Anybody can be taken in by a skilled recruiter

DSC06205

Most people ask “How did you allow yourself to be taken in by….?” Researchers tell us that anyone can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and fall prey to clever recruiting which will play to your weaknesses or blind spots. The following link from Infocult contains a telling testimony and offers helpful info.

http://infosect.freeshell.org/infocult/2014-Se28-News.pdf

ARTICLE:

In this article I want to explain why I wrote the book I choose : Subtlety in cults and briefly show how easily someone can get trapped in a controlling group or relationship. My book is not about religion, it is about the organizational structure and emotional manipulation. I control my life. I come from a good family. I do well in school. I have friends. I am sure of what I believe in. Thus, no one can manipulate me.
That’s what I thought before I spent more than three years in a controlling group that some describe as a cult.
I came into contact with the group in University. I wanted to know the Bible to be sure of what I believed. So I started Bible studies. At the beginning, I was so sure of what I knew of the Christian faith, that I did not
even ask where the learning material came from. I have sometime tried to understand why I trusted missionary Mary so easily. I knew that there are people who will lie to you and will seem honest. I knew that Christian
cults existed. It never even occurred to me to go and search for information on that group. I would make my own opinion. I know now that I would have spotted some lies earlier if I would have done some research. But when I was at the study, I always felt comfortable. After a few months, I began wanting to spend more time with the group. The students were nice, as were the missionaries. I was more and more interested in the Bible and in the Korean culture of most of the
missionaries. Missionary Mary invited me to the Friday testimonies. The students would share what they had learned from the last Sunday passage.
…continued on page 2
 
I Choose: Subtlety in Cults

 

In This Issue of Infocult:

I choose: Subtlety in Cults

By Isabelle Renaud  – The changes happened gradually. The more time I spent in the group, the more I believed what I was told.

 

Benefits of Dialogue

 

The dialogue begun in the late ’90s has continued and expanded. The communication has enriched the views of people on both sides of what once was, but is no longer, a great divide.

 

 

Education

2015 Annual International ICSA Conference, Stockholm, Sweden,
June 25-27 (Pre-Conference workshops June 24th).

 

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is conducting its 2015 Annual International Conference with Info-Secte/Info-Cult of Montreal and Hjälpkällan will be presented jointly with Info-Cult/Info-Secte. The conference theme is  Children in High-Control Groups

etc.

Human Rights Abuses in Legion of Christ, bona fide Catholic Religious Order of Priests

Presentation and International Cultic Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Silver Spring, MD, July 5th, 2014

https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=503A5FD50C0F5B58!500&app=PowerPoint&authkey=!AL-a8waSI2Q_zjg

Magnificat Meal Movement, another Catholic cult/hoax

Australian woman cons some disillusioned Australian and Irish Catholics…

with a combination of devotion to Mary, the Eucharist, etc.

From Frank Thorne in Helidon, Australia

Posted on January 20, 2009 by dialogueireland

From Frank Thorne in Helidon, Australia

Pictures by Steve Holland

The tiny hamlet of Helidon is appropriately named. It looks like Hell

on earth. The paint is peeling from the shabby shop fronts, now empty and closed down, and the once busy rural haven is reduced to a newsagent’s, a post office and one pub.

Yet this virtual ghost town, which has all the eerie, feel of a deserted

cowboy film set after John Wayne and the Hollywood cameras have moved

on, is supposedly the site of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Nestling in the picturesque farming belt of the Lockyer Valley in rural

Queensland, Australia, the tiny town, 80 miles west of Brisbane, can

fairly be described as a dot on the map.

It is certainly an unlikely spot where miracles and visions of the Virgin

Mary are, apparently, regular occurrences.

But the run down town has recently become infamous as the adopted home of a

bizarre religious cult leader, Debra Geileskey, and her followers in what she calls the Magnificat Meal

Movement, an ultra-conservative breakaway Catholic cult which has been

luring an alarming number of Irish people to give up their homes and decamp

to her ‘New Jerusalem’.

