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.>
Fr. Maciel embraces Paul Lennon on November 26, 1969, just after Paul was ordained at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Rome
The American press sometimes refers to the Legionnaires of Christ, perhaps in an allusion to the French Foreign Legion, or American Legion, and maybe because it sounds better to U.S. ears.… I believe the official name is Legion of Christ and Legionaries of Christ. The order/group, founded by Mexican Catholic seminarian Marcial Maciel in Mexico City in 1941, sprouted a lay movement in the 1960s called Regnum Christi -along the lines of the Opus Dei movement- and, together they morphed into Regnum Christi Federation a few years ago.
I joined at the age of 17 in Dublin in 1961. I could be considered an Irish co-founder of the order, “cofounder” being a coveted title at the time. I became bilingual and bi cultural Spanish during my 23 years in the Legion, leaving in 1984 after an altercation with then superior general Fr. Maciel. I have the honor of being one of the few members who ever dared to confront the untouchable founder in front of other members.
Maciel garnered the admiration of popes, especially Pope JP II, until his pedophilia and philandering were finally acknowledged by Church Hierarchy and Legion around 2005 -by which time Maciel was 85! Just imagine the decades of silence, avoidance, minimization and coverup!
ReGAIN sprung from the concern of parents, friends and former members in the late 1980s seeking to help active, exiting and former members to recover from their traumatic experience.
ReGAIN has published extensively about the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation since the 1990s where you will find an abundance of info/critique, perhaps the largest in the English language. Presently there are other blogs in Spanish and French that carry out the same mission: facebook’s Legioleaks, La Verdad os hará Libres, and l’énvers du décor …
U.S. Catholic investigative reporters, Jason Berry and Gerald Renner, were instrumental in bringing the story of Maciel, the sexual abuse of his seminarians, the secretive nature of the order, and the founder’s love of money and luxury to the world beyond Mexico and Spanish speaking countries to world-wide attention in the Hartford Courant in 1997, and later publishing their critique of Maciel and the Legion with Vows of Silence (2004).
Don’t forget the Legion was founded by Mexican priest, Fr. Marcial Maciel, and most of the literature about it is in the Spanish language. Fr. Maciel saw the Irish as the Legion’s gateway into the USA and other English-speaking countries. Although the Legion would like to cast itself as an international organization – it is present in many countries- there has always been a strong Mexican element: most major superiors are Mexicans, followed by Spaniards, Irish and U.S., with an occasional German or Italian thrown in for good PR. Unfortunately, Legion and Regnum Christi leadership has consistently been tainted by the leaven of founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, arch abuser, conman, manipulator of conservative Catholics and popes, and a bare-faced liar.
ReGAIN, in principle, avoids criticizing “The Church” as we believe that the Catholic Church consists in the union of all baptized catholics, irrespective of their rank (dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, chapter 2, The People of Gd. We, thus distinguish between the Catholic Church and the Catholic Hierarchy (LC chapter 3). In general, we also avoid criticizing “the pope”, as if he were solely responsible for every sin that every one of the billion members of the Catholic Church commits.
On the other hand, we hold pope, hierarchy , clergy and religious responsible for their actions and omissions, especially when it comes to grevious offenses against children and the vulnerable.
Together with many other Catholics, Christians, believers, and people of good will, we complain about the way the Catholic Hierarchy has failed to punish Fr. Maciel, and to investigate and censure several cult-like or coercive religious orders and movements approved by and operating freely within its boundaries.
ReGAIN has consistently defended and supported all those abused in any way by Legion founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel and Legion and Regnum Christi superiors and directors.
Berry, J. & Renner, G. (2004). Vows of Silence. New York: Free Press;
—– (2006). El Legionario de Cristo. Mexico City: Random House Mondadori.
