Catholic Archbishop blasts Legion of Christ

Religion New Service:

edwin_200_01 Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien recommends that Catholics keep their distance from the Legion of Christ and its afflilated lay movement, Regnum Christi, the Catholic Review reports, calling it a "personality cult."

The legion was recently rocked by news that its charismatic founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, fathered a child while leading the conservative movement. Maciel, who died last year, has also been accused of abusing seminarians. The Vatican removed him from public ministry in 2006.

O’Brien is not closing down the movement’s school, or known to be kicking the legion out of his archdiocese, but he had some harsh words for its leaders.

"It seems to me and many others that (Maciel) was a man with an entrepreneurial genius who, by systematic deception and duplicity, used our faith to manipulate others for his own selfish ends," Archbishop O’Brien told The Catholic Review in a telephone interview following his Feb. 20 Rome meeting with Father Alvaro Corcuera, director general of the Legion.  

"While it’s difficult to get a hold of official documents," Archbishop O’Brien said, "it’s clear that from the first moment a person joins the Legion, efforts seem to be made to program each one and to gain full control of his behavior, of all information he receives, of his thinking and emotions."  

Full posting at RNS Blog: "Bishop: movement’s problems are legion"

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