The cult’s name refers to the Magnificat, a prayer attributed

to the Virgin Mary, and Meal refers to the Last Supper.

One of the newest permanent residents the charismatic Geileskey has

welcomed into her swelling flock of Irish believers is Niall Haughey.

Just weeks ago, the well-heeled nephew of the former Taoiseach Charles

Haughey closed up his home and business in Co. Tipperary and moved his

wife and three children 12,000 miles away to Queensland to join MMM. He is said to have turned his back on the outside world to embrace the bizarre cult.

Mr Haughey’s family and friends have expressed shock that the successful

insurance broker would renounce his worldly goods and sign up to the

enclosed sect that has been denounced by the Vatican and is currently under

investigation by cult experts keen to know how it has accumulated property

and assets worth more than 3.5 million dollars (Australian).

It has emerged from inquiries made by Ireland on Sunday that Mr Haughey

was encouraged to join MMM by a family relative, former Holy Ghost

Priest, Father Dermot Forkin. Father Forkin is the uncle of Niall Haughey’s wife, Maire, and persuaded the couple who have three children, to sell up their business and home to join the movement which has been officially declared a cult by Rome.The Vatican had accused the cult of brainwashing and defrauding its members.

Like her other faithful followers, Mr Haughey, 42, is believed to have

pledged most of his money to Geileskey and the MMM.

But while Geileskey enjoys the high life of regular trips to America,

world travel and cruises around Queensland in a fleet of Mercedes Benz

cars with personalised number plates, brainwashed sect “slaves” like Mr

Haughey and his wife work the land like dirt-poor farmers or help out

with cooking and cleaning duties and mass

Mr Haughey and his family spend their days working in the commune and

following strict prayer regimes.

Geileksey, who has reverted to using her maiden name of Burslem, tells

her slavish followers that the Virgin Mary wishes them to hand over

their money and sign over property.

She is seen being chauffeured around Helidon in Mercedes cars bearing

the number plate CORMA 1, 2, and 3. The special plates stand for the

title she gives the Virgin Mary: “Co-Redemtrice, Mediator and Advocate.”

Geileskey also states her special interest is to shelter young girls

“to protect their virginty.”

Mike Garde, a cult specialist who advises the archbishop of Dublin,

confirmed the link between Father Forkin and Niall Haughey.

“Father Forkin appears to have told them about this cult and we can

only surmise that’s how they became involved.

“This woman Debra is controlling everybody in that cult. She’s has made

herself out to be the only source of God to them. That’s a very

powerful concept and one that has clearly sucked people in.”

Garde was first alerted that the Magnificat Meal Movement was

recruiting followers in Ireland in 1997 and has since visited Australia

attempting to gain access to the Irish members of the cult, whose exact

numbers are unknown but are thought to number more than twenty.

Relatives of members had contacted him for help to try to rescue people

who had been drawn into the group and then were cut off from their

families. “Exit counselling from a cult is important because if people process

their experiences they are more likely to recover in a shorter time. If

they pretend it never happened they can feel guilty for leaving and

they can be left with terrible trauma,” he says.

So far, however, Garde has had no success in extricating any people from

the cult. “It’s a slow process but I’m determined, I won’t give up,” he says.

“The danger is Debra lives between reality and fantasy – she is not

living in the real world,” he said. “Just because the movement is jelly-like at the moment, the potential is there for catastrophe.”

Last weekend 15-year-old Irish leukemia victim, Nora Hanley, from

Kilrooskey, Co Roscommon was buried, weeks after her mother’s quest for

a “miracle cure” at the MMM caused a storm of controversy.

Pauline Hanley took terminally ill Nora to visit Geileskey in the

hope of saving her daughter. While staying in the cult commune, Nora

stopped taking her medication and vital blood units.

The trip caused anxiety for some family members at home and Nora’s

aunt, Marilyn Patton from Killygordon in Donegal, even contacted the

Queensland police to alert them to the child’s plight.

At least six other members of the cult have died after they ceased

taking medication for serious illnesses when Geileskey encouraged them

to swap to herbal remedies she sells, according to former members of

the cult.

