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Monthly Archives: September 2012
With the Florence flu by Roman ruins
Here is a Video of my interview with Steve Hassan, cult specialist, a good summary of my life work hounding the Legion of Christ.
It is a year old but Steve helped me formulate my “Critique” of the Legion of Christ -and by extension of Regnum Christi- in half an hour. I talk in the pensive way psychotherapists do! I believe it will be worth your time. A year later the following reflections flow:
I did not not go looking for the Legion of Christ; the Legion of Christ, through its legendary recruiter, James Coindreau, came looking for me and told me it would be good for me. I was told I had a vocation; and struggled 23 years to “keep” whatever that was. Then, after years of agony, I left and started thinking… Really thinking…for the first time in 23 years. I began my “Third Journey”, what turned out to be my true vocation: holding the Legion of Christ accountable, against impossible odds, the Legion faithful -some even extremists, threatening and telling lies about me, penniless against and Million Dollar Institution,linking with other former members, relatives and concerned Catholics, creating a web page and a discussion board. Some considered me “The Legion’s Public Enemy #1” a title I certainly never sought. One day Legion leaders came after me and exacted revenge. But I survived the Legion for the second time. God has allowed me to live to be almost 69. Some of my old confreres, fellow Dubliners, are still in the Legion, “Faithful to their vocations”, “fully integrated members”: John Devlin, Thomas Moylan, Raymond Cumiskey… While I, the unfaithful traitor, will carry my demand for truth and justice to the end. Then I shall meet my Creator, and Jesus the love of my life, on the other side. And I will know the Truth: had I been trying to “destroy the Work of God”, or was I right to unmask a farce?
Posted by irishmexican43
1972–2012 Fortieth Anniversary of the Vatican Radio Interview of Jean Cardinal Daniélou SJ — 23 October 1972
An interview with Jean Cardinal Daniélou on Radio-Vatican:
IS THERE A CRISIS OF RELIGIOUS LIFE?
In an interview given on Radio-Vatican on October 23, 1972, Jean Cardinal Daniélou, who participated in the plenary meeting of the cardinals and bishops who are members of the Congregation for Religious, where he gave a lecture on the general conditions of religious life, stated that it is undergoing a very grave crisis. To overcome this, the Cardinal said, we have to shift from the false orientation followed by many congregations. Cardinal Daniélou came to the conclusion that, if necessary, the superiors must allow the religious who “want to remain faithful to the constitutions of their order and to the directives of Vatican II” to form separate communities.
I. THE SITUATION
Question: Your Eminence, does there really exist a crisis of religious life, and can you describe its dimensions?
Answer: I think that there is today a very grave crisis of religious life and that we must not talk of renewal but rather of decadence. I think that this crisis mainly affects the Atlantic world – Eastern Europe, as well as African and Asiatic countries, presents in this regard a better spiritual health. This crisis appears in all areas. The evangelical counsels are no longer considered as a consecration to God, but viewed in a sociological and psychoanalytical perspective. Group dynamics is substituted for religious obedience; under the pretext of reaction against formalism, all regularity of prayer life is abandoned and the consequences of this state of confusion are first of all the disappearance of vocations, for youth requires a serious formation. And, on the other hand, there are the many and scandalous defections of religious who betray the pact that bound them to the Christian people.
II. A FALSE INTERPRETATION OF VATICAN II
Question: Could you tell us what are, according to you, the causes of this crisis?
Answer: The essential source of this crisis is a false interpretation of Vatican II. The directives of the Council were very clear: a greater fidelity of men and women belonging to religious orders to the requirements of the Gospel, as they are expressed in the Constitutions of each Institute and, at the same time, an adaptation of the modalities of these Constitutions to the conditions of modern life. The Institutes that are faithful in observing these directives know a true renewal and have vocations. But, in many cases, the directives of Vatican II were replaced by erroneous ideologies that are spread by many magazines, workshops, theologians and, among these errors, we can mention:
Secularization Vatican II declared that human values must be taken seriously. It never said that we were entering into a secularized world where the religious dimension would be no longer present in civilization. It is in the name of a false secularization that religious men and women give up their religious habit and abandon the adoration of God for social and political activities. And this is, furthermore, counter to the spiritual need manifested in the world of today.
