Category Archives: Catholic Church

Legion of Christ, Mexican version of the Opus Dei

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The following analysis/testimony of a former OD member confirms the contention that the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi is the “Mexican version of the Opus Dei,” based on the clear parallels between the two “New Religious Movements.”

The Opus  Dei, founded in Spain by a Spanish priest, is strikingly similar to the Legion which was founded a few years later by a Mexican seminarian, Marcial Maciel-Degollado in Mexico. The Legion founder is (in)famous for his plagiarism of a host of ideas and creations, including the spiritual reflections of a Spanish activist during Franco´s regime, Psalter of my hours. Could the foundation of the Legion be another such case of the founder´s charism for copying? In this case not copying the best…

Hundreds of testimonies on this site and on the Spanish language Facebook blog, Legioleaks (2, 000 plus members), describe the Modus Operandi of the Legion of Christ. The perceptive reader knows by now that the Legion´s Modus Credendi or Loquendi (what it believes/says/writes/declares) and its Modus Operandi (the way it acts/operates/strategizes /treats others) are two different things.

ReGAIN has written before about the striking similarities between the OPUS DEI  way and the Legion of Christ´s.

The editors invite a careful reading of the following article comparing it to what Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi members have been telling us for decades in their testimonies and studies.

The same issues are present in both institutions: manipulation of conscience, intense recruiting, producing vocations, double-speak and double-truth, voluntarism, blind obedience, etc.

Here is a 2013  article which recently appeared on OD Watch, which has kindly authorized its publication here. The article is as relevant as ever. One wonders how the Vatican does not seem to “catch on” to these dangerous manipulations of true Catholicity.

 

AD MENTEM PATRIS (According to the Father’s Mind)

By Heraldo, 03/20/2013

The Impersonation of Conscience by the “Escrivariana”

On the occasion of the ten years of my dies natalis I wish to celebrate with my Opuslibros friends some of my reflections. The first one is precisely that these last ten years have been wonderful and I consider them my true life. I thank God that I had the opportunity to live them and not have been trapped in Opus Dei during my entire earthly existence. As is well known, something that identifies and constitutes us as human beings is the moral conscience, the sense of duty, the inner judgment that discerns what I should do and what I should avoid at every moment of my life. That inner judgment accompanies every human being throughout his conscious existence. The inner dialogue described by Gollum, the curious little man of the Lord of the Rings, who speaks to himself as if there are two Gollums, one good and one bad, one who bases his thoughts on on greed, envy and grudges, and the other who thinks and acts from the simplicity of a noble and good spontaneous nature.

With the passing of these last years, I realized that when I was in the Work, the place of the good Gollum had been completely replaced by an institutional consciousness. This consciousness can be called the “Escrivariana consciousness” according to its creator and origin. Instead of reasoning, measuring and valuing my actions from the spontaneity of a proper and original moral conscience, I did it from my character as a member of Opus. I am not saying anything with which the members of the Work do not agree, because, in fact, we were urged to reason and to conform our acts ad mentem patris, that is to say, according to the mind and the criterion of actuation of Escrivá, putting aside our own criterion.We were not told to think how Jesus Christ would act, but how Escriva would act. This observation is important because the two criteria point in divergent directions.Whoever knows the Gospels, even minimally, knows that Jesus Christ was guided first of all by the love of the person before him, while the Escrivarian conscience leads us to act always for the benefit of the Work, even at the expense of the person.

For some Christian authors, the voice of conscience is equivalent to God himself within the human heart. But in our numerary existence, that voice of conscience was replaced or identified with the  institutional spirit of Opus. So it was that my conscience was invaded by Opus Dei.At that moment, I stopped living my own life and started living the life of a Transcendental Being (here we call it the Thing, the Dark Side, etc.) whose only real correlate is an institution.So it is not that Opus Dei helped me in my life as a human being and as a Christian, offering me a formation that enables the authenticity and the rectitude of my conscience.No. The spirit of Opus Dei is so possessive of conscience that it constitutes the only criterion of moral rectitude.Opus Dei becomes, in the minds of all its members, especially its numeraries, the measure of all things. The deification of the Work is evident.

Opuslibros frequently examines the many perveted acts of the Work and its members.

Take, for instance, the recruitment of new vocations.

Now, we former members take our hands to our head when considering such a felony.However, when we belonged to the Work we devoted ourselves with a passion to the most ferocious proselytism, with the consciousness of doing good.I dedicated myself to the work of St. Raphael for many years and I was passionate about getting new vocations.How is it possible that I did not realize what is now so obvious to me?Simply because my moral conscience was then identified with what I have called “Escrivarian consciousness.”

Now, I see very clearly that the life I was living then was not mine.My former life in Opus lacked authenticity.My consciousness was swollen by the omnipresent outer influence of what Opus Dei called the “means of formation.”The Escrivarian consciousness is continuously nourished by countless daily readings, talks, circles, meditations, retreats, fraternal talks, notes, day after day, tirelessly.In the Work, the person, especially the numerary, is subject to a permanent bombardment that prevents the appearance of the slightest authenticity, or at least keeps it completely dormant.

