Boys being recruited into the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation 2023.
Kevin O’Sullivan spent seven years inside the most secretive Catholic organisation in living memory – The Legionaries of Christ. He thought he was going to spread love and compassion: he ended up among disinformation and lies. He fled to save his sanity.
RECENT (2023) PHOTO OF YOUNG BOYS JOINING THE LEGION OF CHRIST/REGNUM CHRISTI FEDERATION JUNIOR SEMINARY/APOSTOLIC SCHOOL IN MONTERREY, MEXICO
Note that they are receiving their “uniform” which they will wear during 4 years, even when they visit their homes; they are being set aside to “discern” (cultivate) their religious and priestly vocation” beginning at age 11.
If you do not want to know your true self, by all means join the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi Federation.
They’ll just tell you you have a vocation and “carry on until we tell you otherwise.” But if you want to be brave, the Spirit will take you in another directions and tear down your sandcastles in the sun.
Here is a very well written and very insightful testimony for those you want to be honest with themselves. It takes a lot of guts to write this; but it is worth the pain and the effort to find you true self, the self that God created, the self the Legion of Christ does not want you to discover – because you will no longer be useful to it.
<Kevin O’Sullivan spent seven years inside the most secretive Catholic organisation in living memory – The Legionaries of Christ. He thought he was going to spread love and compassion: he ended up among disinformation and lies. He fled to save his sanity.
This is the story of how Kevin found, and then lost, his religion, and how he lost, and then found, his sexuality. On the way, the young teenager clings to what his mother has taught him: to be a good boy. The journey brings him face to face with difficult truths, and ultimately to a far deeper knowledge of himself, as he finds out who he doesn’t want to be.
It’s a story full of hope about discovering what matters to each of us, even if we don’t like some of what we find.>
THE LEGION OF CHRIST NOT A FAMILY, NOT MISSIONARY AND NOT HEALING! The Legion of Christ, Legionaries of Christ-morphed into Regnum Christi Federation to distance themselves from their pedophile and psychopath founder- is not a family. It is a sect-like, coercive persuasion group, sometimes described as cult-like. Look up in cult-watchers associations: International Cultic Studies Association, Steven Hassan’s Freedom of Mind, Rick Alan Ross’ The Cult Education Institute, etc. where there this organization is tagged as harmful.
THE LEGION OF CHRIST NOT A FAMILY, NOT MISSIONARY AND NOT HEALING
26 January 2023
Paul Lennon, LC 1961-1984, MA Counseling, Cult-expert 1984 to present
The Legion of Christ, Legionaries of Christ-morphed into Regnum Christi Federation to distance themselves from their pedophile and psychopath founder- is not a family. It is a sect-like, coercive persuasion group, sometimes described as cult-like. Look up in cult-watchers associations: International Cultic Studies Association, Steven Hassan’s Freedom of Mind, Rick Alan Ross’s The Cult Education Institute, etc. where there this organization is tagged as harmful.
Nor is it Catholic and Orthodox in the full sense of the word. Despite Vatican approval -secured by conman Maciel-and two failed Vatican interventions, several US Catholic bishops have forbidden the Legion/Regnum from operating within diocesan boundaries: on the grounds that they are separatists, dividing parishes and families, poaching vocations to the religious life and priesthood, manipulating minors, children and teens, (ECYD), into spiritual direction and confession with unqualified priests (LC) and lay members (RC).
Not a family in the ordinary sense of the word: one of the most serious accusations against this organization is that it separates members from their families and sometimes separated spouses. One of the rules of the order is that if a member is in a foreign country s/he can visit his family once every five years. Many members have been estranged from their families for much longer.
Not and never was missionary in the common acceptance of the term: The Legion of Christ has only ever had one mission project: in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The bulk of its members, clerical and lay, are otherwise employed: universities and schools for the upper classes in upscale neighborhoods in the USA, Mexico, Chile, Spain plus fundraising, recruiting and attending on its priests, seminarians and lay members. What percentage of Legionary priest, religious and lay member work on the Quintana Roo – did I say Cancún/Mayan Riviera- Mission? Why do Legionary priests consider this assignment as less desirable?
