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.
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Deception, Dependency, and Dread in the Conversion Process
Michael D. Langone, PhD
Farber, Harlow, & West (1957) coined the term “DDD syndrome” to describe the essence of Korean war thought reform with prisoners of war: debility, dependency, and dread. Lifton (1961), who also studied thought reform employed in Chinese universities, demonstrated that the process did not require physical debilitation. Contemporary cultic groups, which do not have the power of the state at their disposal, have more in common with this brand of thought reform than with the POW variety in that they rarely employ physical coercion. In order to control targets, they must rely on subterfuge and natural areas of overlap between themselves and prospects. As with all Korean era thought reform programs (those directed at civilians and at prisoners), however, contemporary cultic groups induce dependent states to gain control over recruits and employ psychological (sometimes physical) punishment (“dread”) to maintain control. The process, in my view, can be briefly described by a modified “DDD syndrome”: deception, dependency, and dread.
Although the process here described is complex and varied, the following appears to occur in the prototypical cult conversion:
A vulnerable prospect encounters a cultic group.
The group (leader[s]) deceptively presents itself as a benevolent authority that can improve the prospect’s well-being.
The prospect responds positively, experiencing an increase in self-esteem and security, at least some of which is in response to what could be considered “placebo” The prospect can now be considered a “recruit”.
Through the use of “sharing” exercises, “confessions,” and skillful individualized probing, the group [leader(s)] assesses the recruit’s strengths and weaknesses.
Through testimonies of group members, the denigration of the group’s “competitors” (e.g., other religious groups, other therapists), the tactful accentuation of the recruit’s shameful memories and other weaknesses, and the gradual indoctrination of the recruit into a closed, nonfalsifiable belief system, the group’s superiority is affirmed as a fundamental assumption.
Members’ testimonies, positive reinforcement of the recruit’s expressions of trust in the group, discrete reminders about the recruit’s weaknesses, and various forms of group pressure induce the recruit to acknowledge that his/her future well-being depends upon adherence to the group’s belief system, more specifically its “change program.”
These same influence techniques are joined by a subtle undermining of the recruit’s self-esteem (e.g., by exaggerating the “sinfulness” of experiences the recruit is encouraged to “confess”), the suppression or weakening of critical thinking through fatiguing activity, near-total control of the recruit’s time, trance-induction exercises (e.g., chanting), and the repetitive message that only disaster results from not following the group’s “change program.” These manipulations induce the recruit to declare allegiance to the group and to commit to change him/herself as directed by the group. He or she can now be considered a convert embarking on a path of “purification”, “enlightenment”, “self-actualization”, “higher consciousness,” or whatever. The recruit’s dependency on the group is established and implicitly, if not explicitly, acknowledged. Moreover, he/she has accepted the group’s authority in defining what is true and good, within the convert’s heart and mind as well as in the world.
The convert is next fully subjected to the unrealistically high expectations of the group. The recruit’s “potential” is “lovingly” affirmed, while members testify to the great heights they and “heroic” models have scaled. The group’s all-important mission, e.g., save the world, justifies its all-consuming expectations.
Because by definition the group is always right and “negative” thinking is unacceptable, the convert’s failures become totally his or her responsibility, while his or her doubts and criticisms are suppressed (often with the aid of trance-inducing exercises such as meditation, speaking in tongues, or chanting) or redefined as personal failures. The convert thus experiences increasing self-alienation. The “pre-cult self” is rejected; doubts about the group are pushed out of consciousness; the sense of failure generated by not measuring up to the group’s expectations is bottled up inside. The only possible adaptation is fragmentation and compartmentalization. It is not surprising, then, that many clinicians consider dissociation to lie at the heart of cult-related distress and dysfunction (Ash, 1985).
The convert’s self-alienation will tend to demand further psychological, if not physical, alienation from the non-group world (especially family), information from which can threaten to upset whatever dissociative equilibrium the convert establishes in an attempt to adjust to the consuming and conflicting demands of the group. This alienation accentuates the convert’s dependency on the group.
The group supports the convert’s dissociative equilibrium by actively encouraging escalating dependency, e.g., by exaggerating the convert’s past “sins” and conflicts with family, by denigrating outsiders, by positively reinforcing chanting or other “thought-stopping” activities, and by providing and positively reinforcing ways in which the convert can find a valued role within the group (e.g., work for a group-owned business, sell magazines on the street).
The group strengthens the convert’s growing dependency by threatening or inflicting punishment whenever the convert or an outside force (e.g., a visit by a family member) disturbs the dissociative equilibrium that enables him or her to function in a closed, nonfalsifiable system (the “dread” of DDD). Punishment may sometimes by physical. Usually, however, the punishment is psychological, sometimes even metaphysical. Certain fringe Christian groups, for example, can, at the command of the leadership, immediately begin shunning someone singled out as “factious” or possessed of a “rebellious spirit.” Many groups also threaten wavering converts with punishments in the hereafter, for example, being “doomed to Hell.” It should be remembered that these threats and punishments occur within a context of induced dependency and psychological alienation from the person’s former support network. This fact makes them much more potent than the garden-variety admonitions of traditional religious, such as “you will go to hell if you die with mortal sin.”
The result of this process, when carried to its consummation, is a person who proclaims great happiness but hides great suffering. I have talked to many former cultists who, when they left their groups and talked to other former members, were surprised to discover that many of their fellow members were also smilingly unhappy, all thinking they were the only ones who felt miserable inside.
Ash, S. (1985). Cult-induced psychopathology, part 1: Clinical picture. Cultic Studies Journal, 2(1), 31-91.
Farber, I. E., Harlow, H. F., & West, L. J. (1956). Brainwashing, conditioning, and DDD (debility, dependency, and dread). Sociometry, 20, 271-285.
Lifton, R. J. (1961). Thought reform and the psychology of totalism. New York: W. W. Norton.
First, I want to thank all those who had the idea to create this site (Opus Libros). Can you measure exactly the amount of good you do to so many souls out there?
I speak for myself, but I’m sure many people benefit from the content of Opus Livre (Opus Libros, Opus Books)
I also want to congratulate the authors of the book “Opus Dei, os Bastidores” (Opus Dei, behind the Scenes) for so much courage and lucidity. The relevance of this book is immense and, I believe, it helps bring peace to many people who have gone through Opus Dei, as in my case.
Until I had knowledge of the book and access to the site, which only happened two weeks ago, I lived for years of my life thinking that I was the only dissenting number, because I had never read anything so real about it. So, I just have to thank you, because I felt a great relief to see that I’m normal, contrary to what the people at Opus Dei wanted to make me to believe in their mean and harmful norms.
I’m going to spare names out of respect for people. I don’t know if they disappeared or not. Anyway, they deserve respect.
I was 15 years old and recently completed middle school, with very little life experience when I found the Jacamar University Center, (Sao Paulo, Brazil) still at Al. Joaquim Eugênio de Lima in the mid-1970s. I’m from an upper middle-class family, practicing Catholics, college educated parents. To top it off, at the height of my 15 years I was very cute, friendly, although shy, affable and, of course, docile and naïve regarding everything, besides having an immense desire to change the world, do good, be recognized, have friends.
