Friday, August 19, 2016

Legionaries of Christ's Maciel and all the holy sham

On Tuesday evening RTE One Television aired an hour-long report on the Legionaries of Christ.

It told the story of the congregation's founder Marcial Maciel, who was a criminal. But his crimes were surrounded by 'holy behaviour'. He was a scam artist, who committed heinous crimes and collected vast sums of money under false  pretenses.

In any other world an organisation that behaved in such a way would be closed down. Not so in the Catholic  Church. It is simply extraordinary that the organisation is still in existence.

In the mid-1970s I studied in Rome with many young Legionaries of Christ. It was as clear as the nose on one's face that there was something wrong. These young men had been brainwashed and their behaviour was so abnormal and unreal it is simply shocking that no one was doing something about the organisation back then.

But that 'holy sham' 'stuff' is alive and well in the Catholic Church. Is it all a fraud? Most likely.

When people began to ask questions of Marcial Maciel the answer always was that the 'world' was out to get him and that it was imortant for the Church to pray for the conversion of the world. Everything in the world was evil and it must be confronted.

Where does one hear and read that sort of language today?

The Legionaries of Christ were tolerated. Why? One reason: they were bringing in large sums of money.

And then all those brainwashed men being ordained, and ordained in large numbers every year.

If it were not so sad it would be terribly funny. What makes it even sadder is that all that 'stuff' seems to be in the ascendent today.

Just as there was something wrong with the Legionaries of Christ in the 1970s so too there is something wrong within the institutional church today.

An attitude or environment that existed in the Legionaries of Christ, certainly in the 1970s in Rome seems to have spread to many religious congregations.

And is it all linked to an attitude to sexuality that is not the norm?

Four headlines in the September issue of  the free-sheet 'Alive' run as follows:

"Working to abolish Christianity in Ireland"
"Harvard students fed intellectual drivel"
"Men no longer know how to man up"
"Fairer debate in UK because no groupthink on EU"

                       Fr Marcial Maciel.

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