On the other hand, after ten years away from the Work, I have had the wonderful experience of being reunited with myself. I have experienced a reunion with the moral life in its most original and authentic sense, in the simplicity of what I truly believe without the omnipresent and suffocating artifice of the “means of formation” and “spiritual direction.” Yet, even months after leaving the Work, I  continued to experience feelings of servitude. Thus, my release was a slow and ongoing process, but at the same time, a completely natural one so that the persistent external influence of Opus upon me gradually disappeared.

Now I must raise one question. Is that Escrivarian consciousness really a spirit? An inspiration? No way. In practice, our conduct was governed not by the inspiration of charity or the sanctification of ordinary life, or by putting Christ at the summit of all human activities, but by other particular criteria.

Here we are faced with a very convoluted and permanent contradiction that has been denounced repeatedly in Opuslibros as the contradiction between theory and praxis.

For example, we had theoretically been informed of the immense human value of friendship. It was explained in classes and talks that when you really like a person you want what is best for him. Then there is the apostolate to help another person to approach God that arises in a natural way, without the need for purpose or following slogans.In addition, we were told that affection could not be conditioned by the person’s response to apostolic action.In fact, true love has an absolute value, like that of the mother who loves her child and accepts him unconditionally, even if the child is not a well behaved son.

However, at the time of the exercise of the apostolate, and when we talked about it in the fraternal talk, we did not respect “friends,” and if one of those “friends” gave no hope of vocation, we  ceased being interested in him and we stopped cultivating his  friendship. What we called “treating a friend” represented the total violence and perversion of the deep reality of friendship. Each day that passed we mediated the friendship only in terms of proselytism, and we did it with total peace of mind. At least that was the way it was for many years, until authentic consciousness began to break through.

About 20 years ago, I began to wake up from the lethargy of my conscience, a lethargy to which I had been subjected by the violence of the formation of the Work.After many years of surrender one begins to discover these things, and it took me many more years to accept the fact that there was no possibility of reform from the inside.In the Work, as soon as you begin to have some idea of ​​your own that does not coincide with orthodoxy, you are being considered being “in bad spirit.”It is evident that our true consciousness had been buried under the omnipresent influence of the Escrivarian consciousness.But as the contradiction between spirit and praxis became evident, my conscience reached a crisis, and thus began the start of my liberation.

And is not that Escrivariana conscience the way that is interpreted as “to do Opus Dei being yourself Opus Dei?”Is not this the particular reading of dying to itself that is made in the Work?There is nothing strange about what I say here.When we awaken from their consciousness, Opus  calls it pride, butI call it authenticity.I believe it is that the truth can not remain forever hidden, however much it is concealed under what is called “supernatural vision.”For a member of the Work, the goal is to stop being ourselves in order to be another Christ, but in Opus, that”other Christ” really amounts to subjection to the Escrivarian conscience.This last reflection opens the way to the next topic.

 

The Production of a Vocation

We read a few days ago in the internal document against this website (Opuslibros) what we have always known about Opus’ reaction to criticism. Former members are accused of being people without rectitude. We are accused of being twisted people leading a life that is far from  exemplary. It is a euphemistic way of suggesting that we are sexual perverts, which is almost the only moral aspect that interests them. Therefore, I believe that it is necessary to respond to our Opus accusers who are themselves, hypocrites and whitened sepulchers…

Opus has perverted the true meaning of friendship by its fierce proselytizing practices. It has perverted the true meaning of family, pretending to be its friend. It has betrayed its members who decide to leave Opus after giving decades of their life to the service of the Work, without any social security. They have perverted the most elemental sense of charity when they try violently to force a nonexistent vocation upon any poor, naive and good-hearted boy.They have perverted Christianity, turning service to God and the Church into service to a perverse institution dedicated to destroying human lives.

Let us examine how Opus “produces” vocations.

As has been discussed here extensively, Opus Dei can recruit anyone as a celibate numerary as revealed by “Castalio” on July 10, 2009 in How We Made Numeraries in Mexico.

To the young man who is ensnared by the transnational Opus Dei, he is told that he has a vocation and that he will be a wretched man if he does not respond affirmatively to the call.

The poor innocent man has to believe this because he knows that the Catholic Church approves of the Work. The young man is defenseless. He begins a long process of training, mentalization and alienation in the most rigorous sense of the term. He is made to feel happy and privileged for having been chosen. He does not seem to realize the most complete artificiality of the mentioned procedure: rules, means of formation, fraternal talks, retreats, circles … an artificial device with which even a brain-dead patient could be sustained in life. By means of this procedure it is possible to artificially produce a vocation to feed it, to maintain it and even to reproduce it. But this is very far from a true vocation which is something that emerges from the center of the soul with natural spontaneity. Not surprisingly, the poor boy, in a very few years begins to show symptoms of internal breakage.

I entered Opus Dei at age 14. At age 24 I was subjected to psychiatric care and pharmacological treatment. I remained so throughout my life in the Work, up to a year after I left.  For more than 30 years I have been the recipient of many generations of antidepressants and anxiolytics. I have consulted with several “psychiatrists,” most of whom were, in fact, doctors from other specialties who occasionally went to the University of Navarre to take a short course on how to “attend” people from home.