The MMM first began to recruit Irish members when it approached a tour

of pilgrims at Medjugorje.Since then, Geileskey has visited Knock Shrine but continues to refuse to meet Mr Garde. “If she’s not doing anything wrong, then why is she afraid?” he asked.

Geileskey, a former primary school teacher portrays herself as being at the

Spiritual epicentre of a global movement with advisers in the Vatican. She also

claims that priests and bishops from around the world come to her to seek counsel and, she says, the sick come to her for healing. She broke away from the Catholic Church in the mid-90s after claiming she had had visions of Our Lady and received prophecies from angels.

In a rare Liveline interview with Joe Duffy on Ireland’s Radio 1 in May

Geileskey told him: “Our biggest financial supporters and donors and the

most beautiful support from priests has always come from Ireland.”

“We’ve always had very strong Irish support and I don’t think we’d

have been able to function financially without it”

Like fellow Australian fraudster Peter Foster, over the years Geileskey

has sold everything from home loans to slimming products to believers

convinced she was raising money to build a basilica costing up to $45

Million Australian. The moment it was finished, she promised, Our Lord

would return to earth. But after boosting her personal property portfolio with a

Million-dollar country estate a year ago, questions were raised about

just who was benefiting from God’s work.

“She’s got more front than Sydney Opera House,” said one disgruntled

Former member of the cult, Australian Dawn O’Brien said devoted followers

had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cause after Geileskey declared Christ would return to Helidon when the building was completed.

“People gave her that money to build a basilica? not to buy property

for herself. It’s disgraceful,” said Mrs O’Brien. “What about all the

people who gave her a third of their houses and have now left and want

their money back?”

Since setting up her cult in a former convent in Helidon, Geileskey and her

followers have bought up dozens of homes in the

town and will not let anybody open up new businesses.

Paul O’Sullivan, who runs the Helidon newsagents store with his wife

Vonnie in the main street, said: “Debra is an absolute conwoman. I don’t

know why people keep falling for her lies. A few years ago, we used to

have coachloads of people coming to her prayer meetings but it has been

pretty quiet over the past three years. I don’t know exactly how many

people are living in her communes now.”

Asked if any of the MMM members used his shop, Mr O’Sullivan replied:

“I’m banned because I sell Penthouse magazine. They don’t come in here.

I’ve been ex-communicated. They have to drive to the next town about 12

miles away.” But even people who’ve been burned by Geileskey’s destruction of their town and their business can see the funny side. As O’Sullivan says with a

laconic grin: “If Jesus Christ did suddenly arrive, he wouldn’t find much to

eat in Helidon. The local café has closed down and they won’t let anyone rent

it,” “One local girl wanted to open a hairdresser’s there, but they said no.

“Debra is a clever woman ? and very wealthy now thanks to other

people’s money -but she has turned this place into a ghost town. Yes,

we certainly need a miracle. If Jesus were to turn up, I suppose Helidon

would become a Holy Ghost town.”

Geileskey’s latest departure from reality has been to join a movement

bizarrely known as the Commonwealth of Caledonia Australis, an organisation that claims members are not subject to any Australian laws.

Geileskey bought a disused Lutheran Church in Helidon recently and has

put up a sign saying it belongs to the CCA of Australia. An obvious

benefit to Geileskey’s operation is the claim that CCA members do not

have to pay tax.

Retired architect Frank Mack, who met Geileskey at a charismatic prayer

meeting in Melbourne before she began the movement 15 years ago and

also moved to Helidon, today describes her as “evil” adding: “Debra is

a dangerous woman who uses clever techniques to exploit people for

their money. I think she learned the tricks of her trade during her

visits to America. She is definitely a con artist.” Mr Mack, an articulate, reasoned and intelligent Catholic, readily admits he and his wife, Ann, were taken in for over a year by Geileskey’s claims that she witnessed miracles and had visions of the Virgin Mary. In those days, Geileskey was a struggling schoolteacher. She and her then estate agent husband, Gordon, were badly in debt. When the arrived in Helidon they owed more than $300,000.