A sister of mine, a year older than me, was the one who took me downtown, invited by a friend from our high school. But I didn’t know anything about Opus Dei, imagine… I arrived on a Sunday, I liked the place, everyone was cheerful and friendly. It was carnival, had a lively little party, I liked the weather. But on the first day some things caught my eye. First, that bunch of women (only women, of course, which I found strange) wearing skirts at a time that few wore … for me it was very weird. Then I noticed that they all had more or less the same manner, the same hair, the same way of expressing themselves. Now, what caused me the most strangeness (but not necessarily in a bad sense at that moment) was when a girl -I had never seen a fatter one in my life- took me aside and said that she really liked me (this about 2 hours after we met for the first time ), and that she wanted to be my friend. Only later did I understand that she was a Numerary (consecrated member) doing her apostolate(mission work) any way she could, as is the custom in The Work (Spanish, La Obra, as the members call it). Anyway, this girl was 5 years older than me, and I was very happy that she approached me and filled me with compliments. I thought it was great for her to want to know so much about me and to have been so interested in me (I almost had no friends, i was very shy and closeted at home). I remember we went out a few times to have coffee, eat sweets, talk. That was really cool. But then the spiritual practices began, which also sounded strange, exaggerated, even though I was used to going to mass, praying.
Anyway, 5 and a half months after having gone to Jacamar the first time, this same girl takes me aside, in one of those conversations, and asks me if I had never thought about becoming a part of The Work (she was already living in the center and told me that she had joined Opus Dei). She asked what I thought of it, I was kind of not sure what to say, but I thought it was weird. Faced with the question about my vocation, I faltered, I didn’t know what to answer, I had no idea what that meant, and, with no idea what to say, “I don’t know, I never thought much, but I also thought, I don’t know.” Then she insisted and said that she thought I had a vocation, that everyone at the center thought it, that I had to give my life to God, that I wouldn’t regret it. He said I should find it as great as I was 15 to know why I was born, that I was chosen by God. I was a little astonished, but I let myself be persuaded (I was really very silly) and said yes I had thought about what it was like to be “on the other side” like her.
Then, on the spot, I had the “great vision” about my vocation… I was very afraid to go ahead because I knew it meant I wouldn’t get married. I was distressed, but I didn’t discuss this with anyone. In conversations, they made me believe that this was a minor thing compared to my “divine” choice. Well, then all the rules and rules started, and I learned several things: first I had to wear skirts always (which for me was absolutely unnatural), that I could not go to the movies or the theater (something else that shocked me a lot), that for everything I had to ask permission of the center, which had to give me money if I needed it, wear the cilice (spiked garter around the thigh) and whip myself with the discipline (hard knotted whip) and do my apostolate (outreach work). I was very bad at trying to convince others, to this day I am, especially when I’m not quite convinced of what I want to sell; so, I was always pretty weak as regards convincing others, But they made it clear to me what kind of “friend” (recruit) the center was interested in: the well-settled and the family with money. And I thought we were going to be holy in the middle of the world, being a normal person, with normal friends… but changing the way I dressed, changing my habits, this was all unnatural to me. I drew a lot of attention at school, at home, everyone came to think I was weird. That was horrible!! I didn’t feel worldly. I was shocked to learn that The Work was all about that. After all, I had dreamed of being normal, wearing pants, going to the movies. Now I was crying because I had been “chosen”. I hated my destiny …
But what really shocked me in Opus Dei, this pseudo-work of God, was another story (neither the cilice and discipline were that hard!). My sister who put me in touch with the university the center (look at the irony) has a disease called neurofibromatosis. Those who suffer from the problem have skin full of fibromas. You can imagine that these people suffer prejudice and have low self-esteem. Because one day, I don’t even remember if I was already from The Work, one of the numeraries, using second-rate psychology, “washed her hands” on my sister’s case. She said that she was a very strange person, full of nervous tics and problems, who had probably gotten a lot from my father as a child and that she needed treatment. And, of course, unfortunately The Work could do nothing for her. Since that day – I never learned what happened exactly in the conversation between the numerary and my sister – my sister was left abandoned in the center, until eventually she stopped going. What’s more, she developed a huge, huge anger for the place, to the point of ridiculing me because I started dressing like the people there and fighting with me every time I went to Jacamar. On the other hand, another of my sisters, two years older than me, good-looking, “whistled”(joined) around the same time as me. It was really hard to hear that about my sister. It’s been 30 years since this happened, and to this day I remember details of what the numerary told me.
Another shock: my mother, although Catholic, hated the center and Opus Dei. She’d do anything to get me out of there, telling me they manipulated me, that they were Francoists (Fascists). I fought a lot with her over The Work and, at the top of my 15 years, the more she contradicted me, the more I wanted to go to Jacamar. Well, because of that, I couldn’t afford to donate to the Work, which was charging me. My contribution was so little that one day I was advised to open my mother’s wallet and open it behind her back. God would understand, according to the director of the center. And so it was that in my teenage years I stole from my mother several times, just to please the directors.
Another shock was when I went to take the university entrance exam. Without asking, I registered for the journalism course at PUC and Liberal Arts at USP. With the registration already made, my directors said that Journalism was a course disapproved by The Work and PUC, so no way! That I should only study Liberal Arts. Actually, what I really wanted most was journalism. So, at the end of high school, I gave in and passed Liberal Arts. I told the people at the center that my directors had recommended I drop out of college. I went secretly to the university center for some (journalism) classes. I enjoyed it a lot; that’s what I wanted. I had passed without having to take the introductory course, but my superiors did not let me move on, despite my arguments. They said it was a very politicized subject, that it was not good for a daughter of God. Very depressed, I was forced to lie to my parents and myself, telling them I no longer wanted that course and that I would present Liberal Arts. My parents wouldn’t let me drop out of college, registered me for the course and paid a year of school for me – I did it unwillingly, not wanting to get into Liberal Arts; I was missing more times than I attended; I skipped…
By that time, my relationship with The Work and God had already gone up in smoke, but I tried to keep up appearances somehow. I was depressed. I had terrible headaches. I made my parents worry about me. They took me to doctors. I was in pain, I was confined to bed, sleeping a lot, not wanting to take the phone calls from the center staff. I didn’t tell anyone my anguish, much less to the numeraries, who should have been my sisters at this point!