That is the way Opus Dei holds on to a “vocation” A vocation they say they have clearly seen in prayer.They support it by blocking distress (benzodiazepines) and injecting supplementary energies (antidepressants that recapture serotonin) in order for the young man to achieve fidelity in the ascetic struggle in his Work of God.A pharmacological procedure, strictly chemical, is put at the service of a spirituality.

Is not this procedure something completely artificial, which has nothing to do with the naturalness of an authentic vocation? Is it not altogether inhumane? Is not a definitive traumatic breakup being prepared? Is not the seed of hatred being sown?

But we are told they do it for God, for His Work, and that justifies everything.If the boy has no vocation they say, God would grant it immediately, there is no doubt, for God can not leave in the void the desire for surrender…

It is evident that what I describe here is a colossal injustice? Is it not an obvious violation of the dignity of the person, of the respect with which each human being should be treated, to take possession of a human being when the latter is just emerging into the autonomous life from adolescence, to arbitrarily attribute to him from the outside, as a violation, a meaning to his life, subjecting him to an omnipresent process of indoctrination?This is an injustice and an act of arbitrariness of incredible dimensions.I believe it is a sin comparable to of the sins which Scripture says cries out to heaven.So cries my spirit at this moment.

Between the ages of 25 and 30, Opus Dei sent me to “rest.” I was still drugged for periods of weeks on end at “a retirement home” so that I might recover from “wear” and “fatigue.”  Why was a 27-year-old young man, who should be courting girls and who had reached the the apex of his professional career be taking anxiolitics and antidepressants?

Is this the way an ordinary Christian sanctifies his ordinary life!  As natural and logical as an octopus in a garage.I see it now with a clear mind, and I react furiously to those who dared to take over my life and manipulated it that way.And I hope someday to be heard and these raptors punished.

Opus Dei, from the candor of its charity, says that we are “wounded people,” but they have fallen short in their description of former members. I am a maimed man because Opus stole my life !!!  Don’t you think so, motherfuckers?

Hopefully, God does exist and will punish the perverse system that calls itself Opus Dei and which boasts that its founder is a “canonized saint.”

Opus Dei says that it is not responsible for the mistakes that its members make. But this statement is radically false. Quite the opposite is true. Among the people of the Work are the most noble and innocent of human beings. They are so noble and innocent that they are easily ensnared. So noble and innocent that, like me, they remained for decades, believing like imbeciles that God was there in Opus Dei. So noble and innocent that, like me, they continued to believe for years in “the truth of the Work” even when they were confronted by profound contradictions which were readily evident to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear.

Each of us who has abandoned the Work has followed a different path, although there are close parallels which come to light in various biographies.

In my case, the human and spiritual wear and tear reached its maximum with the passage of time. How can one endure, without a vocation, such an artificial and intense situation?

The departure from the Work is usually a painful process because it means not only breaking away from the Work, but also a break with oneself since our authentic identity has been lost. Confusion, sometimes explosive, naturally ensues. Then, in an instant, everything changes.

In an instant, the Work which once constituted the very meaning of life for me ceased to be important. Thus, after 30 years of never doubting it, I decided to leave the Work.

In some cases faith falters or is lost when one leaves Opus Dei. The moral life may follow uncertain directions as the liberation leads to a blind search for the meaning of one’s existence?The reunion with oneself is carried out under precarious conditions and it takes a long time… Remember that I held internal positions in the Prelature for more than 20 years so I know what I’m talking about.

 

I Blame the Work

I blame the Work for those who have lost faith after their passage through the Work; I blame the Work for those who have lost their faith in the Church; I blame the Work for those who have abandoned the practice of the Sacraments; I blame the Work for those who have abandoned the morals of Jesus Christ. I am shouting to the four winds, for someone from the Vatican to listen to me. For bishops around the world, and good priests and all men of good will to listen to me!!!

Opus Dei began to take over my life when I was just 13 years old. My father had recently died  and could not defend me.My mother did not defend me because she was afraid, because she was told that the Catholic Church supports Opus Dei.My brothers tried to defend me, but they were too young and could not do anything effective.

On the other hand, Opus Dei was very effective. It indoctrinated me in its own way with lies until it made me invulnerable to any external aid. What I could not foresee was that my conscience would break through after more than 30 years of Escrivarian consciousness, and that one day I would have the strength to free myself from its chains. So it was, and I am filled with joy for it, and now I celebrate it with all my friends of Opuslibros, at the end of the ten years of my liberation, the ten years of my dies natalis.

Still I regret the loss of my youth to Opus. It makes me angry to know that I shall never get those years back. I see Opus as a thief who stole the most beautiful of my days. My youth might have been happy or miserable, but at least it would have been MINE the life that God gave me. But no. They snatched my life with their tricks. They had no right to do what they did to me and I had nobody in this world to protect me. I am hurt, very hurt. And I also understand the hurt and pain of others who have suffered as I did, especially when I remember that I myself was instrumental in inflicting that same hurt on others in the Work when I was a member.

This is the story of my life in Opus Dei and I assume full responsibility for it. I do not renounce it nor do I despise myself for belonging to Opus Dei. On the other hand, it would be absolutely unjust for me to be silent in the face of the many abuses of Opus which are disguised as a service to God. I say it from the bottom of my conscience, fully assuming that God will judge me for it. I’m not afraid or hesitant to scream it out loud. Perhaps I am not “exemplary” as Opus understand the word.  But I know with a certain awareness that God does not give a damn about the exemplarity that they preach, which is a charity without love and without soul. Its own founder declared in a moment of strange lucidity: without charity, purity is fruitless and its sterile waters turn the soul into a swamp, a stagnant marsh, from which rises the stench of pride.” (Camino, 119).