Today, Geileskey is a multi-millionaire who owns at least 20

properties, including homes, apartments, shops and farms and is said

to own 10 companies. She is worth more than $3.5 million Australian.

Ex-husband Gordon, who helped her amass her property empire, left the

cult in 1999, exposed her as a fraud and is no longer in the picture.

When we contacted Mr Geileskey he told us: “I’d rather not think about

Debra and her cult. I have spent the past few years trying to forget

about them and put all this behind me.”

Former MMM founder member Mr Mack told us: “Debra is a very dangerous

woman. Her attraction is that she is offering something better.She is a

clever saleswoman. She sold real estate and now she’s selling her cult to people. I blame the Catholic Church because a lot of people are getting disenchanted with it. “So I can understand why this prominent Irishman would want to come

here and follow Debra. She is a powerful woman and very convincing. I was

sitting in a private house one day with a visiting Fillipino priest and she told us

she was seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary and began having a conversation with Our Lady. “I was convinced, and so was everybody else in the room.

I couldn’t feel any presence, but Debra was such a good actress, we

totally believed it at the time. Looking back, it was astonishing how

somebody sitting that close to you can deceive you so successfully.

“She certainly had myself and the priest fooled. She’s not crazy, it

was all acting.” Things did not quite add up, though, when the priest later investigated one of Geileskey’s so-called”miracles” when communion wafers seemed to appear in a bowl overnight from nowhere. “She was claiming miracles that weren’t miracles. She presented this incident as the multiplication of the loaves, you see. People believed it. “When the priest checked, he realised some of the wafers were stale. They turned out to be leftover wafers she must have planted there to claim her miracle. The priest realised something wasn’t right and challenged her. Three times he tried, then Debra claimed he was a paedophile and was being led by the devil.

“People like Debra know how to plumb the depths. It’s not new. There

have been many, many frauds before her and there will no doubt be many,

many in the future. “And they are very corrosive and very damaging to religion. It puts people off.” Frank and his wife dropped out of Magnificat after 12 months and stuck to the Catholic Church. They did not contribute any money to

Geileskey’s cause.

Geileksey also conned followers that she had been instructed by God to

follow what she called the Eucharist diet. For 14 months she claimed to

have lived on nothing buy “holy” wafers and water. Except on 33 days when God told her to eat normally. As the diet progressed, observers became puzzled as to why she hadn’t lost weight. Then her secret was discovered: The chubby Geileskey had been covertly feasting on take-away

pizzas, biscuits and fizzy drinks, which were discovered in a cupboard by an

MMM member who quit the group soon afterwards.

Local priest Father Tom Keegan is one of Debra Geileskey’s staunchest

critics, having witnessed first hand her recruitment of Catholics into

her movement from within his Holy Name parish in nearby Toowoomba soon

after her arrival in the early 1990s.

“I would strongly advise the Irish people to break off any relations

with Debra and the MMM,” he said. “She is a fraud. I told Debra a long

time ago that she can’t build a basilica. “The Pope can declare an existing building or church a basilica but you cannot build one yourself, so she is taking money under false pretences. “I went on to a radio show and publicly called her a bitch and a liar. “I have not changed my view, but I have promised God I will not mention her name again ? I’m sick of her.”

Geileskey has previously claimed to have branches in 73 countries with

a following of 5 million people. But locals said at best there were

just 50 families involved, and a number of those have left, although the 20

or so Irish cult members are believed to be still in Helidon.

Toowoomba Catholic Bishop William Morris declared the group a cult in

1996 and an investigation by the Vatican’s Congregation for Doctrine

and Faith concluded in 1999 that the writings published by the Movement

‘led to the inevitable conclusion that it neither had, nor desired, any

place in the Catholic Church.’ When presented with these uncomfortable findings by Father Keegan, Geileskey’s partinggesture was to deliver a curse, made in writing, to the astonished priest and his parish.

