Legionaries of Christ General Director Fr. Alvaro Corcuera on Sunday celebrated a Mass of Healing in Kensington, Maryland where he made vague comments concerning the scandalous revelations surrounding his order’s founder Fr. Marcel Maciel.
Recent revelations indicate that Fr. Maciel had kept a mistress, fathered a child, and lived a double life. The priest, who died in 2008, had also been accused of sexually abusing around 20 teenage recruits to the Legion of Christ and had been invited to a “reserved life of prayer and penitence” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
An account of Fr. Corcuera’s remarks was published by an attendee of the Mass, Thomas Peters, on his blog “American Papist.”
Describing the congregation, Peters wrote:
“Before and during the Mass, I saw many people with worried, drawn faces. I saw several women on the verge of tears and with tissue. During important points of the homily, one of the priests appeared to have his mouth open in disbelief, transfixed.”
Fr. Corcuera, in what Peters said were remarks of “circumlocution,” basically said that the Legion does not and cannot deny there is a daughter of Fr. Maciel.
Fr. Corcuera, who is the General Director of the entire order, said he had no specific access to information about the abuse and said one cannot know what is true or is not, Peters reported.
Another notable facet of the leader of the Legionaries address was that he “gave a general impression that the Legionary was 100% compliant with what the Vatican wanted to see happen.” The priest claimed that his individual visitation of Regnum Christi chapters was approved by the Holy See, mentioning that he met with each of the priests at the Mass individually.
“He said he did not want members of the Family to hear the news from the Internet or on a phone call,” Peters reported.
The priest said that he had asked Jesus to take all the sufferings of Regnum Christi and the Legionaries of Christ and put them on himself. Asking for forgiveness, he said he had only tried to follow the mind of Christ in his actions.
Times like these make one appreciate the Mercy of God more, Fr. Corcuera remarked, according to Peters’ summary.
Peters said that at the end of the Mass, the congregation knelt and recited three memorized prayers: a prayer for the Pope, for the General Director, and for their own fidelity.
He said they recited the entire prayer, including lines that say “the Legion and the Movement will be vigorous and will flourish as long as the spirit of our founder is present and active in our lives and behavior.”
“Lord, help us to adhere totally to the charism you inspired in our Founder,” the prayer also stated.
Fr. Corcuera confirmed previous reports that Fr. Maciel’s pictures are being removed from public places and that the feast days honoring him will no longer be celebrated.