—– (2011). Render unto Rome, The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church. New York: Crown Publishers. Fr. Maciel, Lord of Prosperity, pp.156-196
Erdely, J., Escalante, P., González, F., Guerrero-Chiprés, S., Mascareñas, C. & Masferrer, E. (2004). El Círculo del Poder y la Espiral del Silencio [The Circle of Power and the Spiral of Silence], La Historia Oculta del Padre Marcial Maciel y Los Legionarios de Cristo. Mexico City: Grijalbo.
Espinosa, A. (2003). El Legionario [The Legionary]. Mexico City: Grijalbo.
—– (2014, 2nd Edit.). El Ilusionista, Marcial Maciel (The Illusionist, Marcial Maciel). Charleston, SC: Createspace
González, F. (2006). Marcial Maciel. Los Legionarios de Cristo: testimonios y documentos inéditos [Marcial Maciel, The Legion of Christ: New testimonies and documents]. Mexico: Tusquets Editores,
González Parga, F. (2012). Yo acuso al Padre Maciel y a la Legión de Cristo. Charleston, SC: Createspace. (Maciel victim; early Legionary).
Keogh, J. (20100. Driving Straight on Crooked Lines, How and Irishman found his heart and nearly lost his mind. Iveagh Lodge Press. (A well-written testimony by one of the first Irish-born LC members).
Léger, X & Nicolas, B (2013). Moi, ancien légionnaire du Christ, 7 ans dans une secte au cœur de l’Église. Paris : Flammarion. (Testimony of French LC)
Lennon, J.P. (2012, 2nd Edit). Fr. Marcial Maciel Pedophile, Psychopath and Legion of Christ Founder, From Fr. Richard John Neuhaus to Pope Benedict XVI. Charleston, SC: Createspace. (LC 1961-84)
Martínez de Velasco, J. (2002). Los Legionarios de Cristo, el nuevo ejército del Papa [The Legionaries of the Christ, the Pope’s New Army]. Madrid: La Esfera de los libros.
—– (2004). Los Documentos Secretos de los Legionarios de Cristo [The Secret Documents of the Legion of Christ]. Barcelona: Ediciones B.
Sada, E. (2018) Blackbird – A Memoir; The Story of a Woman Who Submitted to Marcial Maciel, Became Free, and Found Happiness Again. Amazon Digital Services. (Prominent recruiter of Regnum Christi ‘consecrated’ women.)
Ramírez Mota Velasco (2013). El Reino de Marcial Maciel, La Vida Oculta de la Legión y el Regnum Christi. Mexico City: Temas de Hoy. (Prominent superior of RC women)
Ruiz-Marcos, José Manuel. (2006). La orden maldita. La historia oculta de los Legionarios de Cristo [The Accursed Order, the Secret History of the Legion of Christ]. Mexico City: Editorial Planeta.
Torres, A. (2002). La Prodigiosa Aventura de la Legión de Cristo [The Marvelous Adventure of the Legion of Christ]. Madrid: La Esfera de los libros.
—– (2004). No nos dejes caer en la Tentación, Escándalos, dinero y guerras de poder en la Iglesia española [Let us not Fall into Temptation]. Madrid: La Esfera de los libros.
ReGAIN is proud to reproduce, with permission and in its totality, an in-depth article from OD Watch, December 2017 issue.
Vatican City, January 20, 2018
Startling parallels appear between the Opus Dei and the Legion of Christ as regards spirituality, training, systems and Modus Operandi. Both organizations have come under scrutiny since their inception until the present day because of their questionable methods; the author describes the following areas:
I have just attended the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests annual conference in Alexandria, VA and have been discussing Maciel, the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi with a good and knowledgeable friend. This brought to the surface the following convictions:
After thirty years ministering to Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi survivors, I clearly see once again the path of destruction left by Marcial Maciel/Legion/Regnum in the lives they have sailed through. Because it is not just sexual abuse; it is abuse of all kinds: physical neglect, psychological illnesses, confused consciences, depression and suicide, loss of faith in the Church, Christ and God, financial abuse of members, families and vulnerable adults; as well as exile, calumny, ostracism, lawsuits and threats for those who will not submit.