As for Ms Geileskey herself, her followers have abandoned the

distinctive blue monks’ habits, which made them, stand out from the crowd

and adverse publicity has seen her go underground, keeping a low

profile in the past three years. She is rarely seen in public and, as

we witnessed for ourselves, hates her photograph being taken.

Her secretive properties have “keep out” notices plastered all over the

entrance gates, along with anti-stalking warnings quoting court actions.

When Geileskey got wind of our visit in an effort to interview Mr

Haughey, she roared up to her 1 million dollar sprawling countryside

commune in Sandy Creek Lane , which boasts a church, a swimming pool, an

Olive grove and an eight-car garage, in a four-wheel drive jeep

driven by a security guard and warned photographer Steve Holland: “You

can’t take photographs of my property. Get away from here!”

However, when he attempted to take a photograph of her, Geileskey

quickly raised a bright red designer hat and put it over her face.

She refused to talk to us and then roared off in a cloud of dust, later

chasing us along dirt roads, across an open field and through Helidon

when we stopped to interview locals. Our last vision of this millionaire would-be Messiah as she roared past us close to one of her luxury country retreats ? where neighbours have regularly protested to police about the noise from wild parties ? was a hand gesture that is not to be found in the pages of The Bible.

Two living Popes make Two dead popes Saints, Reflections of a former Legionary of Christ

Two Living Popes Make Two Dead Popes Saints

 

Followed by Spanish version

 

 

Canonization of Two Popes

 

J. Paul Lennon
April 28, 2014

Even though some of you may not consider me Catholic, I do call you “brothers” and “fellow Catholics.
Dear Fellow Catholics,
I hate to rain on the parade; it was your parade, rather than mine. Yesterday and all last week the media was full of news from Rome where new Pope Francis, accompanied by old Pope Benedict, was about to canonize progressive Pope John XXIII and conservative Pope John Paul II in a kind of progressive-conservative Catholic marriage. It was presented as a wonderful, happy, and glorious occasion which we were all invited to celebrate. There were some rumblings from the victims of clergy abuse but their weak voice was drowned out by the sound of loud Gregorian Chants and Golden Age Cantatas together Media thunder reflected in upbeat “Vatican experts” against glorious images of St. Peter’s Square.

As a very young boy in Dublin my mother always got a kick out of asking me when I got back from the barber’s on Camden St. with my grandfather O’Connor, “Son, what did you see at the barbers today?” To her delight I would very simple say: “One man cutting another man’s hair!” Hence the title of this impertinent essay.
It’s just that the pomp and circumstance contrast with other impressions of Pope Francis’ pontificate which is described as humble and unassuming. Maybe in some kind of Shakespearean way “he has to be pompous only to be humble” but I fail to appreciate the paradox . We have witnessed a triumphalist show by the Catholic Hierarchy. What does it mean? That popes are important? That popes are holy? And what does “holy” mean? That the Catholic Church is a centralist and monarchic institution? That its leaders are to be revered, honored and exalted? Crash come the words of the Founder of Christianity:
Jesus called them and he said to them, “You are aware that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles are their lords and their great ones have authority over them. But it will not be so among you, but whoever wants to be great among you will be a servant to you. And he among you who wants to be the first will be a servant to all. For The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.”
(Gospel of (Saint) Mark 10, 42-45)
But alright, this was a concession to the masses, to the masses of simple believers who are stuck on the Hosannas of Palm Sunday, Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, who want to have “holy priests” to pray for and say the Mass for them. And that entrance was probably not all that triumphal; he entered on a donkey, not on a horse. It was the week before his Suffering –I prefer that word to “Passion” which conjures up all kinds of unholy thoughts in my depraved heart- and Death. But here comes Jesus of Nazareth one more time again with this usual tune:
Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, and love salutations in the marketplace, and the first chairs in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts: who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.
Gospel of (Saint) Luke 20, 46-47
I can’t find a way to soften that blow! And, Legionaries of Christ beware of the “devouring senior citizens” piece!

