There is lots on the American blogs about the secret life of Father Marcial Maciel Degollado 1920-2008. I don't want to discuss the sordid details of this man, they can be found elsewhere.
What strikes me is that Pope John Paul thought of him as living saint; there were allegations about him, but he was protected by the Pope's regard for him. One of the first acts of Pope Benedict was to send him off into silence and seclusion after setting up an enquiry to investigate the allegations.
I do not think for one instance that the previous Pope acted with any bad intention, he just simply saw the fruit which was prolific: hundreds of vocations, splendid work by the order he founded, deeply committed families that came under his and his orders influence. What he failed to examine was the root, which the present revelations show as being grossly corrupt and depraved.
One of the mysteries of the Christian life is, "where sin is, there grace abounds," or "God writes straight with crooked lines". In the second half of the twentieth century there where extra-ordinary founders like Escriva, Theresa of Calcutta, and yes, Marciel Marcel, maybe even Lefebvre could be included. There were also movements like Charismatic Renewal, Liberation Theology, the Ecumenical Movement and more localised movements like Taize or Medjugorge, possibly even the personal devotion to JPII himself.
It was an age in which the person was pushed to the fore, and in which we looked for immediate fruit and bathed in the charisms of others and searched anxiously for own. We disregarded the "charism" of being a good husband or wife, mother or father, or even just a good person and promoted the extra-ordinary. In the secular world too it was the age of the celebrity and the sound-bite.
I hope we are moving away from all that with the aid of a bit of healthy Augustinian skeptical pessimism, a return to Tradition, to a close examination of texts, to the law and what it says.The change from the age of John Paul "the Great" to that of Benedict, described by one French journalist as, "the Ordinary" in a way epitomises the transition of the 20th to the 21st century, it is movement to solid ground.
PRAY FOR THE LEGION, FOR LEGIONARIES AND FORMER LEGIONARIES