Pope Benedict will make final decision about Legionaries

From CNA with my emphases:

Pope will make final decision on Legionaries, Vatican spokesman states

Rome, Italy, Apr 28, 2010 / 05:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI will make the final decisions regarding the Apostolic Visitation of the Legionaries of Christ, clarified the Vatican spokesman on Wednesday. A meeting between the bishops involved in investigations of the religious congregation will take place in Rome on Friday.

The Apostolic Visitation of the Legionaries was called for by the Holy See in March 2009 and began on July 15. Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput is among the five bishops from Europe and the Americas responsible for compiling reports for the visitation.

A meeting of the five Apostolic Visitors will take place in the Eternal City on April 30.


He will probably put the Legion on "super double secret probation" without disbanding them.


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  1. Leguleius says:

    I suppose he could direct that the entire order be burned at the stake…but it would probably be considered too little, too late.

  2. The Cobbler says:

    By the media or by the mothers who’ve been begging everyone in the order to get out of the abusive situation? I ask because I’ve seen too many people think said mothers are unforgiving to note when it comes to would-be apologies that the Legion has a history of insincerity and can’t seem to apologize without both speaking of their own pain and “forgiving” the receivers of their apology as if there’d been some kind of mutual injustice — or in other words, I feel it’s necessary to note that Catholic detractors of the Legion aren’t in a foregone too late for forgiveness attitude but are simply holding to a strictness mandated by their observation of the very problems themselves.

  3. DavidJ says:

    Whatever decision is made, let it be the right one for God’s people.

  4. Geoffrey says:

    “I suppose he could direct that the entire order be burned at the stake…but it would probably be considered too little, too late.”

    I pray that is a tasteless joke.

    Let us not vilify the entire order. The Legionaries of Christ & Regnum Christi are made up of many good priests and laymen, going through something that I cannot even begin to imagine. Many good people were deceived by Maciel.

    There is no doubt that the Holy Father will be pastoral in his judgment and final decision.

  5. MikeJ9919 says:

    I agree the comment was tasteless, Geoffrey, but the culpability extends far beyond Maciel. It seems very likely that senior officials of the Legionaries enabled his actions. And perhaps even more disturbing, rank-and-file members of the Legionaries have continued to maintain an idealized view of the him despite his actions.

  6. sejoga says:

    I think the joke was more about the fact that even if the Pope were to start burning abusers and accused abusers and other problematic persons at the stake willy-nilly, in an attempt to “root out corruption” and appease the press, it would still be seen as not enough by the media, in whose eyes the Pope never goes far enough in dealing with corruption in the Church.

    That’s how I was taking it. Not necessarily as a condemnation of the everyone in the Legion (although there does seem to be a lot of blame to go around).

  7. Oneros says:

    He’ll make the decision, or the indecision…

  8. prsuth33 says:

    After reading Jason Berry’s latest articles on the lefty NCR (as well as his book and watching the documentary on the LC/RC movement) I don’t see any other choice for Pope Benedict XVI to make other than to disband the order. After being suspiciously removed from two seminaries, Maciel was ordained by a relative who was a bishop. No reasons have been given for removal. He was suspended from ’56-’58. After the death of Pius XII, he was reinstated as “nuestro padre” all the while committing spiritual murder amongst his seminarians who were coerced to stay in the Legion (“Lost vocation, sure damnation”). The accounts are truly horrifying. How did Maciel pull off one of the biggest cover-ups in the history of the modern Church? Money talks. Cardinal’s Dziwisz and Sodano have some explaining to do. Finally, and here is the big problem, many in the order and movement have been brainwashed. I have a friend whose spiritual director is a LC priest. I told her that the Pope would have no choice but to dissolve the order and movement. She became irate, telling me that her spiritual director told her the true story behind the MSM’s assaults. Really? I asked her about her thoughts about the 2006 announcement from the Vatican regarding Maciel being sentenced to a life of “prayer and penitence” as well as the recent apology issued by the LC. She was clueless. The LC priests had two secret vows that Pope Benedict removed from the order within the past two or three years. They were 1). Never speak ill of the founder 2). report anyone who did.

  9. mpolo says:

    To be more accurate, there were two private vows, one of charity (speak ill of no one in authority, except to someone who can remedy the situation, and report those who do so) and one of humility (do not seek honors or posts in the Congregation, and report those who do so). The second was not removed by Benedict XVI., the first yes.

  10. Gabriella says:

    Unfortunately, whatever the decision, any order or group is always and has always been identified with its founder – Chiara Lubich, Don Bosco, St. Francis, etc. …

  11. prsuth33 says:

    Thank you, mpolo. The following are the two private vows:

    1. Never to desire, seek or scheme to obtain responsibilities or positions in the congregation for himself or others …

    2. Never to criticize externally the acts of government or the person of any director or superior of the congregation by word, in writing or any other way. And if he knows for certain that a religious has broken this commitment, to inform the latter’s immediate superior.

