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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

American Papist Reports on Legionary Mass

American Papist has been doing a masterful job of reporting on the Fr. Maciel story. American Papist has his own firsthand account of a recent Mass and homily conducted by the current head of the Legion and direct successor of Maciel, Fr. Alvaro Corcuera. Of particular interest to me is the prayer that was recited at the end of the Mass:
.... Lord Jesus, you have entrusted to us the mission of furthering the Legion and Regnum Christi... This mission comes to us as an utterly free, unforeseen, mysterious reality, out of all proportion to our abilities.

Since the Legion and the Movement will be vigorous and will flourish as long as the spirit of our founder is present and active in our lives and behavior, we ask you to open our eyes to the urgency of learning, assimilating and passing on the doctrine, spirit, apostolic methods, genuine traditions, discipline and lifestyle of the Legion and Regnum Christi, just as our founder has made them known to us, since this is our responsibility.

Lord, help us to adhere totally to the charism you inspired in our

... we ask from you what you ask of us: faith, great faith in your work, love for it, trust in its mission, docility, loyal collaboration, humility, a sense of responsibility, and fidelity. Amen.
This prayer illustrates the extent to which the Legion is wrapped up in Maciel's legacy. I don't know how a community can continue honoring the "spirit" or "charism" of Maciel, or look to Maciel as the one who has "made known" the traditions and lifestyle of the Legion, now considering Maciel's double life and his utter rejection of the "spirit" of the Legion. Simply taking Maciel's picture off the wall and stopping celebrations of Maciel's birthday and baptism day is not going to correct this problem in the internal workings of the Legion.

UPDATE: From Vatican II's Perfectae Caritatis, the Council's decree on religious life:
2. The adaptation and renewal of the religious life includes both the constant return to the sources of all Christian life and to the original spirit of the institutes and their adaptation to the changed conditions of our time. This renewal, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Church, must be advanced according to the following principles:

a) Since the ultimate norm of the religious life is the following of Christ set forth in the Gospels, let this be held by all institutes as the highest rule.

b) It redounds to the good of the Church that institutes have their own particular characteristics and work. Therefore let their founders' spirit and special aims they set before them as well as their sound traditions-all of which make up the patrimony of each institute-be faithfully held in honor.
I don't know how the Legion can do that any more. That is why a dissolution and a refounding is necessary, in my opinion.