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Maciel's men.

In her thread on the Legion of Christ's disavowal of Maciel, Mollie linked to an important piece by Sandro Magister, "Legionaries: The 'Nomenklatura' that Must Disappear." Next month, the five bishops who led investigations of the the Legion--Archbishop Chaput in the United States--will present their findings to Vatican officials.Magister details the maneuverings of Legion leadership in advance of those meetings.Rome will likely place the Legionaries under the authority of an "external commissioner endowed with full powers," yet, according to Magister, the group's leaders--all with close ties to Maciel, several of whom alleged to have knowledge of Maciel's double life--are "anything but resigned to giving way."

Freed from the annoyance of the visitors, and not yet subjected to the command of the commissioner, during this interim period which they are hoping will last for "several months" they are doing everything they can to consolidate their power and win the support of the majority of the 800 priests of the Legion, and of the other religious and lay members.

Who are these men? The Legion's director, vicar, and general council members were elected in January 2005, during the most recent chapter meeting of the congregation. By that time Maciel had been "invited" by Pope Benedict to a "reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry."

But the current leadership group's ascent to power in the congregation dates back to the previous general chapter, the second, held in Rome in 1992.On that occasion, founder Maciel was defended [against decades-old charges of sexual abuse] by the two who are still the big men of the Legion: fathers [Director General Alvara] Corcuera and [Vicar General Luis] Garza [Medina], and by the latter more than the former, together with a group of diehard faithful, almost all of whose names are found in the current "nomenklatura."According to some of the testimonies given to the apostolic visitors in recent months, some in this group knew about the founder's double life, about the carnal acts he performed with many of his seminarians over the span of decades, about his lovers, his children, his drug use. But in spite of that, a fortress was built around Maciel in defense of his virtues, devotion to him was fostered among his followers, all of them unaware of the truth, his talents were emphasized, even among the upper hierarchy of the Church. This exaltation of the figure of the founder was so effective that even today it inspires the sense of belonging to the Legion among many of its priests and religious.The cohesion of the leadership group, originating from its decades-long connection with Maciel, endures today in the bond that binds and subordinates everyone to Corcuera, and even more to Garza....[who is] the creator and absolute master of Grupo Integer, the holding company that acts as treasury and administrative center for all the works of the Legion in the world, with assets totaling an estimated 25 billion euros.

Given that history, Magister asks, "how trustworthy is this distancing of the Legion's leaders from their founder, and in particular from the 'sudden revelation' or so they say of his misdeeds?" If the testimony Magister reports proves true, Maciel may not be the only Legion leader who deserves the group's disavowal.Read the rest of Magister's report right here.

About the Author

Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



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This is a very unsettling picture. But it may give a lesson how power overcomes every other motivation in religious orders. Unpleasant to relate is the reality that in most religious orders there are camps which favor one candidate over another. These men of the cloth work the phones and visit the undecided as much as political candidates. What makes this picture even worse is that some at least of these leaders knew of Maciels' sins and crimes and chose to lie about them.Those leaders surely must be removed. Then a total restructuring must take place. The Legionnaires are in worse shape than we were previously led to believe. This restructing has to be undergone in the light of day. If Chaput and the others are found to desiring to save an order solely on the basis of orthodoxy there will be more criticism of the coverup, now by the visitators, and will result in a larger scandal. This is serious stuff.

The above post is by Bill Mazzella, who always identifies himself in his posts. I will leave it up to the software technicians at dot Commonweal to straighten it out. My email is right but not the posted by...

Is this not another example of how those who know how to parrot the right things to the right people at the right times can get away with just about everything? I'm referring to those who spout currently-favored orthodoxy but are way short in orthopraxis."The moral fabric of the ordained ministry is different from that of the laity because of the representative character (i.e., representing Christ) of the ordained ministry. Furthermore, the ordained ministry has a vocation of leadership, and there is always a distance between leaders and those who are led. In a community dedicated to a new way of life, it is not too much to ask that its leaders provide some kind of example...The church expects its leaders to be persons of growing spiritual depth...the "double standard", whether rightly or wrongly, is a clerical fact of life, and those who resist or oppose it are advised not to seek ordination." Carl Volz, Seminaries: The Love of Learning or The Desire for God? "dialog", Spring 1989.

The handling of the nomenklatura is the key. But the way they have spread the money around Rome and elsewhere is an important weapon.Rode has been the beneficiary of their largesse.Jason Berry's next book is on finances in the church and it will be very revealing of how money talks.

"Jason Berrys next book is on finances in the church and it will be very revealing of how money talks."From Jerome and Augustine seeking favor of rich matrons, this has been at the center. Economics drive more spirituality than we realize. And it is not just Oral Roberts and Benny Hinn. This should be a blockbuster book.BM

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