Is the Legion of Christ’s Regnum Christi Movement Currently Attempting to Take over Christendom College?

Resultado de imagen para Christendom College

                           Is the Legion of Christ’s Regnum Movement

             Currently Attempting to Take Over Christendom College?

 

Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, President of Christendom College is being asked to resign by involved parties of the current “sexual abuse scandal.” Will Ken Ferguson, Vice President of the college, be Dr. O’Donnell’s replacement if he steps down?  If so, is he the RC/LC selected candidate to complete the take-over?

______________________________________________________________________

The intent of the following is not to make accusations, but to ask questions.

Consider these questions and links: (emphasis added below).

  • Instaurare, (Christendom’s Magazine) edition of 2013, page 20.

“Christendom College welcomed Ken Ferguson, C.P.A., as its new Executive

Vice President…”

https://issuu.com/christendomcollege/docs/instaurare-issuu/20

 

  1. How does this background piece mentioned in the article add to a possible future president?

“He (Ken Ferguson) later joined Dino DeLaurentis, where he financed

several feature films including “King Kong” and “Blue Velvet.”

 

  • How and what words does Wikipedia use to describe the movie, Blue Velvet?

– Strong sexual and violent content, voyeurism, violent rape, mutilation, sadomachochism, severed human ear, pornographic, fellatio)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Velvet_(film) – (Caution: Very explicit graphic content

 

 

  • What Regnum Christi projects has Ken Ferguson worked on before Christendom?

 

The Brian Bisgrove Project

brianbisgrove.blogspot.com/p/book.html

Nov 7, 2011 – In 2005, Fr Alvaro Corcuera, LC, General Director of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement…, of which Brian was a member… by Steve McEveety, Hollywood producer and head of Mpower Pictures™ and Ken Ferguson…

“In 2005, Fr Alvaro Corcuera, LC, General Director of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement, of which Brian was a member, on learning about Brian Bisgrove’s story, suggested to Joe Cunningham that he write a book about Brian as a prelude to a movie and his canonization as a saint in the Catholic Church.  “In 2006, Joseph submitted a script draft for a documentary…. to Mpower Pictures™, headed by Steve McEveety, Hollywood producer and head of Mpower Pictures™ and Ken Ferguson…”

http://brianbisgrove.blogspot.com/p/book.htmlINTRO
“He (K. Ferguson) later started-up MpowerMedia LLC for 5 years, acting as CEO, worked as a CFO at Primus Telecommunications Group, and helped found Beach Mill Productions, LLC. His companies have produced such feature films as “Bella” (a Regnum Christi project).

 

https://www.christendom.edu/2015/04/10/leaders-in-non-profit-business-management-to-mentor-students-at-christendom/

 

 

  • Quick summary by The Remnant:
    1. “Hoping to jump back into the journalistic spotlight, Simcha Fisher, a once popular writer for the National Catholic Register, who was summarily fired for her crude online behavior, discovered a series of allegations against Christendom College.
    2. However, although Fisher was within her rights to bring these accusations to the attention of Christendom, her solution that Christendom loosen up its rules regarding interactions between the sexes was an unjustified attempt to strike back at the conservative Catholic culture by which she had been chastened in the past.
  • Turning to her blog, Fisher attacked Christendom, not only for its alleged mishandling of the very serious matter of abuse, but as a Catholic institution attempting to follow traditional Catholic ethics.
  1. Christendom initially doubled down and said that the accusations against the college were inaccurate and exaggerated, but at the same time offered an apology to anyone who had been harmed.’
  2. Fisher appeared moderately satisfied that there was some response, and then the matter went quiet for a few days.
  3. But then something weird happened.
  • Christendom College responded again with a stronger admission of guilt and a thank you to the Fishers for giving the abused a platform to present their accusations.
  • However, Christendom’s response emboldened Fisher (and her husband, who seems to be Fisher’s little helper in the whole process) and has prompted her to call for the resignation of Christendom President Timothy O’Donnell, an action that would no doubt draw nationwide media attention to Fisher and her husband’s detective work.  (bold, underline emphasis added)

 

The Remnant Newspaper – Simcha Fisher and Christendom College …  https://www.remnantnewspaper.com › Home › Fetzen Fliegen – Jan 27, 2018

 

  1. What words of Ken Ferguson’s did the Remnant consider emboldened the Fishers’ comments that re-ignited the situation:

“We invite these victims to come forward and be heard,” said Ferguson. “We value their insight on concrete ways we can make this campus as safe as possible for women. And we ask, if possible, for their forgiveness. I want to extend my gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Fisher for giving these women a platform to share their voices with us.”

