Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Fallen Priest

Years ago I joined a religious movement in the church. I later left that movement. I realized that there were too many falsehoods to overlook. I lost many dear friends when I left the movement. I guess that some people are to afraid to know the truth. Often they would rather be mad at the messenger than the message. I will not go into my personal details here. It is also very hard for me to keep my emotions out of it. I can suffice it to say that I believe this group to be a water downed version of a cult and that I am a better Catholic out of this movement.

My experiences could have made me bitter and even angry at my Catholic upbringing (it has for many.) My formation before meeting this group was too good and that did not happen to me. I add my time in as life experiences. God allowed me to grow close to these people for a reason. I pray for all my sisters and brothers in Christ, especially those still entangled in the mess of this movement.

I fear many will fall when the new realization hits them. I hit a depression and it lasted about 6 months. I wasn't even in the movement that long. My depression wasn't medical or extreme. My husband and I just knew that I was overwhelmed with a sadness that I had to fight my way through. I am so worried that those who continue to ignore the reality that this movement was founded by a "not-so-wonderful" priest will have a hard time this week. I worry that many will become depressed and lost as the news sinks in.

We were instructed to believe the fallen man was a living saint by those in leadership within the movement. When you allow yourself to be fed this kind of false information from a group that also tells you that they are your source for true Catholic information your sense of judgment becomes warped. I have seen people base their lives, their children's education, their marriages, their money and every part of their soul into the hands of those within the movement. What happens to these trusting souls when they realize that the founder wasn't so wonderful and not at all saintly.

I don't know. I think denial will be the first step. Then the rest will follow like a set of dominoes. The realization will hit each at different times. Each will feel like someone close has died. Then anger at themselves and then the priest. I pray that all of these people will come to God with their pain, anger and sadness. God loved this fallen man just as he loves all others. It is not our place to judge the priest. It is our place to continue to love and honor God no matter what other humans do.

It has taken me a long time to let go of my anger, hurt and sadness. It has taken me time to rebuild my life away from the movement. It takes time to build friendships. It takes time to forgive, move one and try to be here for those that need to talk. To my friends that might read this, please know that I am here if you need to talk. Please keep praying and don't loose hope. Know that I love each of you and will continue to pray, as I have each day, for you and your families.

Often while in this group we were instructed to not believe what we read in the news about this fallen priest. We were told to "consider the source". My husband even lost a dear friend when they argued over the topic of the "source". In fact many Catholic publications have the same source, Zenit news, which happens to be a subsidiary to the movement. So these sources never published the bad stuff about their founder. Why would they? They didn't believe the stories. Here are the links to a few of their own sources that now admit the news.

Now some wording from outside sources.

Other blogs about news:

I will end with a link that at first surprised me. After some thought I realized it is exactly what should be done. I have often gone to a certain source to find out what the latest legal issues were with this movement. I expected to find a little bit of "I told you so" attitude there yesterday when I looked. Instead I found true Christian Charity. There is no news posted, not one articles about the current situation. This site lists names of people that you can contact if you are overwhelmed by sadness because of the movement. Nothing but true charity for those hurt. I also pray for these victims every day and I am so humbled by their charity.

To all my RC friends: I am still your sister in Christ, even though I am not still "in" RC. Please call me, email me, or stop by if you need to talk. I have been there. It hurts but it will be OK. If I can help, please let me. In Prayer, Shannon


  1. As a member of the RC movement now for over 5 years I am grateful to God for this amazing movement. Thanks to the Legion of Christ they have taught me to serve my parish and I have for over 4 years. RC is not for everyone but it never means that we are better than anyone. I have never been taught that and I would of left if I did hear that. We are to hate the sin and love the sinner. so yes, I am sad and hate the sin Fr. Maciel did but love him for the good he did. He sacrificed a lot and at times came up short. Very short. But Gods mercy is infinite and just as God forgave Peter for his denial not once, nor twice but 3 times, Just as God forgave King David of his affair with a married woman and being responsible for her husbands death to hide his sin, and just as he forgave me for my countless upon countless of sins I know he has forgiven Fr, Maciel. "Let he who is without sin cast the 1st stone" God has shown me mercy when stones should have been cast upon me.....So I in turn will forgive the founder of this awesome movement. The words of Christ now ring louder to me than ever..."I desire mercy not sacrifice" remember it is called the Legion of Christ, the regnum christi movement. Not the Legion of Maciel or the Regnum Maciel movement. In Christ is all my hope and faith....that is why my faith is not shaken during these hard and yes.......very sad times. As Patrick Madrid wrote "I will pray for all those involved in this mess"

  2. Dear Primo,

    I sounded like you 5 years ago. Then I began to really open my eyes and listen and hear what was going on around me. When a friend left the movement and started me thinking I thought she was a lost soul. How I judged with the same tone present in your note.

