05 May 2010

Whither the Legion of Christ?

One of the strangest and saddest stories in the Catholic Church in the past century is the rise and fall of the Legion of Christ, a community of priests, and its associated lay movement, Regnum Christi, both founded in Mexico by a charismatic con man named Marcial Maciel. For many years there were scattered stories of Maciel's degenerate life: drug abuse, sexual abuse of his own seminarians, misuse of funds given to the communities he founded, etc. As it turns out, the truth is far worse than anyone imagined, and it is now clear that this man was an evil sociopath who for decades deceived nearly everyone he ever met, including Pope John Paul II. Maciel died in 2008 (apparently without repentance or remorse for his vicious crimes), but the communities he founded endure. And now the question arises, Whither the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi? Over at First Things, George Weigel (a longtime friend of many fine priests in the Legion) takes on that question: Next Acts in the Legionary Drama.