Baltimore Archbishop Unwittingly Reveals Secrecy and Coverup in Catholic Church

In an unprecedentedly frank interview with National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen, Archbishop Edward O’Brien of Baltimore has demanded that the Legionaries of Christ as well as their lay colleagues in Regnum Christi be more accountable and transparent to the Archbishop as well as the wider church. In the wide-ranging interview conducted during the American Bishops meeting a few weeks ago in Orlando, O’Brien stated that he was prepared to remove the controversial religious order from the Archdiocese until three prominent Roman cardinals intervened on the Legion’s behalf. An excerpt of O’Brien’s interview follows,
“But what goes on in the one-on-one counseling … there seems to be a tendency to say, ‘We represent God. You can tell us anything, and you better believe that what we tell you is from God too. If your parents disagree, we know better. We’re in the God business, and they’re really not.’ This is a caricature, but it’s there.
They sponsor father/son weekends. The father drives 14 hours, brings the kid up to New Hampshire and drops the kid off at 11:00 at night. Where’s the farther going to stay? Well, there’s a place about 40 miles away you can stay, so the father’s sleeping in the car overnight. Next day they’re ready for the hike, but no, the fathers don’t go, it’s just the counselors and the kids. That’s the tendency.
Who’s in charge of this? Who’s responsible? Each time you meet with an official, [they say], ‘Oh, no, that didn’t happen, did it? You should have let us know right away. That’s not right.’ But it happens over and over again.”
In light of the sexual abuse charges against the Legionaries late founder and the highly secretive, cult-like behavior of its members, it’s fortunate that a Bishop has acted and spoken somewhat forthrightly about this group.