Again, I can't remember if I wrote about this on my blog or in the com box of another blog. But there was something Fr William Izquierdo said that has stuck with me, something that seemed so odd when he said it, but was so shrouded in mystery that I couldn't quite get a handle on it then.
Fr William would often tell stories of how Maciel came to his seminary in Comillas, Spain, and how the seminarians were attracted to his style of celebrating the Mass. He would tell us stories of the early days of foundation, stories of his personal experience with the Founder. But there was one story that struck me.
Fr William told of how he was outside Maciel's bedroom door. I don't remember if he was called upon or if he just wanted to go and see Maciel. Maciel was ill. At one point the Brother who was taking care of Maciel opened the door. Fr William then related, "I saw him, brothers. Do you know what I mean? I SAW him!"
He never said exactly what he saw. We talked about this afterwards. Some thought Fr William saw a mystical experience of Maciel. Maybe he was elevating or in ecstasy. But I had my doubts. If Fr William saw something supernatural, why didn't he just say it? Why leave us wondering?
When the accusations against Maciel started popping up in the press, I remembered this and wondered if Fr William saw something less than mystical. "I saw him, brothers. Do you know what I mean? I SAW him!" Did he see him in the buff?
Now that the Legion has admitted that Fr William has been accused of sexual misconduct, I am more than certain he saw something that marked his life forever. I wonder how many of the early co-founders were molested by Maciel and kept silent, acting out in turn and scarring others. I can only feel pity for them, for they were victims psychologically trapped in a system that didn't offer any healing.
(If anyone else can remember Fr William telling this story, help me fill in the details)