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.”
Catholic (Convert) Parents Beware of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi recruiting your young sons!
the Legion of Christ received so much
bad publicity from the Founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, scandal and the subsequent investigation/supervision
of the order by the Vatican, 2000-2018, the Legion has morphed into Regnum Christi (or other front names).
This warning is
for all Catholics, especially Orthodox and Traditional Catholics, home-schooling
parents and even more for converts to the Catholic Faith. By this we mean very
devout and generous Catholics who want to protect their children from the
ravages of Modernism, hedonism and materialism. These Catholics who seek the very
best in Catholic tradition, systematically eschew liberal orders and movements,
and seek groups which are very devout, faithful to the Pope and Catholic Doctrine,
solid devotions (Rosary, Stations of the Cross, etc.) and strict moral guidance
(forbidding pre-marital sex, artificial birth control, etc..) The Legion/Regnum
will offer them this.
They are often approached
by the Opus Dei, the Legion of Christ and its Regnum Christi lay movement.
Because these organizations, New Religious Movements, are loyal to the pope and
preach the Catholic Catechism, well-meaning Catholic parents are easily duped.
members of ReGAIN, 1990-2000 were from the Catholic and Convert group described
above. They had been duped by the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi: we had a
intensely dedicated (2GF) married woman, a mother of a Legion seminarian, and a
wonderful convert couple of Catholic Educators who had given their everything
to staff a Legion school in the Atlanta area…
So that the
reader does not dismiss ReGAIN’s caveat
emptor as some kind of personal vendetta, we are including a message
received today from a totally different source.
Quote: When I first heard about
I was sent a
copy of an article in a CA newspaper by a home schooling Catholic couple. C Hernández
was dying in the hospital and asked a nurse to write down his testimony. He
explained how he left the Legion of Christ and how Maciel abused him repeatedly
as a child when he was recruited into his Order as a child along with other
young boys erroneously called seminarians.
The couple who
sent me the article were concerned that another couple with two little boys who
were also Catholic converts were being continually being treated to visitations
by two handsome Legion priests.
As converts they
felt special when they were told their little boys had vocations to the
priesthood and were becoming convinced to send their children off to the Legion
boarding school, Apostolic School, in NH.
young converts were being brainwashed , the couple who had contacted me asked their pastor to intervene and speak
with these parents.
Mr. Bell called
me from San Diego . Having been educated at Wharton Business School
Philadelphia and having looked into the Legion’s Oxford school in Mexico,
he was shocked to see the Legion employed the same professor he once had at
Wharton. “Why would a “Catholic” institution of higher learning
hire a man whose main topic in all of his classes goes back to EST training. Previously
I thought EST was Scientology .
speaking to their pastor the Bell’s received a letter in the mail from a Col.
Laughton or Naughton , I cannot recall exactly.
It contained the
copy of an offer to sue them on behalf of the Legion’s good name and was
addressed to Monsignor Bannon LC. Bannon’s reply was also included in which he
stated that the couple’s motivation may have been just misguided concern for
the children. and to hold off but keep them posted.
Mr. Bell was
taken aback when he called me and realized he had just been the recipient of a
threat. Later they decided to relocate on the East coast.
Then I began to
read some articles by Gerald Renner in the “Hartford Courant.”
Mr. Renner was interviewing several seminarians who had escaped after being held in the Legion’s Westchester NY mansion. After they had expressed the fact that they wanted to leave the Legion seminary they were sent there and were held against their will. It was the same mansion previously owned by Sun Myung Moon wherein college students ,whose parents had hired de-programmers, were also held . I saw the film footage of a Documentary on TV recorded by several of the parents of Moonies trying to gain access at the guard house in an attempt to talk to their children.
Brainwashing appeared to be habitual in these
quasi-religious groups and apparently the Legion was applying the same
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.
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.
A privilege to be able to publish a serious work by a former Legionary of Christ who has given thought to how this religious organization works.
It has long been the contention of ReGAIN that the Legion has few, if any, doctrinal errors. That has never been the problem. As regards doctrine it is bland and repetitious.
What we have been questioning for the past few decades is
the organization’s modus operandi, i.e., how it operates, how it works, its internal operating system, how it recruits, maintains and expels or lets members go, how it raises enormous amounts of money, goes it alone without the local church and works almost exclusively with the upper classes; an aspect that only a small number of more perspicacious Catholics grasp.