The Legion of Christ’s specific apostolate is the recruitment and formation of leaders (business, economy, professions, politics, etc.) to transform society from the top down. See Legion of Christ Constitutions. As such it would be similar to the Jesuits and Dominicans, the opposite to the Franciscans, and the same as the Opus Dei. Take your choice: the Spanish way (Opus) or the Mexican way (Legion/Regnum Christi). A copy of the Constitutions of the Legionaries of Christ is not available for free in English. You have to buy the book. A Spanish language version is. Quoting and translating from the official Spanish:
“4. 3.º They exercise their pastoral ministry in the areas of proclaiming the faith, education, evangelizing the family, culture and the media, leading juvenile groups, clergy training, and the promotion of justice, charity and solidarity with the neediest; as well the spiritual attention and formation of Regnum Christi members.”[i]
The spiritual, psychological, and financial compensation of Father Maciel and other Legionaries’ abuse has long been a sore point for the Legion, a scandal to the Catholic community and of concern to popes and the Roman Curia. The American media has played a major role in keeping the Legionaries feet to the fire ever since two Catholic reporters brought the abuse to the public’s attention in February 1997. If this had not happened and if the victims had not lodged a formal complaint with the Vatican in 1998, it is the writer’s opinion that these abuses of obscure Mexican seminarians in a Mexican religious order would have gone unnoticed to the international community. One might suspect that the scandal revealed by American and Mexican media and the formal ecclesiastical complaint lodged by the victims with the help of a Vatican lawyer had much to do with the eventual major Vatican “visitations -euphemism for investigations- of founder Father Marcial Maciel by Monsignor Charles Scicluna in May 2005[ii], and his religious order by Monsignor Velasio de Paolis in March 2009[iii].
[i] “ejerzan su ministerio pastoral principalmente en los campos del anuncio de la fe, la educación, la evangelización de la familia, de la cultura y de los medios de comunicación social, la animación de grupos juveniles, la formación del clero y la promoción de la justicia, la caridad y la solidaridad con los más necesitados; así como en la atención espiritual y formación de los miembros del Regnum Christi.”
After four years of drafts and adjustments, the troubled Legion of Christ has announced that its new constitutions have been approved by Pope Francis.
The Pope’s approval of the final draft of the new constitutions brings the first phase of renewal and purification to a close after it was discovered that Legion founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, had been living a double life.
The new constitutions were drafted during the congregation’s Extraordinary General Chapter meetings, which began on Jan. 9 and was mandated by Benedict XVI in the wake of the revelation of Fr. Maciel’s scandalous activities.
These represent the sixth edition that have been approved for the Legion by ecclesiastical authorities. Previous editions were approved in 1948, 1965, 1970, 1983 and 1994.
While the previous statutes consisted of 878 paragraphs, the new ones consist of 247 paragraphs.
The first part of the new statutes is dedicated to the charism and patrons saints of Legionaries of Christ, while the second part describes the four vows every Legionary must profess.
In addition, the Constitutions lay out the steps for formation, the characteristics of suitable candidates to be Legionaries of Christ, the religious profession, the studies, the ordination and the management and administration of the order.
A key difference between the old and the new constitutions are that the old ones included many clauses regarding the application of the norms, while the new constitution focuses more on essential principles.
The initial draft of the statutes were given to an ad hoc commission established by the Congregation for Consecrated Life, whose results were presented by Cardinal Braz de Aviz to the government of the Legion on July 3.
It was also on that occasion that the appointment of Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda S.J. as Pontifical advisor for the Legionaries of Christ was made public.
An expert in Canon Law, Fr. Ghirlanda has been among the consultants of the Legionaries of Christ since the very beginning of their renewal process.
Following the suggestion of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the constitutions include references to the documents of the Second Vatican Council as well as other official documents on consecrated life.
The Congregation also asked that clear references to Sacred Scripture and the Code of Canon Law be included.
would seem to be the Legion of Christ’s motto and method
They have left it to the last moment to attempt outreach and compensation to the victims. And only to the victims who will accept compensation on their terms. Those “bad” victims will not be rewarded for their “stubbornness” – or would that be “the strength of their convictions”?