A false conception of liberty that induces the depreciation of the institutions and rules, and exalts spontaneity and improvisation. This is so much the more absurd, as western society suffers in our times from the absence of the discipline essential to liberty. The restoration of firm rules is one of the necessities of religious life.
An erroneous conception of the changing condition of man and of the Church. If environments change, nevertheless the constitutive elements of man and of the Church are permanent and to question the constitutive elements of the Constitutions of the religious orders is a fundamental error.
III. IF NECESSARY, TO CREATE SEPARATE COMMUNITIES
Question: But do you foresee remedies to overcome the crisis?
Answer: I think that the unique and urgent solution is shift from the false orientations taken in a certain number of Institutes. For that, we must stop all the experimentations and all the decisions which are contrary to the directives of the Council; we must be on guard against the books, magazines and workshops where these erroneous conceptions are diffused; we must restore in their integrity the practice of the Constitutions with the adaptations asked by the Council. In the places where this appears to be impossible, it seems to me that we cannot refuse to the religious who want to be faithful to the Constitutions of their Orders and to the directives of Vatican II the right to form distinct communities. The religious superiors are obliged to respect this desire. These communities must be authorized to have their own houses of formation. Experience will show if vocations are more numerous in the houses of strict observance or in the houses of less strict observance. In the cases where superiors would be opposed to these legitimate demands, recourse to the Sovereign Pontiff is certainly authorized.
Religious life is called to an immense future in technical civilization; the more this develops, the more the need for the manifestation of God will be felt. This is precisely the goal of religious life. But to accomplish its mission it must find again its real meaning and radically break from a secularization that is destroying it in its essence and preventing it from attracting vocations.from WHY THE CHURCH?
By Jean Cardinal Daniélou
Translated from the French by Reverend Maurice F. De Lange
Franciscan Herald Press 1434 West 51st Street, Chicago, 60609 pp. 165-168
Letter of Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio to Cardinal Timothy Dolan on the subject of Canon 277 § 1
PONTIFICIUM CONSILIUM DE LEGUM TEXTIBUS
Proto 13095 / 2011
I refer to your letter of April 8, 2011 in which Your Excellency has requested this Pontifical Council to clarify whether married permanent deacons, so long as their marriage lasts, are bound to observe the perfect and perpetual continence indicated by can. 277 § 1 CIC. The question was raised because some have expressed the opinion that permanent deacons are also bound to the obligation which the said canon imposes on clerics in general.
It should be noted that often the canonical discipline on a given topic is not inferred from the wording of a single legal precept, but rather from the whole set of existing regulation on the matter in the law of the Church, always in harmony with what has been stated by the Church’s Magisterium. This is what can. 17 CIC prescribes.
With regard specifically to the question above, after consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and having made the necessary studies, this Pontifical Council offers the following observations.
1. In can. 277, § 1 CIC, the requirement of perfect and perpetual continence is inseparably linked to the obligation of celibacy to which all clerics, in principle, are bound.
Also, can. 1037 CIC requires that unmarried candidates for the permanent diaconate must assume the obligation of celibacy prior to ordination. Furthermore, can. 1087 CIC establishes an impediment to marriage for those in sacred orders. For this reason, permanent deacons who are widowers cannot marry, unless being dispensed, and therefore are bound to observe perfect and perpetual continence.
The particular discipline of these two last canons, 1037 and 1087 CIC, applicable to certain situations of permanent deacons, explains on the one hand why can. 288 CIC did not exempt in a general way “all” permanent deacons from the obligation of continence established by the can. 277 § 1 CIC; and on the other hand how it is evident from all these norms that the canon wanted to exempt married permanent deacons from such obligation of continence so long as their marriage lasts.
