Tag Archives: Cult

Legion of Christ “trainers” Play Strip Poker with boys in their pastoral care

 

girl_crying

An indignant mother cries at callous Legionary behavior

Legionary ‘formators’ (formadores) Play Strip Poker with ECYD Boys in their pastoral care

ReGAIN Scoop

Below, the reader will find a letter written by an indignant Mexican mother. From the context we gather that the events happened during the Vatican ordered Apostolic Visitation (2010-2014) headed by Archbishop Velasio de Paolis.

“I have left the names in just to demonstrate that only the LC superiors were (made) aware of what happened and that, ultimately, they did nothing to address the problem.

The final bad experience -a SERIOUS one- we experienced there (at the school) was an end of term activity organized by the school to celebrate my 12-year-old son’s graduation from elementary school). The children were under the care of the school chaplain, Fr. Bruno Montekio, LC., of the ECYD leader, Brother Felipe Villagómez, LC, and of a group of Regnum Christi collaborators and teachers.

On a certain night they organized a game of casino (strip poker), in which the children were supposed to begin gradually taking off their clothes as they ran out of money to bet; until they were left in their underpants. Fr. Bruno witnessed this and Bro. Felipe took photographs.

I am attaching the email I sent to Fr. Luis Garza-Medina, LC, expressing my husband’s and my profound indignation for taking photos of the children, and because Bro. Felipe gave a CD with the photos to each one of the boys who participated in the “camp”; and also because of his attitude later on when a group of mothers questioned him about this activity; how he stuck to his opinion and never admitted any wrongdoing. We never received any explanation or apology from the school principal, either.

I cc this email to Fr. Alvaro Corcuera (editor’s note, then LC Superior General, now deceased) and to Fr. Rodolfo Mayagoitia, Territorial Director for Mexico and to Fr. Evaristo Sada, Secretary General of Regnum Christi; neither of them deigned to answer my message. Only Fr. Luis (Garza Medina) begged my forgiveness and acknowledged there was a lack of good judgment and common sense.

Fr. Bruno was assigned this year to work for the Legion in Dallas, TX. Bro. Felipe is finishing his theological studies at the Legion’s Major Seminary in Rome (Centro de Estudios Superiores)

THE CASE WAS PRESENTED TO (APOSTOLIC DELEGATE, ARCHBISHOP)   DE PAOLIS AFTERWORDS AND THIS LED TO A LETTER OF APOLOGY FROM VILLAGOMEZ TO THE FAMILY IN QUESTION. IT WAS WRITTEN DURING THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES LEADING UP TO HIS PRIESTLY ORDINATION. OBVIOUSLY, THESE PRACTICES WERE NEVER INVESTIGATED. MAYBE THE LEGIONARIES PUBLISHED A PROTOCOL SUCH AS: ‘MAY OUR MEMBERS NEVER TAKE PHOTOS OF CHILDREN IN THE ECYD MOVEMENT IN THEIR UNDERPANTS’ OR SOMETHING TO THE EFFECT.”

                                                &&&&&

(Original Spanish language message: EL MANEJO DE SITUACIONES IMPROPIAS

Dejo los nombres de los participantes sólo para poner en evidencia que nadie supo, más que los superiores, de este caso. Y que finalmente no pasó nada.

La última mala experiencia, GRAVE, que vivimos ahí fue en una actividad de fin de curso dirigida por el colegio para la generación de uno de mis hijos de 12 años. Los niños estaban a cargo del capellán del colegio, el P. Bruno Montekio, LC; del encargado para el Ecyd, el Hno. Felipe Villagómez, LC; y un grupo de colaboradores del Regnum Christi y maestros del colegio.

Una noche se organizó una dinámica, casino, en el que los niños iban perdiendo prendas de su ropa pues no tenían dinero para apostar, hasta quedar todos en calzoncillos. El P. Bruno
estuvo presente y el Hno. Felipe les tomaba fotografías.