It has been ten years since leaving Opus Dei, and I am so glad for it.These years have been wonderful.I do not say it out of spite.Nor do I think I have finished my recomposition process.I have decades to go to rectify my condition. I may never get all the way there. However, I see the hand of God in so many things.It seems that He feels obliged to give me special protection for the years that I dedicated to Him in the Work with rectitude of intention.

The Voluntarism of the Work

An important aspect of Opus is the radical voluntarism it professes. I use the term in a philosophical sense. Voluntarism means the absolute predominance of the will over the intellect to the point that truth can be transformed and even produced by simply willing it.

I remember very well, Carlos Llano, an Opus numerary and philosopher who I greatly admired. While I was enrolled at the University, I made it my business to attended all his philosophy courses, even if they did not correspond to my regular study schedule.  But there came a time when I realized with amazement that he did not care for the truth, and that he did not really believe in it or in philosophy.The reality was that he used philosophy to advance himself in the Work. I say this because he expressly confessed it to me in a private conversation. He told me that he did not really believe in philosophy and that he did not take it seriously, but that it had been very useful to him.That confession made me very disappointed and I walked away from him.I would have wanted him to be my mentor, but then I realized that I could not expect anything good from him.

The allusion to Carlos Llano is important because he was a mentor for many numeraries of the Work in Mexico.He was a bright and intelligent man, who had toabdicate his intelligence in order to be able to remain faithful to the Work.He and I agreed to occupy positions in the region, although, of course, he was much more important than me.However, I refer to this because in our conversations I could clearly see that he stopped believing in truth and intelligence in order to continue affirming the validity of the project of the Work…

In the Work, many study philosophy as a professional career, but in reality neither philosophy nor philosophers have any place in Opus. Instead of contributing to the development of the Work, as was once believed, we philosophers have become an albatross around the neck of Opus because we realized that there was something very wrong in the Work. Someone has said that the Work is more a creature of architects and engineers than philosophers (please understand that there is nothing pejorative in these allusions). The main reason for this truism is that philosophy is an intellectual discipline and the Work is a radically voluntarist institution. In the Work the least important thing is to understand. The decisive thing is obedience, which begins with the submission of the intellect. In the Work the word understand is used a lot, but it is stripped of its most obvious meaning…

Voluntarism is concretized in the end in that everything that serves the Work is good, and if it is not it should be so, and it will be by the grace of God. It is evident that in the Work much is done with very little thought. Intellectuals hinder the Work because they question what is done. Carlos Llano told me that when one did not understand something that was commanded in the Work, one had to formulate the theory that was necessary to support the mandate. That is voluntarism, the subjugation of truth to the will…

In the Work, the truth can be constructed, produced, done. The truth is at the service of a project. The truth is not discovered and respected as such… Escriva was a great volunteer as was Portillo and Echevarria. In the Work, what is important is “to do” and the rest are stories. Effectiveness is a primordial value. But it is clear that this can not have a happy ending. If the truth of things is not respected, the truth will be imposed, and the bill will have to be paid, sooner or later.

 

The Use of Double Truth in the Work

It is clear from the internal document of Opus Dei on Opuslibros cited above, that the Work uses the Catholic Church to defend its legitimacy. Opus Dei says that like Christ and the Pope, it is also under attack and that the good has always been attacked, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It says there is nothing strange and nothing to fear from Opus because it has been approved by the Church. It proclaims that it serves the Church from its trenches, with its own spirituality…

How beautiful! How tender these words of Opus sound. But there is an essential trap, that of the double face  the double life. It is a fundamental hypocrisy that corrupts everything.

In his many postings on Opuslibros, Otaluto has demonstrated this feature of Opus very well. In Opus Dei it is possible that the same discourse means very different things depending on the context, according to the audience, or according to the interlocutor.There are not two speeches, but the same speech with several different meanings.

For example, the founder of Opus Dei writes that “God inspired the spirit of Opus Dei,” and the Church repeats this claim. Opus says that the Church cannot put forward any objection to Opus Dei because everything in the Work is of God.

Now there is no doubt that promoting sanctification in the midst of the world and the sanctification of work are very good things.It is something that must be accepted in strict Catholic thought…But that very word to “inspire” means something very different within the Work.Here it means that the Work is of God and God determined that His Work will is done.Here it means that the will of God manifests itself supreme in the will of the Father, that is, the founder and the current prelate.Here it means that the will of God is manifested through the directors, who represent the Father.Here it means that if you do not persevere in your vocation to Opus Dei your life is not worth a cent. And so we could go on and on, with expressions of double meaning.

