Sunday, March 15, 2009

If the salt loses its taste...

Busy. Far too busy for my liking. It’s the bad busy, the task oriented, get this or that done, hamster wheel kind of busy. It’s the busy that comes with four inner-city parishes, too few resources and too many insoluble problems.

Just a little bit longer’, I keep telling myself...

Meanwhile, the PTB are gathering on Via Aurelia again for another damage control pow-wow. Normally, time is on their side and they know it. So policy in handling unpleasantries that have attracted the public eye usually favors the ‘let-it-languish, let-it-drag-on’ mode until the mass of detractors loses interest and the LC can continue with business as usual.

This time, who knows?

This time the sweet, sickening smell of decay is so strong, the shock that has struck the foundation so catastrophic, the cracks and leaks are so visible... they just may have to take serious action. Or it may be imposed by the Holy See.

Whatever the final outcome, the PTB should know something, because it will ultimately decide whether anything can be salvaged of our congregation at this point or not. It is simple enough, it is certainly evident enough... but I get the feeling you might not have noticed yet, so here goes:

No one believes you.

No one believes a word you say, a sentence you write or a promise you make.

No one believes either, that the present leadership of the LC can reform or save the congregation because you are (we are!) what we will always be: hijos fieles del P.Maciel...

What will ultimately make the LC crumble, what has caused the insufferable state of inner tension and foreboding in her rank and file is, quite frankly, the lack of credibility of its leadership.

The seeds of duplicity, deceit, distrust and intrigue were sown from the congregation’s beginnings. The Founder led a double life all the while submitting us - his willing, enthusiastic followers - to a regimen of poverty, chastity, obedience and uncritical submission of conscience. The idea that the LC is God’s work and must be ‘defended’ at all cost and by any means was his only moral compass. Popes, cardinals, bishops and Vatican officials could be fooled and manipulated as long as it benefited the LC. Its own members are kept on a need-to-know basis, always suspect, always scrutinized for those telltale signs of ‘lack of integration’...

The leadership of the Legion has inherited from Fr. Maciel the mentality and modus operandi that makes them fundamentally untrustworthy. Only now, there is no private vow to hide behind and the discontent is growing.

The tragic comedy of the past few months, with superiors running around telling and not telling, promising transparency but only deepening the murkiness that engulfs the LC, has made their lack of credibility evident to even the most gullible among us. I rank highly on that scale.

And now, no one believes you.

It doesn’t mean that there aren’t LCs who have other motives for toeing the line or flying beneath the radar and making their peace with a system they’ve figured out how to survive in (and some quite nicely).

It doesn’t mean that the LC will run out of yes-men who unctuously cater to authority and offer the same safe old cliches and pre-approved commentaries as they nervously munch their Maria cookies at merienda-cena...

It means that they do not believe you.
And if they don’t believe you, they certainly don’t trust you.

This should not be overlooked or underestimated as you meet in Rome these next few days. Your lack of credibility – not Fr. Maciel’s past sins – will eventually buckle and break the Legion.

Please, PTB, do the right thing.