Category Archives: Catholic Church

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)

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(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.

 

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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

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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.

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Vatican Intervention of a Catholic Sect, a True Story

VATICAN INTERVENTION

Andy Sullivan,

The Church’s worst nightmare. Love never fails.

 

https://vimeo.com/165480216

The Book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vatican-Intervention-Andrew-Lee-Sullivan/dp/1530876443

 

Amazon description:

The author exposes the hidden and outrageous world of a budding Catholic institute. A discarded insider and captive in an apartment near Rome, the once broken priest with suicidal tendencies survives. He shares his ordeal and bares his soul with raw sincerity.

In 1979, an idealistic and naïve Sullivan leaves California and joins a wannabe religious order named Miles Jesu. Two tragic but unclear realities threaten his future. The young man has a condition that retards the proper development of his emotional life. The eighteen-year-old unwittingly joins a cult. These two menaces trigger gradual human destruction. Life deteriorates into a victim’s futile attempts to endure a virtual sociopath.

Then a miracle of overwhelming love bursts in the soul of Father Sullivan. Secrets of the power of love, Jesus’ love transform him. All hell breaks loose. Breakneck emotional development surges. His only path to human salvation is to escape into the Vatican and face his worst fears. He must risk his future and unmask the cult to seize his freedom. Sullivan must face the consequences of feeling divine and human love for the first time.

Vatican Intervention advances fresh outlooks on universal themes: love, prayer, risk taking. This incredible love story of Church tragedy and hope underlines the existential nature of receiving love. It reveals the surprising impact therapeutic meditation can have on human emotions and their growth.

Superbly written, the story reflects Capote’s feel of real and Grisham’s page-turning narrative. While documenting a true testimony, it reads like compelling fiction.

This testimony is an ideal follow up story to Spotlight: The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Yet, Vatican Intervention shows blinding light at the end of the tunnel.

This book is especially suited for Christians and Catholics. It offers insight about church scandals and shares an epiphany of hope for anyone harmed by them. Bishops, priests, ministers, religious, seminarians, students, and church worshipers can discover enlightenment, healing, and the transforming power of love within its pages. Above all else, this is a book for anyone who has hit rock bottom in life.

Vatican Intervention is being adapted into a major motion picture by producer, Mario Domina of ThunderBall Films, Ltd. The original screenplay adaptation will be written by Brian L. Porter, author, screenwriter, and co-producer. Andrew Lee Sullivan will contribute as the co-writer and associate producer for the project.

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5.0 out of 5 stars

Miles Jesu, Opus Dei, Legion of Christ, Regnum Christi…

Miles Jesu and Legion of Christ

 

Review by J. Paul Lennon on June 15, 2016

Andy Sullivan’s story is gripping, illustrative, harrowing and hopeful. He was an American founding member of Miles Jesu, another one of the “New Religious Movements” that blossomed in the Catholic Church in the 1960’s around the time of the II Vatican Council. Some of these were decidedly maverick.
Very well written, entertaining, a real love story, a tale of abuse, survival and vindication. It contains one bad guy and many good guys, innocent recruits that the charismatic “Fr. Duran” hauled in his wake as he created a (another) movement to save the Catholic Church from itself.
Sullivan’s survival tale is remarkable because it describes being drawn into an abusive group, coping with that, falling into despair, struggling with celibacy, reporting the group to the dioceses of Rome, getting free and finally being able to marry the love of his life. When Sullivan, who had been one of the order’s chief fundraisers, became disenchanted and began questioning he was punished in several ways, including being placed under “house arrest” in Ostia, Italy.
Very insightful is Sullivan’s discovery of his Affective Deprivation Disorder. What is really surprising is how Sullivan finds a spiritual path to recovery in the midst of mental and emotional chaos. The book is worth the price for this element alone. Find out for yourself.
As a former Legionary of Christ who lived during the Maciel era, there were hundreds of “ah-ha” moments for the reviewer. Incredible how all these “gurus” have the same modus operandi in winning over followers and getting them to do their bidding, imposing iron-fisted discipline on their followers while they “the primrose path to dalliance tread.”
Another unique feature is Sullivan’s detailed description of his complicated dealings with authorities in the diocese of Rome (Vicariate) and at the Vatican (Congregation for Religious and Lay Institutes, Congregation for the Clergy) as he reports the chaotic environment he has been living in and then tries to get free from Miles Jesu and, after psychotherapy and much soul searching, seeks a dispensation from priestly celibacy. He describes the steps Roman authorities took to rein in the maverick institution. Steps and interventions similar to the Vatican intervention of the Legion of Christ 2010-2014; the Vicariate appears to have been more effective but ultimately the measures peter out in the same way as with the Legion when high Vatican powers decide to “save” the institution instead of going deeper with the surgical knife or abolishing it outright.
Fortunately, at the end of the story the lovers are reunited, get married in the Ukraine, have children, return to the USA and live happily -if modestly- ever after.

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