Only Christ at the Center

Sandro Magister has published this morning an anguished and bold letter from a priest of the Legion of Christ to the Legion's Director. Here is an excerpt:

I address myself to you again with sorrow and shame. The sorrow is increased by the knowledge that sending you this letter will again be a useless effort, as have been other letters and other suggestions to you and to other superiors. But [my] silence would not be a good choice, because it would make me an accomplice of the one who abused and plundered the lives of our brothers.In these days, I have had the honor of visiting some houses of the Legionaries (and of being received with great charity). I have witnessed with my own eyes that in most of them there are still photos of the village of Cotija, of the house in Cotija, and, incredibly, in three places (San Salvador, Cancn, and Canada) there are photos of Fr. Maciel surrounded by the first followers or by the first groups of Legionaries.How is this possible, Fr. lvaro? What message are we sending to Fr. Maciel's victims? Is this the way to accept the [Vatican] statement of May 1, 2010? Fr. lvaro, for the love of God and for the honor of those who suffered the horror of abuse, the agony of disdain and disregard, I beg you to order the removal of the photos of the author of the abuse from the home in which he was born, from the village in which he was raised, and from the institution in which those acts were committed, wounding the innocent and casting so much discredit upon the holy Church.I likewise beg you to order that all of the spiritual retreats in Cotija take on a tone of reparation, that Fr. Maciel's body be moved from the central altar to one of the crypts to the side in which other Legionaries are buried (so that only Christ may be at the center).I propose that the home of the deceased be turned into a home of reparation and perpetual adoration, and that the museum be turned into a museum to commemorate his victims and guarantee that they never be forgotten.Finally, I propose that the house in the mountains (CCI) be given to the diocese to be used as a seminary or retreat house, or even as a place of rehabilitation for priests in the grip of alcohol or other vices.In this way, we will make a gesture of reparation to the Church of Mexico, so discredited on our account.

The rest is here.

Robert P. Imbelli, a long-time Commonweal contributor, is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. A book of essays in his honor, The Center Is Jesus Christ Himself, edited by Andrew Meszaros, was published this year by The Catholic University of America Press.

Also by this author
The Christic Imagination – IV

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