… Those seeking to meet are invited to reach out to Ken Ferguson at (540-636-2900) or by email at ken.ferguson@christendom.edu.

https://www.christendom.edu/2018/01/24/college-extends-support/

  • Requests for O’Donnell’s resignation, suggested by Simcha, is picked up by other media. For example:

 

KEVIN OLMSTEAD | The Warren Sentinel

Top of Form

Front Royal Town Councilman John P. Connolly calls on   Christendom College President Timothy O’Donnell to resign in the wake of the college’s handling of past sexual assault cases. Connolly graduated from Christendom in 2008.

 

FRONT ROYAL — A town councilman who graduated from Christendom College used his time for comment Monday night to call for the removal of Christendom’s president in the wake of the recent accusations that his administration mishandled sexual assault complaints from students.”

 

https://theriver953.com/christendom-makes-changes-amongst-calls-        presidents-resignation/

 

 

  • Which two “previously-owned” Legion of Christ national media organizations carried the story to the national level?

 

The National Catholic Register and Catholic News Agency

 

 

  • the (Register) newspaper was sold in 1995 to Circle Media, a publishing outlet under the auspices of the Legion of Christ,

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/the-register-at-90-forming-and-informing-catholics-with-snap-vigor-and-cour

–    National Catholic Register newspaper formerly owned by the Legion of Christ (Circle Media) was “acquired” by Eternal Word Television Network in 2011

–     Wonder why many believe that behind the scenes, it was the other way

around – that the Legion acquired EWTN? Many believe that several

members of the EWTN Board have ties to the Legion.

 

  • Who are some of the parties involved?
  1. Simcha Fisher – Former National Catholic Register reporter (Former RC/LC owned publication under Circle Media.)

www.ncregister.com/blog/simcha-fisher/simcha-fisher-1974-2014

 (Blog April 1, 2014) – (Simcha wrote her own obituary in the article above)

  • “Simcha Fisher is a cradle Hebrew Catholic, freelance writer, and mother of eight young kids. She received her BA in literature from Thomas More College in New Hampshire. She contributes to Crisis Magazine and Faith & Family Live!”

https://www.crisismagazine.com/author/fisher

  • (Many believe Simcha was fired by NCR along with Mark Shea.)
    1. National Catholic Register reporter:
      • Peter Jesserer Smith –Brother of alleged rape victim, Adele Smith, has been a staff reporter at the National Catholic Register since July 2013.

 

  1. Christendom Advocacy & Support Coalition (CASC) a private support group for “alleged victims” headed-up by Adele Smith and Donna Provencher, VP. Calling for O’Donnell’s resignation.
  • Contacts listed:

Adele Smith, (main victim) President: adele.smith@casc.services or

Donna Provencher, Vice President of Communications & Victim

Outreach: donna.provencher@casc.services,

Bridget Randolph is Vice President of Public Policy.

https://www.simchafisher.com/2018/01/25/alumni-accept-new-christendom-apology-call-for-odonnell-to-resign/

Questions:

  • Would it be wise for someone who financed the sexually abusive film, Blue Velvet, to assume leadership at the college in the midst of a sexual abuse situation?
  • Doesn’t it seem that Regnum Christi/LC helped fan the story to the national level?

