement imbibée par la culture du secret, n’a pas pris ou voulu prendre la mesure des dérives sectaires en son sein. [4]

Au contraire, elle aura soutenu Marcial Maciel, fondateur de la Légion du Christ, avant de le sanctionner. Et, malgré un passé sulfureux, le pape François n’en concédera pas moins à la Légion une « indulgence plénière » (pardon des péchés), au motif qu’elle aurait entamé un processus de purification et de renouveau.

Comme le rappelle également J. Paul Lennon, « les Papes et le Vatican, après avoir mené une enquête sur le père Maciel et sur la Légion, ont fait le choix de sauver la congrégation religieuse. Le pape François, quant à lui, a béni les conclusions de ses prédécesseurs. Ils ont affirmé le postulat suivant ‘‘Mauvais fondateur ; bonne congrégation », et nous ont demandé de croire que Dieu avait utilisé un fondateur déséquilibré pour réaliser Son Œuvre : la congrégation religieuse des légionnaires du Christ et le mouvement laïque Regnum Christi. »

Dans l’Institution-Église, il faudra bien s’y résoudre : les victimes ne sont jamais premières…

Ne fermons plus les yeux devant les dérives : agissons ensemble !

Pour signer la pétition contre le cléricalisme et les dérives sectaires dans l’ÉglisePer firmare la petizione su contro il clericalismo e i suoi eccessi settari/For sign the petition against clericalism and abuse : PÉTITION


[1] « La vraie vie du père Maciel »,; voy. également :; « Légion du Christ : comment l’Église a voulu étouffer le scandale », Golias, n° 152, septembre 2013, gonzalez.pdf;;;


[3] Maud Amandier et Alice Chablis, Le déni. Enquête sur l’Église et l’égalité des sexes, Bayard, 2014, p. 253.

[4] « Le silence comme protection contre la perversion : le cas Maciel », Maud Amandier et Alice Chablis, Le déni. Enquête sur l’Église et l’égalité des sexes, Bayard, 2014, p. 275 et s.

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! . . Enlace a info en Espanol

Pope Francis with Legionaries             Braz de Aviz

Enlace a un artículo en Proceso:

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

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The victims group demands the right (because of advanced age) to transmit or transfer to others the benefits derived from the settlement.
  6. 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.


Section of original Spanish language letter:

Page 2 Letter to Chapter Nov 2018 (2)



the Legion of Christ’s Irish Armada

wreck fishing boat at the seashore


Shipwrecked on a Beach in Brazil:

The Legion of Christ’s Irish Armada, 1960-1980

By J. Paul Lennon

Nov 9, 2018



To Michael Francis X,

former Legionary of Christ


There is another God,

 and so different from

the Legion of Christ’s,

a paradoxical God

who looks after his “little ones


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.


Legion of Christ, Opus Dei, Focolare accused as Sect-like Aberrations by French Catholic experts

close up of a sign against white background

Photo by Tayeb MEZAHDIA on




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., le dolorisme) 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[1], the Cash Investigation team and journalists attached to Mediapart, through their articles and the book, Église, la méchanique du silence[2] have 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”[3].  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. Témoignages et réflexions, 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[4].

Among many other books, one appeared already in 1996 which sounded the alarm:

Shipwrecked in the Spirit. Sects in the Catholic Church[5] 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[6] 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[7] 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[8]: 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[9]. 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.”[10] 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[11]. 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.[12]

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[13] 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., dérive sectaire)

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[14], circuit judge in Dijon and chief of the CEF sect-like aberrations bureau, has drawn up four major criteria:

  1. Personality cult; the founder takes the place of Christ
  2. Cut-off from the outside world: from family and from outside news.
  3. 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…
  4. 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[15].

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[16], 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 The Way, the founder’s central work, makes it clear: “Be strong. -Be virile. -Be a man. And then… be an angel”[17] Members are also told to: “love, bless, sanctify and glorify suffering!”[18]

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.”[19] 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.”[20]

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.[21]

Behind the idyllic tableau hides the reality of a perverse founder[22], 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.”[23]

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[24] 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,
  • Anti-intellectualism,
  • 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.[25]

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 Le déni: “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”.[26]

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 The Work’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 (“The truth will set 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 this gift.”27

  1. «Pédophilie dans l’Église : le poids du silence – Cash Investigation»,; voy. also:


  1. See 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. […], p. 199 footnotes and bibliography, Sp. pp. 315 à 318; see also : ; ;;;


  1. Thierry Baffoy, Antoine Delestre, Jean-Paul Sauzet, Les naufragés de l’Esprit, des sectes dans l’Église

Catholique, Seuil,1999 (1996 pour la version anglaise, aux éditions Corgi Books, London).

  1. Gordon Urquhart, L’Armada du pape, Golias, 1996.
  2. Olivier Legendre, Confessions d’un Cardinal, J.-C. Lattès,2010, p. 266.
  3. Yves Hamant, Xavier Léger, Aymeri Suarez-Pazos, Appel de Lourdes 2013 : nous avons été entendus ! . See also : Golias Hebdo, n° 312, 21 au 27 novembre 2013.
  4. Termes repris  par  le  Pape  François  lors  de  son  discours du  21  septembre  2013,  aux  participants  à  l’assemblée  plénière du Conseil pontifical des communications sociales,
  5. Frédéric Mounier, Le pape   invite   les   mouvements d’Église   à   ne   pas   «conditionner»   les   consciences, LaCroix,22/11/2014,
  6. Pape François, le texte intégral du « discours des 15 maladies, La Croix, 24/12/2014,; Actualite/Pape-Francois-le-texte-integral-du-discours-des-15-maladies-2014-12-24-1258379
  7. Olivier Legendre, Confessions d’un Cardinal, J.-C. Lattès, 2010, p. 267.
  8. Yves Hamant, « Je ne crois pas que les choses aient beaucoup changé », La Vie, 21 mars 2016 (
  10. De l’emprise à la liberté, op cit., pp. 245 à 276.
  11. De l’emprise à la liberté, op cit., sp. pp. 115 à 129.
  12. Chemin, n. 22.
  13.; see also the information on : ; ;
  14. Chemin, n. 28.
  15. Pierre Emonet, « L’Opus Dei, une Église dans l’Église ?», Eglise-par-Pierre-EMONET.html
  16. See also information available at :
  17. « La vraie vie du père Maciel », ;  see also: ;« Légion du Christ : comment l’Église a voulu étouffer le scandale », Golias, n° 152, septembre 2013,;pdf ; http://www.lenvers La-Legion-du-Christ-ou-la-re-ecriture-continuelle-del.html
  1.à-l-attention-de-Benoît-XVI.-Mars-2012 ; 5.aspx24 .
  2. « 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Maud Amandier et Alice Chablis, Le déni. Enquête sur l’Église et l’égalité des sexes, Bayard, 2014, p. 253.
  5. 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).
  6. 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).






Understanding Coercive/Cultic Behavior: Examine your Group/Community/Church

greyscale photo of masks on a stick

Photo by Ghost Presenter on

Dutch cult expert Frances Peters gave this masterly power point presentation at the International Cultic Association’s International Conference in Bordeaux, July 2017.

ReGAIN believes it is of great value to members, parents, friends, helpers and professionals involved with controlling, coercive, harmful groups.

ReGAIN wants to remind the public that such harmful groups can exist even in the heart of mainstream – including Christian and Catholic –  churches and communities. We will post upcoming articles re questionable Catholic Communities and Movements.

Please click title below:

Frances Presentation ICSA Bordeaux 2017[6354]