Anexo el correo electrónico que intercambié con el P. Luis Garza Medina, LC, expresándole la profunda indignación y la de mi marido por el hecho, por las fotografías que se les tomaron a los niños, por haber entregado el Hno. Felipe una copia de las fotografías en un cd a cada niño que asistió a dicho campamento y la actitud que él tuvo después, cuando un grupo de mamás nos acercamos a él para preguntarle por dicha dinámica y él se aferró a su criterio y nunca pudo admitir que lo que había sucedido estaba mal. Nunca recibimos por parte del director del colegio una aclaración ni una disculpa.

Este mail lo envié con copia al P. Alvaro Corcuera, LC, Director General y al P. Rodolfo Mayagoitia, Director Territorial de México; y al P. Evaristo Sada, LC, Secretario General del Regnum Christi, de quienes tampoco recibí respuesta. Sólo el P. Luis me pidió que perdonara y reconoció que había sido una falta de criterio y sentido comun.

El P. Bruno se encuentra desde este año trabajando para la Legión en Dallas. Y el Hno. Felipe terminando sus estudios de teología en el CES de Roma.

EL CASO SE PRESENTÓ A DE PAOLIS DESPUÉS Y CONCLUYÓ CON UNA CARTA DE DISCULPA DE VILLAGÓMEZ A LA FAMILIA EN CUESTIÓN ESCRITA EN LOS EJERCICIOS ANTES DE ORDENARSE. OBVIAMENTE NUNCA SE INVESTIGÓ NADA SOBRE ESTAS PRÁCTICAS. A LO MEJOR SACARON UN PROTOCOLO DICIENDO “EVITEN LOS NUESTROS SACAR FOTOS DE LOS NIÑOS DEL ECYD EN CALZONCILLOS”

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Legionaries’ Paradise, Part 2: The Pedophiles

 The Pedophiles

Four minor seminarians, 11-14 years old, reach out to Fr. Juan José Vaca, who has just come to the seminary in Ontaneda, Cantabria, Spain, as their new spiritual director. They reveal to him that Fr. Jesús Martínez-Penilla, the rector, had taken them to bed to masturbate them. Their stories implied that the abuses had been going on for two or three months.

As a good Legionary, Fr. Vaca called Fr. Maciel immediately. “Don’t worry, Juan José. Talk with those junior seminarians and calm them down. Tell them not to tell their parents.”

Within three hours Martínez-Penilla was on the train to Madrid. From there he flew to Mexico City and immediately headed for Chetumal where Monsignor Jorge Bernal, the Legionary of Christ apostolic delegate of the prelature, appointed by Marcial Maciel, was waiting to give him his next appointment, the Parish of Isla Mujeres.

Thousands of miles away from his victims, Martínez-Penilla was front line in all the most important religious celebrations of the Prelature. On March 19th, 1974 he accompanied Bishop Bernal through the streets of Chetumal as Bernal was consecrated bishop head of the Chetumal Prelature. Four other bishops follow in procession behind the newly consecrated bishop.

Martínez-Penilla continued his ecclesiastical career in the prelature as a pastor. The church directory of 1991 has him as pastor of the St Joachim Parish, Bacalar, Quintana Roo.  In 2007 he is pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in José María Morelos township.

In the Anniversary brochure published by the prelature in 2010, “Fr. Penilla” appears surrounded by the parish leadership group at Immaculate Conception parish in Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

In his deposition as part of initial investigation into sexual abuse of children at the Legion’s Instituto Cumbres, Mr. Villafuerte accuses Legionary of Christ, Eduardo Lucatero Alvarez of “having known the facts and having limited himself to terminating a predatory gym instructor at the Instituto Cumbres in Mexico City”. Lucatero was accused of advising the abuser’s family to leave the country because he was going to have problems. According to Villafuerte, the gym instructor was not the only abuser in the school; he names Guillermo Romo, Francisco Rivas and Alfonso NJ, other Cumbres employees of ‘touching children.”

“He also knows and saw that sometimes the assistant principal, called Eduardo Lucatero, LC, was hearing the boys’ confessions; that said person also took the little girls, the boys’ sisters, and caressed their intimate parts obscenely.” But when the case came to court Fr. Lucatero was only sentenced for covering up the abuse.

