Saturday, April 4, 2015


Perhaps one of the hardest things for us to understand is, with all of Kiko's atrocities so widely known, how Rome and especially the pope can continue to at least appear to be supporting his "movement." 

The problem is that most of us have just as an inflated view of Rome as we once had of our own chancery. Because while Jesus promised us that the "gates of hell would not prevail against his church", He only promised us that they would not "prevail". He did not promise us that there would not be a battle. In fact, He promised us the "battle", and to the end. 

The reasons Pope Benedict gave for his resignation from the Chair of Peter should have given us a clue. Things were (and still are) so bad inside the Roman Curia (the government of the church) that he, a great and holy man, after much prayer, knew he did not have the physical or spiritual stamina to withstand the evil onslaught from within. 

Part of that "onslaught", that "smoke of Satan" as Paul VI coined it, is these spiritual interlopers like Kiko Arguello, men who have the gifts to fool millions, including popes. This is nothing new, the church has been beset by such men (and women) from the beginning. Even Judas was found within the ranks of Jesus' personally chosen inner circle. 

The problem is that the average Catholic has not taken the time to learn Church history. And this is probably because he or she has never been encouraged to do so. But lack of such understanding of history makes us easy prey to the earthquakes and storms within the church that have always occurred. 

So here's a very short and recent history lesson relative to the damage that Kiko is now doing to the Church:


It is now known that the much beloved and recently sainted St. John Paul II personally protected and promoted a priest and the founder of a religious order who was "one of the most notorious sexual criminals in church history." And this priest carried out his crimes right under the nose of the pope while raising millions and millions from entranced followers which he then used to buy bishops and cardinals and a place at the pope's side. In fact, in addition to becoming known as the greatest sexual criminal, he was also known in his time as the "greatest fundraiser of the modern church." 

It is important - as we attempt to understand the influence of Kiko Arguello - that we understand how Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado was able to influence if not "sucker" the church for so many years and even one of the greatest popes ever. In the end, Fr. Maciel was brought down, but not before there was enormous damage. It looks like the same will be true of Kiko Arguello.

The best overall report on Macial that I could find is by Jason Berry of the National Catholic Reporter. NCR is a publication I normally don't recommend, but Berry does a very factual and documented job of it. I am copying the full report here and adding my highlights and comments [in red]. Take the time to read this so you can understand what is going on with Rome and Kiko Arguello's apparent license to run Rome as he pleases. 

Legion of Christ's deception, unearthed in new documents, indicates wider cover-up

Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, greets
Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square in 2000. (CNS/Catholic Press Photo)

[First, notice the photo-op. How many times have we seen Kiko use pictures of himself and the pope to authenticate his Way. This is a common technique for crooks.]