Some of us got together several years ago in Mexico.
I am aware that the below is an extremely poor testimony to the victims, who spent their lives and money seeking truth and justice -and received very little in return!
These are some of the men, a few of whom victims, who fought for decades against Vatican and Legion of Christ Silence regarding the Founder’s disreputable life. González-Parga and Lennon were ordained priests in the Legion; the others left disillusioned in the 1960s as seminarians.
Carlos de la Isla, from Mexico, one of the first junior seminarians, apostólicos, recruited by Maciel and who began his studies in Mexico City in the 1940s. Carlos and his two brothers joined the Legion as children. It is a fact that one of Carlos’ brothers was sexually abused by Maciel. The father traveled to Mexico City from the heartland to confront the founder. Maciel, as on many other occasions, found a way to deny, placate and slip away from trouble. From that moment on, someone in the Legion knew about his evil inclinations. But the Great Catholic Houdini would always find a way out of any tight spot and come out smelling like a rose.
Arturo Jurado, early legionary, victim and witness, was one of those unfortunate seminarians who was manipulated by Maciel into finding drugs for his father beyond reproach in Spain and Rome. He left the Legion in the 1960s after being held in seclusion and silenced by Maciel for years, and made a good living for himself as Spanish language teacher and interpreter in California. On discovering that he has much in common with José Barba, he joined forces with José Barba. He spent years paying his way to Rome with José to request Vatican intervention regarding Maciel’s sexual abuse of his seminarians and many other irregularities.
José Barba-Martín, PhD Harvard in Philology, professor emeritus, ITAM, Mexico City where he held the chair of Political and Social Institutions. He of the prodigious memory, spear-headed the accusers cause, aided by Jurado. Their decades-long saga, after meeting with denial, stone-walling and minimization, finally bore fruit in 2006 when Vatican and Pope Benedict accepted their accusations, made no apology to them, gave Maciel a slap on the wrist and ordered him to a life of Penance and Prayer; to which unrepentant Maciel paid no attention, continuing to live with his paramour and daughter and traveling wherever he wanted by private plane.
(John) Paul Lennon, believer, friend and supporter of Maciel’s victims; like Domínguez not a victim of sexual abuse. Joined the Legion of Christ in Dublin, Ireland, at the age of seventeen, considered Irish co-founder by Maciel, ordained to the priesthood in Rome, together with eleven others (among which Bishop Brian Farrell and Cardinal Fernando Vérgez), on the 25th anniversary of Fr. Maciel’s priestly ordination, 26th November 1969. Left Legion in 1984 -before he every heard of abuse- and since then has been a critic of Maciel’s foundation. He was sued for his troubles by the Legion of Christ in the City of Alexandria, VA, USA in August 2007. One lawyer commented: “Mr. Lennon, you have made some very rich people very angry!”
Francisco González-Parga, known in the Legion as Padre Parga, passed away this year in Guadalajara, Mexico, mourned by his wife, Esther. Francisco was one of Maciel’s sexual abuse victims; an enslavement which began in puberty and lasted into his twenties. He was not one of the original group of accusers but came forward in 2005 when Vatican prosecutor, then Monsignor, Charles Scicluna carried out the first thorough Vatican investigation into Maciel’s sexual abuse of his seminarians in Mexico City. By this time Maciel was 85 and the victims in their sixties. Remember that Maciel founded the Legion in 1941, when he was a 21-year old untrained seminarian, and began sexually abusing the 10 and 11-year-olds under his “pastoral care.”
Maciel’s sexual preference was pubertal males. In some cases, if he found them especially attractive he would continue the relationship into the victims’ twenties. Each older victim believed he was the only object of Maciel’s attention… As Maciel “matured” he sexually abused boys who were not his seminarians, later seducing younger, vulnerable females. It would seem he never had an equal-to-equal relationship in his life. All his relationships were controlling, manipulative and exploitative. (See the author’s Breaking Bad article on this page)
Saul Barrales-Arellano, R.I.P., known to his companions as Brother Charity. An extremely kind and helpful person. The story goes that Saul would lay down at night outside Maciel’s bedroom in Rome, Via Aurelia 677, to prevent others from entering and being victimized. Because he once demonstrated a lack of unconditional support for Maciel, the Saint stopped his ordination as a priest, sending him instead into exile on the Canary Islands where he languished alone for months. He finally got help from his family in Mexico to fly home. He was a headmaster at a Mexico City school and is survived by his dear Tere.
