I just read an article on the life-after-regnum-christi blog and was further astounded by the depravity of Fr. Maciel, the founder of the Legion and Regnum Christi. Warning, some graphic descriptions in the article. Also, a brief digression I don’t buy the implication that John Paul II and various cardinals were “given money” by the Legion in return for the Church turning a blind eye to them. Fr. Maciel was sadistic and evil, and he fooled a lot of good people, including John Paul II, but that doesn’t mean that JPII was evil or was bribed.
What amazes me is that Fr. Maciel wasn’t unmasked in the late 1950s when the Church, responding to many allegations against him, suspended him from the Legion, removed him for over 2 years from the Legionary communities, and conducted an Apostolic Visitation.
What evil could have been prevented had he been found out then. I don’t know why it didn’t happen. Maybe more of his victims needed to come forward? The tragic result of his exoneration at that time was that his credibility had stronger support given that the Legion and his actions were investigated for 2 – 3 years and found innocent. But by that time he had already committed horrible crimes.
When I looked into all the publicly available documentation a few years ago, both from the Legion and from those hurt by the Legion, one thing became clear: either Maciel was lying or his accusers were. There was no room in the middle. And it turns out that Maciel was the liar.
The fruit of Maciel’s life is bitterness and pain for his direct and indirect victims as well as tarnish and shame upon the work of many faithful persons who have lived at least part of their Catholic Faith in Regnum Christi or the Legion. Everyone loses here.
My advice, as it has always been, both when I was in Regnum Christi and now that I am out of it, is to look to the Church and follow her decisions on these sad matters. The hidden evil of Maciel has now been unveiled, and the healing for all can begin.