Before going to legal authorities, one of the victim’s mother approached the Instituto Cumbres administration directly. It was a huge mistake. “My life turned upside down. I lost my work because of them. I lost my lifelong friends. I lost my condominium, and overnight I was swallowed up by a huge hole in the ground. They are very powerful people. They threatened me. They tried to ride me off the beltway (periférico) more than once with a Mustang to frighten me out of going to court.”

Lucatero-Álvarez also ended up in the Chetumal (now Cancun-Chetumal) Prelature where his presence was never hidden. On the inside back page overlap of A Missionary Church he can be seen in the second row of active clergy, vested in priestly robes and in a prayerful posture. The group is headed by the present bishop of the Prelature, Monsignor Pedro Pablo Elizondo, another Maciel appointee.

The brochure describes Lucatero-Álvarez as belonging to Holy Trinity Parish in Cancun. On page 85 he appears in a group of twenty posing in front of the Cancun cathedral church. He is tall, with glasses, wearing a white guayabera and a cross on his chest, smiling.

The Prelature’s 2014 church directory describes him as a religious (LC) priest, head of the Doctrine of the Faith in the office for Prophetic Pastoral Ministry. In other words, he is in charge of protecting the discipline and dogmas of the Catolic Church in Quintana Roo state, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.incest_juan

Fr. Maciel, Legion of Christ Founder, Instrument of God or Satan?

 POPE FRANCIS AND CHURCH LEADERS, PLEASE WAKE UP!

Francis with Legionaries

Pope Francis with a group of Legionaries

August 3, 2015

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:

 

MANIFESTO

  • 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.

Does Pope Francis really Understand the Legion/Regnum Christi Phenomenon?

Francis with Legionaries

Dear Readers,
ReGAIN appreciates your interest in the previous article highlighting Pope Francis’ comments regarding the Fr. Maciel/Legion of Christ phenomenon. The present article is a probing commentary follow up.
The first investigation of the Founder in the years 1956-59 ended with Fr. Maciel’s reinstatement as General Director in ambiguous circumstances: the interregnum between the death of Pope Pius XII and the installation of Pope John XXIII. More recently, after Fr. Maciel’s death in 2008 at the age of 88, the Legion revealed that he had committed many sins/crimes and lived a double life. These revelations shocked many Catholics, including members of the Legion of Christ religious order and its Regnum Christi lay movement; a good number left and that time and the bleeding continues.
The outcry spurred a second Vatican “visitation”/investigation which later led to a period of Vatican oversight led by Cardinal Velasio de Paolis and an effort to “renew” the institution founded by the depraved founder. When interviewed about the Maciel case Pope Benedict XVI decried the founder’s sins but decided that the Legion was worth “saving.” In a nutshell that is the watershed moment. To confirm this notice how the words used in Vatican documents always used the term “renewal” and never “reform” of the Legion of Christ. So this fundamental decision by Pope Benedict would mark the whole Vatican “intervention” with the Legion: many superiors, trained and hand-picked by Maciel, were allowed to stay in the posts. There was some slight re-shuffling of certain superiors organized by the Vatican Delegate and the Legion superiors, but no disciplining or holding accountable for collusion with the corrupt founder during his more than sixty years at the head of the Legion.

It is difficult to understand why the Assistant Superior General, Fr. Luis Garza, was removed from key posts and sent to Mexico. Could it be that there he could be closer to his rich family and to the Legion’s riches? Some important figures during the Maciel administration, his lackeys and hatchet men, were sent away from the USA -where they might be sued- and sent to “safer” places such as Ireland, Rome, Mexico and South America…De Paolis and the Legion superiors chose too Maciel clones, Frs. Corcuera and Robles Gil -originally handpicked by Maciel to found the Regnum Christi youth section- to lead the renewal and the new Legion.

