Five years ago, the ReGAIN was contacted by a former member of this organization who expressed his concern after a female friend had just taken her perpetual vows. The former Herald was surprised that this controversial group was approved by the Vatican. He alleged that a cultist association, TFP (Tradition, Family and Property), after the death of its founder, Plinio Correa de Oliveira, had transformed itself into the Church-approved Heralds of the Gospel.
Not long ago, a small group of Heralds, in full regalia, were spotted at the Guatemalan Immigration Center in Guatemala City getting their papers in order. Looks like they have spread to this Central American country too.
The author sought some general information in Wikipedia:
“The Heralds of the
Gospel (Portuguese: Arautos do Evangelho;
Latin: Evangelii Praecones, abbreviated
to EP) is a Roman Catholic International Association of Pontifical Right
based in Brazil. Founded by Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, the organization
is active in 78 countries.
1 May 2010, the Vatican named a delegate and appointed a commission to
review the Legionaries of Christ. In a statement, the Vatican denounced
Marcial Maciel for creating a “system of power” that enabled him to lead
an “immoral” double life “devoid of scruples and authentic religious
sentiment” and allowed him to abuse young boys for decades unchecked.
The “very serious and objectively immoral acts” of Marcial
Maciel, which were “confirmed by incontrovertible testimonies,”
represent “true crimes and manifest a life without scruples or authentic
religious sentiment,” the Vatican said.
The Vatican said the Legion created a “mechanism of defense” around
Maciel to shield him from accusations and suppress damaging witnesses
from reporting abuse. “It made him untouchable,” the Vatican said. The
statement decried “the lamentable disgracing and expulsion of those who
doubted” Maciel’s virtue. The Vatican statement did not address whether
the Legion’s current leadership will face any sanctions.
Actions taken by the current Legion leadership will be scrutinized; but
no specific sanctions were mentioned. The Vatican acknowledged the
“hardships” faced by Maciel’s accusers through the years when they were
ostracized or ridiculed, and commended their “courage and perseverance
to demand the truth.”
MADRID (ChurchMilitant.com) – A high-ranking cardinal says the Vatican had information on notorious abuser Fr. Marcial Maciel as early as 1943.
Cardinal João Braz de Aviz is head of the Vatican’s Congregation for
Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. In a
speech last month widelyreportedin Spanish media, he said that the Vatican had known about Maciel for decades and did nothing.
Cardinal Braz de Aviz was speaking in Madrid, Spain, addressing the 25th general assembly of the Spanish Confederation of Religious
Maciel, a Mexican priest who founded the religious institute the
Legionaries of Christ, was first investigated by Vatican officials for
allegations of drug abuse from 1956 to 1959. Despite
numerous investigations into his behavior over the course of decades,
it was not until 2005 that the Vatican determined child sex abuse
allegations were credible and cracked down on Fr. Maciel. Church
officials removed Maciel from his leadership of the Legionaries. Then in
2006, Maciel was commanded to retire to a life of prayer and penance.
He died in 2008.
Father Maciel has been accused of molesting seminarians, fathering
children with secret “wives” and even sexually abusing his own
Some are speculating that Cdl. Braz de Aviz might have brought up the
case of Fr. Maciel to deflect blame for the current clerical sex abuse
cover-up scandals tarnishing Pope Francis’ pontificate. The current
pontiff has faced intense criticism since Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò testified in August
that Pope Francis lifted disciplines that had previously been imposed
on accused homosexual predator ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
The cardinal claims his congregation has “nothing to do” with
cover-ups like the one that kept Maciel in ministry for decades. He said
the congregation now follows “a very good process” for responding to
He emphasized that it is important for Church leaders to “be
immediate in the face of abuse,” adding, “What comes to us immediately
has to be heard.”
Speaking about the clergy abuse crisis in general, Cdl. Braz de Aviz said, “I have the impression that allegations of abuse will grow, because we are only at the beginning. We’ve been concealing for 70 years, and this has been a tremendous error.”
El Vaticano conocía la pederastia de Maciel desde 1943
por Carlos Esteban | 02 enero, 2019
Santa Sede conocía la pederastia del fundador de los Legionarios de
Cristo y la ignoró durante 63 años, ha reconocido el prefecto de la
Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada, el cardenal João
Braz de Aviz.
“Quien lo tapó era una mafia, ellos no eran
Iglesia”, ha asegurado Braz de Aviz en una entrevista concedida a Vida
Nueva el mes pasado, cuando estuvo en Madrid hace un mes para clausurar
la asamblea general de la Confederación Española de Religiosos (CONFER).
