The Catholic News Agency is reporting that Legionaries of Christ spokesman Jim Fair has confirmed "that there are aspects of his (Legionary founder Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, who died in January 2008) life that weren’t appropriate for a Catholic priest." For extensive commentary on what this could mean for the order and for the Church, I refer you to Patrick Madrid's post from this morning.
Fr. Maciel also founded the apostolic movement Regnum Christi, of which I have been a member since October 2001. In the wake of these new revelations into the life of the founder, many people are asking what the attraction of a movement like Regnum Christi is. I fully intend to take that up in a future post, but not right now.
Concerning the future of the order and the movement, Mr. Fair noted to CNA that their particular charism was given by Fr. Maciel and approved by the Church. The Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi will continue to serve Christ and the Church according to that charism.
It is disappointing to me personally that the admission that the founder might not have lived up to the ideals of holiness that he proposed to others was only made after the new allegations became public.
It is also somewhat shocking that, today of all days, I received via email a letter from the General Director of the Regnum Christi movement that begins, "I would like to begin this letter by congratulating you on the occasion of these holy days we have lived, and by wishing you a very happy New Year of 2009, as we thank God for all the blessings that he has granted us during this period." It would have been appropriate three or four weeks ago. Today, it was highly inappropriate. The letter did contain one paragraph that caught my eye.
Lord, we ask you to halt our hand and tongue before hurting our brothers and sisters. Don’t allow my words to harm or wound you, who dwell in those around me. We ask your pardon for everything that may have hurt or offended anyone, and we ask you for the courage and strength never to hold onto grudges or resentment. We offer you our lives so that we may always do good, as you have taught us, and so that our words may be words that you sow in the hearts of your children.