2. Indeed, can. 1031 § 2 CIC admits married men to the clerical state in the particular case of permanent deacons, but states nothing about a hypothetical obligation to observe perfect and perpetual continence, as the Legislator would indicate if such an obligation were to be established.
Ultimately, the fact that in order for a married man to be admitted to the Order of the diaconate, the consent of his wife is required (cfr. can. 1031, § 2 CIC) implies that an explicit consent would have been required for reasons of justice if the condition of permanent deacon had entailed the obligation of perfect and perpetual continence (cfr. Can. 1055 CIC).
3. Naturally, this canonical discipline does not state anything apart from what the Church’s Magisterium has already affirmed in this regard. In fact, the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, n. 29 (§ 2), and other successive normative documents of the Holy See, appear to take for granted that married permanent deacons live their marriage in the ordinary way (cfr., above all, CONGREGATIO DE INSTITUTIONE CATHOLICA Ratio fundamentalis institutionis diaconorum permanentium, Institutio diaconorum of February 22, 1998 (nn. 36-38, 62-63, 68); CONGREGATIO PRO CLERICIS, Directorium pro ministerio et vita diaconorum permanentium, Diaconatus originem of February 22, 1998 (nn. 7, 27, 33, 45, 50, 59-62, and particularly n. 61).
In conclusion, the current canonical discipline does not require married permanent deacons, as long as their marriage lasts, to observe the obligation of perfect and perpetual continence established by can. 277, § 1 CIC for clerics in general.
I hope that these clarifications, briefly presented in this letter, may be helpful to Your Excellency in indicating what the content of the canonical discipline is at this point.
While remaining at your disposal for any further clarifications, I take this opportunity to extend to you and the members of your Conference my sentiments of personal esteem and prayerful best wishes for a Blessed Christmas and a fruitful New Year.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+ Francesco Coccopalmerio
Secretary Most Reverend TIMOTHY M.DOLAN, D.D. Archbishop of New York President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 3211 Fourth Street NE Washington, DC 20017-1194 U.S.A.
Dawson the Convert
ON OCTOBER 12, 1889, MARY LOUISA AND HENRY PHILIP DAWSON GAVE birth to a son, Henry Christopher. The blessed event took place in a twelfth- century Welsh castle, known as Hay Castle, in the Wye Valley in Herefordshire. Both the date and the place of his birth are auspicious, steeped in myth and tradition, and bringing together both sides of his family. October 12 was the Feast of St. Wilfrid, an eighth-century bishop of York, the ancestral home of Dawson’s father. St. Wilfrid famously stood by Roman Christian customs rather than Celtic ones and convinced many of his brother priests to do the same at a time when the customs were stridently in opposition to one another. Legend records that St. Wilfrid converted the South Saxons to Christianity, freed numerous slaves throughout the British isles, founded several monasteries in Mercia, and patiently suffered much opposition from his enemies.
The Influence of Place and Family
The place is also important, as the castle is connected in popular Welsh memory to a rather mysterious person known as Maude of St. Valery or Matilda of Hay, who supposedly built the castle in a single night while carrying the stones in her apron. But whatever may have happened in the twelfth century, by the late nineteenth century, the castle belonged to Christopher’s mother’s family. The men of his mother’s side, of Welsh decent, had a long tradition of being High Church Anglo-Catholic clergymen, both priests and bishops. His mother’s family, therefore, had great standing in the region, which Dawson remembered as “a sort of Anglican theocracy” as “the landowners were largely clergymen and the clergy were either landowners or brothers of landowners, so that there was a complete unification of political, religious, economic and social authority and influence.”
