NCRep reports on a concession from the Legionaries on comparing their disgraced founder with a saint. Maybe all those internet commentaries suggesting this is a sign the LC should be mothballed permanently got someone’s attention. Will the $100M campaign stall?
After American Legionaries noted the outcry on this side of the pond, they contacted their colleague Fr. Juan Solana in the Middle East, who conceded:
The passages in question suggest a comparison between Mary Magdalene and Legion Founder Marcial Maciel, which clearly is inappropriate and poorly chosen.
I was trying to make a point about compassion and forgiveness in light of the Legion’s history, but realize now that my words were awkward and suggest a reverence for our founder that we clearly reject. Again, I’m sorry for any hurt this has caused.
LC’s North American communications director Jim Fair on the possible damage to rehabilitation, which I suppose, is still an open question:
It’s a reminder that this is a long-term project and that trust is rebuilt one day and one word, one effort, one project, one apostolate at a time and we’re going to continue to do that.
So when something like this happens, in a world full of human beings, it’s disappointing, but it isn’t going to discourage us on our path to serve the church.
So … good people touched by God’s grace serving the Church, but serving from a proximity to scandal. And more, a deep suspicion across a wide swath of the Body. Somehow, $100M building projects don’t seem appropriate for a group whose ambitions would be better placed to reconciliation, contrition, and making appropriate amends to victims.