Friday, June 20, 2008

Baltimore archbishop demands greater accountability from religious order

National Catholic Reporter writer and analyst John Allen writes about and publishes a fascinating interview with the Archbishop of Baltimore, Edwin F. O'Brien, regarding the well-known and controversial Roman Catholic order, the "Legionaries of Christ." O'Brien was Archbishop for the Military Services of the United States from 1997-2007, when he was assigned to Baltimore.

For all of you who are concerned, have become weary of or have been effected by the continued secrecy, hypocrisy and self-righteousness of certain segments within the Roman Church, this is a "must-read." Already, the "Legionaries" were expelled from the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese in late 2004.

I commend Archbishop O'Brien for taking the necessary steps to protect his people from possible unjust situations and to require accountability from those who operate within his archdiocese. The article, which begins below, speaks for itself.
Demanding what he calls greater “transparency and accountability” from the controversial religious order known as Legionaries of Christ and their associated lay movement, Regnum Christi, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore has directed both groups to disclose all activities within his archdiocese, and to refrain from one-on-one spiritual direction with anyone under 18.

The ban on counseling minors, O’Brien said in an interview with NCR on Wednesday, is related to concerns that the Legionaries and Regnum Christi practice “heavily persuasive methods on young people, especially high schoolers, regarding vocations.”

Both the Legionaries of Christ, a religious order of priests, and the lay-led Regnum Christi are typically seen as part of a galaxy of “new movements” within Catholicism. Both are known for missionary zeal, as well as staunch traditionalism in faith and practice.

In a June 11 interview on the margins of the spring meeting of the U.S. bishops in Orlando, Florida, O’Brien said he’s prepared to take the “next step” of barring the Legionaries and Regnum Christi from the archdiocese entirely if they do not comply.

1 comment:

Dilbert said...

I wish that all RC bishops were as diligent as Bishop O'Brien about what goes on in their parishes and not just blindly accept groups at face value.
The individual members of Regnum Christi are good, usually attractive, well meaning and orthodox in their theology. However, I believe that they are a self serving cult group that focuses on recruitment (for themselves and the Legionaries) and fund raising for their own purposes and it is interesting to see how well they will conform to aligning with the Bishop's agenda when he rightly demands this if they wish to stay in Baltimore.