We were taught that Christ would send us to hell if we didn’t proselytize for Him, which nine times out of ten involved haranguing our friends to come to ECYD meetings. The Legionaries of Christ and its lay organizations were never meant to serve Christ or the Church; they were designed to suck more and more people into the Legionaries of Christ and its lay organizations, and that is what they do.
When I was forced to be in ECYD, we were required to be “obedient ECYD members” and not question authority. I was only taught heresy and eventually ostracized, but I have friends who were severely emotionally and sexually abused– and all of us accepted it, because we thought we were supposed to. We weren’t encouraged to develop discernment and conform ourselves to Christ; we were expected to be obedient to the whims of the Legionaries of Christ and their lay representatives.
Does this mean that everyone who was involved in the Legionaries is an abuser? No. Many people were innocent dupes. I was brought into it against my will by my parents, but many people who were involved voluntarily and liked it were also innocent. One of my best friends was educated by the Legionaries. He wasn’t, himself, abused by them. He picked up some odd notions along the way, but somehow, he kept his eyes on Christ. When the Macial scandal was made public, he was horrified but not shaken in his faith and went on as a Catholic apart from the Legion. There are presumably still many people in the Legion who are not abusive, not voluntarily participating in a personality cult, and who honestly want to and do serve Christ. And if those people who honestly wanted to serve Christ left the Legion and founded a real religious order, I’m sure they could accomplish a great deal of good for Christ and His Church. But their innocence and goodwill doesn’t change the confused nature of what the Legionaries of Christ has always been.
The Legionaries of Christ and their lay organizations have always been a self-serving personality cult. In my opinion, it’s scandalous that they are still allowed to exist and have a seminary at all. Reform is not enough. They need to be shut down.
(image via pixabay)