Finally, I got involved with a boy… I was almost 19, but I was still attached to the center. One day I told the numerary who was taking care of me what was going on and she wanted to know in detail how far I had gone with the young man. And all the details! And as I was explaining to her, she was turning into a monster, muttering, almost drooling. She was very interested in the content of my story, and at the same time she seemed to feel very angry that I had experienced it and she, at least as far as I knew, had never experienced it. She was not satisfied with my answers. She backed me to the wall in a crazy conversation, which I never forgot, interrogating me. At the end of the conversation, she called me a whore, told me I dressed like a whore (just because on this day I had a blouse with a shorter sleeves) and even spit in my face, disgusted by me. Weakened, I cried a lot, I went to confess with a priest of Opus Dei (who also wanted to know all the details), I asked God’s forgiveness, I just cried. Obviously, I didn’t want to belong to The Work anymore, but I didn’t know how to leave. I was full of guilt; they told me of all the horrors that affect those who leave their vocation. My sister who had joined had already left well before me, without commenting on me. That was terrible too, in a conversation about it! At the center, I was told that she had no vocation, that this was happening. They insisted on me for a while, but gradually they gave up, too.
They didn’t want me there anymore, and I didn’t want them. I had with me material from The Work (books, pamphlets) and I was ready to return them if I were asked. A numerary agreed to meet with me in a church and gave me the message: “You no longer belong to The Work.” I felt a mixture of relief and guilt with the expulsion. She treated me with a certain pity, as if I were a poor thing, but she didn’t give me much satisfaction regarding the reasons for the expulsion. It was all very informal, actually. She said that at that moment what she and The Work could do for me would be to give me guidance so that I would not “fall away” too steeply; so that I could secure my salvation. She arranged for me to meet me the next week for a new conversation. And she said she’d give that assistance for a while. On the day arranged, I went to the agreed place and there I waited for the girl, who not only did not show up but never gave me an explanation – neither she nor anyone else from the Work. As I had sinned gravely in the eyes of Opus Dei (I had only exchanged a few caresses with the boyfriend, had not lost my virginity!) but now I was considered garbage, a fifth-rate human being, and they probably came to the conclusion that no one should waste time with me anymore. The friend who “discovered” my vocation I never saw again; she moved from the Opus house. This distancing for me also made me very bad, a broken link suddenly in such a complicated phase of my life. Since that day in 1979 I have never had any further contact with Opus Dei. (In fact, I always run away from the topic when someone touches on it. I’m so very afraid they’d learn about my past.)
Anyway, years have passed. I married; I have two children, many friends. I am a professional of respect in the area I chose. But Opus Dei is a rock in the middle of my path. I dreamed years of this Work. I still dream, and never, not even once have I been able to talk about my experience with someone – not with my best friends, not with my parents, nor with my sisters (not even with the one who, like me, joined one day), nor before the therapists I’ve seen, nor with my husband. I look at my kids, still children, and I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to talk to them about it either. It is very distressing to keep this secret. I have crises to this day with this and, in front of this picture, I imagine how much relief the site has given me. I see there are other people in the same boat. Deep down, I’d really like to be able to talk in person with a former member of The Work, someone with enough lucidity to exchange ideas with me about my anguish and help me erase this terrible ghost once and for all. Is that possible?
Thank you so much for your attention, from the bottom of my heart.
Pois então aí vai meu depoimento (loooonguíssimo!!):
Primeiro quero agradecer a todos os que tiveram a idéia de criar este site. Será que vocês têm a dimensão exata do bem que fazem a tantas almas por aí?
Falo por mim, mas tenho certeza de que muitas pessoas se beneficiam do conteúdo do Opus Livre.
Quero também parabenizar os autores do livro “Opus Dei, Os Bastidores” por tanta coragem e lucidez. A pertinência deste livro é imensa e, creio eu, ajuda a trazer paz a muita gente que passou pelo Opus Dei – meu caso.
Até ter conhecimento do livro e acesso ao site, o que só aconteceu há duas semanas, vivi anos da minha vida achando que eu era a única numerária dissidente, pois eu nunca havia lido nada tão real sobre o assunto por aí. Então só tenho mesmo a agradecer, porque senti um alívio imenso de ver que sou normal, ao contrário do que as pessoas do Opus Dei quiseram me fazer acreditar com suas normas insanas e nefastas.
Vou poupar nomes em respeito às pessoas. Não sei se elas “desapitaram” ou não. De qualquer forma, merecem respeito.
Eu tinha 15 anos recém-completados e pouquíssima experiência de vida quando conheci o Centro Universitário Jacamar, ainda na Al. Joaquim Eugênio de Lima, em meados da década de 1970. Sou de uma família classe média alta, católicos praticantes, pais universitários. Para completar, no auge dos meus 15 anos era bem bonitinha, simpática, embora tímida, afável e, claro, dócil e ingênua de tudo, além de ter uma imensa vontade de mudar o mundo, fazer o bem, ser reconhecida, ter amigos.
Uma irmã, um ano mais velha do que eu, foi quem me levou ao centro, convidada por uma amiga do nosso colégio, já numerária. Mas eu nada sabia de Opus Dei, imagina… Eu cheguei num domingo, gostei do lugar, era todo mundo alegre e simpático. Era carnaval, tinha uma festinha animada, gostei do clima. Mas já no primeiro dia algumas coisas me chamaram a atenção. Primeiro, aquele bando de mulheres (só mulheres, claro, o que já achei estranho) usando saias numa época que poucas usavam… pra mim era muito esquisito. Depois reparei que todas tinham mais ou menos o mesmo jeito, o mesmo cabelo, o mesmo modo de se expressar. Agora, o que mais me causou estranhamento (mas não necessariamente para o mal naquele momento) foi quando uma moça que eu nunca havia visto mais gorda na vida me chamou para um canto e disse que havia gostado muito (isso com umas 2 horas de convívio apenas) de mim e que queria ser minha amiga. Só depois é que fui entender que se tratava de uma numerária fazendo apostolado de forma acintosa, como é de praxe na Obra. Enfim, essa moça era 5 anos mais velha do que eu e fiquei muito feliz por ela ter se aproximado de mim e me enchido de elogios. Achei o máximo ela querer saber tanto de mim e ter se interessado tanto por mim (eu quase não tinha amigas, era muito tímida e fechada em casa). Lembro que saímos algumas vezes para tomar café, comer doces, conversar. Aquilo era muito legal. Mas aí começaram as práticas espirituais, que também me soavam estranhas, exageradas, embora eu estivesse acostumada a ir à missa, a rezar. Enfim, 5 meses e meio depois de ter ido à primeira vez ao Jacamar, essa mesma moça que chama para um canto, numa daquelas nossas conversas, e me pergunta se eu nunca tinha pensado em ser da Obra (ela já estava morando no centro e me contou que havia entrado para o Opus Dei. Perguntou o que eu achava daquilo, fiquei meio sem saber o que dizer, mas achei esquisito). Diante da pergunta sobre minha vocação, vacilei, não sabia o que responder, não tinha a menor idéia do que aquilo significava e, sem ter idéia do que dizer disse “mais ou menos, sei lá, nunca pensei muito, mas também já pensei, não sei”. Aí ela insistiu e disse que achava que eu tinha vocação, que todo mundo no centro achava, que eu tinha de entregar minha vida a Deus, que eu não me arrependeria. Disse que eu deveria achar o máximo com apenas 15 anos saber por que motivo eu havia nascido, que