ReGAIN MANIFESTO

                     Fr. Maciel embraces Paul Lennon on November 26, 1969, just                               after Paul was ordained at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe,                         Rome

Dear Reporter:

  • 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!
  • I  have been monitoring the order since 1985, founding regainnetwork.org in the 1990s and writing the first version of my memoir in 2008 which was released more recently as A Naïve and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ.
  • 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.
  • Together with many other Catholics and Christians we are becoming more aware of other forms of abuse beyond sexual and physical abuse, such as moral, psychological, spiritual and conscience abuse  which have been rampant in churches and religious groups.

APPENDIX: incomplete list of books about Maciel, Legion, Regnum in English,  Spanish, and French.

Aristegui, C. (2010). Marcial Maciel, Historia de un Criminal. Mexico City: Grijalbo.

Athié, A., Barba, J., González, F.M, (2012). La Voluntad de no saber: lo que sí se conocía sobre Maciel en los archivos del Vaticano desde 1944. Mexico City: Grijalbo.

Barranco, B., coordinador (2021). Depredadores Sagrados: Pederastia clerical en México. Mexico City: Grijalbo.

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.

 

Paul Lennon, MA, aka J.Paul Lennon, author

 

Understanding Coercive/Cultic Behavior: Examine your Group/Community/Church

Photo by Ghost Presenter on Pexels.com

Dutch cult expert Frances Peters gave this masterly power point presentation at the International Cultic Association’s International Conference in Bordeaux, July 2017.

ReGAIN believes it is of great value to members, parents, friends, helpers and professionals involved with controlling, coercive, harmful groups.

ReGAIN wants to remind the public that such harmful groups can exist even in the heart of mainstream – including Christian and Catholic –  churches and communities. We will post upcoming articles re questionable Catholic Communities and Movements.

Please click title below:

Frances Presentation ICSA Bordeaux 2017[6354]

Help for Spiritual Abuse and High Demand Groups

 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Call for Papers: ICSA 2019 Annual Conference

University of Salford

Greater Manchester, UK

July 4-6, 2019

More info: http://www.icsahome.com/events/callforpapers

 

Recovering From Spiritual Abuse: A Conference for Survivors, Churches, and Helpers

October 26-27, 2018

Hartford, Connecticut

More info: https://www.spiritualabuseresources.com/conferencesevents/spiritual-abuse-conference

 

Recovering from Cults and Coercive Control: A Workshop for Former Members and Families

October 13, 2018 (Saturday)

Los Angeles, CA

More info: http://www.icsahome.com/events/los-angeles-2018-workshop

 

Controversies in Religious Contexts

October 26-27, 2018

Rzeszów,, Poland

More info: http://www.icsahome.com/events/conference-europe

 

Surviving and Moving On After a High-Demand Group Experience: A Workshop for Those Born/Raised in Cults

April 26 – 28, 2019

Chester, Connecticut

More info: http://www.icsahome.com/events/workshopsgas

 

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Phone: 1-239-514-3081

fax:  1-305-393-8193

E-mail: mail@icsamail.com

Web site: www.icsahome.com

Conferences and workshops  http://www.icsahome.com/events

 

 

 

Become a member of ICSA and gain access to an e-Library with over 23,000 items.

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Legion of Christ plays cat and mouse with Pedophile Founder’s Victims once again

Copyright Real religious orders resources

Besides Pope Francis acknowledging his misjudgment of Chilean clergy sexual abuse, the other major Catholic news of the week has been a letter sent by Legion of Christ sexual abuse victims demanding Legion of Christ leaders acknowledge and compensate them once and for all. As the reader will see, the primary thrust of the demand is not money but formal and specific recognition of their suffering as well as acknowledgement and reparation of the Legion’s neglect and defamation of the victims together with Legion’s internal information control (vis-à-vis their members) regarding the full effects of the founders’ crimes.

The victims’ letter to the Legion of Christ General Chapter meeting in Rome was originally ignored but strong coverage by Associate Press, the general media and Catholic sources such as the Catholic News Service put the leaders’ feet to the fire and they have responded in a communication couched in the most cautious and legalistic terms.