 

LEGION of CHRIST/REGNUM CHRISTI

Connections at Christendom:

  • Board Members with affiliations with RC/LC:
  1. Eugene Zurlo of Kiawah Island, South Carolina was a Board Member of Christendom and now serves on the Board of Advisors.
  • 008-Instaurare-fall by Christendom College – issue

https://issuu.com/christendomcollege/docs/2008-instaurare-fall, page 8

  • “For the first time, Board Member Gene Zurlo…”
  • “Inspired by Regnum Christi spirituallyZurlo is committed to…”

 

  1. Luanne D. Zurlo – Current Board of Director. Daughter of Eugene Zurlo.
  • christendom.edu/about/board-of-directors/
  • Luanne Zurlo is the co-founder along with Fr. Luis Garza, LC of a global organization – Worldfund – aka the World Education and Development Fund (WEDF).
    • Garza was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Stanford University. He entered the Legion of Christ in 1978.
    • Garza became Vicar General of the Legion from 1992. In that office Garza is said to lead efforts to investigate charges of sexual misconduct brought against Legion founder Marcial Maciel although he had known about the abuses for years and chose to cover them up.[2]
    • Garza resigned from the post of Vicar General in 2011 and was appointed Territorial Director for the United States and Canada.[3]
    • His older brother Dionisio Garza Medina is the CEO of Tenedora Topaz. His younger sister Roberta Garza Medina is the editor of Milenio magazine in Mexico City.
    • Fr. Luis Garza, L.C. is believed to be living presently in the Philippines after being accused of sexually abusing a minor in Mexico during the 1990s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

 

  • Luanne Zurlo, executive director of the WEDF and organizer of the

  dinner… (The Legion’s Gala Dinner held yearly in NYC) …

http://blogs.21rs.es/trastevere/2010/05/30/la-noche-de-gala-de-    slim-y-maciel/

  • Convened by the World Education and Development Fund (WEDF), the billionaires and businessmen from Mexico and the United States gathered to “honor Carlos Slim Helú, president of Teléfonos de México, SA de CV”. According to the account that one of the assistants gave to this weekly, the presence of Maciel was something unexpected for many.
    1. “The surprise was that Father Maciel was the one who gave recognition to Carlos Slim,” says the assistant to that dinner, who speaks on the condition that his identity is not revealed.

 

  1. e) Tax Return 2009 – Worldfund / World Education and Development Fund – WEDF
    1. Officers, Directors, Trustees, etc.
      1. LUANNE ZURLO EX. DIR. & PRES. 40.00 hours/week
      2. LUIS GARZA MEDINA (LC Vicar General)VP/DIRECTOR 0.50

https://worldfund.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/990-ending-sept-2010.pdf

https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=29603589&privcapId=29602994Douglas Dewey, Vice Chairman of the Board

    • Douglas  Dewey
    • Mentioned on Regnum Christi Website:

http://www.regnumchristi.org/en/missionaries-take-manhattan/

https://www.regnumchristinyctnj.org/index.php/2017/12/20/angels-in-the- city/

  1. Gene D’Agostino –  Mt. Pleasant, SC

“In their hunt for such a community, the D’Agostinos encountered two men: Christendom board member Douglas Dewey and former board member Eugene Zurlo, …”

https://www.christendom.edu/news/instaurare-magazine/a-candle-in-the-darkness/

 

Modus Operandi for an RC/LC take-over for a school:

  • Usually RC/LC makes sure the school has been going for at least 2 years and is self-sufficient. They prefer it be built-up with other people’s money, not theirs.  Sometimes, they start a school with Regnum Christi members, who serve as a secret “front group” and who devote hours and their personal finances to get it going.
  • Then RC/LC replaces the original people on the board and those in executive positions with their own people RC members or LC personnel.
  • The school then becomes an elite school for the very wealthy.
  • Usually families/parents who put their blood, sweat and tears into building something special for their children, can no longer stay at the school because they can not afford the increased tuition; parents lose their investment of years of time and energy. They feel betrayed when this happens.
  • Usually the take-over happens without the original founders being aware that a take-over has occurred. Or they become aware after the fact.  Membership in the movement is usually considered “secret”; most people do not know who is or who is not RC/LC affiliated.
  • Regnum Christi members are usually coached (spiritual direction) by LC priests as to how to accomplish the takeover.
  • RC members are interested in building a Kingdom for their own people. Many of their priests only tend to RC members.  It is an exclusive club unless public relations require them to make some adjustments to look good.
  • Concerning schools taken over:

(Jason Berry wrote) …” got several calls from parents in Atlanta who had children at The Donnellan School, the assets of which had been sold by the archdiocese to the Legion the year before…

I had got similar calls in recent years from parents elsewhere unhappy with the direction of their schools under Legion control or in the Legion’s sights — from Dallas, Cincinnati, northern Kentucky, Milwaukee, San Diego.