The rural culture into which Dawson was born was very traditional, steeped in many layers of natural and inherited authority Those around young Christopher reverenced the role and tradition of family, the beauty of nature, the Anglican Church, the Celtic saints and folklore, the Queen, and God. Each of these “layers” represented an ever ascending level of natural authority In their outlook, political views, cultural influences, and faith, Dawson’s family may have been more at home in the early eighteenth century than in the late nineteenth century. But in the late nineteenth century, there was a still a purposefulness and security in the holding of such deep and cherished traditions. “Never perhaps in the history of the world,” Dawson reflected in 1926, “has there been a society more secure, more certain of itself and more externally prosperous than that of England in the Victorian age.” By the 1940s, though, that security and purpose were gone, and Dawson deeply regretted the loss of the world in which he was raised. “The world and my childhood is already as far away from the contemporary world as it was from the world of the middle ages—in many respects even further,” Dawson lamented in the notes to his memoirs. He had been raised in a premechanical world, and, for the sake of the future, he felt compelled to record his experiences as quickly as possible. “If we do not record a lot that used to be taken for granted, it will be lost for good, and the understanding of the past will become even more difficult than it is already,” he feared. “Certain ways of human experience will become inaccessible, even to the historic imagination.”
Dawson’s beliefs went beyond mere nostalgia. Something had happened between his childhood and the modern world of the early twentieth century. There was at some point a “great divide,” a break between the old world and modernity. While ancient and medieval western men seemed to Dawson noble and generally virtuous, modern western man was “an imperialist, a capitalist and an exploiter.”
Dawson did not stand alone in these fears. Romano Guardini, a contemporary of Dawson’s, recorded the same process at work while watching one area in Italy, Lake Como, change from a closely-connected rural community tied together by the Church to a region in which rising industry mechanized the community, atomizing one person from another, and destroying the organic nature of society. The greatest change, he argued, came from the modern desire to dominate and exploit nature rather than live with it. Ironically, the human attempt to dominate nature through mechanization had led to the loss of control. “It is destructive because it is not under human control,” Guardini wrote. “It is a surging ahead of unleashed forces that have not yet been mastered, raw material that has not yet been put together, given a living and spiritual form, and related to humanity.” In his 1954 Cambridge inaugural address, C. S. Lewis said much the same thing. The rise of the machine had fundamentally changed the very nature of the relationship of man to man, man to the world, and man to God. In this brave new world, Lewis argued, “the new most often really is better and the primitive really is the clumsy.” The machine, Lewis continued, takes on a religious significance to the poorly educated. “From the old push-bike to the motor-bike and thence to the little car; from the gramophone to radio and from radio to television; from the range to the stove; these are the very stages of their pilgrimage,” the Cambridge don concluded. Dawson agreed with both of these sentiments. No person “can look at the history of western civilization during the present century without feeling dismayed at the spectacle of what modern man has done with his immense resources,” Dawson wrote. Like his fellow Christian Humanists, Dawson spent much of his scholarly work attempting to uncover and explain the reasons for the break with the past and the development of modern western man.
Influenced by his mother’s family, and especially by the deep respect he held for his mother, Dawson stood strongly entrenched in the Anglo-Catholic tradition before attending Oxford. Still, he saw significant weaknesses in the Anglo-Catholic position. “It was lacking in authority,” Dawson explained. “It was not the teaching of the official church but an enterprising minority which provided its own standard of orthodoxy.” And though Dawson later converted to Roman Catholicism, he admired the Anglican Church for the remainder of his life, crediting it with teaching him the value of the liturgy and the weight of tradition. He once told his closest friend, E.I. Watkin, “that his Anglican education had enabled him to appreciate aspects of Catholicism he might have missed had he been what is now termed ‘a cradle Catholic?’To an interviewer in 1961, he said, “Brought up an Anglo-Catholic, I was always familiar with Catholic books and ideas.” While Anglo-Catholics remained distinct from Roman Catholics, seeing Roman Catholics as too fundamentalist, “they were even more completely separatist from the Protestant Nonconformists—The Dissenters.”And though the Roman and Anglo mind remained separated, the two had much in common, Dawson believed. One can find Dawson’s greatest appreciation for Anglo-Catholicism in his 1933 centenary re-examination of John Henry Newman and his allies, The Spirit of the Oxford Movement.