Sequence of Events:

  • Maciel survivors send letter[i] by various means to all members of Legion Chapter General meeting in Rome: [ii] “From March  26  to  April  7, 2018,  the  first  part  of  the  Extraordinary  General  Chapter  of  the Legionaries of Christ will take place at the seat of the General Directorate in Rome. The second part will take place from November 19 to 24, 2018, at the same venue.”
  • The letter is not acknowledged or discussed at the Legion of Christ Extraordinary General Chapter held in Rome.
  • Receiving no response from Legion leadership, the victims release the letter to the media, spear-headed by AP[iii]. The news quickly spreads to other major world and Catholic news media, such as CNA.
  • Thereupon, Legion leadership issues a communique, through their communications officer, Fr. Aaron Smith, in Spanish and undated[iv], referring to the letter without replying to (ignoring) the Victims. We post initial paragraphs of communique, translated by out team into English so the public can catch a glimpse of Legiospeak.[v]

“LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST, INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE COMMUNIQUE

asmith@legionaries.org

+39 328 987 26 15

www.regnumchristi.org/sites/dg/

Regarding the letter sent to the Legionaries of Christ by José de Jesús Barba Martín and José Antonio Pérez Olvera, the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ states the following.

  1. On March 26, the general director received a letter signed by José de Jesús Barba Martín and José Antonio Pérez Olvera, two of those who denounced Fr. Maciel´s abuses publicly in 1997, requesting that their petition be included in the General Chapter’s Agenda.
  2. The general director, after consulting with his council, presented the request to the Extraordinary General Chapter, and informed the Chapter that the general government would seek a personal rapprochement with the each one of the signers and respond to their requests.
  3. We ask forgiveness from all the victims who throughout our history have suffered any kind of abuse, knowing that this request will never be enough to heal their wounds. Regarding Fr. Maciel, the 2014 General Chapter stated:” etc.
  • ReGAIN, gathering the victims’ recent private reactions to Legion communique, comments: The Legion’s communique is riddled with inaccuracies, ambiguities and downright lies: as stated above, the victims’ letter was sent to each and all the members of the Chapter and not specifically or only to the LC general director, Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil (indisputably a disciple and protege of Fr. Maciel). Fr. Robles pre-emptively took control of the letter and the chapter general fathers’ response, preventing any option of a reaction or discussion from or among the fathers. He decided for them not to put the letter on the floor and decided unilaterally what was to be done with the letter’s requests. There was no free discussion. Robles-Gil promises to meet with the two signers of the Letter (individually?) but he
  1. does not address the senders
  2. or mention the group of eighth survivors as such whose lives were destroyed by Founder, Fr. (the serial pedophile founder was never defrocked by the Vatican!) Marcial Maciel.[vi] As can be seen in the communique
  3. the Legion did not heed any of the victims’ requests but gives a facile response, suggesting it has already addressed the issue in question. This has been the Legion’s operational policy since the group originally accused Fr. Maciel twenty years ago. Reader, please revisit victims’ recent requests in footnote i

______________________________________________-

Endnotes

[i]

“México City, March 2018

The undersigned, collectively known as the ‘historical victims’ of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, ask the Legion of Christ, through its representatives gathered in the Extraordinary General Chapter taking place in Rome from the 24th March 2018 that the issue of the Victims of Fr. Maciel and of the Legion of Christ be included in the agenda of the said General Chapter. Specifically, we make the following list of requests:

————-REQUESTS—————

  1. We ask that the Extraordinary General Chapter emit a Public Recognition of our status as victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Fr. Marcial Maciel and as victims of moral, psychological and spiritual harm at the hands of the Congregation. We ask that the congregation recognize that it made us and our families suffer in a continued, consistent and prolonged way when we revealed the perverse crimes of Maciel to the Church and the international community through articles published by journalists Jason Berry and Gerald Renner (Hartford Courant on 23rd of February 1997) and through the complaint presented to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the 17th of October 1998.
  2. We ask that it be publicly recognized that our struggle to make known the truth about Fr. Maciel was a true service to the Church, of which we form part, as well as being a true service to the Legion of Christ. Consequentially we ask that the Chapter declare that we were never traitors of the Church or of the Legion.
  3. Representing the historical victims to whom the “Commission of Contact with the Victims” never approached we request that the said commission be re-opened in order to fulfill the mission for which it was instituted by Cardinal de Paolis. We declare once again that this commission never contacted us.