A Little addendum:
Don Alejandro Espinosa-Alcalá with Aura and Paul Lennon on one of our trips to Mexico. Alejandro is a very active original witness to Maciel’s sexual abuse , and has written about it in El Legionario (2006, edit. Grijalbo, Mexico) and El Ilusionista Marcial Maciel, of which I treasure his dedication. Like other survivors, Alejandro has lived in relative, and sometimes abject, poverty since leaving the Legion half a century ago. It seems that at the eleventh hour Fr. John Connor, Maciel’s successor, has been trying to save face by awarding “Easter Eggs” of ten thousand dollars to the victims, assisting them in their old age, and/or paying for their funerals.
I had mistakenly pointed out Federico Domínguez in the photo. He is not in the photo, but everything that was said of him is true. At one point, Maciel sent him and some other seminarians to Dublin, Ireland, to study at the prestigious Maynooth College. After some time, Federico became disenchanted with the whole Legion project, left the seminary and married a lovely Irish girl, and “they lived happily ever after” in the USA.
Federico Domínguez, R.I.P., one of Maciel’s writers, circa 1955 he reported to Church authorities in Rome regarding some of Maciel’s questionable behaviors; thus provoking the first major Vatican investigation into the founder and his order, 1956-59; Maciel was exiled for two years, but with the help of allies in the Curia (Pizzardo & Co.), was able to return and consolidate his power and control. About this time Maciel conceived the Private Vows (see Berry & Renner’s Vows of Silence), one of which was the “snitching vow” whereby “Never to criticize the person or actions of the superior, and to inform on anyone who does so.” This vow was apparently abolished by the later Vatican investigation around 2010, the spirit may still prevail among die-hard Legion and Regnum Christi members.
A week ago Victims of Fr. Maciel’s sexual abuse appeared on Mexican Canal 14 giving their testimonies once more and demanding compensation from the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation (note how the chameleon changes its name!)
As I conversed with one of them today I was shocked once again by what they had to say about the SEXUAL PREDATOR FOUNDER OF A BONA FIDE CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS CONGREGATION (now under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for Institutes of Religious Life and Associatons of Apostolic Life, presided over by Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz)
I learn that in Santander, Spain, in August 1954 (Maciel was 34; the Legion was 13, and hadreceived diocesan approval -through Maciel’s astuteness- in 1948), the founder began engaging in a sexual relationship with at least one of his junior seminarians. The seminarian in question had recently arrived from Mexico on the Marqués de Comillas ship to begin his junior seminary studies. The victim was 15-16 years of age. It was “love at first sight” for the holy founder. Maciel began his grooming/entrapment of Pretty Boy and made great advances in his conquest for the Kingdom of Heaven –Thy Kingdom Come, being the motto which Maciel would choose..
The future “personal friend” of (saint) Pope John Paul II who would be lauded by the saint as “an efficacious guide for youth” was soon anally penetrating Pretty Boy. When Pretty Boy revealed the depth of his involvement with Maciel to his companions later in life, he confessed, in colorful Mexican parlance: “he fuxxed me and I fuxxed him; we fuxxed each other”, (” él me cogió; yo le cogí; nos cogimos”) with the help of lubricants.
I WANT TO SHOCK CATHOLIC AUTHORITIES INTO ACTION!
For those of you who are not familiar with this form of sexual intercourse, I refer you to Planned Parenthood:
“The anus does not produce enough lubrication for comfortable anal sex, so it’s important to use an artificial water-based lubricant — like K-Y jelly or Astroglide — for anal sex. (Using an oil-based lubricant, like Vaseline, can damage latex condoms.)”