It appears that the Legionaries’ anxious period of Vatican oversight is coming to an end with the successful conclusion of the Extraordinary General Chapter and culminating with the approval of their new constitutions. Pope Francis signed off on those constitutions.
Mexican reporter Valentina Alazraki’s interview with Pope Francis brought up some of the old doubts about the Pope and the Vatican’s intervention of the Legion of Christ. Pope Francis distanced himself from Maciel and the Legion of Christ and “defended” Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XIV’s actions. All of this in a wide-ranging and almost casual conversation with allowed Pope Francis to be very vague and slide away from unpleasant issues. This writer expressed his opinion in a brief introduction to the interview’s Spanish language version. It said:
“As ReGAIN has so much interest in this subject, we want to say a couple of words about the Pope’s comments. Our first impression is that the Holy Father does not totally comprehend the full malice of Father Maciel and the disastrous effects he and the men formed by him have had on others. Those of us who have been close to the (sexual, psychological, physical and spiritual) victims have the feeling that the Pope (and his predecessors) just don’t get it.
It is just not enough to say that Fr. Maciel was “a very ill person” a pedophile or a pan-sexual abuser; or that he was “an enigmatic figure” with “a life out of moral bounds,” as Benedict XVI described him in Light of the World. J. Paul Lennon has written the only English profile of the personality of the founder (Marcial Maciel, Pedophile, Psychopath and… http://www.amazon.com/Marcial-Pedophile-Psychopath-Founder-Benedict/dp/1475215797).  In Spanish, Fernando Gonzalez produced an in-depth study of the personality, history of Maciel and the Legion: http://www.amazon.com/Marcial-Maciel-Legionarios-testimonios-documentos/dp/9706991506/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427427167&sr=8-1&keywords=Marcial+Maciel%2C+Legion+of+Christ%2C+testimonios+ineditos .

So there remains a profound question to be answered: how could such a corrupt, destructive, psychopathic person, totally lacking in faith, hope and charity found a religious order? Critical minds remain unconvinced by Church leaders’ “Deus ex machina” answer: Maciel bad, Legion of Christ good; “God writes straight on crooked lines.” “God can use an unworthy instrument to create His Work.” That is all well and good, if we can stretch our puny faith another mile. As educated and thinking Catholics we posit that both Benedict and Francis fail to grasp the depth of Maciel’s depravity and deceit and by so doing avoid radical questions and actions regarding the nature of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi.

At the risk of scandalizing our Catholic readers we request from our leaders a review of the late and lukewarm intervention of Church authorities in this case. Sadly, Pope Francis’ vagueness and hesitations seem like an effort to justify his predecessor’s omissions,” (writer later adde): “lack of oversight, due diligence and vigor in getting to the bottom of the Maciel/Legion murky mystery”.
These considerations lead to scary derivations:
• Could it be that three popes and their entourage were also deceived by the incredible con-man who portrayed himself as the founder of a new and healthy religious order? At this juncture there comes to mind the suggestion that Maciel’s powers of manipulation and deceit were well-nigh diabolical!
• If the popes and Vatican department were misled regarding the authenticity of the Maciel/Legion charisma, could they have erroneously approved the order in 1948, thus putting papal infallibility in jeopardy?
• Or, more fundamentally, is the Pope infallible when he decides to approve a religious order?
• More pointedly, did the pope/Vatican err in approving the Legion of Christ when Maciel played games with Vatican authorities and manipulated the bishop of Cuernavaca into canonically erecting the order back in 1948?

—————

One reader, wise2, made the following comment to the previously posted Spanish language article which gives another twist to the discussion:
“Editor,
from your comments here, I’m not sure if you get it.
The issue is not so much how could Fr. Maciel found this order, but it is the profound effect of Maciel on the Legion and how that effect is being propagated in the heart of the Church around the world, including a few minutes from where I live. It seems so much easier to talk about Maciel and not Maciel’s effect on this order. The scandal that nobody is mentioning is thousands times larger than anyone, even you, apparently, will even talk about. The stones are crying out!”
————