For the reopening of the Commission for Victims we request the following:

  1. a) The commission would be composed of members named by the historical victims, by the Legion of Christ and by the Church.
  2. b) It’s re opening will not affect or prejudice any legal actions undertaken by the historical victims.
  3. c) It will make effective the recognition of the historical victims through the establishment of a plan of action negotiated with the historical victims and evaluated by interdisciplinary professionals. It will determine the harm inflicted on us and its indispensable reparation.
  4. As a visible sign of reconciliation, we request a public act of redress for the historical victims with the community of Rome, where many of the abuses took place, and another similar event with the communities of Mexico.
  5. We ask that we be informed appropriately of the decisions of the Extraordinary General Chapter with regard to our petitions to the following electronic address: (sic) and through courier to the attached postal addresses and that that the communication be considered as received when we acknowledge receipt.

Postal Address (sic)

Yours Sincerely

José de Jesús Barba Martin                     José Antonio Pérez Olvera

Representing the Historical Victims of Fr. Macie and the Congregation of the Legion of Christ for the purposes of the above written letter

Mexico City

March 24, 2018”

 

[ii] http://www.regnumchristi.org/rcstatutes/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Communique-about-the-extraordinary-General-Chapter-of-the-Legionaries-of-Christ.pdf

[iii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/ap-exclusive-victims-seek-compensation-in-abuse-reckoning/2018/04/12/8384e156-3e6f-11e8-955b-7d2e19b79966_story.html?utm_term=.04196cb60d5b

[iv] http://www.regnumchristi.org/sites/dg/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2018/04/Comunicado-de-la-Legion-de-Cristo.pdf

[v]  Spanish version of Legion Communique. The writer could not find an English language one.

LEGIONARIOS DE CRISTO

OFICINA DE COMUNICACIÓN INTERNACIONAL

COMUNICADO

Oficina de Comunicación Internacional

asmith@legionaries.org

+39 328 987 26 15

http://www.regnumchristi.org/sites/dg/

Respecto a la carta enviada a los Legionarios de Cristo por José de Jesús Barba Martín y José Antonio Pérez Olvera, la Congregación de los  Legionarios de Cristo desea expresar lo siguiente:

  1. El 26 de marzo de 2018, el director general recibió una carta digital firmada por José de Jesús Barba Martín y José Antonio Pérez Olvera, dos de las personas que denunciaron los abusos del P. Maciel públicamente en 1997, solicitando la inclusión de su petición en la Agenda del Capítulo General.
  2. El director general, después de haber hablado con su Consejo, presentó carta al Capítulo

General extraordinario, e informó al Capítulo de que el gobierno general buscará un acercamiento personal a cada uno de los firmantes de la misiva y responderá a sus peticiones.

  1. Pedimos perdón a todas las víctimas que a lo largo de nuestra historia han sufrido algún tipo de abuso, sabiendo que esta petición de perdón nunca será suficiente para sanar las profundas heridas.

Con relación al P. Maciel, el Capítulo General de 2014 dijo:

 

[vi] “In a statement Friday (April 13th, 2018)  responding to a request from The Associated Press, the Legion said its leaders ‘will try to get in touch personally with each of those who had signed the letter and respond to their requests.’ “:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/world/legion-vows-to-respond-to-victims-request-for-compensation/article_fad3ee4c-68c3-5e1f-a362-292b9350c57d.html

 

Why is There Sex Abuse in Churches & Charities ?

Sam Leith: The Oxfam sex scandal shows why doing good should never save you from scrutiny.

the Evening Standard, Feb 12, 2018

The scandal now enveloping charities and overseas aid agencies – with allegations of sexual harassment and worse – has caused an eruption of shock and outrage. Outrage, yes – but shock?

The central case of Oxfam – where workers are alleged to have used prostitutes, some of whom were under age, in Chad and Haiti – seems to speak to a culpably carpet-sweeping culture in at least one charity. But that a minority of aid workers behave badly when they think they’re off the leash? The only surprise is that we are surprised.

My Spectator colleague Mary Wakefield wrote a fine and fierce article recently arguing that, as an enabler of sexual abuse, the United Nations makes Hollywood and the Trump White House look like amateur hour.

All of it is well documented. A 2004 memoir by three UN workers, Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures, detailed abuses.

Continue reading “Why is There Sex Abuse in Churches & Charities ?”

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