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Compare and contrast: FFIs vs. Legion of Christ January 8, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, persecution, religious, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, shocking, the return.

I was sent over the break, from good reader Dismas, an article on the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate imbroglio.  It makes for rather depressing reading.  Even before I had read this article, I had come to the conclusion that the FFIs, as they were oriented under founder and former superior Fr. Stefano Manelli, were pretty much finished – at least by human means. Perhaps God is simply trying the order severely in order to prepare it for tremendous future glory.  But by all indications, they are to be broken and completely tamed, all for doing nothing more than having a “definitely traditional drift.”  

Aside from the public reasons for the vicious sacking of this, by all accounts, vibrant and holy order, I remain convinced that the FFI’s hosting of conferences and publishing of books which openly questioned aspects of Vatican II, and even the “saint of saints” himself, Karl Rahner, SJ, played a huge role in the vitriolic excesses now being ranged against them.  It is difficult not to conclude that the only commandment remaining in the post-conciliar Church is “thou shalt not adhere to the 2000 year practice of the Faith, nor even look in that direction for too long.”  

I won’t delve deeply again into all the manifest persecutions being exercised against the FFIs – if you want to rehash all that, you can read the article above – but I will share with you Rorate’s article on the status of the Legionaries of Christ/Regnum Christi, which treatment has not been nearly so severe as that of the FFIs.  The massive disconnect in the two cases is very troubling on many levels:

The troubled Legion of Christ religious order is electing new leadership for the first time since its founder was revealed to have been a pedophile and fraud. The process starting Wednesday will formally end the Vatican’s three-year rehabilitation of the movement, a reform the Legion is touting as a success and critics have dismissed as a sham.  [I really don’t know enough to comment intelligently, but I do know that Fr. Maciel and his institute were extremely adept at using their huge donations to win a lot of friends in the Curia, especially the, ahem, problematic Cardinal Angelo Sodona.]
The Legion was once held up as a model by the Vatican, which turned a blind eye [Certainly, there were many reports to the Vatican prior to Benedict XVI’s ascension to the Throne of Peter regarding the rampant immorality of Fr. Maciel.]  to the Rev. Marcial Maciel’s misdeeds as the order became one of the fastest-growing congregations in the Catholic Church and brought in millions in donations. After three years of Vatican-imposed reform though, questions still remain as to how the Legion can exist when its founder was a criminal and its core mission remains unclear.  [Surely, though, not nearly so much of a threat as a few hundred Franciscan Friars who like the Traditional Mass.]
The Legion’s hope is that following the monthlong meeting, Pope Francis will approve a new constitution that explains the order’s mission, hierarchy and rules and will allow the Legion to move on without any more Vatican oversight.  [I’m sure they will.  They will have no problems.] The Legion’s top superiors and 42 priests elected as representatives — including many close to Maciel — will finalize the constitution during the meeting and then elect new leadership. [Associated Press]

As New Catholic at Rorate concludes: “Thankfully, Maciel only abused male novices  [I think sodomy qualifies as an abuse] and fathered babies… If only he had introduced the Traditional Latin Mass, then the Legion would have been abolished, and their buildings burned down, and the earth beneath them salted.”

Is there any other religious order in the history of the Church whose founder has been discovered to be so rampantly immoral and yet was permitted to continue on?  Doesn’t it raise extremely serious concerns that there may be many further, heretofore unseen problems, with an institute so founded?  Mind, we are not talking about some youthful indiscretions for which a very holy soul spent years in penance agonizing over.  We are talking about a man and an institute who covered up gross sins of great perversion for years, and only “repented” when a new pontiff absolutely demanded his removal.  

And yet, the aged and sick Fr. Stefano Manelli, to whose name not a hint of scandal has ever been attached, languishes under virtual house arrest while the order he so successfully built up is broken and radically altered, perhaps in ways that will insure it never see the wondrous growth and waxing influence it possessed heretofore. I know the Lord works in mysterious ways, and can even use great sins and injustices to work unfathomable goods, but I can’t imagine the suffering the many FFIs are enduring.  May God have mercy on them all.


1. TG - January 8, 2014

That Father Marciel was really perverted since he liked both men and women. We should call on Padre Pio, St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila to intercede for the FFI. This is one of the things I have against church leaders. The good priests always get punished and the heretics get by with everything. Mundabor blogged about how nothing has been said about the homo mafia at the Vatican. Remember the manual that supposedly Benedict gave to Francis.

EastSideHunky (@EastSideHunky) - January 10, 2014

And the 300 pg report Benedict XVI received, and reportedly may have caused him to resign? Into the black hole (again). God have mercy on these modernists now led with ravenous hatred towards anything smelling of Traditon. And as for SSPX reconciliation? Forget it under Bergoglio! Let them eat cake and all the soppy hypocritical love, love, love.

2. Baseballmom - January 8, 2014

Good saints to ask for their intercession, as they were scourged for their orthodoxy too. I can only hope that God is allowing this because the order will have had the kind of severe trial it will have needed in order to shine like the Son in a decade or two….