One of my first encounters with the double truth was when they explained to me that the special steps of admission and oblation and fidelity taken by a candidate were often accompanied by a period of trials and doubts for him, but these feelings of doubt and questioning should be of no concern to the interested party.They told me that the interested person should assume his vocation in fullness from the beginning, rejecting any thoughts of doubts as coming from the devil. I was told that the times of trial were only the concern of the directors, who had to ascertain whether or not the subject had justifiable doubts. Actually, that was not true either.We know that successive incorporations are commonplace in the institutions of the Church, a logical consequence of the candidate having to ratify or rectify his election. So Opus Dei found it necessary to give a different meaning to the same. One explanation to the candidates. One for the directors. And one for the ecclesiastical hierarchy. So now we have not one or two but three different truths. It is the skill of these holy men.

At this point, I simply want to say that under no circumstances would the Church approve of the following aspects of Opus Dei’s internal doctrine:

  1. The Church would never accept the precept that Escriva’s “inspiration” is the equivalent of the Divine Revelation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Apostles. Neither would the Church extend the mantel of infallibility to everything said by the founder or his successors, much less to the governing councils of Opus.
  2. The Church would never accept the precept that one’s vocation in Opus is immutable and changeless and that to question one’s vocation or to leave the Work exposes the member to the danger of eternal damnation.
  3. The Church would never accept the proposition that to persevere in the Work and to fulfill all the norms of the Work is a guarantee of eternal salvation.
  4. The Church would never accept the proposition that a member is a disobedient scoundrel or a worthless wretch if he confesses to a priest outside of Opus Dei.
  5. The Church would never accept the proposition that if you hide some thoughts from your director you have made a pact with the devil.
  6. The Church would never accept the proposition that through prayer, a director can, with absolute certainty, discern that another person has a divine vocation, or that directors meeting in councils can determine with infallibility who and who has not a vocation to the Work.
  7. The Church would never accept the precept that apart from making a sacramental confession to a priest, one is also obliged to confess his sins to a lay director or another appointed person in the fraternal talk or chat.
  8. The Church would never accept the proposition that all those who are in authority have the right to know all about the intimate inner life of Opus members.
  9. The Church would never accept that all the prescriptions that are not contained in the Statutes are equally obligatory…

None of these precepts or rules or propositions have been approved by the Church, but Opus has imposed them secretly on its members as doctrines revealed by God to its founder. Yet, the  founder has insisted that these rules are not imposed but freely assumed by the members.

I still recall that when I was fully secured for Opus Dei at the age of 14, the first thing they taught me was that the founder had received a revelation an express and explicit mandate from God.They based the authenticity of such a revelation on the founder’s holiness. They dedicated   hundreds of hours to me alone, telling me all kinds of supernatural events in the life of Escriva. However, none of those who helped in my early formation, except the priest, continued in the Work. In contrast to these supernatural stories, it was made clear to me that the life and spirit of Opus members was the life and spirit of the ordinary…  In later years, many of these same supernatural events were related in the founder’s biographies, but with so many modifications and attenuating circumstances that the miracles seem to have disappeared.

No matter, as far as I was concerned, Opus achieved its goal with me. I swear by my life, that in my later youth, when I was 16 or 17, I already valued the Father more than the Pope. I thought of the Father as another St. Paul…

Later, I came to know that many of these stories about the founder were blatant lies, but by then the Escrivariana conscience had completely taken possession of me.The image of the founder I had formed in my young mind was reinforced down to the smallest detail in photographs, writings, and films of Escriva. Everything that was negative or could be misinterpreted was destroyed.Thus a false and non-existent unreal image of the founder was sustained and promoted and he was canonized on October 6, 2002.

When the Work was in its infancy, a great faith was needed concerning the holiness of the founder. These false stories served to sustain that faith. Later, when the Work achieved signs of a positive presence in the world and in the Church, and after the founder’s canonization these are no longer necessary. It was a perfect strategy. And the worse part was that the Catholic Church put itself in the service of that lie. It is true that the Church was deceived, but the reprehensible thing is that she continues to be deceived. I underline this statement on purpose and I urge the Church to do her duty in this matter.

The doctrines and actions of Opus have destroyed the lives of many of its members, yet the Church has failed to acknowledge much less demand that Opus correct these abuses. The problem faced by Opus is that it needs these lies and abuses to be effective, so the question of an internal reformation is not possible.

The Work is Mortally Wounded

…  Opus is a wounded, weakened, almost moribund giant, although it still continues to hold on to its erratic existence. Opus’ internal documents on how to deal with critical websites like Opuslibros try to hide the fact Opus is suffering in many ways. Indeed Opuslibros has struck the Prelature a mortal blow.

For me, however, Opus Dei is already dead… And it is dead because we live in the Information Age which acts as a counter-force to the Great Lie… The Information Age is finally suppressing and   preventing the vocations of many numeraries. It is also leading many who are still trapped in Opus to find a solution to their captivity. Without the vocations of numeraries from whom candidates to the Opus priesthood are selected, Opus Dei is nothing. I know very well. Wow, how I know! Corporate works will become white elephants, soap bubbles, machines without soul, without effectiveness, when the number of numeraries diminish. Supernumeraries alone are nothing without numeraries. The principals of Opus will become administrators of educational works, but that is not what they really want to do.  Yet somehow the search for numeraries must go on.

Unfortunately for the Work, today one must be an imbecile or underage to ask for admission to Opus. And as soon as these minors come of age, they too will leave. What took members like me 20 or 30 years to discover, anyone can discover it today with a computer with internet access. Nothing will be as before. Javier Echevarría will go to the grave with the bitter conscience that the Opus fell into his hands.

