Thursday, December 12, 2013

I saw him. Do you know what I mean? I SAW him.

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)

1 comment:

  1. He also was my novice instructor. As Fr John said Fr William was a little verbally abusive depending on how one was raised I guess. He always justified it by saying we need to be made tougher. His famous line was "your so soft brother, so soft" Most of us laughed and agreed we need to get tougher. He hated to loose and yelled a lot to others. It became scandalous on more than a few occasions. We were forced by culture to overlook it all and only speak well of him. Br Cliff was the only one who wouldn't take it and dish it back in a humorous way. Fr William would reply with disdain, "Very funny brudder" (thick spanish accent)... I couldn't understand what William was saying most of the time especially that first year, he never could loose the accent. Thank God for Br Cliff's humor. I remember Fr Williams stories he would tell in novitiate. Br Eric Sandstadt, now Eric Sandstadt wrote every word down if not in class out of class as he would read it in our reflection and revision of our notes. What I remember was he (Fr William) would tell us to put our pens down, and not to write what he was about to say. Basically it must of been made up stories or delusions I don't know what about MM being a mystic. He alluded to seeing him (MM) in ecstasy a few times here and there coming out of a shed or a room or something. We now know what kind of ecstasy it really was. "He was all white Brothers" was a line I remember to this day him saying as if to say, like at the Transfiguration, he turned all white. We were not to talk about it but of course we did a little on a hike or during conversation time after dinner until our conscience kicked in about the rules and obedience. Because of the enormous fraud MM was even the good things we learned seem tainted now and makes one be tempted to be very cynical. Fr William and his brother were orphans and the LC was where they landed. Who knows what happened to him at those orphanages in Spain and the Canary Islands. He spoke of the LC as an oasis for him. So I could only imagine his life was not all that rosy and possibly tainted with some bad experiences. His conscience was compromised by MM and MM manipulation of all our consciences. At least I saw Fr William pray what seemed to be sincere and if he had demons of abuse there was probably plenty in his childhood and in the LC. He told us many rewrites of the LC history in Washington on feastdays. Vacca's name came up in those little "chorchitas". He was enemy number one and had us convinced of MM innocence. We were naive enough to believe it.

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