Following new allegations of misconduct against Legionaries of Christ Founder Fr. Marcial Maciel, the General Director of the order, Fr. Alvaro Corcuera, has written a letter to all Regnum Christi members asking forgiveness for “all this suffering.”
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had invited Fr. Maciel “to a reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry” in response to allegations such as sexual abuse of recruits to the order.
Recently the Legionaries admitted that Fr. Maciel had a mistress, fathered a child and led a double life.
Writing to members of the Legionaries of Christ lay order Regnum Christi, Fr. Corcuera did not respond to any specific allegations against Fr. Maciel but tried to encourage members scandalized by their founder’s reported behavior.
In his letter he invoked the imagery of Psalm 22/23, “Though I walk through a dark valley, I fear no evil, for the Lord is at my side.”
Speaking of Fr. Maciel, Fr. Corcuera wrote that he “cannot but recognize all the good I received through him.”
Through the charism Fr. Maciel “passed on to us,” many people have received love for Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Church, the Pope, and the souls of men.
“On a personal level, I am grateful to him for being the instrument God used to give my entire life meaning, seeking eternal salvation, the path to God. This is the truth I experienced, and it would be impossible to find enough words to thank him.
“It is also true that he was a man, and these things that have hurt and surprised us -- and I don’t believe we can explain with our reason alone -- have already been judged by God. It is true that we are going through much suffering and a great deal of pain. As in a family, these pains draw us together and lead us to suffer and rejoice as one body. This circumstance we are living invites us to look at everything with much faith, humility and charity. Thus we place it in the hands of God, who teaches us the way of infinite mercy.”
“For my part, I ask forgiveness for all this suffering,” Fr. Corcuera continued. “And I beg God with all my being to help us all to see it from the heart of Christ.”
Stating that he wrote his letter in the presence of the Eucharist, he said “At this time, we want to look at everything from the vantage point of faith, hope and charity, and to act according to the heart of Christ who became flesh and redeemed us.”
“We are living a time of pain and suffering. And with this pain comes the experience of God’s infinite love as he asks us to continue forward in peace and goodness, for all he wants is for us to know the happiness of being his children. In my own experience, I can say that whenever I am with you I can see the love of God in your hearts like a mirror that gives light to the lives of so many people and which joins us together as one family.”
“Truth, in charity, leads us to think, speak and act like Christ in everything,” Fr. Corcuera insisted. “I know that whatever I say will never be enough, but I do want to express all my closeness, gratitude and prayers, with the certainty that ‘for the one who loves, EVERYTHING contributes to his good’ (cf. Rom. 8:28).”
“These are times for holiness, humility, and charity. And in everything, let us be instruments of God to do good,” his letter concluded, asking God to bless them always.