"It seems to me and many others that [Legion of Christ founder Father Marcial Maciel] was a man with an entrepreneurial genius who, by systematic deception and duplicity, used our faith to manipulate others for his own selfish ends. ...
“While it’s difficult to get a hold of official documents,” Archbishop O’Brien said, “it’s clear that from the first moment a person joins the Legion, efforts seem to be made to program each one and to gain full control of his behavior, of all information he receives, of his thinking and emotions. [Many who leave it suffer] deep psychological distress for dependency and need prolonged counseling akin to deprogramming.
“This is not about orthodoxy. It is about respect for human dignity for each of its members.”
— Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, explaining why he has informed the Legion of Christ that he cannot in good conscience recommend anyone join it or its lay movement, Regnum Christi.
RELATED: Diocesan seminarian Mason Slidell writes of the archbishop's saying "this is not about orthodoxy": "For all charter members of Fortress Catholicism, please read the above quote again. It is wrong to use orthodoxy as a cover for totalitarian tendencies. 'They love the Pope' should not be a justification for cult of personality. 'They love the Blessed Mother' should not be a justification for psychological blackmail. 'They hate the Buddy Jesus crowd' should not be a justification for vowed secrecy. We respect the life and dignity of the human person and must defend it from ALL attacks."
If you are in need of pastoral care in the wake of the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi crisis, see the list of resources, including diocesan Catholic priests and religious who have made themselves available, at regainnetwork.org. For the latest news on the crisis, see the continuing coverage in American Papist.
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