=================

Dos Papas vivos hacen santos a Dos Papas muertos

Queridos Hermanos Católicos,
No quisiera ser aguafiestas. Recientemente los medios de comunicación dieron amplia cobertura a los acontecimientos en Roma, la Ciudad Eterna, donde el nuevo papa, Francisco, acompañado por el viejo papa, Benedicto XV, se disponía a canonizar al papa progresista, Juan XXIII, y al papa conservador, Juan Pablo II en una especie de matrimonio progresista-conservador católico. Los eventos se presentaron como un momento maravilloso, feliz y glorioso en la historia de la Iglesia en el que todos los fieles fuimos invitados a participar gozosos. Se oían las sólitas quejas de las víctimas de abuso sexual del clero pero sus débiles voces se perdían entre los Cantos Gregorianos a pleno pecho y las cantatas polifónicas medievales entre el trueno ensordecedor de los comentaristas y portavoces vaticanistas y las tomas de multitudes en el Plaza de San Pedro.
Me acuerdo que como niño de pocos años en mi Dublín nativo cómo se divertía mi mamá con las salidas de su hijos preferido. Al regresar de la visita al peluquero en la Calle Camden a donde iba acompañado de mi abuelo, Paddy O’Connor, ella siempre preguntaba: “? Y, Pablito, qué viste hoy en la peluquería?” Y yo contestaba inocente: “un hombre que le cortaba el pelo a otro hombre.” A lo mejor fue eso lo que inspiró el título de este ensayo: unos papas haciendo santo a otros papas.
Ese tipo de salida espontánea es lo que causaba problemas en la Legión de Cristo. A veces era algo “contreras.” De repente decía algo fuera de lugar. Por ejemplo, cuando se reunía toda la comunidad alrededor del Padre Maciel para festejar alguna de sus victorias por el Reino de Cristo yo hacía una pregunta “indiscreta” que chocaba con el aire de fiesta. Sentía el rechazo de la comunidad por mi falta de admiración hacia el gran jefe que estaba de fiesta. Pues de vez en cuando el santo se sentía feliz en medio de sus padecimientos como Siervo Doliente del Señor.
Es que las pompas y el boato contrastaban con otros aspectos del pontificado de Francis que reflejaban una gran sencillez y humildad. Quizá por alguna especia de paradoja profunda al estilo Hamlet (2) el Papa Francisco quiso “ser pomposo sólo para demonstrar humildad” pero no entendí tal paradoja. Hemos presenciado un espectáculo triunfalista de la Jerarquía Católica. ¿Qué significaba todos esto? ¿Qué los papas son los miembros más importantes de la Iglesia? ¿Que los papas son santos? ¿Y al fin y al cabo, qué significa “ser santo”? ¿Qué la Iglesia Católica es una institución centralista y monárquica donde el papa es rey? ¿Qué sus líderes han ser reverenciados, homenajeados y exaltados? Y en este momento se oyen las palabras estruendosas del Fundador del Cristianismo:
Jesús los llamó a sí y les dijo, “se dan cuenta que los que se creen jefes de los paganos son sus dueños y los grandes tienen autoridad sobre ellos. Pero que no será así entre Uds. El que quiera ser grandes entre Uds les servirá. Y el que quiere ser el mayor entre Uds será el servidor de todos. ” (Evangelio según San Marcos 10, 42-45).
Pero bien, hay que hacer una excepción para la masas, las masas de creyentes sencillos que se apegan a las “hosannas” del Domingo de Ramos, de la entrada triunfal de Jesús en Jerusalén; los que exigen tener “santos” sacerdotes que les digan qué tienen que hacer, que recen por ellos y que “digan Misa” por ellos. A pesar de que esa entrada en realidad no fue tan triunfal, pues Jesús vino sobre un asno y no sentado orgulloso sobre el noble caballo. Y, además, fue apenas un breve descanso para El antes de entrar en la etapa de su Sufrimientos – no digo “Pasión” ya que esa palabra suscita pensamientos indecorosos en mi corazón depravado- y Muerte. Pero una vez viene Jesús con sus palabras perentorias a sacarnos de nuestra comodidad:
¡Ojo con los escribas, que les gusta pasear con túnicas largas, y que les saluden en el mercado y ocupar los primeros asientos en las sinagogas y ser los huéspedes de honor en las fiestas; que devoran las casas de las viudas y para aparentar rezan largamente; éstos recibirán una condena más grande!
(San Lucas, 20, 46-47)
Yo no encuentro manera de suavizar ese latigazo. ¡Y, Legionarios de Cristo, atentos con eso de “devorar las casas” de personas de la tercera edad!

