Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Heartfelt Exchange on Regnum Christi

Yesterday I received a kind, while critical, message about my title choice, "Regnum Creepy?," for the article on the recent scandalous discoveries about the revered founder of Regnum Christi and Legionaries of Christ, Fr. Maciel. I agonized over a response and wanted to post snippets of the exchange here for a more through evaluation. I will refer to this person as "Nice Person."
Nice Person: The recent revelation about Fr. Maciel is devastating to me personally and to many. Though you may not be able to understand this and you are entitled to any opinion you like about the Regnum Christi movement, Fr. Maciel himself, or even me, you may be unaware that many people are grieving and that your blog title "regnum creepy" is hurtful. Fr. Maciel is personally responsible for my growth in holiness, and to discover such a shocking double life is heartbreaking.

You don't need to change the title or do anything really, I just thought you might want to know that some who will read this will have open wounds like me and those words are like salt.

My Response: Thank you for your charitable and generous e-mail. You're right. Many people are grieving--myself included. I grieve as a Catholic, but I rejoice in the truth and I am restless know more and more of what that means, exactly.

Regarding the movement, however, I have seen it from the inside out and, in particular, I saw it swell with community members after the covenant community we belonged to (Bread of Life) dissolved. That process of dissolution took many years and along the way I met many casualties who came from our own community, other ones, and subsidiaries or allies of them like RC and Opus Dei and more.

It is my belief fundamental belief that despite the spiritual formation I received from those organizations (including RC), the truth does not belong to them exclusively, they have no monopoly over it or over my conscience. While their teachings carefully shelter themselves under the generous mantle of the Church, their hubris as movements can only lead to humility or dissolution of some kind.

No matter how we parse it out there is a genuine creepiness--evident in the tragic nature of this scandal--that we ought to wrestle with and, when we come out of it, we will find that we owe them nothing, for the truth is not a possession to be had.

I mourn for you and many of my friends who are faithful Catholics who have found good counsel in RC or alike. At the same time, I also rejoice for you to be in such a poignant, salt-to-the-flesh process of death and resurrection--conversion--in the discovery of truth. I can only hope and pray for more of it in my life too. Please pray for that in me.
Final thoughts: I have thought more about the specific word "creepy" and what it means to describe this scandal. As I give it more and more thought it not seems to convey the feeling of things, it also describes them in more literal terms. To "creep" is to be sneaky and secretive. These discoveries of Fr. Maciel crept along while he was alive and he kept them hidden. That is creepy--literally.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AMEN Sam...well said, from a former victim, er, i mean, member of RC,
Allison Oblen