The wrong response

As I’m sure many of you are aware, Fr. Maciel Marcel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, has been ordered to retire from public ministry, due to well-substantiated allegations of sexual abuse. It is a grievous scandal for the Church that the leader of a very orthodox organization be accused, and likely guilty, of such sins. I cannot excuse it, and I fear that the Legionaries and Regnum Christi will never be the same. Rorate Cæli has reproduced a very fair summary by Brian Mershon from the latest issue of the Wanderer.

However, as the comments section of the above article sadly demonstrates, there are people in the traditionalist movement who will latch onto anything to demonstrate the evils of “conciliar” Rome. Charity toward Fr. Marcel has been interpreted as laxity. Moderation has been demonized as license. It’s the same moronic attitude that many da Vinci Code devotees display: that the dismissal of their conspiracy theories is evidence of their validity. There’s no way to disprove such madness; any attempt to do so bolsters their case. All I can do is quote G.K. Chesterton:

…if you or I were dealing with a mind that was growing morbid, we should be chiefly concerned not so much to give it arguments as to give it air, to convince it that there was something cleaner and cooler outside the suffocation of a single argument.

The suffocation of a single argument, indeed. It’s not that there isn’t a grain of truth in the allegations made by the fringe traditionalists: of course, the Church has a lot of problems. Evidence of rampant sexual abuse has been handled poorly, to say the least, but to conclude from that that Pope Benedict is “gay friendly”? Time to step outside the echo chamber and get some air…

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1 Response to “The wrong response”


  1. 1 Bekah May 19, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    I think the Church has done a very wise thing. By not laicizing this man, he remains under Rome’s control. Hopefully they will retire him to an ‘old priest’s home’ where he’ll never be heard from or have access to children again.

    If they had laicized him, he would have walked free and no one would be restricting his access to anyone. I don’t know how old these allegations are, if there are any that are recent enough to be convicted of, but we have seen time and time again that the legal system does next to nothing to protect the public from these offenders.

    Let the Church put him away. I trust her far more than I trust the judicial system.


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