Saintly Advice Of St. Louis IX King Of France Compared And Contrasted To The Evil Habits Of Father Marcial Maciel Degollado

Expulsion of the Moneychangers from the Temple
c. 1675

'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.' Secret given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to Maximin Giraud at La Salette, France in September of 1846

34. Dear son, take care that the expenses of your household are reasonable and moderate, and that its moneys are justly obtained. And there is one opinion that I deeply wish you to entertain, that is to say, that you keep yourself free from foolish expenses and evil exactions, and that your money should be well expended and well acquired. And this opinion, together with other opinions which are suitable and profitable, I pray that our Lord may teach you. St. Louis IX King Of France ~ His Letter Of Advice To His Eldest Son

Now for the money habits of The Monster Father Marcial Maciel Degollado:

From The Post
Legion of crisis

Former insiders have offered troubling accounts of Maciel’s approach to financial matters.

Rev Stephen Fichter, a New Jersey priest, was a member of the order for 14 years, ascending the ranks to become chief financial officer.

He told the New York Times last year that, each time Maciel departed on a trip, ‘‘I always had to give him $10,000 in cash - $5,000 in American dollars and $5,000 in the currency of wherever he was going’’.

Fichter found this behaviour especially incongruous, he told the newspaper, because ‘‘as legionaries, we were taught a very strict poverty.

If I went out of town and bought a Bic pen and a chocolate bar, I would have to turn in the receipts.

And yet for Fr Maciel, there was never any accounting. It was always cash, never any paper trail."

(Fichter, reached by telephone by this newspaper, declined to comment further, stating that he could not see any purpose in adding to what he had already said publicly about the Legion.)

The question of how the Legion’s money was used has intrigued several investigative journalists.

Berry has reported that, in the mid-1990s, a person newly promoted in the Vatican hierarchy was allegedly given ‘‘an envelope thick with cash’’ by a Legion of Christ priest under the direction of Maciel.

‘‘When you lay on money like that, it buys support," Berry told this newspaper, referring to the general practice, rather than this specific incident. ‘‘Maciel spent his whole life ingratiating himself with the Vatican."

If money helped Maciel to buy influence outside the order, the ethos he himself had created helped to keep awkward questions at bay within its ranks.

More on The Monster from NCR Money paved way for Maciel's influence in the Vatican
Maciel's modus operandi

Maciel traveled incessantly, drawing funds from Legion centers in Mexico, Rome and the United States. Certain ex-Legionaries with knowledge of the order's finances believe that Maciel constantly drew from Legion coffers to subsidize his families.

For years Maciel had Legion priests dole out envelopes with cash and donate gifts to officials in the curia. In the days leading up to Christmas, Legion seminarians spent hours packaging the baskets with expensive bottles of wine, rare brandy, and cured Spanish hams that alone cost upward of $1,000 each. Priests involved in the gifts and larger cash exchanges say that in hindsight they view Maciel's strategy as akin to an insurance policy, to protect himself should he be exposed and to position the Legion as an elite presence in the workings of the Vatican.

Fichter, the former Legion member, is today pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Haworth, N.J. He has been a diocesan priest for a decade, and serves in the Newark archdiocese. He coordinated the Legion's administrative office in Rome from February 1998 until October 2000.

"When Fr. Maciel would leave Rome it was my duty to supply him with $10,000 in cash -- $5,000 in American dollars, and the other half in the currency of the country to which he was traveling," explained Fichter. "I would be informed by one of his assistants that he was leaving and I would have to prepare the funds for him. I never questioned that he was not using it for good and noble purposes. It was a routine part of my job. He was so totally above reproach that I felt honored to have that role. He did not submit any receipts and I would have not dared to ask him for a receipt."

Fichter was reluctant to be interviewed, expressing concern that his views be fully reflected. "As Legionaries our norms concerning the use of money were very restricted," he began. "If I went on an outing I was given $20 and if I had a pizza I'd return the $15 to my superior with a receipt. The sad thing is that we were so naive. We were scrupulously trying to live our vow of poverty and yet never questioned [Maciel's] own fidelity to the same.

"So many of my old classmates are still in the Legion and I feel that they are going through such a hard time right now. I don't want to have my words misconstrued. ... Maciel hoodwinked everyone. In hindsight I regret that I and so many others were so gullible. Thankfully, for me that was many years ago."

Since earning his doctorate in sociology from Rutgers University, Fichter has worked as a research associate for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University in Washington.

"I am very happy as a pastor and in the research work I am doing for the good of the church. At this stage of my life, having collaborated with the Vatican investigation of the Legion, I pray each day for those who are still Legionaries. If I can help them in any way I will."


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