Thursday, April 18, 2013

Forced Limbo

I recently received an email from a Legionary Priest I had been close to before leaving the Legion, and for a time, after. I hadn't had any contact with him for many months. He sent me an Easter greeting, and I replied. From there I was able to find out a bit what is going on in his life. I was disturbed by this interchange of emails. I will keep his name and personal data private, out of respect.

It seems he is no longer living in a Legionary community, but has not sought a diocese. He is living in his home town in a private residence with a family member. This is source of great suffering for him. He is in a real state of limbo, neither here nor there. Imagine what that means for his priestly ministry.

My heart went out to him when I heard this. I know that in the past he was called to Rome, normally a period in time they give to dissident religious or priests to get them back on track though spiritual direction and studies. I doubt he was very happy in that setting.

I don't know how his present situation came about, but for him to have to seek refuge, either willingly or by force, is not a sign that all is well behind the curtain of Legionary charity. All I know is that, when you are in limbo, as I had lived more that a couple of time in the Legion, what do you say to others, how do you explain to them what you are going through. You live in constant humiliation. From there comes a life of lies to protect the honor of the Congregation, who couldn't possibly be doing anything wrong. You lie, swallow your pride and keep on plugging along, hoping things will get better.

Obviously things are not getting better. This similar situation with this priest has lead him to live outside his religious community but not accepted into a diocese. That is tragic. So much for "We'll help you with whatever you need."

All this calls to mind the Legionary practices outlined in the Communiqué of the Holy See dated May 1, 2013:
a deplorable discrediting and distancing of those who entertained doubts as to the probity of his [Fr Maciel's] conduct;
the need to review the exercise of authority, which must be joined to truth, so as to respect consciences and to develop in the light of the Gospel as authentic ecclesial service.
Obviously, this issue of Legionary procedure has not been addressed.

I have given up hope that a true renewal will take place in the Legion long ago. This exchange with this priest has only helped to cement this conviction. We can only pray that our Lord will intercede and rectify this situation. The Legion must not be allowed to continue using people and abusing individual's generosity.