[for convenience, the notes have been omitted]
Superior-born Jesuit celebrates
ALMA, Mich. — Jesuit Fr. Brian Van Hove, who was born and raised in Superior, observed his 30th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood June 11.
He was ordained in St. Louis, Mo., and celebrated his first Mass in Superior’s Cathedral of Christ the King on June 20, 1982.
Fr. Van Hove’s sister, Julie Ann Van Hove, lives in Superior. Her twin, Judy Kay MacDonald, lives in Las Vegas, Nev.
During his 30 years as a priest he has been a teacher, spiritual director, hospital chaplain, asso- ciate pastor and a retreat director in the St. Louis area, including White House Retreat and the Shrine of St. Joseph there. He earned a Ph.D. in church history from The Catholic University of America in 1999.
Fr. Van Hove now lives near St. Louis, Mich., where he is chaplain to the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich.
He is a member of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and blogs at https://frvanhove.wordpress. com.The Diocese of Superior is in Wisconsin…. There is a Saint Louis, Missouri, and a Saint Louis, Michigan, which is in the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan.
Published on National Catholic Reporter (http://ncronline.org)
Home > Judge dismisses lawsuit against Legionaries of Christ
Judge dismisses lawsuit against Legionaries of Christ
Sep. 13, 2012
By Jason Berry 
A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the scandal-ridden Legionaries of Christ that had alleged the religious order defrauded a wealthy widow out of millions of dollars. Yet the judge’s 39-page ruling details dubious fundraising tactics of Legionaries priests and seemingly opens a door for appeal.
“The transfer of millions of dollars worth of assets — through will, trust, and gifts — from a steadfastly spiritual, elderly woman to her trusted but clandestinely dubious spiritual leaders raises a red flag to this Court,” Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein of Providence, R.I., wrote in a summary judgment Sept. 7.
Pope Benedict ordered the scandal-battered Legionaries into a Vatican receivership in 2010, and appointed Cardinal Velasio De Paolis as delegate, or overseer of the order.
Silverstein dismissed the lawsuit against the Legionaries of Christ, Fr. Anthony Bannon and Bank of America on Sept. 7, ruling that Mary Lou Dauray, the niece of the late Gabrielle Mee, lacked the legal standing to sue.
Dauray alleged through her attorney Bernard Jackvony — a former lieutenant governor of Rhode Island — that, according to the judge’s decision, Legionary priests in America “unduly influenced and fraudulently induced Mrs. Mee into giving approximately $60 million to the defendants — particularly the Legionaries of Christ.”
Jackvony told NCR that Dauray could not comment because of a protective order. He said that an appeal was under discussion: “We’re evaluating the best way to proceed in light of the judge’s decision that there was significant evidence of undue influence and fraud.”
The suit was filed in probate court in 2009. It was then by agreement sent to Superior Court in 2010.
De Paolis would face a huge financial problem if a court ordered the Legionaries to return many millions. Scores of priests have left the order since the 2009 revelation that the founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, had children by several women. The Legionaries’ once-vaunted fundraising machine is sputtering as it sells property in America. The order also faces a major sex abuse case advancing through court in Connecticut, brought by noted plaintiff attorney Jeff Anderson on behalf of Maciel’s natural son, who alleges incest.
The Legionaries of Christ was founded by Mexican priest Marcial Maciel Degollado in 1941. By the 1980s and ’90s, Maciel had become a globe-trotting celebrity of conservative Catholics, a personal favorite of Pope John Paul II and had numerous supporters throughout the Roman Curia. In 1994 Pope John Paul II heralded him as “an efficacious guide to youth.”
As Maciel attracted numerous vocations to the order and members to the Legionaries’ lay wing, Regnum Christi, he also built up a massive fundraising apparatus that Silverstein describes in some depth in his ruling.
Indeed there was a darker side to Maciel and the organizations he built. From the 1950s, he had been dogged by rumors of sexually abusing underage seminarians in his care. The rumors were squelched for decades until 1998, when eight ex-Legionaries filed a canon law case to prosecute him. In 2004, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ordered an investigation into Maciel and in 2006, now as Pope Benedict XVI, he banished Maciel from ministry to a “life of prayer and penitence.” Maciel died in 2008 at age 87.