    I believe it was vow no 2 that was removed by the Vatican.

  12. TNCath says:

    Sad to say, but, in the interests of all, disbanding the Legionaries may be the only option. I just can’t see it continuing under the cloud of its shady origins. Whatever the Pope decides, you can count on criticism from somebody.

  13. Tom A. says:

    At a minimum, I do think the entire leadership should be removed, a non-Legion caretaker appointed, and perhaps a whole new order established in the model of the FSSP being an offshoot of the SSPX. There are other viable solutions other than disbanding. But then again. Can you imagine all those orthodox priests having to go into the local Dioceses? Or better yet, make them all become Jesuits!

  14. Dr. Eric says:

    $cientology has a “policy” that is like vow #2.

  15. Tom Ryan says:

    I’m confident His Holiness will do the right thing even if the world will fault him
    Anyone notice how Fox News no longer consistently uses the [LC] after Fr. Jonathan Morris’ name when he’s a guest on their shows?

  16. irishgirl says:

    I agree with Tom A @ 8:47. It would be better that the entire leadership goes.

    But I guess whatever the Holy Father does, no one-and especially the MSM-will be happy with it.

    I keep the Legionaries and Regnum Christi members in my daily Rosary-that’s all I can do personally.

  17. SuzieQ says:

    For years I was involved with Regnum Christie, even attending a summer program to discern entering as a consecrated woman. I couldn’t explain why (still can’t completely), but the whole experience was unnerving. Some of it was their devotion to “nuestro padre”… he was kind of a central part of their recruitment. They told us that those who surround the founder of an order during his life are more likely to be made saints.

    Those still involved with LC and RC need some serious prayers. I have a young cousin who just entered this year as a consecrated woman (yes, they are STILL recruiting and accepting vocations!!!). When the truth of all this comes out it is going to severely test their faith as I believe many in RC are completely in the dark about what’s happening.

    Hopefully the movement will be disbanded and I agree that it would be amazing if all those orthodox priests flooded their home diocese (or the Jesuits) … but we need to pray that (1) their faith isn’t so dependent on their identity as LC or RC that they cannot accept Rome’s decision and (2) their faith isn’t so damaged by this scandal that they end up abandoning their vocation altogether.

  18. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Like SuzieQ, I met LC members on several occasions and was invited on retreat. Something about them unnerved me as well. I could not explain exactly why, but there was something about their mindset that sent up flags.

    Maciel was a master manipulator, and the entire order is marked with his fingerprints. Indeed, various LC websites still contain references to Maciel. The entire group is in need of reform.

    I recommend every member undergo additional formation akin to another novitiate.

  19. irishgirl says:

    I went on their website ‘Vocation.com’ (www.vocation.com) , and it looks like ‘business as usual’.

    I also read somewhere that their US headquarters in Connecticut was going to be put up for sale. It wasn’t in Cheshire, where the novitiate is. It was in another town, where it started in the US during the late 1960s. The name escapes me now.

    I once got a phone call from a RC member-when she told me that, as a part of their formation, they ‘go on mission’, I said to her, ‘Uhhhh-thanks but no thanks’, and hung up. Not my ‘bag’, I’m afraid.

    In 2006, I had a visit from an LC priest and a seminary brother. A man in their business office in Connecticut arranged it for me-he and I used to talk on the phone all the time, and I finally met him later that summer when I went to Cheshire for their Professions Mass. The priest and the brother were really nice, very gentlemanly. I liked them very much.

    I hope that, if the LC does have to disband, that the priests who are in it will be accepted as diocesan clergy, and not lose their vocations.

  20. catholicmidwest says:

    I’ve been on retreat with Regnum Christi. I found out it’s not my kind of spirituality, but some people seemed to like it.

    There were a good many RC in this diocese last I knew. I’m not a member so I don’t know how much the local ones know or believe about what’s been happening to the order or what Maciel did.

  21. LaudemGloriae says:

    We have many RC and LC as well as their sponsored schools in my area, a great many consecrated young women as well. So many good and holy people. Pray.

  22. Leguleius says:

    Sejoga got it right. Sarcasm does not always come across in print. Short of sacking the entire hierarchy and replacing them with nuns, and then resigning as pope to be replaced by the editors of the New York Times, there is simply nothing that the pontiff can do that will not be dismissed as “too little, too late.”

  23. Dave N. says:

    I’ll admit I chuckled at the thought of merging this group with the Jesuits.

    I wonder what will happen to the National Catholic Register if the Legionnaires are disbanded–I believe they publish it, no? It would be sad to lose this paper.

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