Heraldo, 03/20/2013

 

[Certainly you can reprint the newsletter. Just give credit to the authors and note that the articles originally were posted on Opuslibros and then reprinted in OD Watch. Anyone interested in being on the OD Watch list can contact me at my e-mail addressrvte61@comcast.net

Randy Engel]

 

 

Cardenal Rivera, Protector de Pedofilos, debe renunciar

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Sin duda que se libra una batalla campal de poder politico y eclesiastico en Roma y en Mexico en estos momentos. Los defensores de las victimas han lanzando una demanda legal en contra del cardenal. Otros lo defienden. He aqui dos comentarios contrarios:

A su consideración (Alberto Athie)
 

Como si nuestro interés fuera de tipo político, lo que estaría en juego en nuestra denuncia ante la PGR es incidir en la renuncia del cardenal Rivera y no en que rinda cuentas antes de que se vaya impune, que es lo central para nosotros.

Según Enrique Aranda -y les invito a leer todo su artículo-:

“…Nadie pues, ni siquiera el exsacerdote Alberto Athié —fallido aspirante a obispo, por cierto— que, en un gesto de oportunismo extremo, pareciera que intenta aprovechar la ocasión para construir consensos públicos con miras a imputar al prelado delitos y/o bien, hacerlo blanco de difamaciones.

El asunto, insistamos, depende sólo de una persona (del Papa)… de nadie más”.

De mi parte comento: Es decir, aunque un prelado de ese tamaño -para los católicos incondicionales el tamaño del prelado es el criterio de autoridad incondicional e impunidad que tienen- cometa delitos graves de encubrimiento de pederastas (15 reconoció finalmente al término de su mandato) dañando a muchas víctimas niñas y niños en este país y además no informe a las autoridades competentes para que intervenga, sino sólo a su Jefe máximo en secreto, además, sólo este Jefe máximo, el Papa, lo puede mantener en el cargo o quitarlo y nadie más!!! Dónde estamos? En qué país nos encontramos?

Para algunos católicos mexicanos este es el Estado de derecho soberano en el que nos encontramos. Un prelado mexicano puede hacer lo que se le pegue la gana -incluso cometer delitos graves en contra de niñas y niños, proteger a los agresores y no informar ni denunciar a las autoridades competentes- y, además, ser a su vez protegido por sus incondicionales que afirman que sólo su Jefe máximo puede intervenir en su permanencia o no en el cargo!!!

Por eso les invito a expresarse, incluso públicamente, si lo importante es respetar a prelados de este tipo, que, por ser lo que son, hagan lo que hagan, no tienen porqué rendir cuentas de sus actos a nadie y, además, dejarle sólo al Papa la decisión de cuándo debe retirarse simplemente sin que nadie les reclame nada…

Como dice el mambo famoso de Pérez Prado:
“Juárez no debió de morir—ay de morir”

(Hasta aquí Athie)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Abajo sigue el artículo completo publicado por Enrique Aranda al que alude Alberto Athie arriba) 


“En manos (sólo) del Papa…

Norberto Rivera Carrera sometería su renuncia a seguir encabezando la más importante y compleja jurisdicción eclesial del país, al apenas cumplir los 75 años.

Entregada presumiblemente en mano desde la pasada semana al Papa Francisco por su autor, aunque con fecha 6 de junio, la carta-renuncia al arzobispado de México no implica, de manera alguna, que el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera deba abandonar el cargo este martes ni, menos, que la encumbrada posición quedará vacante en espera de su supuesto sucesor pues, vale aclarar, ni lo uno ni lo otro ocurrirá, sino hasta que el Pontífice así lo decida. No antes, independientemente de las presiones mediáticas, aspiraciones y/o autopromociones.

Es verdad, como explicó él mismo en su oportunidad, que en cumplimiento de lo que establece el canon 401, párrafo 1 del Código de Derecho Canónico de 1983, el primado sometería (¿sometió ya?) su renuncia a seguir encabezando la más importante y compleja jurisdicción eclesial del país, en lo que a peso político y gobierno refiere, al apenas cumplir los 75 años de edad. Ello hoy, sin embargo, o en unas horas más de no haber sucedido ya, alienta más dudas y expectativas que certezas…

Más dudas, porque si bien propios y extraños dan por hecho el “inminente” relevo del duranguense que en 1995, procedente de la diócesis de Tehuacán, Puebla, llegó a la arquidiócesis metropolitana, sede del más importante santuario mariano existente a nivel mundial, a suceder a monseñor Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, nadie atina a definir una fecha de retiro y, menos, un destino para un hombre cuya innegable influencia y liderazgo, a la vista de la más compleja elección presidencial de las últimas décadas y en la que, puede usted apostar, la Iglesia tendrá mucho que decir, y eventualmente decidir, tiende a acrecentarse.