The Popes and the Vatican, after their investigation of Maciel and the Legion, chose to save the Legion of Christ religious order. Pope Francis rubber-stamped his predecessors’ conclusions.
Telling us: Maciel bad; Legion good, and asking us to believe that God used the flawed Maciel to create His Work, the Legion of Christ Catholic Religious Order and the Regnum Christi lay movement.
The Vatican did this by ignoring and/or twisting centuries of Christian Faith and Tradition which link a religious order’s validity and authenticity to the charism, holiness and inspiration of the founder.
We are asked to believe that God performed a new miracle, that the rotten tree has produced healthy fruit.
Or is it just that the business created by entrepreneur Maciel, the Legion of Christ Inc., continues to mass-produce priests, astutely recruit well-meaning Catholics, and bring in millions of dollars into the Church, an institution reeling from accusations of corruption and abuse which is losing the allegiance of thinking and discriminating members?
What if Marcial Maciel, the verbally, emotionally, physically and sexually abused little Mexican boy, who never sought or received help for his own damaged and warped psyche, became a sexual predator and manipulative exploiter with airs of grandeur, creating the myth that he was chosen by God to save the Catholic Church, Christianity and the world by founding a new and better religious order?
Maciel totally lacked self-awareness and restraint, simply acting out his sexual, controlling and ambitious appetite:. Maciel, the psychopath, the Traumatizing Narcissist, who deluded himself into thinking he was creating a religious order and not a sect to satisfy his own desires, using and abusing others in the process?
What if the Father of Deceit, and not the Holy Spirit, took possession of that damaged psyche, to create a cleverly crafted diabolical sect within the Catholic Church, endowed with the same spirit that possessed Maciel: lies, deceit, smoke-screens, spiritual pyrotechnics, control, and self-aggrandizement that would continue to wound, damage and deceive generous, idealistic and naïve people in their sexuality, self-respect, maturity, discernment, human dignity, and in their very souls?
What if Maciel was able to fool Church authorities and con them into approving his fraudulent order?
What if Church authorities have never wanted to acknowledge they were conned by Maciel and refuse to correct their mistake?
I throw down the gauntlet and challenge blind Catholic Church leaders, dazzled by glittering images, to see the deceptive “cult in their midst”!
J. Paul Lennon, LC 1961-84, Licensed Professional Counselor.
AYUDAR CON UNA ENCUESTA AMBICIOSA E IMPORTANTE SOBRE EL IMPACTO DE ESTOS GRUPOS
A todos los ex miembros de grupos coercitivos/manipulativos, os pido encarecidamente que colaboréis en este ambicioso estudio. Con vuestra participación estáis colaborando en avanzar en la elaboración de nuevas herramientas de evaluación para avanzar en este campo. Este estudio ha sido elaborado por investigadores de tres universidades españolas. Os pido que por favor, colaboréis con vuestra participación. La participación es confidencial y todo se hace “online”. Sólo es para ex miembros, no para familiares. Muchas gracias de antemano por colaborar. Os dejo a continuación la descripción y el enlace:
Estamos estudiando los grupos abusivos, sus prácticas y los efectos que producen en sus miembros. Para ello resulta imprescindible conocer a fondo las experiencias de las personas que habéis sido miembros. Por eso te pedimos que reserves un rato en los próximos días para contestar el cuestionario online que encontrarás en el siguiente enlace web:
Por favor, distribúyelo también entre todos los exmiembros que conozcas para poder conseguir resultados significativos que muestren la relevancia social del fenómeno. Se trata de uno de los estudios más ambiciosos sobre esta temática. ¡Necesitamos tu ayuda!
Omar Saldaña, Álvaro Rodríguez, Carmen Almendros y José Miguel Cuevas
Universidad de Barcelona, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid y Universidad de Málaga