The Power Imposed Upon The Legionaries Of Christ By The Monster Fr. Marcial Maciel Still Remains In Force Today ~ Letter Of Fr. Peter F. Byrne, L.C.
Afterwards this peace will be disturbed by the monster. And the monster will arrive at the end of the nineteenth century or at the latest at the commencement of the twentieth. (Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado the founder of the Legionaries of Christ was born March 10, 1920) Secret given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to Maximin Giraud at La Salette, France on September 19, 1846
Mexico, July 27, 2010
Most esteemed in Christ, dear Father Álvaro,
I address myself to you again with sorrow and shame. The sorrow is increased by the knowledge that sending you this letter will again be a useless effort, as have been other letters and other suggestions to you and to other superiors. But [my] silence would not be a good choice, because it would make me an accomplice of the one who abused and plundered the lives of our brothers.
In these days, I have had the honor of visiting some houses of the Legionaries (and of being received with great charity). I have witnessed with my own eyes that in most of them there are still photos of the village of Cotija, of the house in Cotija, and, incredibly, in three places (San Salvador, Cancún, and Canada) there are photos of Fr. Maciel surrounded by the first followers or by the first groups of Legionaries.
How is this possible, Fr. Álvaro? What message are we sending to Fr. Maciel's victims? Is this the way to accept the [Vatican] statement of May 1, 2010? Fr. Álvaro, for the love of God and for the honor of those who suffered the horror of abuse, the agony of disdain and disregard, I beg you to order the removal of the photos of the author of the abuse from the home in which he was born, from the village in which he was raised, and from the institution in which those acts were committed, wounding the innocent and casting so much discredit upon the holy Church.
I likewise beg you to order that all of the spiritual retreats in Cotija take on a tone of reparation, that Fr. Maciel's body be moved from the central altar to one of the crypts to the side in which other Legionaries are buried (so that only Christ may be at the center).
I propose that the home of the deceased be turned into a home of reparation and perpetual adoration, and that the museum be turned into a museum to commemorate his victims and guarantee that they never be forgotten.
Finally, I propose that the house in the mountains (CCI) be given to the diocese to be used as a seminary or retreat house, or even as a place of rehabilitation for priests in the grip of alcohol or other vices.
In this way, we will make a gesture of reparation to the Church of Mexico, so discredited on our account.
I have also noticed that in Mexico, meetings are still being held among the leaders with the infamous lists that divide persons and families into triple-A, double-A, etcetera, and show the names of the priests charged with "grooming" these families and then tapping into their money.
Fr. Álvaro, this is an immoral practice that violates the principle according to which persons must never be used as means to an end. How can a priest approach a family with such a worldly intention? How can a priest use the sacraments, friendship, or spiritual direction with a secondary purpose?
This is a methodology that was institutionalized by the deceased founder, who lived a life without scruples. How can we reform the constitutions, when we are not even capable of abandoning practices that are so blatantly immoral? How will we identify a charism when we cannot identify real and proper injustices?
How can we have a culture of transparency and honesty when we continue to keep lists of persons divided into categories, and deal with them for financial reasons?
How can we convince people of our upright intentions when we are negotiating with them? How will people feel when they find out they are on these horrible lists?
In reality, Father, I don't expect any action [from you]. Nothing has changed among us during the whole period of crisis. All of the changes have come from the outside (the visitors, the Vatican, the pressure of the media or of the episcopal conferences).
Everything is moving forward as before – including the disgraceful photos of the abuser on the walls of the houses – to remind us that the structures of power imposed by Fr. Maciel still remain in force today. We continue to be Fr. Maciel's victims, because we have neither father nor pastor to pull us out of the swamp into which we have sunk.
Most affectionately in Christ,
Fr. Peter F. Byrne, L.C.