But the scandals didn’t stop. A year later it became public that Maciel had fathered several children by two women with whom he maintained longstanding relations and supported financially.
In 2010, the Vatican released a communique summarizing the results of its investigation into the Legionaries. Maciel had built a “system of power” designed to hide “true crimes” and a private life “without scruples or authentic religious sentiment,” it said.
Gabrielle Dauray grew up in a working-class family, studied French and worked as a bilingual translator. She was 39 when she married Timothy Mee in 1950. He was a wealthy widower and director of Fleet National Bank. Both had known their share of sorrows. She wanted children but was unable to conceive; he had lost his wife and children during a hurricane that struck the New England coast.
“Together they attended Mass and recited the Rosary nightly,” Silverstein’s ruling notes.
Before his death Mee established The Timothy J. Mee Foundation Trust. “You have to give back to God some of what God has given to you,” Gabrielle later said of how she and her husband viewed their role as elder citizens. “When God gives us something good, we have to give something back to Him. …We thought giving it to the church would be the best way and they would know where to put it.”
In 1987 she established her own Gabrielle D. Mee Charitable Trust as a vehicle to subsidize Contemplatives of Our Lady of Joy, an upstart order of men founded by two brothers in Rhode Island. She also gave them rent-free access to a home.
On Maciel’s orders, the Legionaries established its U.S. base in Connecticut in the 1970s. Two Irish priests, Owen Kearns and Anthony Bannon, subsequently led the effort. Kearns had a more austere personality; Bannon projected an image of rectitude, laced with charm. “They were like a road team, raising money and seeking recruits,” says Rhode Islander Genevieve Kineke, who left Regnum Christi in 2001, disenchanted with the obsessive fundraising. She writes a closely followed blog, www.life-after-rc.com .
Bannon began cultivating Mee after Maciel met her in 1991, the judge’s ruling says. In a perverse irony, she supported the Legionaries in lieu of the Contemplatives when that order became mired in a sex scandal. The Legionaries wooed former Gov. John Joseph Garrahy and his wife, Marguerite, who was Gabrielle’s close friend. Bannon won the support of Louis Gelineau, bishop of Providence, R.I., from 1972-1997. “Endorsement by the diocese was critical to the [Legionaries’] securing of funds to purchase a facility,” Rhode Island Catholic, the diocesan newspaper, later reported.
In 1989 Mee visited the Legionaries center in Cheshire, Conn., and on Aug. 8 of that year, Mee sent a check for $1 million to the Legionaries. In 1991 she revised her will, giving 90 percent of her assets to the Legionaries. She also joined Regnum Christi that year and gave $3 million to the Legionaries.
As Bannon persuaded her to give more, Fleet, which later merged with Bank of America, resisted the encroachment of Timothy Mee’s trust. The Legionaries sued the bank, generating depositions with Mee; the parties finally dropped the suit and the money began to flow again to the Legionaries. Bannon arranged for a Legionaries Committee to oversee disbursements. “I preferred to put all my eggs in one basket than have it fragmented,” Mee stated in a deposition in the bank case.
Maciel was giving Mee advice on her financial investments. She gave Bannon her power of attorney in 2000 and appointed him executor of her estate.
Maciel and others in the Legionaries high command welcomed Mee on trips to Rome and Mexico, underscoring “how pleased Mr. Mee and the Lord would be with her donations,” writes the judge.
The Legionaries used Mee’s money as collateral in a $35 million purchase of a former IBM complex in Thornwood, Westchester County, N.Y., as a site for a future college.
Although Bannon later apologized to Fleet for not disclosing, in 1997, that nine ex-seminarians accused Maciel of sexually abusing them years before, “There is no evidence Father Bannon disclosed the full extent of the significant allegations against Father Maciel to Mrs. Mee,” Silverstein writes.