Translation of Introduction to original Spanish language article:
Teniendo ReGAIN tanto interés y conocimiento del tema, nos permitimos dos palabras sobre los comentarios del Papa. La primera impresión de nuestros editores es que el Santo Padre no se percata de toda la malicia y los estragos causados por el Padre Maciel y por los hombres formados personalmente por él. A los que estamos cerca de las victimas del Padre Maciel y de los superiores legionarios nos da la impresión de que, como dicen los norteamericanos, “He just doesn’t get it.” No basta decir que el Padre Maciel fuera una persona “enferma” ni que fuera sólo un pederasta. Y queda por resolver la pregunta básica: ?Como pudo un hombre tan corrupto, tan destructor de vidas, un verdadero psicópata, y totalmente carente de fe, esperanza y caridad fundar una congregación religiosa? A nuestro humilde parecer como creyentes católicos sostenemos que tanto Benedicto como Francisco se quedan cortos y rehúyen de los interrogantes radicales y profundos acerca del fenómeno de la Legión de Cristo y del Regnum Christi. Esperamos no escandalizar a nuestros hermanos y hermanas al reclamar a nuestros líderes una revisión de la tardía y tibia actuación de las autoridades en el caso Maciel/Legión. Es muy triste constatar que el Papa Francisco parece estar justificando a sus predecesores su falta de vigilancia y vigor en el caso Maciel y no reconocer que ellos también fueron víctimas de su engaño.
Traducción castellana del comentario hecho en inglés:
Estimado Editor,
Por lo que Ud. escribe yo no estoy seguro que Ud. tampoco comprende de lo que se trate. El problema no es cómo pudo Maciel fundar la orden sino el efecto profundo que Maciel dejó en la Legión y cómo esos efectos siguen propagándose en el corazón de la Iglesia por todo el mundo, incluso a poca distancia de donde vivo yo. Como que es mucho más fácil hablar de Maciel mismo y no sobre su efecto en la orden. El escándalo que calla todo el mundo es mil veces más grande de lo que nadie, inclusive Ud., quiere abordar. !Las mismas piedras están clamando!
Reply
1. Editor
March 16, 2015 at 1:17 pm Edit
wise2, Tell us more. We find you comment well taken.

A Catholic Father’s Lament For His Regnum Christi Daughter (2005 article needs updating)

Editorial Comment, Thanksgiving, 2015

The original article was written around 2005 and therefore needs updating. Since then the Legion of Christ male religious order and the Regnum Christi mostly female lay movement have underdone a Vatican “visitation”, i.e. investigation, and renewal. The Vatican Apostolic Delegate gave the organizations a clean bill of health after some changes were made, an Extraordinary Chapter General was held, a team re wrote the LC constitutions and these were later  approved by Pope Francis. It also appears that the RC may have acquired some degree of autonomy from the LC priest directors. Presently these two groups -or are they one?- prefer to show themselves publicly as “Regnum Christi/Legion of Christ” -see current web page Regnum Christi- perhaps as a way to blur their relationship with their criminal founder.

The ambiguity that ReGAIN has always criticized regarding the organizations spawned by  Nuestro Pedophile Padre is once more apparent in the new webpage: it states that the Legion/Regnum Christi is celebrating its/their 75th anniversary in 2016. It is true that the Legion was born in 1941 but the Regnum Christi was born decades later; so it cannot be celebrating its 75 anniversary too. But in this re writing or history we are now told that the Legion and Regnum are kind of the same thing and therefore even if the RC was created later  by the founder, nevertheless it was somehow founded at the same time as the LC.

If you are a true believer in this “Work of God” such logical niceties will be of little concern.

The writer of the original article, however,  does have concerns about the validity of some of his statements  from 10 years ago and that is why ReGAIN editors began with a clarification.

In all honesty we must admit that LC/RC separation from family is not as rigid or inhuman as before (probably because of Vatican prompting): members are allowed home a couple of times a year. Editors have witnessed cases of members coming home for Thanksgiving or special occasions or anniversaries. How could we not rejoice with them and their families?

Because ReGAIN editors do not, for the most part,  have much up to date information on the real actual situation inside the Regnum Christi we would appreciate it if present or past members should shed some light.

 

[Original 2005 circa article below]

I remember one of the first things that I noted on the ReGAIN website when I discovered it several years ago was the checklist for cults provided by Father Peter Cronin. I had taken several courses previously about cults (never thinking that there would be any in the Catholic Church). As I went through the check list it helped me to confirm that our daughter (a 3gf Regnum Christi member since 1988) was in a cult.

Continue reading A Catholic Father’s Lament For His Regnum Christi Daughter (2005 article needs updating)