In 2002, after the World Youth Day in Toronto, I was sent to Rio de Janeiro as assistant to the Vocational Director, Fr Eduardo Robles-Gil, who was also the superior of the community at that time.
Previously, I had been living a period or exile, stripped of all apostolic activity, in Cheshire, CT. That period lasted two years.
I willingly went to Brazil to show my superiors I wasn’t a defective cog in the machinery. I hadn’t yet come to the conclusion that the machinery itself was defective. So I got right into the work (first of all, learning Portuguese) with all my heart.
Fr Eduardo was supportive, encouraging, and in my opinion, sincere. He immediately confided in me and gave me an active part in his vocational work. I had done vocational work in the States from 1995-1996, so it wasn’t new to me.
I learned a lot from Fr Eduardo, much of which I still use today.
Unfortunately, he was bound to obey his superiors, and Fr Maciel as General Director.
Before he left Brazil in 2004, he began to question me in spiritual direction about my vocation, why I hadn’t left yet knowing that Fr Maciel had already determined I had no future in the Legion. My torment began all over again.
Now, I want to be absolutely fair. I know that Fr Eduardo grew up in an LC school, was Ecyd, RC and all that. I know that he was a consecrated member of the Regnum Christi along with Fr Luis Graza, Alvaro Corcuera and Florencio Sanchez, and entered the Novitiate of the Legion of Christ with them. I know that he was and LC insider, part of the club of superiors with all the perks. But, again, I want to be fair:
I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IN HIS HEART THESE PAST SIX YEARS!
Nor do I know what is happening in the hearts of so many other legionaries, those in the General Chapter and those who sent them there. There hasn’t been much communication by the legionaries these past few years, which has only led to a lot of speculation, harsh criticisms and a general sense that nothing productive is being done. I too have been suspicious of them and have written critically.
But, I want to be fair, and I believe Fr Eduardo wants to be fair. I am avoiding jumping to rash conclusions now that a new team of superiors has been elected and the General Chapter will be coming to a close. I do not want to judge based on what little I know. I only ask that the Legion begin a new era of transparency, honesty and justice.