“Tengo la impresión de que las denuncias de abusos crecerán, porque
solo estamos en el inicio. Llevamos 70 años encubriendo, y esto ha sido
un tremendo error”, dice Braz de Aviz.
La información ha saltado a
las páginas de la prensa secular y la da hoy el diario español de
referencia, El País, que ya en 2006 informó de la investigación a que
había sido objeto Maciel entre octubre de 1956 y febrero de 1959 por
encargo del cardenal Alfredo Ottaviani.
El peor caso de abusos en todos los sentidos, desde pedofilia a drogadicción, pasando por suplantación personalidad, poligamia e incesto, fue posible a lo largo de décadas y con la protección de la Curia pese a las constantes denuncias que llegaban a Roma, algo que podría haberse atajado, quedando en un desagradable incidente menor, antes de mediados del siglo pasado.
Besides Pope Francis acknowledging his misjudgment of Chilean clergy sexual abuse, the other major Catholic news of the week has been a letter sent by Legion of Christ sexual abuse victims demanding Legion of Christ leaders acknowledge and compensate them once and for all. As the reader will see, the primary thrust of the demand is not money but formal and specific recognition of their suffering as well as acknowledgement and reparation of the Legion’s neglect and defamation of the victims together with Legion’s internal information control (vis-à-vis their members) regarding the full effects of the founders’ crimes.
The victims’ letter to the Legion of Christ General Chapter meeting in Rome was originally ignored but strong coverage by Associate Press, the general media and Catholic sources such as the Catholic News Service put the leaders’ feet to the fire and they have responded in a communication couched in the most cautious and legalistic terms.
Sequence of Events:
Maciel survivors send letter[i] by various means to all members of Legion Chapter General meeting in Rome: [ii] “From March 26 to April 7, 2018, the first part of the Extraordinary General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ will take place at the seat of the General Directorate in Rome. The second part will take place from November 19 to 24, 2018, at the same venue.”
The letter is not acknowledged or discussed at the Legion of Christ Extraordinary General Chapter held in Rome.
Receiving no response from Legion leadership, the victims release the letter to the media, spear-headed by AP[iii]. The news quickly spreads to other major world and Catholic news media, such as CNA.
Thereupon, Legion leadership issues a communique, through their communications officer, Fr. Aaron Smith, in Spanish and undated[iv], referring to the letter without replying to (ignoring) the Victims. We post initial paragraphs of communique, translated by out team into English so the public can catch a glimpse of Legiospeak.[v]
“LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST, INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE COMMUNIQUE
Regarding the letter sent to the Legionaries of Christ by José de Jesús Barba Martín and José Antonio Pérez Olvera, the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ states the following.
On March 26, the general director received a letter signed by José de Jesús Barba Martín and José Antonio Pérez Olvera, two of those who denounced Fr. Maciel´s abuses publicly in 1997, requesting that their petition be included in the General Chapter’s Agenda.
The general director, after consulting with his council, presented the request to the Extraordinary General Chapter, and informed the Chapter that the general government would seek a personal rapprochement with the each one of the signers and respond to their requests.
We ask forgiveness from all the victims who throughout our history have suffered any kind of abuse, knowing that this request will never be enough to heal their wounds. Regarding Fr. Maciel, the 2014 General Chapter stated:” etc.
ReGAIN, gathering the victims’ recent private reactions to Legion communique, comments: The Legion’s communique is riddled with inaccuracies, ambiguities and downright lies: as stated above, the victims’ letter was sent to each and all the members of the Chapter and not specifically or only to the LC general director, Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil (indisputably a disciple and protege of Fr. Maciel). Fr. Robles pre-emptively took control of the letter and the chapter general fathers’ response, preventing any option of a reaction or discussion from or among the fathers. He decided for them not to put the letter on the floor and decided unilaterally what was to be done with the letter’s requests. There was no free discussion. Robles-Gil promises to meet with the two signers of the Letter (individually?) but he
does not address the senders
or mention the group of eighth survivors as such whose lives were destroyed by Founder, Fr. (the serial pedophile founder was never defrocked by the Vatican!) Marcial Maciel.[vi]As can be seen in the communique
the Legion did not heed any of the victims’ requests but gives a facile response, suggesting it has already addressed the issue in question. This has been the Legion’s operational policy since the group originally accused Fr. Maciel twenty years ago. Reader, please revisit victims’ recent requests in footnote i
The undersigned, collectively known as the ‘historical victims’ of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, ask the Legion of Christ, through its representatives gathered in the Extraordinary General Chapter taking place in Rome from the 24th March 2018 that the issue of the Victims of Fr. Maciel and of the Legion of Christ be included in the agenda of the said General Chapter. Specifically, we make the following list of requests:
We ask that the Extraordinary General Chapter emit a Public Recognition of our status as victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Fr. Marcial Maciel and as victims of moral, psychological and spiritual harm at the hands of the Congregation. We ask that the congregation recognize that it made us and our families suffer in a continued, consistent and prolonged way when we revealed the perverse crimes of Maciel to the Church and the international community through articles published by journalists Jason Berry and Gerald Renner (Hartford Courant on 23rd of February 1997) and through the complaint presented to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the 17th of October 1998.