Así, al menos se perciben las cosas al más alto nivel gubernamental, por los rumbos del exPalacio de Covián para ser más explícitos, donde se alienta la idea y se cruzan apuestas en el sentido de que Rivera Carrera, quien apenas el viernes por la noche volvió de su más reciente visita a la Sede Apostólica, a la eterna Roma, pudiera mantenerse en el cargo “hasta bien avanzado el año en curso o, en una de ésas, hasta pasadas las presidenciales…”, en razón de ser él, en la actualidad, el único jerarca católico en activo con capacidad para interactuar en forma directa y clara con la totalidad de los actores políticos del país… independiente su filiación partidista y/o su personal posicionamiento doctrinal.

Definidas así las cosas entonces, y dejando siempre a salvo la personal y exclusiva facultad que al santo padre compete de aceptar de inmediato o diferir (el tiempo que juzgue conveniente) la aceptación de ésta u otra dimisión episcopal, nadie hoy puede apostar a la presión mediática como vía para avanzar en tal o cual sentido…

Nadie pues, ni siquiera el exsacerdote Alberto Athié —fallido aspirante a obispo, por cierto— que, en un gesto de oportunismo extremo, pareciera que intenta aprovechar la ocasión para construir consensos públicos con miras a imputar al prelado delitos y/o bien, hacerlo blanco de difamaciones.

El asunto, insistamos, depende sólo de una persona… de nadie más”

Effects of Involvement with Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi on Cradle Faith: Questions for Pope Francis, LC Leadership and Catholic Bishops

             Shipwrecked

Effects of Involvement with Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi on Cradle Faith: Questions for Pope Francis, LC Leadership and Catholic Bishops

Presentation at the International Cultic Studies Association Annual International Conference, Stockholm, July 2015

 

By John Paul Lennon, MA, STL & Aura Bethancourt-Lennon

 

The author’s experience[i], plus contacts with hundreds of other former members of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi by email, phone and/or in person, led him to believe that involvement with this Movement affected one’s cradle faith. “Cradle faith” being simply defined as the faith one is born into and raised in. It is now common knowledge that former members of this group, erstwhile devout Catholics, on leaving the LC/RC no longer considered themselves Catholics, or even Christians. Some even consider themselves agnostics and atheists. How did involvement with this bona fide Catholic Movement have such a deleterious defect? Further reflection modified that initial a priori hypothesis.  There appeared to be a need to find facts and explore this area with the help of a survey.

The experiment would be based on the following rationale: on entering the organization all candidates are devout Catholics. After “walking away” or been “thrown away not all are devout Catholics. How would they describe themselves today?  The experiment was designed to solicit feedback from former members visiting a webpage, http://www.regainnetwork.org, for former members and their families.

 

DESIGN

A member is recruited and belongs to the group for x number of years. He may leave after a certain amount of time, either as a throw-away or as a walk away. Each member experiences his recruitment/joining, belonging as a member and leaving in a personal way. The stages could be hypothesized as follows:

Pre-entry into the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi, it is assumed that the member is in full “communion” with the Catholic Church. Firm and unshaken belief in the Catholic Church as a divinely inspired religious institution; veneration and trust in the clergy (priests, bishops, pope)

  • Involvement as a fully observant lay member, abiding by marriage and birth control laws, etc.
  • A regular Mass goer who receives Communion (Sacrament of the Eucharist), “goes to confession” (Sacrament of Penance) at least once a year and “contributes to the support of his/her pastors.”

 

Membership in LC/RC

  • All of the above, plus
  • Involvement in the Church as a minister, religious or committed lay member of RC

 

Post exit from the LC/RC Movement some members are unscathed, “keeping their faith intact” while others have left or renounced full communion with the Catholic Church in varying degrees

  • Full communion with institutional Catholic Church as in Pre-Entry and good relationship with LC/RC
  • Full Communion with Catholic Church but lost faith in the LC/RC organization with an attitude of
    • Indifference
    • Criticism
    • Opposition

 

  • Partial communion with the Catholic Church
  • Leaves the ministry and/or religious life.
  • No longer fully observant lay member.
  • No longer a “practicing Catholic” but does not reject the notion that the Catholic Church is divinely inspired.
    • Occasional Mass goer; rarely, if ever “goes to confession”; contributes little, if any, to the support of the ministers, the institution and its works (Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, etc.)
    • May not be “married by the Church,” nor heed Church birth control laws
    • May not baptize his/her children ‘in the faith.’

 

  • Lost faith in the Catholic Church as a divinely inspired religious institution; lost veneration for and trust in the clergy (priests, bishops, pope)
    • Retains partial communion with the Church (some residual attraction to Church such as family tradition, liturgy, sacred music, etc.)
    • Joins other Christian community
    • Joins other major religion
    • Declares him/herself agnostic or atheist

 

The medium to be used would be the ReGAIN webpage which has a steady stream of former members. The author assumed -not a very scientific attitude but common sense- that some or many of the visitors to the site -which constantly questions the official version of the Legion and the Regnum- would be among the more “disenchanted” Catholics, that their responses could tend to be
“negative” and that some kind of a balancing measure might need to be applied.