Not so those who study “High Demand Groups”, such as International Cultic Studies, Cult Education’s Rick Ross, Combating Mind Control’s Steven Hassan, et.al. who all HAVE THE LEGION ON THEIR WATCH LISTS. At least 8 American bishops has seen through the Legion’s appearances, “Glittering Images”, as British novelist, Susan Howatch, describes them in the Anglican Church.
The author has also regaled us with something about Fr. Maciel’s Movement, Legion/Regnum Christi:
“Apostolates”, as in external good works, projects, schools, universities, support groups for the rich and famous, influential and rich businessmen, politicians…
“Apostolics” as in junior/minor seminarians, joining at high-school age or younger to discern their call to the priesthood(!!!)
Fr Maciel founded the Legionof Christ religious/priestly order 1941 ; then he founded the Regnum Christi organization (circa 1965) for lay people committed to the Legion at various levels of commitment. Later (1975) he began saying that the Regnum Christi was the over-arching movement embracing religious, clergy and lay people. But then, after revelations of Fr. Maciel’s triple life as a con-man (2009), the the Legion & Regnum wanted to distance themselves from the corrupt founder; the Regnum moved away from the Legion. Then a splinter group, Totus Tuus, separated from the Regnum Christi with the blessing of a Chilean cardinal….The Regnum is presently trying to restructure itself. Hope the reader can follow this labyrinthine journey.
CORRECTION: in the body of the article it is stated that Zenith and the Claretian order are somehow connected. The editor has researched this info and has not found confirmation. However, the info regarding the first Vatican investigation of the Legion and the role of Claretians [the Congregation of the “Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” was founded by Antonio María Claret y Clará (Anthony Claret) on July 16, 1849 at the seminary in Vic, in the province of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain] is correct; they had competent priests who spoke Spanish and Italian.
While ReGAIN, life.after.rc, several Catholic blogs and bloggers, respectable Catholic voices such as Peter Vere, Sandro De Magistris in Rome, First Things and others have been raising the alarm about spreading the Legion of Christ yeast in the Church…
LC Bishop Brian Farrell continues to aid and abet the Legion by ordaining 20 young men to the diaconate at the Legion college in Rome.
And it must be said the Holy Mother the Church has been treating the Legion of Christ with kid gloves. John the Baptizer continues to cry in the desert…
Bishop Brian Farrell, LC, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, ordained 20 Legionaries of Christ deacons in the chapel of the Legion of Christ’s Center of Higher Studies in Rome. Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil, LC, the Legion’s General Director, and some 150 other priests, both religious and diocesan, both religious and diocesan, concelebrated.
“On behalf of the new deacons and the whole Church I would like to thank the families of these young men. The family plays an important part in the life of every priest. Without their support during the long years of formation, it would not be possible to follow Christ’s call,” said Fr. Benjamin Clariond, spokesman of the congregation in Rome.
The celebrant, Bishop Brian is brother to Kevin Farrell, bishop of Dallas, TX, who left the Legion many years ago because of ‘intellectual differences’ (not the real reason!). Monsignor Kevin had been a close associate of Fr. Maciel for years and one of the drivers assigned to accompany church dignitaries being cultivated by the Legion, including Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, Prefect for the congregation for religious. He left because of Maciel’s mistreatment and made a successful transition to the diocese of Washington DC., where he pursued his ecclesiastical career
Zenith, which we learn is the official news agency of the Claretians was once owned by the Legion of Christ. Ironically, some Claretians were assigned by the Vatican to investigate Maciel in 1956. Their reports were very damaging but not enough to dislodge Maciel’s supporters inside the Curia. See details in
Parents are sometimes surprised by a child’s sudden interest and devotion to the Legionaries of Christ, an organization which all too often the parents know absolutely nothing about. Though bewildered, such parents often take comfort in the fact the legion is an established religious congregation, officially recognized and sanctioned by the Catholic Church, one which prides itself on its declared devotion to the pope and its purportedly close ties to John Paul II. For any parent who wishes to have an ongoing relationship with his or her child, however, there is real reason for concern. With the possible exception of Opus Dei, the Legionaries of Christ is like no other order of priests within the Catholic Church. Therefore, before your son or daughter runs off to join the legionaries, there are several things that you as a parent should know.