We ask that it be publicly recognized that our struggle to make known the truth about Fr. Maciel was a true service to the Church, of which we form part, as well as being a true service to the Legion of Christ. Consequentially we ask that the Chapter declare that we were never traitors of the Church or of the Legion.
Representing the historical victims to whom the “Commission of Contact with the Victims” never approached we request that the said commission be re-opened in order to fulfill the mission for which it was instituted by Cardinal de Paolis. We declare once again that this commission never contacted us.
For the reopening of the Commission for Victims we request the following:
a) The commission would be composed of members named by the historical victims, by the Legion of Christ and by the Church.
b) It’s re opening will not affect or prejudice any legal actions undertaken by the historical victims.
c) It will make effective the recognition of the historical victims through the establishment of a plan of action negotiated with the historical victims and evaluated by interdisciplinary professionals. It will determine the harm inflicted on us and its indispensable reparation.
As a visible sign of reconciliation, we request a public act of redress for the historical victims with the community of Rome, where many of the abuses took place, and another similar event with the communities of Mexico.
We ask that we be informed appropriately of the decisions of the Extraordinary General Chapter with regard to our petitions to the following electronic address: (sic) and through courier to the attached postal addresses and that that the communication be considered as received when we acknowledge receipt.
Postal Address (sic)
José de Jesús Barba Martin José Antonio Pérez Olvera
Representing the Historical Victims of Fr. Macie and the Congregation of the Legion of Christ for the purposes of the above written letter
Respecto a la carta enviada a los Legionarios de Cristo por José de Jesús Barba Martín y José Antonio Pérez Olvera, la Congregación de los Legionarios de Cristo desea expresar lo siguiente:
El 26 de marzo de 2018, el director general recibió una carta digital firmada por José de Jesús Barba Martín y José Antonio Pérez Olvera, dos de las personas que denunciaron los abusos del P. Maciel públicamente en 1997, solicitando la inclusión de su petición en la Agenda del Capítulo General.
El director general, después de haber hablado con su Consejo, presentó carta al Capítulo
General extraordinario, e informó al Capítulo de que el gobierno general buscará un acercamiento personal a cada uno de los firmantes de la misiva y responderá a sus peticiones.
Pedimos perdón a todas las víctimas que a lo largo de nuestra historia han sufrido algún tipo de abuso, sabiendo que esta petición de perdón nunca será suficiente para sanar las profundas heridas.
Con relación al P. Maciel, el Capítulo General de 2014 dijo:
[vi] “In a statement Friday (April 13th, 2018) responding to a request from The Associated Press, the Legion said its leaders ‘will try to get in touch personally with each of those who had signed the letter and respond to their requests.’ “:
PSYCHOLOGICAL NOTES FOR TREATING A MEMBER OF THE LEGION OF CHRIST OR REGNUM CHRISTI
J.Paul Lennon, MA Ph., Th., Counseling, LPC
updated June 1, 2017
With spiritual and theological notes by former RC, Marigold
Your client Robert(a) has written me to say s/he is under your therapeutic care but that you have no idea what the Legion of Christ is and how his/her involvement with them may have affected them. I have known the client for a while, and the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi for a long time, and would be glad to provide you with some pointers.
Perfect Little Catholic Toy Soldiers:
The Legion of Christ is a Catholic religious order, of about 800 priests and 2,000 religious men with vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in training for the priesthood. It also controls several thousand non-clerical members who live out the Legion’s ideals in their daily lives in the Regnum Christi Movement, somewhat similar to the better-known Opus Dei.
The Legion’s founder, a Mexican serial-pedophile priest, Marcial Maciel, believed in converting the powerful in society so that these elites would influence and trickle down to the masses and thus imbue society with his version of Christian values.
To achieve its goals, the Legion/Regnum recruit good, solid, conservative Catholic youth from the middle-through-wealthy classes. In Spain and Latin American countries, the LC/RC has thrived on recruiting children -as young as 10 or 11- into its ranks. Surprisingly, it has even had success with such “Apostolic Schools” in the USA and Canada.
