Tag Archives: Legion of Christ

Legion of Christ: will it reform or be suppressed?

Absolution will not the only remedy for the a group like the Legion of Christ as it had in 1956 when another apostolic visitation happened. True, substantive reform of the spiritual life and formation will have to take place if it hopes to survive. Legion can’t continue in the way has been for the last 50 years; the old guard can’t run things any more, and honesty has got to reign. AND God willing Pope Benedict will demand changes.

Sandro Magister’s piece today is an eye-opener. Read “Legionaries. The ‘Nomenklatura’ That Must Disappear.” If everything Magister says is true –and there is no reason to doubt his facts– then there’s no reason to believe that the Legion of Christ will survive present scrutiny. Plus, a cosmetics’ change will only be more deception than the current issues: sweeping things under the rug are just not tenable.
The problem, as I’ve said in the past, is what to do with all the young men who in good faith , honesty and certainty entered the Legion of Christ to pursue a vocation to religious life and priesthood not knowing the details of their founder’s sinful past, the Legion’s suspicious ways of proceeding when it comes to accounts of conscience, reading of the seminarian’s mail, radical separation from family, etc…all the cult like aspects one hears about.
I’m hearing that a few local dioceses are getting requests of current Legionary priests for incardination. But how much can a diocese absorb? Well, we have a need and many of the guys seeking a change are excellent, well-trained men who love sincerely love Christ and the Church…but they have baggage. In my own diocese we’ve already taken in three former legionaries and in another diocese there is as many a five seeking a transfer.
Holy Spirit, advocate for us!

Legion of Christ soon to change

Sandro Magister, a favorite journalist of matters Catholic, published a startling story today, “The Legion Awaits a New General. And Trembles.” In a few a words he reviews the moral and theological decay in the Legion of Christ. Magister gives an anatomy of the current situation and gives a likely cure to the illness the Legion is living with these days. Magister confirms my suspicions that some Legionary priests still refuse to accept that the founder, Father Maciel lived a second life, that the Congregation is flawed and it has dragged its feet in making the radical changes the Holy Father has asked for. From what I can gather there needs to be a total revolution in the Legion if it’s going to survive.

I continue to pray for the men who found their call to serve the Lord and the Church in the Legion of Christ. I think it’s possible to separate out the duplicity of the founder from the good the Legion has done but the possibility rests on the honesty of the Legion to face reality as it is and not what they think it should be. My advice: simply state that Father Maciel founded the Legion of Christ and move on and sever all ties with Maciel and his cronies. Or, disband the congregation and start anew. Many lives hang in the balance and we have to show our solidarity in this time of need.

Legion of Christ: pray for guidance

I would like to invite everyone to enter into a period of
intense time of prayer for the Church in the coming days. Use your discretion
as to length but do some form of prayer the good of the Church. The Holy See
has asked five bishops to investigate the life of the members of the Legion of
beginning on July 15th. May I recommend the prayers to the Holy Spirit
is needed as well as the Memorare for this intention.

B16 & LC Superior General.jpg

The Legion of Christ is
not everyone’s “cup of tea” but they certainly are an influence in many sectors
of ecclesial life. The Legion has challenged the “categories” of many but they have done some good for the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So, while I am not a supporter of the LC, I am not looking for anything but an honest review and coherent application of mercy. What affects them ought to affect all of us since we are
bonded together in Baptism making us all brothers and sisters. Am I my
brother’s keeper? Yes, and we ought to show prayerful solicitude with the Holy
See and the bishops doing the investigating. Many peoples’ lives are in
significant turmoil over the recent revelations of misconduct of Father Marcial
Macial (the founder) and other distressful matters of internal governance and the misuse of spiritual

Today Sandro Magister published an interview with a prominent former
Legionary priest
, Father Thomas Berg. Consider reading it.

Here in the greater
Connecticut and New York area the Legion operates a novitiate, a juniorate, an institute of higher studies plus a variety of other initiatives, including
but not limited to the National Catholic Register and recent acquisition of Southern Catholic University. In the US the press reports that there are 24 Legion of
Christ houses with about 130 priests and more than 250 seminarians. It would be
inappropriate to suggest what the Pope would or should do for the good of the
Church and the Legionary congregation. Whatever it is that the members are
asked to do by the Church, I predict it will be some tough medicine and I ask that all of us stand on the side of the angels. This is an opportunity for excessive criticism and unflattering talk. It is time for prayer and conversion of life.


About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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