eu era escolhida por Deus. Fiquei meio pasma, mas entrei no discurso dela (eu era realmente muito tonta) e disse que já tinha pensado sim em como era estar ‘do outro lado’, como ela. Aí, pronto, tive a “grande visão” a respeito da minha vocação… Tive muito medo de ir em frente, porque sabia que não podia casar, fiquei meio aflita, mas não comentei com ninguém. Nas conversas, fizeram-me acreditar que isso era uma coisa menor diante da escolha “divina”. Bem, aí começaram todas as normas e regras e tomei conhecimento de várias coisas: primeiro que tinha de usar saias sempre (o que pra mim era absolutamente antinatural), que não podia ir ao cinema nem ao teatro (outra coisa que me chocou muito), que para tudo tinha de pedir permissão ao centro, que tinha de dar dinheiro, usar o cilício e as disciplinas e fazer apostolado de qualquer jeito. Eu era muito ruim nisso de tentar convencer os outros, até hoje sou, especialmente quando não estou bem convencida do que quero vender, por isso sempre fui bem fraca de apostolado. Enfim, mas deixaram claro para mim que tipo de amiga interessava ao centro: as bem resolvidas e as de família com grana. E eu que achava que a gente ia ser santo no meio do mundo, sendo uma pessoa normal, com amigos normais… mudar o jeito de vestir, mudar meus hábitos, isso tudo era pra mim antinatural, eu chamava muita atenção na escola, em casa, todos passaram a me achar esquisita. Isso foi horrível!! Não me sentia do mundo, tive um choque ao saber que a Obra era isso. No final, sonhava em ser normal, usar calça, ir ao cinema, chorava porque eu havia sido “escolhida” , tinha ódio do meu destino…
Mas o que me chocou mesmo no Opus Dei, essa pseudo-obra de Deus, foi uma outra história (nem o cilício e a disciplina me doeram tanto!). A minha irmã que me fez conhecer o centro (vejam a ironia) tem uma doença chamada neurofibromatose. Quem sofre do problema tem a pele cheia de fibromas. Dá para imaginar que essas pessoas sofrem preconceito e têm baixa auto-estima. Pois um dia, nem me lembro mais se eu já era da Obra, uma das numerárias, se valendo de uma psicologia de quinta categoria, “lavou as mãos” sobre o caso da minha irmã. Disse que ela era uma pessoa muito esquisita, cheia de tiques nervosos e problemas, que provavelmente tinha apanhado muito do meu pai quando criança e que ela precisava se tratar. E, claro, que infelizmente a Obra não poderia fazer nada por ela. Desde esse dia – eu nunca soube o que aconteceu na conversa entre a numerária e a minha irmã – minha irmã ficou largada às traças no centro, até que deixou de ir. E mais: ficou com uma raiva enorme, imensa do lugar, a ponto de me ridicularizar porque eu passei a me vestir como as pessoas de lá e a brigar comigo toda vez que eu ia ao Jacamar. Em compensação, uma outra irmã, dois anos mais velha do que eu, de boa aparência, apitou mais ou menos na mesma época que eu. Foi muito duro ouvir aquilo sobre minha irmã. Faz 30 anos que isso aconteceu e até hoje me lembro detalhes do que a numerária me falou. Outro choque: minha mãe, apesar de católica, odiava o centro e o Opus Dei. Fazia de tudo para me tirar de lá, dizia que me manipulavam, que eram franquistas. Briguei muito com ela por causa da Obra e, no alto dos meus 15 anos, quanto mais ela me contrariava, mais eu queria ir ao Jacamar. Bem, por causa disso, não conseguia dinheiro para dar à Obra, que me cobrava. Minha contribuição era tão pouca que um dia me aconselharam a abrir a carteira da minha mãe e pegar sem ela perceber. Deus entenderia, segundo a diretora do centro. E assim foi que na minha adolescência furtei minha mãe várias vezes, apenas para agradar às diretoras.
Outro choque foi quando fui prestar vestibular. Sem perguntar nada, fiz inscrição para o curso de Jornalismo na PUC e de Letras na USP. Com a inscrição já feita, disseram que Jornalismo era um curso reprovado pela Obra e a PUC, então, nem pensar! Que eu só deveria prestar Letras. Na verdade, o que eu mais queria era Jornalismo mesmo. Então, ao acabar o colégio, prestei e passei. Contei ao pessoal do centro, elas me disseram para largar a faculdade. Cheguei a ir escondido do centro em algumas aulas, gostei muito, era o que eu queria, havia passado sem precisar fazer cursinho, mas não me deixaram seguir em frente, apesar dos meus argumentos. Diziam que era um curso muito politizado, que aquilo não era bom para uma filha de Deus. Muito deprimida, fui obrigada a mentir aos meus pais e a mim mesma, dizendo que não queria mais aquele curso e que iria prestar Letras. Meus pais não me deixaram largar a faculdade, trancaram o curso e pagaram um ano de cursinho para mim – fiz a contragosto, não querendo entrar na Letras, mais faltava do que ia, matava aula etc. Nessa altura, minha relação com a Obra e com Deus já tinha ido para o espaço, mas eu tentava manter as aparências de alguma forma. Tive depressão, sentia dores de cabeça terríveis, fiz meus pais se preocuparem comigo, me levarem em médicos, exagerava nas dores, vivia trancada na cama, dormindo, sem querer atender aos telefonemas do pessoal do centro. Não contava para ninguém minhas angústias, muito menos para as numerárias, que deveriam ser a essa altura minhas irmãs! Por fim, me envolvi com um rapaz… tinha quase 19 anos, mas ainda não havia me desligado do centro. Contei um dia à numerária que me atendia o que estava acontecendo e ela quis saber em detalhes até onde eu tinha chegado com o moço. Mas detalhes mesmo! E conforme eu ia contando ela ia se transformando num monstro, falando entre dentes, quase babando. Tinha enorme interesse naquilo que eu contava, e, ao mesmo tempo, parecia sentir muita raiva por eu ter experimentado aquilo e ela, ao menos até onde eu sabia, não ter passado por isso. Não se contentava com minhas respostas, me encostou na parede numa conversa alucinada, que nunca mais esqueci, dirigindo minhas respostas. Ao fim da conversa, me chamou de puta, disse que eu me vestia como uma puta (só porque neste dia estava com uma blusa com uma manguinha mais curta) e chegou a cuspir no meu rosto, com nojo de mim. Fragilizada, chorei muito, fui me confessar com um padre do Opus Dei (que também quis saber todos os detalhes), pedi perdão a Deus, me acabei de chorar. Óbvio que não queria mais ser da Obra, mas não sabia como, tinha muita culpa, me falavam de todos os horrores que acometem quem deixa a vocação. Minha irmã que havia apitado já tinha saído bem antes de mim, sem nada comentar comigo. Isso também foi terrível, numa conversamos sobre isso! No centro, me disseram que ela não tinha vocação, que isso acontecia. Insistiram um tempo comigo, mas aos poucos largaram mão também. Não me queriam mais lá, nem eu a eles. Eu tinha comigo um material da Obra (livros, folhetos) e me prontifiquei a devolvê-los, tal qual me solicitavam. Uma numerária marcou comigo numa igreja e me deu o recado: “Você não é mais da Obra”. Senti um misto de alívio e culpa com a expulsão. Ela me tratou com certa pena, como se eu fosse uma coitada, mas não me deu muita satisfação dos motivos da expulsão. Foi tudo muito informal, na verdade. Disse que naquele momento o que ela e a Obra poderiam fazer por mim seria me dar uma orientação para que eu não ‘caísse’ mais tão fundo, para que eu garantisse minha salvação. Então ela combinou comigo de me encontrar na semana seguinte, para nova conversa. E disse que daria essa assistência por um tempo. No dia, fui ao local marcado e lá fiquei a esperar a moça, que não só não apareceu como nunca me deu uma satisfação – nem ela nem ninguém da Obra. Como eu havia pecado gravemente ao olhos do Opus Dei (só havia trocado umas carícias com o namorado, não tinha nem deixado de ser virgem!) havia me tornado um lixo, um ser humano de quinta categoria, e provavelmente chegaram à conclusão de que ninguém deveria mais perder tempo comigo. A tal amiga que ‘descobriu’ minha vocação eu nunca mais vi, ela mudou de centro, essa distância para mim também me fez muito mal, foi um elo quebrado de repente numa fase tão complicada da minha vida. Desde esse dia, de 1979, nunca mais tive nenhum contato com o Opus Dei (aliás, sempre fujo do tema quando por acaso alguém toca nele, tenho muito medo que saibam do meu passado.)