The Popes and Vatican authorities do not seem to grasp the gravity of Maciel’s depravity, manipulation and astuteness or ask themselves how such a pervert could found a religious order. Some of Maciel’s victims believe he founded the order so as to have his own private harem:
Pope Francis called Maciel “a very disturbed person”; Pope Benedict declared him “a man lacking any moral scuples”. Marvelous examples of “euphemism’ and minimization so as to avoid the question of how the Vatican allowed itself to be deceived so roundly.
My Mexican friend referring the testimony to me agrees that this is an abomination. Here is the predator, conman, imporsonator who kissed and embraced Pope John Paul II -while at the same time sodomizing his own spiritual sons, seminarians in Rome, acting as founder and Superior General of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement.
English Introduction, Original Spanish language testimony; Microsoft/ReGAIN English translation
Fr. Jorge N, #LegionarioDeCristo, was rector of the Apostolic School in Ontaneda, when he was accused of covering up countless sexual abuses of the children who lived there.
As a result, he was sent, again as rector of an Apostolic School (seminary for young boys), but this time to Chile. There he was accused of cover-up of the abuses that were going on in there and of pedophilia (public case).
From Chile he was sent to Argentina… where he was accused once again of abuse of a minor.
Finally, he was sent as a parish priest to a parish in the Cancun-Chetumal Diocese, Yucatan Peninsula, where he continues to exercise his priestly ministry, in contact with minors and vulnerable people.
I leave you the TESTIMONY (authorized) of one of the children who writes us about what he witnessed in Chile.
What should concern EVERYONE most (which is why it is made public, according to the manual of child protection #44), is that someone who has been charged for various crimes, in different countries, remains a priest and in a position of authority. Please help spread the word so that Catholic Church Leadership acts quickly in these cases and does not keep exposing our children or vulnerable adults.
El P. Jorge N, #LegionarioDeCristo era rector de la escuela Apostólica en Ontaneda, cuando fue acusado de encubrimiento de un sinnúmero de abusos sexuales a los niños que ahí vivían.
A raíz de esto fue enviado, nuevamente como rector de Apostólica, pero ahora en Chile. Ahí fue acusado de encubrimiento de los abusos que sucedían en este lugar y de pederastia (caso público).
De Chile fue enviado a Argentina…acusado una vez más, de abuso a un menor.
Finalmente, fue enviado como párroco a una Iglesia de la Diócesis Cancún-Chetumal, en donde sigue ejerciendo su ministerio, en contacto con menores y personas vulnerables.
Les dejo el TESTIMONIO (autorizado) de uno de los niños que fue testigo de lo que vivían en Chile.
Lo que más debería preocuparnos a TODOS (razón por la cual se hace público, según el vademécum de protección al menor 44), es que alguien que ha sido acusado por varios delitos, en diferentes países, siga como SACERDOTE y autoridad. Por favor ayuden a difundir para que la Iglesia actúe con rapidez en estos casos. Y no se siga exponiendo a nuestros niños ni adultos vulnerables.
English translation of testimony by former Legionary junior seminarian eye-witness of sexual abuse at Legion of Christ house in Chile.
[Editor’s note: in Spain and Latin America, particularly, junior seminaries have been functioning for centuries. There, young boys, 11-15 years old, live in a residential setting and are educated with a view to their becoming future priests. If the seminary or Apostolic School is part of a religious order or community, their next step will be the novitiate, two years of spirituality which prepare them for their first vows, after which they are called “religious”, and addressed as “Bro. X”.]
Monday, February 10, 2020
Dear X (female)
Greetings from Chile hoping you are well. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for helping truth prevail. This will not be easy because of the feelings and lived experiences which make it hard to reveal the following events.
My name is XX. I am thirty-five and I was a Legionary of Christ for 14 years. I entered the vocation center in Santiago de Chile (junior seminary) in January 1997. There were about 70 of us children that summer. The rector and novice master at that time was Fr. Pedro Pablo X, LC, who was at this post until July of that year because they decided to close the novitiate, and Fr. Jorge X, LC, took over as rector, as he had more experience than Fr. Pedro Pablo working with minors.
I remember clearly my first “spiritual direction” session with Fr. Jorge because he told me I shouldn’t be there because my family was not well off, and he would do his utmost to make me go home. I was very surprised by this as he should have been someone to help me discern my divine calling to the priesthood, and not someone who was going to make my life so miserable I would have to leave the seminary.