Thanks to the founder’s wiles, the Legion/Regnum is approved by the Vatican, favored by recent popes, efficiently attracts young men and women, produces good-looking priests and has strong financial resources. In the USA it has appealed, for the most part, to conservative, traditional families who bring up their children to be obedient, with strong Catholic faith, strict sexual morals, and who are for the most part innocent, naive, generous and idealistic.
Underneath the veneer of piety and holiness the Legion leadership is a ruthless control machine, gradually taking over the members’ lives. It employs coercive persuasion methods to turn out a finished product, the Man of the Kingdom: pliable in the superiors’ hands and attractive to the Catholic public that hungers for clean-cut priests who preach Traditional Doctrine and “follow the pope”.
Over the past decades, keener-minded critics have been zeroing in on the Legion which was then observed and studied by some of the most respected “cult watch groups”: The International Cultic Studies Association, Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind, Rick Ross Cult Education et al. Because Legion “formators” operate in a subtle and deceptive way, recruits don’t realize that their Behavior, Ideas, Thoughts and Emotions are gradually being controlled. Before they know it, they been turned into perfect little Catholic toy soldiers.
The other thing that I’d add is that
the LC seminarians are taught to recruit and raise money.
They are never given any pastoral training; most could not administer the sacraments of Baptism, Marriage or Last Rites.
Confessional seal is regularly broken.
The “Front Organizations’ of the LC/RC juggernaut continue and are rebuilding the base and donors; but under many new organizations that do not appear at first glance to be connected with the Legion.
Finally, I’ve found very useful the examination of the LC’s activities and influence on people in terms of “Motivation” — what is the motive and intention for doing something or going after someone? It is important that this is included because the LC/RC is such a hall of mirrors; they reflect both the bad and good of the institution of Church Temporal.
I have become more Christ-centered, thanks to the Legion, even as I’ve become less Church-centered, but continue to go, out of the need for communion with others and the Sacraments.
How many lives have been broken and misled, how many good families ruined — because of the evil of this criminal outfit?
Beyond the Façade: Sex and Submission
The Mexican founder, Fr. Maciel, was a serial pedophile, specializing in sexually initiating his pubertal seminarians. With his favorites, he carried on an increasingly explicit relationship into their early adulthood. Some of these early victims claim that he only wanted to create his own personal harem. In a word, Maciel was an amoral person, without scruples.
As a psychopathic conman he projected an aura of holiness, love of the Catholic Church, of the Pope and of Jesus Christ while living a double/triple life.
His charismatic leadership created a very efficient system for recruiting, training (controlling, brainwashing) the members
With his business acumen he successfully fund-raised, built many apparently successful, schools and universities in Mexico, the USA and over twenty countries in Europe and Latin America.
Astutely, he rode out two separate Vatican investigations into sex abuse, misuse of money, abuse of authority and drug abuse.
To achieve his goals, Maciel also used secrecy, deceit and manipulation. After the first Vatican investigation (1956-59), he implemented a special vow that made it impossible for the members to talk among themselves, exchange personal concerns and experiences or criticize their superiors.
Whenever his authority was challenged or his methods were questioned, Maciel would implement more stringent measures of internal and external control over the members, often instilling fear of divine retribution for not following “The Founder” chosen by God.
Not until after his death in 2008 did further crimes become known. Despite an investigation that revealed further aberrations, the Legion and the Vatican found a solution to the funder’s sinful life by separating the Founder from the Foundation: Maciel bad; Legion good. Some scandalized and frustrated members left the priesthood, the religious and consacrated life around 2010 and donations were affected; stalwarts and supporters dug in their heels and still believe in “The Movement” which, for its part, changed cosmetically under Vatican surveillance.
If we combine sexual abuse with secrecy, we can imply the order has been continuously contaminated since the beginning. The Founder’s Modus Operandi still lives on:
The Legion does/did not carefully psychologically evaluate candidates by indepependently trained therapists,
Or provide any serious sex education to its trainees
Their “formators” and educators are in-home trained
The general policy is/was silence and secrecy
Sexual challenges are spiritualized and sublimated prematurely.
From here, many members’ sexuality remains latent, un-examined, repressed or devious.
Some of Maciel’s victims became perpetrators; because of secrecy, the extent is still unknown:
Strict obedience is observed, giving the superiors much power in the day to day operations; some superiors have used this to indulge their pedophile and/or homosexual proclivities. There is some evidence of intergenerational sexual abuse of the young members by superiors.
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me through ReGAIN,
O blog Ex Arautos do Evangelho reúne os relatos sobre as vivencias de ex membros dos Arautos do Evangelho e suas famílias. EXAE é o ponto de encontro e um canal de ajuda para as vítimas dos abusos nessa instituição, mostrando uma realidade que só as pessoas que vivem lá dentro e os que conseguiram sair conhecem.