Enfim, anos se passaram, casei, tenho dois filhos, muitos amigos, sou uma profissional de respeito na área que escolhi. Mas o Opus Dei é uma pedra no meio do meu caminho. Sonhei anos com essa Obra, ainda sonho, e nunca, mas nunca mesmo, consegui falar disso com alguém – nem com meus melhores amigos, nem com meus pais, nem com minhas irmãs (nem com a que apitou um dia), nem diante dos terapeutas que fui, nem com meu marido. Olho meus filhos, ainda crianças, e acho que nunca vou conseguir falar sobre isso com eles também. É muito angustiante ter esse segredo, tenho crises até hoje com isso e, diante desse quadro, imagino o quanto de alívio o site me proporcionou. Vejo que há outras pessoas no mesmo barco. No fundo, gostaria mesmo de poder conversar pessoalmente com um ex-membro da Obra, alguém com lucidez suficiente para trocar idéias comigo sobre minhas angústias e me ajudar a apagar de vez esse terrível fantasma. Será que isso é possível?
No es política de ReGAIN atacar al Papa o a la jerarquía de la Iglesia Católica. Pero este artículo acusa a la Curia Romana -los apparatchikes de la Iglesia- de los pecados de omisión y comisión. ReGAIN evita centrar su crítica en el Papa como el único o principal culpable de todos los males de la Iglesia. Creemos que esto es demasiado simplista. (Siempre es agradable tener algo concreto, una persona en particular, como blanco de nuestra ira e indignación). Pero resulta imposible absolver a varios papas, desde el Papa Pío XII hasta Benedicto XVI, de negligencia grave al permitir que el Padre Maciel y su marca de vida religiosa continúen y prosperen en el seno del catolicismo.
Aquí no encontrará a un (John) Paul Lennon “despotricando y delirando” -como fue retratado por abogados de la Legión en la corte de Alexandria City Virginia en 2008. Más bien encontrará a Paul Lennon, entristecido por la muerte de otra de otra víctima del abuso sexual del P. Maciel, Saúl Barrales, que muere sin reivindicación el 5 de abril 2021; a un Paul Lennon, consejero de salud mental e investigador de sectas -un católico practicante- impulsado a actuar por un artículo recibido de Info-Culte, una organización canadiense respetable de estudio de sectas:
No se debe permitir que un pedófilo regrese a la escena de sus crímenes.
El artículo citado se refiere a cómo los residentes australianos locales se opusieron al que el infame pedófilo, “Little Pebble”, regresara al lugar de sus crímenes de pedofilia, incluso bajo una supervisión muy estricta. El artículo me ha dejado perturbado cuando me doy cuenta de cómo la información sobre el abuso del P. Maciel a un seminarista bajo su cuidado -años después de fundar la orden con niños preadolescentes en México- llegó al Vaticano en 1943 y fue ignorada; el depredador regresando a sus dominios, cual zorro suelto en el gallinero que había construido por sus propios motivos dudosos. Este descuido también puede explicar cómo la vida de las víctimas de Maciel fuera destruida de manera tan fulminante. Tal devastación fue presenciada y sufrida por sus seres queridos, y por aquellos de nosotros que sólo nos dimos cuenta de su difícil situación en 1997.
Veamos por qué los residentes locales se opusieron a tener al abusador de vuelta en la comunidad donde los abusos habían ocurrido después de completar su sentencia – y cómo le impiden regresar. Se impusieron contra una decisión de la Corte Suprema de Nuevo Gales del Sur que le permitía regresar bajo estricta supervisión. Temían que las víctimas fueran re-traumatizadas.
“A finales de la semana pasada, la Corte Suprema de NSW dictaminó que el líder de culto William Costellia-Kamm – también conocido como “Little Pebble” – podría regresar a su comuna en Cambewarra, en la región de Shoalhaven, en estrictas condiciones y pendiente de aprobación por servicios correctivos NSW.
La decisión provocó una enorme reacción de la comunidad que fue apoyada por diputados estatales y federales.
Hoy, un portavoz de Servicios Correctivos de NSW dijo que a Costellia-Kamm se le negaría el acceso a la región.
“Servicios Correctivos NSW no ha dado ninguna aprobación para que el delincuente resida en Cambewarra o el Shoalhaven y no tiene planes actuales para hacerlo”, dijeron.
“El infractor estará sujeto a un intenso nivel de supervisión, incluyendo monitoreo electrónico las 24 horas del día, así como otras 48 condiciones estrictas alrededor de su vivienda, movimientos, finanzas, asociaciones, comunicaciones electrónicas y apariencia personal.”
El departamento dijo que Costellia-Kamm sería supervisado por oficiales de Correccionales Comunitarias “altamente capacitados” que trabajarían con la Policía de NSW.
“El equipo de supervisión también ha recibido amplios poderes de búsqueda e incautación por parte de la Corte Suprema, lo que les permite en cualquier momento y sin previo aviso registrar al delincuente, su alojamiento, vehículo y cualquier dispositivo electrónico”, dijo el portavoz.
“Cualquier violación de una Orden de Supervisión Extendida es un delito penal y puede resultar en cargos adicionales y hasta cinco años de prisión.”
Al dictar su decisión la semana pasada, el juez Stephen Campbell dijo que el riesgo que representaba Costellia-Kamm podría ser “manejado adecuadamente” dada la “rigurosidad de las condiciones” que se propusieron.