1997 was a very tough year for me because of so many changes and the arrival of Fr. Jorge who make things even worse. I will not go into details regarding his training methods which were really antiquated to say the least: weeks-long silence and incommunicado, public humiliation, and other such.
I want to be clear that I never saw or heard anything about him personally abusing one of my fellow seminarians. I did hear from other seminarians about a religious brother who touched boys while they were sleeping, and sometimes pulled back the bedclothes to be better able to fondle them when lights were out. He must have begun doing that in 1998 or 99; the religious in question was called Marcel X who had a New Zealand background.
When I learned about these events I do not know whether Fr. Jorge knew that the Bro. Marcel was fondling the young seminarians or that several of us knew about the abuse. What I do know is that one day Marcel disappeared: when we came down for morning prayers, Marcel was nowhere to be seen. His name was never mentioned again. However, there was another religious brother -I can’t remember whether he and Marcel were ever there at the same time. The new religious was called Salvador. He had been a vocation recruiter in Santiago City before being assigned to the junior seminary. We had seen him before because he would bring the candidates to the junior seminary on weekends to show them around.
Salvador chose his special moments when the children were milling around the door trying to get in, when his touching would be less noticeable. Or he simply came up to you and put his hand on your bottom when you were reading the notice board. I saw this with my own eyes and also felt his hands on me.
It was at this time when one of my companions in the group of minors – we were divided into three groups, younger boys, older boys and precandidates (for noviciate) according to age- approached me and told me he was being fondled by the Assistant (the name given to the religious with vows who supervises child seminarians). This companion told me about the situations where the abuse was taking place. So I started looking into these situations and watching the Assistant. And sure enough I saw him. When I started getting between him and the other little boys, he touched me too. If it happened only once it could have been an accident but it was repeated. Nobody wanted to tell Fr. Jorge about what was happening. In reality we did not trust him much and were afraid he would punish us for speaking ill of the religious. I started pushing that religious away from me; I even came to blows to defend myself.
Finally, some of us informed Fr. Jorge. He called us one by one to his office. I don’t remember much about the conversation but I did tell him who were being abused by the assistant and where and how he touched my companions. Just as in the previous case, Salvador was taken out of the community, he was given a weekend sabbatical and later he disappeared. Years later I learned he was no longer a Legionary. I think he is married now. We could not talk about this with “outsiders” because the dirty linen is washed at home. My family might have heard something but, naturally, I denied everything, and we went about our lives just as before.
I cannot affirm that Fr. Jorge had previous knowledge about these harmful actions; I hope he did not, because if he did have previous knowledge that would make him a monster; what I can inequivocably state is that he did know about the abuse during and after it happened. The strategy of removing the offender and keeping silence has always been part of the Legion of Christ modus operandi, and sadly of the Church.
We were there to follow Christ and not to experience that abuse! Having to protect ourselves, abused by those who were supposed to take care of us and want the best for us in the name of God! I was fifteen or sixteen and was lucky enough to be bigger physically than others my age; but my companions were thirteen and fourteen! We had to run away from our assistants. You got nervous whenever they approached, and even more so if they touched you -even it was just on the shoulder! No child deserves that!
I litterally had to punch another person to keep him away from a little boy! In a so-called seminary! These are horrible things that are just seeing the light, because back then they were minimized!
I am sharing these experiences with you in the hope that these abuses are not repeated, and that no child be exposed to them.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share these events; it also helps just to able to discuss these experiences with somebody else.
XX, former Legionary of Christ.
This is the straightforward testimony of a young man who has gone to the trouble of dragging up painful memories in the hope of preventing further abuse. One wishes Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi superiors not react defensively but take the complaint to heart and take action.
The testimony does not mention one very important point:
There is no mention of any spiritual or psychological help being offered to the victims or to the offenders. Surely, this is a very grievous omission and lack of responsibility on the part of Legion/Regnum formators and superiors (directors). ReGAIN, for its part, prays that Catholic authorities, in the person of Archbishop Charles Scicluna and his team, look into this and similar testimonies so as to “promote justice.”