3. Mary - January 8, 2014

Dear Sir,
I share the same sadness and bewilderment at the censure of the FFI.
it is a hard thing to understand. God allows it and I must accept it.
I personally don’t know any of the FFI priests, but I can see that they were faithful and traditional, all good things.
I do know a few of the Legion of Christ priests that are in my diocese. They are good priests and traditional. I remember when they came to our diocese many laymen and priests wanted to run them out of town because they were too “traditional” and “medieval” “they sing parts of the Mass in Latin for heaven sake.”
So it hurts my catholic heart to see a person of good will such as yourself tear into these equally good men. Both orders have holy and faithful priests that we can all benefit from. Let’s keep what is good.
According to the rorate article they have gone through their rehab/reform and been obedient to Rome. Let’s pray that the same will be allotted to the FFI. Don’t lose hope on that score.

I am praying daily for these dear priests of the FFI and I hope that you will pray for the dear priests of the Legion. We are ALL on the same team. Love for the Lord, Love for His Holy Church and Love for the Blessed Virgin.
God bless you,

tantamergo - January 8, 2014

Well, I appreciate your very charitable comment. Certainly, more charity than I deserve. I am sorry if my comments hurt you, but there is a massive difference, in my mind, between Fr. Manelli and Fr. Maciel. One stands convicted of nothing, not even the slightest hint of scandal, while the other committed acts over years ranging from theft to bribery to sodomy to unchastity and violation of several priestly vows. Those acts were being maintained right up until the time he was finally forced to step down. It is difficult for me, then, to understand how you describe him as “holy.” I don’t think my wife would accept my protestations of personal sanctity were I to divulge a long history of adultery to her.

I don’t think I said that the RCs should be punished as the FFIs have. I did question whether an order founded by such a man has ever existed in the Church previously. I’m sure there are lots of good priests and laity in RC, just as there are in the FFIs. The difference is that one is being savagely persecuted, and the other not. Why is that? RC spread a lot of money around. The Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was scandalized by that. So were others. Is that why they are not being persecuted? And there is a difference in the Church, especially among modernists, between adding some Latin to the Novus Ordo, and proclaiming a preference for the TLM. But mostly, as I’ve said, I think the FFIs are being clobbered because they questioned aspects of Vatican II.

Thank you for your comment. I am sorry if I offend you, and I pray that Fr. Maciel died a holy man, but his conduct for many years was objectively sinful, no matter what other good he did.

EastSideHunky (@EastSideHunky) - January 10, 2014

No need to apologize for the truth given in charity, so help one save their soul.

4. Blogmaster - January 8, 2014

“I pray that Fr. Maciel died a holy man …”

Tragically, that does not appear to be the case:


“But the few elect who were with him at the end of his life had a hard time seeing him as an old man. For them, the last hours of the founder were a real calvary. Marcial Maciel refused to confess his sins. He did not want to and did not believe in God’s pardon. Maybe he had spent too many years accostomed to fooling the divine representative in the confessional. How to suddenly declare him a pederast, he has relations with both men and women, he had at least six children who he never took care of like a real father, the abused drugs, he coveted and obtained great quantities of money, he plagiarized the spiritual guidelines of his congregation, he lied and damaged hundreds of people without it bothering him in the least way, and God knows what more. This, God does know. So, why confess his sins? ‘I said no!’ he blurted out to Alvaro Corcuera, who was trying to anoint the dying man with holy oils.”

Lorra - January 8, 2014

Can this account of his final hours be verified? To be honest, it sounds a bit sensational.

Hannah - January 9, 2014

Whether true, I still pray for the poor man’s soul. What he did was horrible beyond comprehension and to think he was a Priest of Jesus Christ. May God have mercy on His Priests.

Mary - January 9, 2014

Miss Hannah,
Indeed. These dear priests need us. They need our prayers and more. There is an urgency i believe in our time for unceasing prayer and sacrifice. I hope you don’t mind if I link to an article today at Lifesite News. I think this man understands well the spiritual battle we are all in. It is inspiring. Perhaps each of us can imitate in some way this pilgrimage and offer it up for these holy men of God; His priests.
Good night and God bless you,


TG - January 9, 2014

Thanks for the link. So sad and scandalous. I never knew he had other identities. You’d think his life was fiction.

5. Lorra - January 9, 2014

““Our world, being so very ill, cannot wait any longer,” he said.”

I’ve been recently trying to tell anyone who will listen to me this very thing. Unfortunately, I am not getting much of a response from Catholics who prefer to either stick their head in the sand, or in a cloud, or think that “dialogue” will get through to some, or deny that what is on the verge of happening in this country can ever happen here.

6. Jacob - January 10, 2014

I LOVE what you did there!

The Bergoglio Imbroglio!

7. Catholic4Life - January 10, 2014

Reblogged this on Catholic4Life.

8. FFI vs LC: it’s easy if you know the players… « EastSideHunky's Klobasa Klub - January 10, 2014

[…] blog site Veneremur Cernui gives an excellent assessment of the problem of the Franciscans of the Immaculata vs the scandal-ridden homosexual and child […]

9. Janet O'Connor - January 10, 2014

My opinion is that the whole order should have been suppressed or resolved because there are still problems. There are ongoing investigation of abuse against at least five members of this order.

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[…] Compare and contrast: FFIs vs. Legion of Christ (veneremurcernui.wordpress.com) […]

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