Preocupaciones por el trauma
La decisión del tribunal llevó a cientos de residentes en la costa sur a firmar una petición pidiendo que se prohibiera a Costellia-Kamm volver a vivir en el lugar donde se cometieron sus crímenes.
“Todos los niños tienen derecho a sentirse seguros en su comunidad y permitir que este hombre entre en nuestra comunidad pone a nuestros hijos en riesgo”, dijo la firmante Temeka Giddings.
Sus preocupaciones se hicieron eco de la diputada de la Costa Sur Shelley Hancock y la miembro de Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, quienes expresaron su preocupación por el trauma que su regreso tendría sobre sus víctimas.
“En mi opinión, tiene que haber alguna reforma a la ley por la cual un delincuente como este nunca puede acercarse a esta comunidad… Hancock dijo.
“No podemos soportar que personas como esta vuelvan a vivir entre nosotros”.”
En 2005 Costellia-Kamm, quien fundó una secta llamada La Orden de Santa Charbel, fue condenada por violar a dos adolescentes a las que se refería como sus “esposas espirituales”.
Había estado viviendo en Sídney desde que fue puesto en libertad condicional después de cumplir la mayor parte de su sentencia de una década.
Él sigue negando su culpabilidad y afirma que fue acusado falsamente.”
La Re-Traumatización de las Víctimas de Maciel y la Corrupción de la Legión de Cristo/Regnum Christi Federación fundada y gobernada por él.
El lector debe estar de acuerdo con el shock del escritor al conectar lo anterior con el caso Maciel.
El Vaticano tardó 13 años en reaccionar a las acusaciones contra el fundador de la orden (“congregación”) religiosa de la Legión de Cristo: comienza la primera “visita” oficial del Vaticano de la Legión de Cristo 1956-59. La investigación en última análisis fue un fracaso y a Maciel se le permitió regresar a su fundación;no sólo vivir en las residencias, sino también con el cargo de superior general, disfrutando de autoridad mundial. y ejerciendo un control total y detallado sobre cada miembro. El incestuoso padre regresó a su familia, restablecido y en una posición más fuerte. De vuelta en Roma, el estafador reanudó su romance con destacados miembros de la Curia a quienes continuó sobornando y chantajeando. El pedófilo en serie ya había estado abusando de sus sujetos pubescentes desde la fundación en 1941. Por lo tanto, el abuso pasó desapercibido hasta 1956 y continuó durante otros cincuenta años hasta su muerte (1959-2008.
Otra “visita” vaticana en 2009, después de la muerte del Padre Maciel, no logró erradicar a los depredadores sexuales, cómplices, superiores colaboradores, y lacayos de Maciel en la organización. Nose produjeron cambios radicales en la estructura y el modus operandi. Se realizaron cambios en los documentos, pero no en el personal. El entonces Director General de la Legión, P. Álvaro Corcuera LC, R.I.P., y el cuadro de liderazgo supuestamente transoformado por Monseñor Velasio de Paolis, siguen en control.
Estos últimos años, en su afán por negar la amplia difusión de abusos sexuales en su ambiente, la cúpula legionaria ha tratado de atribuir la parte principal de los abusos sexuales al fundador “malo”, reconociendo que él abusó de al menos 60 menores bajo su cuidado pastoral. Cuando uno considera que Maciel era un pedófilo depredador serial este número parece ridículamente bajo: ¿una víctima por año? Los testimonios señalan cómo Maciel era insaciable en su lujuria. Como escribió una víctima, refiriéndose a su abuso en la década de 1960:”Maciel siempre está en la búsqueda de carne fresca”. No se necesita demasiada imaginación para multiplicar el número oficial por tres, cinco o diez… Lo mismo se podría decir del número También queda de las víctimas-depredadores de segunda y tercera generación en el interior de la Legión de Cristo; un ambiente de puertas cerradas, secreto, minimización, exilio y encubrimiento.
Un estudo somero revela cómo Maciel “progresó” de abusar de las víctimas cuando eran niños a abusar de ellas como adolescentes y adultos jóvenes. Las relaciones desviadas a veces continuaban hasta la edad adulta-temprana con sus “amantes”. Sus relaciones sexuales con mujeres tienden a oscurecer su pedofilia y confundir al público. Sin embargo, es la convicción del escritor de que la preferencia de Maciel siempre fuera de niños y adolescentes: podía comprarlos en sus viajes después de agotar o perder el interés en suministro monótono en casa.
Nos quedamos con preguntas espeluznantes:
¿Cuál es el efecto de un confesor pedófilo, director espiritual, superior, director general que vive en medio de una comunidad religiosa fundada y controlada por él?
¿Cuál es el nivel de seguridad en una comunidad con un depredador sexual sin restricciones?
¿Qué sucede cuando un depredador sexual es tu director espiritual y confesor y utiliza este foro para explorar tu historia sexual y debilidades?
¿Cómo se destruye la brújula moral y la conciencia cuando el padre espiritual le dice al adolescente en ciernes que nada está mal, que está haciendo la Voluntad de Dios cuando da placer a su depredador y permite que él mismo sea excitado?
¿Cuál es el efecto de un depredador sexual suelto rodeado de niños inocentes cuando el depredador también es adicto a la morfina?
¿Qué tipo de acciones y conversaciones “edificantes” tiene el Superior General con sus víctimas cuando se desinhibe por el consumo de drogas?
¿Cuán extensos y duraderos son los efectos de Marcial Maciel -el abusador, el mentiroso, el engañador- en los superiores de la Legión de Cristo elegidos y “formados”personalmente por él?
¿Qué pasa con las acciones desordenadas de las múltiples generaciones de macielitas en posiciones de autoridad en la Legión de Cristo/Federación Regnum Christi hasta el día de hoy?
¿Cómo se aferra el Vaticano a su aprobación de la Legión de Cristo a la luz de estas acusaciones innegables? ¿No es capaz de revisar su aprobación ciega del P. Maciel y sus fundaciones, su carte blanche que sólo puede explicarse por engaños y cómplices mafiosos, sobornos y omertà dentro de la Curia Romana de la Iglesia Católica? (Véase el reconocimiento del Prefecto de la Congregación de la Vida Religiosa, cardenal Braz de Aviz, citado anteriormente).
¿Es el Vaticano capaz de admitir sus errores al haber sido engañado involuntariamentey/o voluntariamente por un estafador consumado? ¿Es capaz de corregir su aprobación errónea de este fundador defectuoso y su orden?
¿Cree el Papa Benedicto XVI que “la porquería” se ha limpiado del corazón de la Iglesia? ¿Qué piensa el Papa Francisco del trabajo a medias realizado por sus predecesores? ¿Seguirá manejando la Legión/Regnum Christi con guantes de seda? (Después de todo, es una máquina de hacer dinero y producir sacerdotes! )
¿Y cómo hacen las muchas víctimas inocentes del abuso sexual del P. Maciel y otros legionarios para mantener la Fe? ¿Cómo harán los miles de antiguos miembros de la Legión de Cristo que han sufrido abusos sexuales, físicos, mentales, psicológicos y espirituales para permanecer fieles a las autoridades de la Iglesia que los han traicionado?
