Vatican completes probe of disgraced Legion of Christ order

How disgraced? Its founder and leader, Rev. Marcial Maciel, fathered multiple children, molested seminarians and children, plagarized a book, and was accused of financial misconduct and drug abuse. What a guy. Even with that, it took decades to remove him. In 2005 Cardinal Ratizger referred to Maciel as “filth” and when he became Pope in 2006, removed him from office. But characteristically the Pope made no mention of the victims or of any possible civil or criminal violations. Nope, instead Maciel was simply banished to a solitary monastery somewhere with no explanation.

But by then the lawsuits had started so the Church was obliged to pretend to care. Am I too cynical? I think not. This has been their standard response far too many times and in multiple countries. Ignore, bury, or deflect attention from the scandal. if that doesn’t work, attack the victims, stonewall, and say enemies of the Church are the problem. But never ever accept institutional guilt or try to understand why such corruption and rot seems endemic in the Catholic Church now.

It other words, don’t cop to nothing. An attitude one might expect from Mafioso perhaps, but certainly not from the leaders of a major religion.

Tip: Dave Riley


  1. The Vatican heads what amounts to a large multinational corporation with a massive balance sheet. They’re not going to cop to anything before they have to– any more than Ernst & Young or Toyota would.

    Sure, they claim to have ethical beliefs. So does Toyota. But a religious organization is still a corporation, and few leaders who rise through it will risk the political fallout from doing short term harm for long term good unless confronted by a media storm that forces the issue. In the end, it’s all about the balance sheet.

    Does that reflect on the religion itself? Not really. There is always a divergence between the spiritual teacher, who usually sets him/herself against religious institutions, and the organization that arises to spread the teaching. Whether Jesus or Gotama Sakyamuni or Mohammad, the teacher counsels self-sacrifice and nonmaterialism, but the religious organizations that claim them seek power and wealth.

    The organization NEVER represents the teaching, yet without the organization the teaching would be lost in a generation. Most people, religious or not, know a little something of what Jesus, Buddha, and perhaps even Vivekenanda said. But can you give a single quote from the great teachers Mahavira or Mahadevi? Probably not– their promoting organizations are far less aggressive and effective.

    It’s a paradox: The organization defiles the teaching, yet the teaching cannot spread without it. Still, when confronted by a twisted teaching, one is more likely to *read the book* and find out what’s really in it. “Give up everything, pick up your cross, and follow me” and “feed the poorest” is a far cry from what passes for Christianity these days.

  2. I agree with DJ a bit, but at the same time disagree. The Church does act like a corporation, but in the end it’s getting away with a lot more than any corporation could ever do. If the Toyota were found to be harboring, protecting, and shifting pedophiles around you can bet it wouldn’t exist very long once the story broke. The group/company would be disbanded in seconds, or at the very least bared from operating in the US (and most other countries. Congress people would be crawling over each other to co-sponsor the bill(s) to de-fund them, seize their local holdings, and ban them from operating in the US.

    Reality is the Church has a shield even stronger than “religion” or the false specter of the Free Masons attacking them. They have money, wads of it, stored away from centuries of robbing their congregants via blind belief, tradition, fear, violence, or some combo of these. They also have a huge heard of sheep that will happily follow them into the depths of hell, having been properly brain-washed into thinking anything the Church does is for the good of God, even if it seems wrong or evil in the short run.

    I also disagree that removing the organization would remove the teaching. Tell that to the many Pagans and Druidic faiths that saw their churches (and leaders) burnt to the ground, and their members persecuted by Inquisitions or social stigma for centuries. They still exist, and are now coming back and thriving in spite of not having brick and mortar buildings or a “holy” chain of command.

    Every Catholic Church in every corner of the globe could be incinerated by God herself, with a big angel holding a “torched by God” sign posted on the smoldering remains or each, and Catholicism would still go on, as would Christianity in general. The fact that Christianity has split so many times, and has so many sub-divisions based on minuscule things (like how to baptize someone) shows that the buildings and the command structure is not important. If those things were so important none of the sub-movements would have thrived, and we’d all be worshiping at the “one true Church” every holy day.

  3. The splits of Christianity are far more often due to the desire for power than doctrine. In 12 Step groups they say all you need to start a new meeting is a resentment and a coffee pot. It’s not much different in religions.

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