Speaking of the Legionaires,
I spoke just ten minutes ago with a good priest friend of mine, and I asked him about the Legionaires. This priest is THE most orthodox and holy priest I know, and is widely respected by the orthodox Catholic community of the area.
I was shocked to hear him speak of some issues he has with the Legionaires, he says from personal experience himself, as well as from conversations he has had with friends who were in the LoC as seminarians or priests (some of whom still are in the LoC and others who left the order).
Among the things he relates:
“Poor human formation” – such as seminarians not being allowed to keep miraculous medals, scapulars, or any type of private devotion; using their own type of communal prayer instead of the Liturgy of the Hours (until they are ordained, and then given a copy of the LOTH, with no instruction on its use – my friend said he had to teach one of his LoC friends how to use it); and crazy conformity practices, including not tucking their shirt in with their hands (using a stick instead…weird) and sleeping with their hands above the covers. Now, he has nothing but praise in terms of their theological formation and catechical abilities – he is speaking here only on the human formation aspects. He sees the LoC as being far too strict and very unreasonable.
Mandating seminarians to use their superior as their spiritual director/confessor (this is forbidden by canon law!)
The constitutions of the LoC are secret, and are not made public to non-LoC people. He says that a friend of his in the LoC read him some of the constitution over the phone, which is where he found out about the madating of superiors as confessors.
The LoC opening schools and other institutions using the “back door” into a diocese (using Regnum Christi lay members in particular) and then going to the bishop for the “rubber stamp of approval” after the fact. And, when asked to do things by the bishop, they say “yes, of course” very politely, and then just continue as before and make no changes as they said.
Arranging RC retreats and then time after time having the LoC priest(s) fail to show up (with the coordinators calling frantically around to find priests to hear confessions) (my priest friend had direct experience of this multiple times)
Using very direct vocation “recruitment” tactics, and being so selective in the process that it seems that discernment isn’t really a part of their discernment process.
My priest friend says that we need to take another look at all their “vocations” – according to him, the numbers of their priests never really go up or down, even though they ordain a “lot” of priests, because of the high rate of turnover. This is one thing that saddens him the most, he says, because he says many of the priests who leave the order leave the Church altogether.
He tells me that no LoC chapel/parish will have holy water fonts (!?) but he does not know why… this makes no sense to me, what’s going on with this?
Please keep in mind that my friend has no problem with the theological teaching of the LoC, or of the good fruits that have come from the organization (Familia, RC etc) – he trusts their teaching and their orthodoxy, and their committment to the Church and the Holy Father. Where he has serious reservations is in their formation of seminarians and in their organizational structure, which seems to be allowing these kinds of issues to continue rather than correct them.
Does anyone have any concrete information to add to this, or explain any of this, or any websites out there that detail this?
I totally trust my priest friend, if he says that he has directly experienced something, I trust that he has. Also – I asked him about all of this, completely unaware of his history with the LoC, I simply trusted him as a priest more than any other priest I know of. He has never, to my knowledge, gone around “slamming” the LoC or anything publically – I had no idea he had any feelings at all about the organization one way or the other until now.
Very curious indeed…