El Resto Fiel reza para que podamos salvar nuestra fe en Cristo resucitado y en la ekklesia que Él fundó. Lamentablemente, muchos han perdido esa lucha debido a la negligencia y colusión de los malos pastores (Juan 10,1-18).
“Bien entonces, pastores, escuchad la palabra del Señor!” ¿Qué deben oír los pastores? Así dice el Señor Dios: he aquí, estoy por encima de los pastores y los llamaré a dar cuenta de las ovejas en sus manos.
Escuchad, ovejas de Dios, escuchad y aprenden: Dios llamará a los malos pastores a dar cuenta de sus ovejas y de sus muertes. Como él dice en otra parte de Ezequiel: los he nombrado como centinela a la Casa de Israel. Cuando oigas una palabra de mi boca, avísales en mi nombre. Si le digo a un hombre inicuo: “Malvado desgraciado, vas a morir”, y no hablas para advertir al hombre inicuo que renuncie a sus caminos, entonces morirá por su pecado, pero yo te haré responsable de su muerte. Si, sin embargo, adviertes a un hombre inicuo que renuncie a sus caminos y se arrepienta, y él no se arrepiente, entonces morirá por su pecado, pero tú mismo te habrás salvado la vida.
¿Ya ves, hermanos? ¿Ves lo peligroso que es guardar silencio? Si permaneces en silencio, mueres; y con razón. Mueres por tu impiedad y pecado, es tu negligencia la que te mata. El que ha dicho: Por mi vida, dice que el Señor, pudo haber encontrado un pastor vivo, pero como el pastor fue negligente, sin advertir a los que se le había dado autoridad, aquellos cuyo centinela era, morirá justamente,y el centinela será condenado justamente.(…)
Desde que planteé la pregunta, veamos si toma las ovejas de los malos pastores y se las da a los buenos. Ciertamente lo veo tomando las ovejas de los malos pastores: estoy por encima de los pastores, y les quitaré mi rebaño y no les permitiré alimentar a mi rebaño. De esta manera los pastores dejarán de alimentarse. Porque cuando les digo: “Alimentan a mis ovejas”, se alimentan a sí mismas y no a mis ovejas. No permitiré que alimenten a mi rebaño.
Esta selección del Sermón 46 de San Agustín sobre Pastores (Sermo 46, 20-21; CCL 41, 546-548) trata a los pastores de la iglesia como vigilantes y se utiliza en la Oficina Católica Romana de Lecturas el miércoles de la semana 25 en tiempo ordinario con la lectura bíblica adjunta tomada del profeta Ezequiel 37:1-14,la famosa visión de los huesos secos.
It is not ReGAIN’s policy to attack the pope or the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. But this article does take the Roman Curia, the apparatchiks of the Church, to task for sins of omission and commission. ReGAIN avoids focusing its critique on the pope as the only or main culprit for all the Church’s ills. We believe this to be too simplistic. (It is always nice to have a concrete target, one person, for our anger and outrage). But it is impossible to absolve several popes, from Pope Pius XII through Benedict XVI, from gross negligence in allowing Maciel and his brand of religious life to continue and prosper in the heart of Catholicism.
Here you will not find (John) Paul Lennon “ranting and raving” -as he was portrayed by Legion lawyers in Alexandria City VA court in 2008. Rather will you find Paul Lennon, saddened by the death of another of Fr. Maciel’s unvindicated sexual abuse victims, Saúl Barrales, on April 5th, 2021; Paul Lennon, LPC, and cult researcher, a practicing Catholic, jolted into action by an article received from Info-Culte, a bona fide Canadian-based cult-watch organization:
A Pedophile should not be allowed to return to the scene of his crimes
The cited article refers to how local Australian residents objected to infamous pedophile, “Little Pebble”, being allowed to return to the place of his pedophilia crimes even under very strict supervision. The article has left me in a state of shock when I realize how information regarding Fr. Maciel’s abuse of a seminarian under his care -two years after founding the order with preadolescent boys in Mexico- reached the Vatican in 1943 and was disregarded, leaving the predatory fox free in the chicken coop he had built for his own dubious reasons. This neglect may also explain how Maciel’s victims’ lives were so irreparably destroyed. Such devastation was witnessed by their loved ones and by those of us who only became aware of their plight in 1997.
Let us look at why local residents objected to having the abuser back in the community where the abuses had occurred after completing his sentence -and how they prevented him from returning. They prevailed against a decision by the New South Wales supreme court allowing him to return under strict supervision. They feared victims would be re-traumatized.
“Late last week the NSW Supreme Court ruled that cult leader William Costellia-Kamm – also known as “Little Pebble” – could return to his commune at Cambewarra, in the Shoalhaven region, under strict conditions and pending approval by Corrective Services NSW.
The decision sparked a huge community backlash that was supported by state and federal MPs.
Today a Corrective Services NSW spokesperson said Costellia-Kamm would be denied access to the region.
“Corrective Services NSW has given no approval for the offender to reside at Cambewarra or the Shoalhaven and has no current plans to do so,” they said.
“The offender will be subject to an intense level of supervision, including around-the-clock electronic monitoring, as well as 48 other strict conditions around his housing, movements, finances, associations, electronic communications and personal appearance.”
The department said Costellia-Kamm would be supervised by “highly-trained” Community Corrections officers who would work with NSW Police.
“The supervision team has also been granted extensive search and seizure powers by the Supreme Court, which allows them at any time and without warning to search the offender, his accommodation, vehicle and any electronic devices,” the spokesperson said.
“Any breach of an Extended Supervision Order is a criminal offence and can result in additional charges and up to five years’ imprisonment.”
In delivering his decision last week Justice Stephen Campbell said the risk Costellia-Kamm posed could be “adequately managed” given the “stringency of the conditions” that were proposed.
The court’s decision led to hundreds of residents on the South Coast signing a petition calling for Costellia-Kamm to be banned from returning to live at the place his crimes were committed.
“All children have a right to feel safe in their community and allowing this man into our community puts our children at risk,” signatory Temeka Giddings said.
Their concerns were echoed by South Coast MP Shelley Hancock and the member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, who expressed concern about the trauma his return would have on his victims.
“In my view there has to be some reform to the law whereby an offender such as this can never come anywhere near this community …,” Ms. Hancock said.
“We cannot abide people like this coming back to live amongst us.”
In 2005 Costellia-Kamm, who founded a cult called the Order of Saint Charbel, was convicted of raping two teenage girls he referred to as his “spiritual wives”.
He had been living in Sydney since he was paroled after serving the bulk of his decade-long sentence.
He continues to deny his guilt and claims he was falsely accused.”
The Re-Traumatization of Maciel’s Victims and the Corruption of the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation founded and ruled by him.
The reader must agree with the writer’s shock on connecting the above to the Maciel case.