    I know so many wonderful woman and men in the movement. I would never accuse any of them of knowingly doing anything to damage the souls of others and yet it has happened. To compare Maciel to St. Peter and King David tells me that you have not yet begun your journey to accept the sins of the man.

    The movement is routed in his "writings" and his "rules" to try to convince me other wise is useless (Remember, I was a member. I know the truth. I know the tapes played at retreats and the envoy readings pushed at encounters.) The movement is based on the narcissist guidelines of Maciel. That needs to change for RC to be a valid, helpful service to the true Church.

    I am glad that you have found good and that your soul has been enriched. I promise to continue to pray that continues to be the case for you. Please do not defend this man in a way that becomes uncharitable to his victims. People’s lives have been destroyed by the lies. You can not glorify that. Hilter fed many of people in Germany as he created his evil empire. Good never justifies the means. It is possible to know that RC is not a good organization based on its tradition and history even though it "has done a lot of good".

    I would challenge you to look to see if you could work to help your parish with the same good without RC. They recruited you because you are a leader. Stop taking your talents from HIS Church and turn your efforts to building the true Kingdom found in His Universal Church. Turn your efforts to bringing Christians together and educating Catholics on their faith within your parish not outside of it. Stop working to build, Challenge, Conquest, Familia, the seminaries and other RC/LC Schools. Take the effort and teach a baptism class for your parish with out the intention of finding new recruits. Lead a bible study, a Theology of the Body book club, or something for the youth at your Parish. RC only grows because too many good people started working for that movement and not for the church. It will be hard at first but if we all work to build the church it will become conservative in the way that it should. Quit running from what you don’t like and help to change the Church into what He needs it to be.

    I ask God to Bless you and your efforts to serve Him.
    In prayer,

  3. Dear Neen in Christ,

    I am very happy you found something better outside of the movement. In our out of RC, In or out of Opus Dei, In or out of any of the movements or anywhere in the church where God is glorified and works in our lives is a great gift. I am very happy serving my parish as Youth Minister and very grateful to be involved with the RC movement. In my 4 years as a confirmation instructor and 1 year as a Youth Minister I have not brought in or attempted to bring in anyone into Conquest, Familia, or the movement. So where would you feel that Is my mission? My mission is to serve my church in any capacity God ask of me.

    My pastor knows I am RC as well as my students and let me say during these difficult times they have shown me understanding and share in my sadness. I am here at the L.A. Congress in Anaheim CA. And the many diocesan priest I know from the L.A. And O.C. Diocese have been very supportive of what were going through and All including the Monks that talked to me said "this in NO way takes away from the good the LC, the RC, and our supporters have done for the church. In fact many of the priest are SAD that a brother priest fell. And pray very hard for those who have been victims by all priest and even those who are not priest.

    My eyes are wide open dear sister, I have read "Vows of Silence" and seen the movie. But if I were to abandon my RC family over this sad and tragic scandal shouldn't we all abandon the Catholic Church over the bad Popes we had who have done far worse?

    My dear sister I do thank you for your prayers and I an grateful. You see my eyes are open, I have accepted and I build up the church not for RC but my parish. I am loyal and don't abandon any part of my family whether flesh or spiritual. Since we both are happy where we are at let us pray for all the victims in this mess and continue to bring Christ live to those who don't know him.

    Yours in Christ and forever in the movement,


  4. Dear Primo,

    I too had a long list of church activites before leaving the movement. I could only see my true motives after I was out of the movement. I too thought my eyes were open.

    I became most vocal for the movement just before leaving. I professed my life long vocation just before leaving and seeing the truth. You have not proven your eyes to be open. Instead you have just stated that you read a book and saw a movie.

    There is nothing anyone can say to show you differently. You are not ready. You are refusing to hear. Dear friend, you are not open yet.

    I beg you and all RC faithfuls to STOP trying to say "look at all the good RC does!!" The Catechism states in many ways that the end never justifies the means. Even if good came from a group the intentions were bad. Maybe not yours but Maciels.

    The Catechism speaks to this here: Para. 1753: A good intention (for example, that of helping one's neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. The end does not justify the means. Thus the condemnation of an innocent person cannot be justified as a legitimate means of saving the nation. On the other hand, an added bad intention (such as vainglory) makes an act evil that, in and of itself, can be good (such as almsgiving) (Cf. Mt 6:2-4).
    Para. 1756: It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil that good may result from it.

    My blog is not the place to continue this conversation. You seam to want to prove yourself right by posting your thoughts and love of the movement all over the internet. I have read your posts on others blogs and can not even begin to understand why you would spend so much time searching us out. If you are as busy as you say you are at your parish I don't understand where you have the time either.

    Continue your good works in His name. I do not and will not ever agree with the postition that you continue to take. Here is where we will part as friends in Christ. Maybe if we are truly blessed we can continue this in the Communion of Heaven where we will both have full knowledge.

  5. Dear Neen in Christ,

    I thank you very much for your prayers and information you have shared with me.

    Pax Christi,



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