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Can the Legionaries be reformed? A former member asks pointed questions

February 09, 2011

Father Richard Gill, a former member of the Legion of Christ who is now a priest of the New York archdiocese, explains the difficulties facing the effort to reform the troubled order.

In Father Gill’s detailed analysis, his section on “Investigation into the origins and history of the scandal” provides ample evidence that the challenges are daunting. The questions that arise reflect not only on the current leadership of the Legionaries, but also on their patrons within the Roman Curia.

“Unless the mystery of Fr. Maciel, what he did and how, is adequately clarified, many will question the adequacy of any reforms,” Father Gill rightly argues. “What was it about the Legion’s internal culture that made it possible for otherwise very intelligent men to be so deceived?”


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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Feb. 10, 2011 1:08 PM ET USA

    Jesus was not a criminal,He is God, who was not received by His people. He was not a sociopath,pervert...etc. How does this order revere an evil founder? Why do they hang on to this man? Why can't they beg for admission to another community? Pride, self-interest? When I see these priests, these questions bother me. I guess I should just ask one of these priests.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Feb. 09, 2011 10:26 PM ET USA

    AgnesDay, good question. The Legionairies have done much good for the Church as an order, despite the double life of their founder. I pray that future aspirants to their order will be able to see that reality and embrace whatever measures come from the Church's efforts to reform them.

  • Posted by: BobJ70777069 - Feb. 09, 2011 9:36 PM ET USA

    We belong to a Church founded by a "criminal", furthered by a rabid persecutor of His followers. Why not a group of fervent priests founded by a "pervert"? God's ways are not our ways.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Feb. 09, 2011 6:23 PM ET USA

    Which still begs the question, who woy uld want to belong to a community founded by a pervert?