It took the Vatican 13 years to react to accusations against the founder of the Legion of Christ religious order (“congregation”): first official Vatican “visitation” of the Legion of Christ 1956-58/59. The investigation ultimately was a failure and Maciel was allowed to return to his foundation; not only living in the residences, but also as superior general, enjoying world-wide authority and exercising total and detailed control over each member. The incestuous father returned to his family, reinstated and in a stronger position. Back in Rome, the conman resumed his affair with prominent members of the Curia whom he continued to bribe and blackmail. The serial pedophile had already been abusing his pubescent subjects since the foundation in 1941. So, the abuse went unchecked through 1956 and continued for another fifty years until his death in 2008.
A further Vatican “visitation” in 2009, after Fr. Maciel’s death, failed to root out sexual predators, accomplices, complicit superiors, lackeys, and Maciel die-hards in the organization. No radical changes in the structure and modus operandi occurred. Changes were made to documents but not to personnel. The apostolic delegate had been “love-bombed” by then Legion General Director, Fr. Álvaro Corcuera LC, R.I.P., and the leadership cadre under Monsignor Velasio de Paolis’ review remained in control.
In recent years the Legion, in its effort to deny wide-spread sexual abuse in its midst, has tried to attribute the main part to the “bad” founder, acknowledging that he abused at least 60 minors under his pastoral care. When one considers that Maciel was a predatory serial pedophile this number looks ridiculously low: one victim per year? Testimonies remark how Maciel was insatiable in his lust. As one victim wrote, referring to his abuse in the 1960s: “Maciel is always on the lookout for fresh flesh.” It does not take too much imagination to multiply the official number by three, five or ten…One is also left pondering the effect of second and third generation victims-cum-predators inside the Legion of Christ in an atmosphere of closed doors, secrecy, minimization, exile, and cover-up.
Testimonies reveal how Maciel “progressed” from abusing victims as children to abusing them as adolescents and young adults. The imbalanced relationships sometimes continued into early adulthood with his “lovers”. His dalliances with women tend to obscure his pedophilia and confuse the public. However, it is the writer’s conviction that Maciel’s preference was always focused on boys and adolescents which he could procure on his travels after he exhausted or lost interest in his monotonous inhouse supply.
We are left with mind-boggling questions:
What is the effect of a pedophile confessor, spiritual director, superior, general director living in the midst of a religious community founded and controlled by him?
What is the safety level in a community with an unrestrained sexual predator?
What happens when a sexual predator is your spiritual director and confessor and uses this forum to explore your sexual history and weaknesses?
How is moral compass and conscience destroyed when the sexual predator tells the budding adolescent nothing is wrong, that he is doing the Will of God when he pleasures his predator and allows himself to be pleasured?
What is the effect of an undeterred sexual predator surrounded by innocent boys when the predator is also addicted to morphine?
What kind of actions and conversations does this Superior General have with his victims when uninhibited by drug-use?
How extensive and long-lasting are the effects of Marcial Maciel -the abuser, the liar, the deceiver- on the superiors of the Legion of Christ hand-chosen by him?
What about the disordered actions of the multiple generations of Macielites in positions of authority in the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation to this day?
How does the Vatican hold on to its approval of the Legion of Christ in the light of these undeniable accusations? Is it not capable of reviewing its blind approval of Fr. Maciel and his foundations, which carte blanche can only be explained by deceit and Mafia-like accomplices, bribes and omertà in the Roman Curia of the Catholic Church? (See admission by Prefect for the Congregation of Religious Life, Cardinal Braz de Aviz, cited above)
Is the Vatican able to admit its mistakes in having been unwittingly and/or willingly misled by a consummate conman? Is it capable of reversing its erroneous approval of this flawed founder and his order?
Does Pope Benedict XVI believe “the filth” has been cleaned from the heart of the Church? What does Pope Francis think of the half-hearted job done by his predecessors? Will he continue to handle the Legion/Regnum Christi with kid gloves? (They are after all a money-making and a priest-making machine!)
And how are the many innocent victims of Fr. Maciel and other Legionaries’ sex abuse to keep the Faith? How are the many thousands of former members of the Legion of Christ who have suffered sexual, physical, mental, psychological, and spiritual abuse to remain faithful to Church authorities who have betrayed them?
A faithful remnant prays that we be able to salvage our faith in the Risen Christ and the ekklesia He founded. Sadly, many have lost that fight due the negligence and collusion of bad shepherds (John 10,1-18).
“Well then, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord!” What must you shepherds hear? Thus says the Lord God: behold, I am above the shepherds and I will call them to account for the sheep in their hands.
Listen, sheep of God, listen and learn: God will call the bad shepherds to account for his sheep and for their deaths. As he says elsewhere in Ezekiel: Son of man, I have appointed you as sentry to the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them in my name. If I say to a wicked man, “Wicked wretch, you are to die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked man to renounce his ways, then he shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death. If, however, you do warn a wicked man to renounce his ways and repent, and he does not repent, then he shall die for his sin but you yourself will have saved your life.
You see, brethren? Do you see how dangerous it is to keep quiet? If you remain silent, you die; and rightly. You die for your impiety and sin – it is your negligence that kills you. He who has said, As I live, says the Lord might have found a living shepherd – but since the shepherd was negligent, not warning those he had been given authority over, those whose sentry he was, he will die justly, and the sentry will be justly condemned. (…)
Since I raised the question, let us see if he takes the sheep from the bad shepherds and gives them to good ones. I certainly see him taking the sheep from the bad shepherds: I am above the shepherds, and I shall take my flock back from them and I shall not allow them to feed my flock. In this way the shepherds will stop feeding themselves. For when I say to them, “Feed my sheep,” they feed themselves and not my sheep. I shall not allow them to feed my flock.
This selection from Saint Augustine’s Sermon 46 on Pastors (Sermo 46, 20-21; CCL 41, 546-548) treats of the shepherds of the church as watchmen and is used in the Roman Catholic Office of Readings on Wednesday of the 25th week in Ordinary Time with the accompanying biblical reading taken from the prophet Ezekiel 37:1-14, the famous vision of the dry bones.
“The Church, [many of the Fathers] say, continues to live by the pardon that transforms her from a harlot into a holy Bride.”
Ecclesia sancta simul et semper purificanda
It is surely not without significance that Hans Urs von Balthasar chose to republish “Casta Meretrix,” his now classic study of the holiness and the sinfulness of the Church, on the very eve of the Council in 1961.1 The significance of this gesture is underscored by his simultaneous republication of another article, “Who Is the Church?,”2 which complements the first through its emphasis on the Church’s identity. While the first explains the sense in which the Church can call herself at once “harlot” and “chaste” before her Lord, the second grounds this because she is a subject who is really distinct from her Bridegroom. These two essays doubtless share a certain affinity of spirit with an important statement in Lumen gentium, which speaks about the Church in terms to which the hierarchy had hardly accustomed the faithful:
While Christ, holy, innocent, and undefiled knew nothing of sin, but came to expiate only the sins of the people, the Church, embracing in its bosom sinners, at the same time holy and always in need of being purified, always follows the way of penance and renewal. (LG, 8)>