 RESULTS:

A total of 78 valid responses were delivered. Of these only 41 had been former members of the LC/RC; and of these 4 were currently active members.  Responses described visitors’ current relationship with the LC/RC in the following way:

Relationship with the LC/RC:

  • Average/Non important 13/41
  • Poor/Negative 21/41
  • Angry/they hurt me 1
  • I hate them 2
  • Positive 3
  • As good as could be             1

Relationship with the Catholic Church:

  • Fully Practicing 24/41
  • Partially Practicing 8
  • No longer a Catholic 8
  • * Incomplete response 1

 

 INTERPRETATION

Relationship with the LC/RC: “Average/Non important” answers indicate that a significant number of respondents have “taken the experience in their stride.” This could also indicate that former members have chosen not to dwell on their experience and have chosen to “get on with their lives.” But it is significant that 21 state unambiguously that they have a negative relationship/attitude toward the group they initially joined so enthusiastically and generously.

Recently a Spanish language blog called Legioleaks [ii] was launched on Facebook in which many of the contributing 120 disaffected former members vent their frustration, criticism and anger at their alma mater. While one might wonder “Why are you so angry?”, this begs the flip question “What has the institute done to make these young men so angry?”

In fact, only 3 respondents on the ReGAIN survey described his/her attitude as angry or hating. Therefore, criticisms on the blog may help interpret the finds of our survey and discover some of the flaws in the Movement’s system.

Results of “Relationship with the Catholic Church” could be considered surprising; in the sense that 24 of 41 described themselves as fully practicing Catholics, thus indicating that the respondents cannot be dismissed as “disgruntled ex-members”. Real cause for concern stems from 8/41 considering themselves partially practicing Catholics and another 8/41 saying they are no longer Catholic; in common parlance this means that one out of four “have left the Church.”

Catholic bishops may want to consider this result when they allow the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi to recruit in their dioceses.

 

Questions for LC/RC leadership

A study of the results prompts the author to raise some questions for consideration by the LC/RC Movement’s leadership:

  • Whether there exist elements in the Movement’s training (formation) that tend to alienate or otherwise hurt the members, producing in them feelings of rejection, anger and resentment toward their alma mater upon leaving.
  • Whether such flaws in the Movement’s training system are serious enough to cause exiting members to alienate not only from the Movement but also from the Catholic Church.
  • Whether the Movement needs to refine its screening process for recruits and its evaluation of new candidates.
  • Posters in Legioleaks point out the need for a deeper process of discernment of the religious vocation. The writer presented a pater at the I.C.S.A annual conference in Stockholm, 2015, warning about the dangers of undue influence and foreclosure, i.e. premature commitment to the religious calling[iii].
  • Posters in Legioleaks return time and again to the fact that their religious vocation appeared to be a forgone conclusion once they entered the group, prompting the question: Whether the Movement prepares the members for the possibility/option of exiting the organization.
  • Whether the members are given the necessary instruments for handling departure and transitioning to a new life outside the Movement.
  • Whether departing members have access to their legal documents, academic degrees and a minimum of job training.
  • And if the member decides to leave, whether the Movement has -and implements- concrete guidelines to help the departing member leave in a healthy, positive and constructive way.

 

 

These results beg comparative studies regarding how other religious orders fare with former members.

 

Instrument limitations:

on reflection, it would appear that one important factor which was not taken into account in the survey was “for how long” the person had been a member of the group. A priori, this would seem an important element as, if it were assumed that the effects were negative, the damaging effects would possibly grow and worsen over time. Related to this factor would be “at what age did you join”, again with the assumption that earlier exposure could cause more deleterious effects.

 

&&&&&

Historical note:

Fr. Maciel’s sexual abuse victims:

When cultic abuse is compounded by sexual abuse, the impact on the faith of the victim would appear to increase exponentially. The eight Maciel former seminarians who brought their case to the media and to Vatican authorities feel alienated from Catholic authorities.  The spectrum of the survivors’ “faith” –or lack thereof- is very wide and in general terms goes from atheism, through total alienation from the Catholic Church, to minimal participation in the Church. With the exception of Fr. Alarcon, a retired priest, none of Fr. Maciel’s Legion of Christ seminary victims, Senores Barba, Vaca, Jurado, Barrales, the brothers Olvera, Espinosa would consider himself a “fully practicing Catholic.”

 

[i] Described in detail in Our Father Maciel who art in bed, a Naïve and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ, the exiting was long and tortuous. Each one ‘struggles’ with is religious question, and with the whole recovery task, in his own individual way.

[ii] https://www.facebook.com/groups/623513181133578/  Currently with over 1,000 members.

[iii] https://regainnetwork.org/2015/07/25/do-the-legion-of-christ-and-regnum-christi-exert-undue-influence-by-recruiting-children-and-minors/

 

 

Am I, or a loved one, involved with a Harmful Group? Find out

depression

Info-Culte,  a prominent and well respected Canadian association that studies harmful groups and relationships, explains their 35 year trajectory. And how “the field” has changed over the years. The address by founder, Mike Klopfeld will give the reader insight into how people are drawn into harmful groups and why so many concerned people study the phenomenon of charismatic Pied Pipers who lead the unwitting on a merry chase out of their minds and money.

by Mike Kropveld

Article based on a presentation given at the Beijing International Academic Symposium on Cultic Groups and Religious Culture, Beijing, China, August 15–16, 2015:

Scandal at the Vatican (New Video on the Legion of Christ)

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Thanks to the initiative of the former Legionary, Xavier Leger, the Irish, RTE, English language dubbing of the original French documentary, is now available.

Click here

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