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Where have we heard this complaint before?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 03, 2010

The anguished words come from a priest of the Legionaries of Christ, complaining that the order’s leadership has not changed course despite the revelations of scandal surrounding its founder:

Nothing has changed among us during the whole period of crisis. All of the changes have come from the outside (the visitors, the Vatican, the pressure of the media or of the episcopal conferences).

Does that sound familiar? It should. The same words could be applied to dioceses that were shaken by the sex-abuse scandal—indeed to entire episcopal conferences shaken by that scandal. Yes, there have been changes: prompted by pressure from the courts, the media, and the Vatican. But look for an instance—just one!—in which a diocese began its reform before public pressure made it necessary. 

Everything is moving forward as before – including the disgraceful photos of the abuser on the walls of the houses – to remind us that the structures of power imposed by Fr. Maciel still remain in force today…

Yes, Father Maciel’s picture is still on the wall. And the bas-relief of Archbishop Weakland remains in the cathedral. Bishops Ryan in Springfield (Illinois), Dupre in Springfield (Massachusetts), O’Brien in Phoenix, O’Connell and Symons in Palm Beach, are all still listed as bishops emeriti, although they all left office under disgraceful circumstances.

Dioceses all across the country are reeling, parishes are closing, Mass attendance is down. But the same chancery staffs remain in place. Moving forward as before.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: opraem - Sep. 04, 2010 12:15 AM ET USA

    your list of disgraced bishops is missing abp sanchez from santa fe and bp soens from sioux city.

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Sep. 03, 2010 7:32 PM ET USA

    This scandalous mess is simply beyond correction. The Jesuits have Ignatius, the Dominicans have Dominic, the Franciscans have Francis. Who do the Legionaries have as a founder, a model? The order has to be dissolved, decisively, and the many good men encouraged in other directions.

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