The Register and the LC Update

Before writing the foregoing post, I should have read through my latest issue of the National Catholic Register. There are two items worth mentioning. One is a brief article giving hope for the future of the Legion of Christ (LC). Entitled “Theologian: Legion Can Recover”, the article is a synopsis of an interview by Register correspondent John Allen with Father Ronald Rolheiser, president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. In the article, Fr. Rolheiser gives hope to the LC by pointing out that an order’s founder is not necessarily what attracts vocations. It is an order’s charism that attracts vocations, thus a distinction is made between the founder who infused the order with that charism, and the charism itself. In essence, focus on Christ. That’s sage advice, but I would hope every religious order is doing that no matter who founded them or what their charism might be. At any rate, the article is intended to give hope to the Legion, which is why I can understand why it was printed in a newspaper read by the majority of LC priests. However, this is hardly the hard nose investigative reporting that Fr. de Souza was suggesting the Register undertake. So we continue to wait….

The second item of note, and the item most worth noting, is the weekly blurb from the newspaper’s publisher, Father Owen Kearns, LC. I will quote the words of Fr. Kearns in full, as it gives us some insight into why the general silence prevails:

This has been a painful time for the Legionaries. It is only recently that we learned of the misdeeds of Father Marcial Maciel, our founder, who we now know fathered a daughter.

People would like the Legion to tell them everything – now. We can’t do that because we simply don’t know everything. The nature of these things is such that it will take sorting out carefully over time. In all cases, the Legion intends to do what must be done: Deal with each case in justice and charity.

Please bear with Legionaries as we all try to process this information. The Legion of Christ is preparing materials to inform the Church and the public about all of this. Watch for news.

For now, I want to thank so many people for the words of consolation and support for Legionaries at this time. Your encouragement has meant so much to us. I’m also grateful for those who have expressed their indignation and their hurt. I know that it comes from their concern for the Church we all love so well, and which the Register is dedicated to serving.

This is obviously a very painful time for the LC, a religious order with many, many good priests in its ranks – several of whom write for the Register. We need to keep the LC in our prayers. Understanding that this is a painful time for the Legion, it still remains that the “carefully sorting out over time” that Fr. Kearns mentioned is what I, and many others, hope the Register will be a big part of in the coming future.


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