More recently, I’ve heard from parents in Naples, Fla., and Calgary, Canada.

What is the Legion, on a supposedly evangelical mission to “re-

Christianize the Catholic church,” doing to upset so many people in

so many places?

The “open letter” says my story “argues that the Legionaries make a practice of taking over schools that others have worked to start.” Exactly so.

Talk to the parents in Cincinnati who lost control when they suddenly found their board taken over by Regnum Christi and given to the order.

Or talk to parents of an independent school in Calgary newly awakened to the possibility (fear?) of taking direction from the Legion.

Or talk to San Diego parents who have fended off the Legion.

Now the Legion may certainly have inspired lay leaders of Regnum Christi to try to get a school going.

But the other parents they involve are seldom aware they are part of a “front group” working for eventual control by the Legion and are shocked when it happens.

“Novices Accuse Catholic Order of Intimidation, Pressure” NOVEMBER 28, 2014REGAIN, Jason Berry

https://regainnetwork.org/2014/11/28/novices-accuse-catholic-order-of-intimidation-pressure/

 

  1. Warren Carroll, Christendom’s founder, had a vision for the college – no more than 450 students. A large percentage of the student body were home schoolers, and there have been a tremendous number of vocations which have been forthcoming from the school over the years.
  2. It is said with the new library; the upkeep alone is equal to 3 professor salaries. Since then the tuition has gone up making it harder for original students to stay on.
  3. It appears since Ken Ferguson and some of the monied board directors have come on board, there is an effort to greatly enlarge the college at a sizeable expense.
  4. Ken Ferguson is purported to have said that the homeschooling market has been tapped out and that Christendom wants a more diversified student population – in LC parlance, could this mean less Catholic. In other Legion schools i.e. the Highland School in Dallas, 20% are not Catholic. http://www.thehighlandsschool.org/about/fastfacts.cfm.
  5. One of the Legion’s private schools, Oak Lawn Academy in WI has an annual tuition of $40,000 for high school. http://oaklawnacade

 

Questions if RC/LC takes over:

  • What will happen to the vocations currently coming out of Christendom?
    • Will they go to the Regnum Christi Movement instead of our dioceses?
  • What will the student body look like if very few Catholic homeschooling

families can afford it?

  • Don’t large homeschooling families ensure a vibrant student body well formed

in the Catholic faith?

  • Could one of the reasons why the Legion might have their eye on this college

(as well as Notre Dame in Indiana) is that it would be attractive to their

elite Mexican families and wealthy Americans to have a school outside of

the nation’s capital?

  • Being in Northern VA, wouldn’t the Legion have a strong base from which to

recruit new members into the Movement, and solicit funds in a wealthy

area that might otherwise go to the Diocese?

  • Isn’t the Legion infamous as an order for spreading its sexual abuse – first the

Founder, Fr. Marcel Maciel, LC (RIP) who so scandalized the Church in

the last century, and then the Vicar General, Fr. Luis Garza, LC?

  • Haven’t there been many more scandals including Fr. Thomas Williams, etc.
  • And other parents from around the world who have come forward with abuse accusations concerning their children?

 

Concerned Catholic

March 11, 2018

Help for the Wounded Catholic, a brave new book by former Legionary of Christ

A must read

Former Legionary of Christ, Fr. Thomas Berg, who made a successful transition to the diocesan clergy after exiting the controversial order, continued to study and specialize in pastoral theology, while dedicated full time to pastoral care.

He has produced a very unique book:  much needed, well researched, very personal and insightful guide to help heal the many Catholics wounded by the unkindness of Church leaders and institutions.

Click link: institutions

Fr. Thomas shows us by personal example -his own experience with the harshness of the Legion of Christ-  and through that of others who have suffered in the Church, and at the hands of Church people, how to overcome the put downs which have caused so many to flee their Home. Without platitudes or condescending he helps us find a path to healing and reconciliation.

Bless you, Fr. Thomas.

Legion of Christ, Mexican version of the Opus Dei

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. Continue reading “Legion of Christ, Mexican version of the Opus Dei”

Cardenal Rivera, Protector de Pedofilos, debe renunciar

610x.jpg

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/