=====================

The Effects of the Legion of Christ on members and former members

Presentation at the International Cultic Studies Association annual conference in Triest, Italy, July 2013

Former Vicar of Fr. Maciel, Legion of Christ Founder, removed from post

 

Former vicar of Maciel removed from post

Notimex| El Universal
16:10Tuesday 15 April 2014
Mexican Father Marcial Maciel, the controversial founder of the Legion. (Photo: Archive/EL UNIVERSAL )
Luis Garza Medina was once the most powerful member of the Legion after Marcial Maciel
The religious congregation of the Legionaries of Christ removed Luis Garza Medina from his position as territorial director for North America, putting aside a man who became the most powerful figure in that religious institution.The general director of the congregation, Eduardo Robles Gil, named father John Connor as the new territorial director, starting May 1.

The announcement was made on April 12 in a letter to all North American legionaries.

Even if the letter did not mention the removal of Garza, the maneuver was held only three years after he was named territorial director and was not made after the usual consultation with the members of the congregation.

The document did not mention a new position for Garza, just that his “new post will be announced later”.

Garza left his post as general vicar of the Legion on August 2011, and was transferred as superior to the U.S., even if by that time he was one of the most questioned characters in the congregation.

In fact, until a few months ago he was the most powerful member of the Legion, keeping his post as vicar since 1992, when he was a member of the leadership headed by controversial founder Marcial Maciel Degollado, keeping many key positions and controlling the financial aspects of the organization.

Mexican priest Maciel Degollado (1920–2008) was revealed to have abused boys and maintained relationships with at least two women, fathering up to six children, two of whom he allegedly abused as well.

In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI removed Maciel from ministry and he was ordered to spend the rest of his days in prayer and penance, while the Pope Cardinal Velasio De Paolis as his delegate to examine the Legionaries’ constitution.

 

 

Balanced Article on the Reform of the Legion of Christ Catholic Religious Order

Catholic News Agency  has just published a detailed article/commentary by Jean Boudet on the documents emanating from the recent Legion of Christ General Chapter. It can be found here:

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=2864

 

This blogger wrote the following after reading the wide-ranging article:

I just read the article a moment ago. Mr Boudet appears to go along with the optimism expressed by Legion leaders and Church authorities regarding the “renewal” of the order while at the same time subtly raising serious questions, pointing out paradoxes, which give reason to continue to question the Legion/Regnum’s authenticity. 

My lingering doubt is whether Church authorities, from the onset of Cardinal De Paolis’ intervention, had decided “a priori”, to “save” the Legion.

Irish Role in Foundation and Growth of the Legion of Christ

www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=9%3A20541379%3A0%3A%3A

Irish Radio Interview for reactions after Irish TV investigation of the Legion of Christ: Paul Lennon, co founder of ReGAIN, INC and Jack Keogh, former Legionaries for Dublin give their reactions.

Failure to Reform the Legion of Christ puts my faith in the Vatican in jeopardy!