The decision continues:
“Mrs. Mee’s visits with any permitted guests were at least sometimes, if not always, monitored by Regnum Christi members.”
“Typically, consecrated members of Regnum Christi take a vow of poverty and release their assets to the Legionaries of Christ. Consecrated women must donate half of their assets to the organization within fifteen years and all of their assets within twenty-five years.”
“Mrs. Mee held Father Maciel in extremely high regard and considered him to be saint-like.”
“The Legionaries of Christ did not publicly acknowledge the accusations against Father Maciel until February 2009, nine months after Mrs. Mee’s death,” writes Judge Silverstein.
The ruling also magnifies the role of Fr. Luis Garza, who was until last year the vicar general and chief financial officer of the Legionaries and is now director of the Legionaries’ newly combined North American territory. By 2006, Garza knew that Maciel had an out-of-wedlock daughter “and did some of his own investigation regarding the daughter,” writes the judge.
“Father Garza never confronted Father Maciel with his discovery, and Father Garza only spoke to several Legion of Christ members about it.”
In 2008, after Maciel’s death, Garza shared the sordid news with 15 Regnum Christi and Legionaries members at a meeting in Switzerland.
“The Legion of Christ did not publicly acknowledge the accusations against Father Maciel until February 2009, nine months after Mrs. Mee’s death,” Silverstein writes.
Garza, Bannon and Kearns are Legionaries in good standing with the Vatican.
[Jason Berry is the author of Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church, which received the 2011 Book Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors.]
Source URL: http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/judge-dismisses-lawsuit-against-legionaries-christ
But is there another ideal relation between this larger order, and the established political, cultural, intellectual orders of society? Is the ideal relation one in which there is no lack of fit, in which the two cohere perfectly? This ideal has often haunted converts in the last centuries. They look back and see the glorious past of Christendom, be it in the European Middle Ages, or in the early modern period, or in the time before the French Revolution, or before the Reformation; or even, as with the American “Christian Right”, the age they want to restore is only a few decades in the past. Their grievance against the established order (or “le désordre établi”, to quote a favourite phrase of Maurras and Action Française) is that it is out of joint, both with itself and with the higher order; and indeed, the two go together, because it could only get back in true with itself by recovering contact with this higher, more encompassing order.
A great many converts have felt this, at least as a temptation, even where it wasn’t their main reason for converting. It was strong in the followers of Action Française, but we can also see it for instance in Christopher Dawson, in Hilaire Belloc, to some degree in G. K. Chesterton, although without the nostalgic dimension, and in T. S. Eliot (who, not coincidentally, admired Maurras).
Several strands came together in this. For some, like Dawson and Eliot, it seemed clear that the deepest sources of European culture were in Christianity, and that this culture must lose force and depth to the extent that moderns departed from it. Another strand identified the basic error of modernity in subjectivism, that is, in philosophies which stressed the powers of the free individual subject, constructing his scientific and cultural world. Eliot also took up this theme, but the best known articulation of this critique came from the pen of Jacques Maritain. In particular, his Trois Réformateurs lined up Luther, Descartes, and Rousseau as targets, three highly influential figures who progressively had contributed to the apotheosis of the modern subject. The great and necessary remedy was a renewed Thomistic philosophy which would once more bring about a recognition of objective reality. This philosophy can liberate because it forces us “to lift our heads”, to consider “the object as other” (“l’objet en tant qu’autre”); it makes me subordinate myself to “a being independent from myself”.
For Maritain, this philosophical standpoint was identified with “intelligence”, and we can see here one of the reasons for his alliance with Maurras throughout the teens and early 20s of the century. For “l’intelligence” was one of the key slogans of the Maurrasian party, defined in similar terms as a rejection of modern subjectivism, but then further spelled out as demanding an unremitting hostility to liberalism, and to the “idol” of democracy, as well as an affirmation of the primacy of Catholicism, and the recovery of the power of the state through a restored monarchy. This was the poisoned fruit from which Maritain had to struggle to liberate himself.