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/secrets-of-the-vatican/

It is interesting that increasingly, all the rotten problems that keep festering away unresolved are closely connected with identical problems in the Vatican.
The documentary, Secrets in the Vatican, makes this quite clear.  When I started to become aware of the Legion of Christ problems, I believed that Fr. Maciel, the founder, was bad but otherwise the Legion was okay and the Church leaders were pure and holy and could be trusted to what is right.  As time went on I discovered the Legion leaders were consistently bad and self serving but I continued to believe in the hierarchy of the Church and sincerely thought that if they only knew what was going on the Legion they would bring justice.   Then when it looked as though everything had been exposed I felt it was all over.  I thought our son would be coming home and find some other line of work.  But then I found out that there were some bad guys in the upper levels of the Church who were enabling the bad guys leading the Legion.  I still believed that there were more good guys than bad in the Church and of course the good guys always win out.  But it seems that the bad guys have some sort of lock on the Church and it isn’t a slam dunk for the good guys to overpower the bad guys.  Until Francis came along I began to wonder if there were any good guys up there.  I hope there are a few left.

United Nations and the Legion of Christ Denounce Founder Marcial Maciel (But Legion Leaders Elect a Maciel Loyalist As Their New Director General)

In January 2014, a United Nations committee has called on the Vatican to remove all child abusers from its ranks, report them to law enforcement and open the church’s archives so that bishops and other officials who concealed crimes could be held accountable. Reportedly, the UN committee singled out the Legion and its founder in a scathing report that accused the Church of ignoring child abuse by priests.

The UN report included the following wording: The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.?

The UN panel has called on the church to report back on its progress in 2017

Meanwhile the Legionaries of Christ have officially denounced their founder, Father Marcial Maciel. They have issued a statement as reported by Catholic Culture http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=20420 apologizing to the victims of their late founder Father Marcial Maciel and acknowledging that the order was guilty of excessive exaltation of him. The statement acknowledges the damage that Father Maciel did, and mentions the arbitrary use of his authority and of material goods, the indiscriminate consumption of addictive medicines and the act of presenting writings published by third parties as his own. They went on to say that the behavior of the founder, who maintained an appearance of piety while engaging in grossly immoral behavior, was ‘incomprehensible.’

ReGAIN Comment

Anyone who is familiar with the Legionaries of Christ would realize how much it has taken for them as an organization to renounce their founder. Even after his double life had been exposed by a number of credible journalists and even by a Vatican investigation in 2005 – 2006, the Legion leaders (many of whom were fully aware of Maciel’s double life) pretended for years that he was innocent and was being falsely accused.

So, has there been a change of heart among the Legion leaders?

We would suggest that one should keep track of their actions rather than their words. The Legion has been given a golden opportunity to review their past, to make amends as much as possible and to come up with a plan to move forward and perhaps develop into a religious order with some kind of mission to serve God.

However, their choice of a new director general has indicated to the world that the Legion would like to go back to their inglorious past. Fr Eduardo Robles Gil, the man they have chosen has been described as a Mexican long-time collaborator of the Legion’s disgraced late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel.

Rev. John Stegnicki, a former Legion priest now working in the archdiocese of Brasilia, the (capital of Brazil,) said the outcome of the election was disappointing but predictable, given the priests voting were by and large Maciel confidants or their protégés.

Who else could they choose from? All of them are entrenched in Legion-think, he said.

With this mounting pressure coming from the United Nations, the Legionaries of Christ and Marcial Maciel situation is becoming more than just an embarrassment to the Vatican and the Pope. Is the Catholic Church willing to needlessly suffer further loss of credibility and respect by continuing to prop up and defend an organization that never seems to waver from wanting to carry on its old Macielistic cult like methodology? We hope not.

Now that the new leaders are in place and the new constitutions are being finalized to submit to the Holy See for approval, Cardinal DePaolis’ role has ended. The renewal ( unfortunately not really a reform) for the time being has been completed.

In his letter last June, 2013, http://understandingthelegion.blogspot.ca/2013/12/letter-of-pope-francis-re-reform-of.html Pope Francis indicated that the election of new leaders and the constitutions will be fundamental steps towards the authentic and profound renewal of the Legion

Among the many who will be carefully watching to see what further action the Vatican will take include panel members from the United Nations, ex Legionaries, victims of the Legionary founder and members of SNAP – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and many members of the news media. The stakes have increased and the if the Vatican opts to give the Legion a free pass once again there may be more serious consequences compared to what has happened historically.