Newly released documents in a Rhode Island lawsuit show that the scandal-tarred Legion of Christ shielded information on their founder's sex life from a wealthy widow who donated $30 million over two decades.
In 2009, the widow's niece, Mary Lou Dauray, sued the Legion and the bank that facilitated key transactions, alleging fraud. At Dauray's request, backed by a motion from NCR and three other media outlets, Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein revoked a protective order the Legionaries had secured and released discovery findings Friday.
The thousands of pages of testimony, financial and religious records open a rare view into the Legion culture shaped by its Mexican-born founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado.
Maciel built a power base in Rome as the greatest fundraiser of the modern church. He won the undying support of Pope John Paul II, who called him an "efficacious guide to youth" and praised Maciel in lavish ceremonies even after a 1998 canon law case at the Vatican in which the cleric was accused of sexually abusing Legion seminarians.
The Vatican is not a defendant in Rhode Island, but decisions by John Paul and Pope Benedict XVI permeate a larger story rising from the files.
A key strand in the new material aligns with an admission by Cardinal Franc Rodé, who told NCR and Global Post in a recent interview that "in late 2004 or early 2005" he saw a videotape of Maciel "with a mother and child represented as his." A Legionary, whom Rodé did not identify, showed him a tape of Maciel with a girl identified as his daughter.
The cardinal did not confront Maciel about paternity, but says he told a Vatican canon lawyer who was under orders from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to investigate the pedophilia accusations. On that front, Ratzinger, as Pope Benedict, dismissed Maciel from ministry in May 2006, but the Vatican communiqué did not specify why or acknowledge the victims. Those explanations only came in 2010, after a Vatican investigation of the Legion prompted by news reports of the order's disclosure that Maciel had a daughter, a fact the Vatican had known since 2005.
Two sons by a second woman, with whom Maciel had a longstanding relationship, came forward later.
The Rhode Island documents, coming less than a week after Benedict announced his resignation from the papacy, add another chapter to the scandals that apparently were on his mind when, in his final public Mass as pope, he spoke of the face of the church that "is, at times, disfigured."
Fluent in French, Gabrielle Mee was conservative and refined; she felt she had found a spiritual home with the ultra-orthodox Legionaries for her twilight years. She became a consecrated woman in the order's lay group, Regnum Christi, living in a religious home while steadily ceding her enormous wealth to the Legion by giving power of attorney to Fr. Anthony Bannon, an Irish-born Legionary who divided his time between Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Like everyone else in the order's closed environment, Mee was taught that Nuestro Padre, as Maciel was called, had his enemies, but that he was a living saint for his leadership as an evangelist, drawing the church back from liberal abuses of the Second Vatican Council and attracting young men to a strict religious life. That was the Legion message.
By all accounts, she believed that message until her death at 96 in May 2008, just four months after Maciel's funeral in Mexico. She never knew Maciel had sired three children, two of whom, as previously reported in NCR, he secreted into private papal Masses celebrated by an apparently clueless John Paul.
At his death, the Legion website announced that Maciel had gone to heaven. Yet at that very time, Fr. Luis Garza and other top Legionaries were scrambling to decide how, and when, to reveal that Maciel had a grown daughter -- a fact the Vatican had known for three years.
Mee had long embraced the Legion's public campaign against nine men who in 1997 accused Maciel of abusing them as seminarians. This is referenced in a bank document.
Mee's husband, Timothy, was on the board of trustees of Fleet Bank. By the time he died in 1985, he had established a charitable trust in his name and a separate trust for Gabrielle. Three years later, she gave her first donation of $1 million to the Legion after her close friend Marguerite Garrahy, a former first lady of Rhode Island, spoke favorably of the Legion. Mee and Garrahy attended daily Mass together.
Bannon immediately notified Maciel in Rome of the million-dollar gift. But, he insisted in a deposition, "I did not control her checkbook."
Maciel made a practice in Mexico of cultivating wealthy widows and the wives of wealthy men. The Legion prep schools catered to affluent families, recruiting parents to Regnum Christi. The schools fed young men into the Legion. Bannon, referring to Mee, also testified on how Regnum Christi and Legion members donate their own assets to the order:
She would assign the management of those assets to somebody she trusts, and then before taking her final commitment would decide what is to be done with those assets. When there are assets that come as an inheritance, the same. ... It's my belief in the premise, and the way I've always acted is a person's assets is something God has given to him through family or through their own good work, and they are the owners and managers of that, and it's up to them to see what God wants them to do with the money.
I always speak to them about the needs that we have, but always respect their decision.
Troubles emerge
A bank memo suggests Bannon acted with greater self-interest when the order was threatened.
On Feb. 23, 1997, Gerald Renner and this writer published an investigative report in the Hartford Courant detailing a long history of sexual abuse by Maciel based on lengthy on-the-record accounts by nine former seminarians or ex-Legion priests. Maciel refused to be interviewed but claimed innocence. The Vatican refused any comment.
The Legion at the time had several major accounts with Fleet Bank and a mortgage on a former IBM complex in Thornwood, N.Y. It had plans to establish a college that involved zoning issues that were drawing strong resistance from Westchester County residents. The Legion purchased the property for $33 million in January 1997 with major help from Mee and carried a mortgage balance at the time of almost $25 million.
Prior to the Courant publication, the Legion sent affidavits of Maciel supporters to the newspaper, purporting to show Maciel's innocence in the face of a conspiratorial effort by the men to defame him.
Meanwhile, Garza, the order's vicar general, traveled to Legion houses in several countries to warn of the forthcoming article, claiming it would be based on lies and telling Legionaries and Regnum Christi members not to read the report should they see a copy.
Legionaries took a special vow never to criticize the founder, or superiors, and to report on anyone who did. This "special vow" -- which Benedict abolished many years later -- protected Maciel from criticism and rewarded spying as an act of faith.
In this environment, five days after the article was published, Bannon and another Legionary met with two Fleet officials at the bank. A summary memo from a bank official explains:
We discussed the Legion's public relations strategy and we will all follow any further developments in the news media.
We determined the most effective way to measure the health of the Legion's fundraising stream and cash flow on a real time basis was to monitor monthly cash flows to determine whether there has been any fall-off in revenues.
The memo states that Bannon asked Fleet to write a letter to the Courant "to complain about the story." The bank never did.
[You will soon hear about another "letter" that "someone" was asked to write in order to help with the cover-up of what will be soon revealed as an illegal action.]
The memo continues:
In terms of additional credit concerns the Legion was concerned about the impact of the surprise on Fleet. Father Bannon offered to pledge the cash flow stream from the Mee trust funds in order to provide additional security in this uncertain period. I thanked him, but communicated that it would be a significant conflict of interest if we were to seek a perfected security interest in the Mee funds because we are also a trustee [for Gabrielle Mee and for the Timothy Mee Charitable Trust].
"There is no evidence that Mrs. Mee knew of the detailed allegations against Maciel nor the existence of the Hartford Courant article," plaintiff attorney Bernard Jackvony told NCR. "Rather, it shows that she was in the dark."
Regnum Christi posted a notice in its residences saying that Nuestro Padre was under attack in a false article. But that, it appears, is the extent of what Mee knew.
"She was totally unaware that the Legion was using her wealth as a negotiating tool with the bank," Jackvony said. "It shows how the Legion at that point essentially treated her money as theirs. They took such liberties with her funds without her even knowing, and treating [it] like they were entitled to it."
In 2001, Bannon obtained sweeping power of attorney, drafted by the Legion's lawyers, for Mee's affairs. The Legion sued Fleet to obtain greater access to the combined Mee funds, with Gabrielle testifying for the Legion. The two sides settled out of court. Fleet later merged with Bank of America. Because of the 2001 agreement, Dauray's lawsuit includes the bank as a defendant with the Legion on allegations of fraud.
Just how many Legionaries knew of Maciel's secret life -- or how Maciel funded it through the coffers of a religious charity -- is unclear from an initial review of the documents. But Maciel was drawing $20,000 a month from the Legion in his later years, according to the transcript of a speech by Garza, the longtime vicar general, to a Regnum Christi group in Monterrey, Mexico, after the Legion divulged existence of the daughter in 2009.
Garza's speech was not evidence in the lawsuit, nor was he questioned about it. A Legion spokesman told NCR he could not respond to questions.
Garza's testimony is a pivotal part of the legal action. As vicar general, he was Maciel's second in command and "responsible for overseeing key areas of logistical governance," according a Regnum Christi profile, "involving constant analysis of numbers and personnel, structures and organizations, risks and opportunities."
[When you see "Garza" think "Gennarini".]
Garza grew up with five siblings in Monterrey, a scion of one of Latin America's wealthiest families, often compared to the Rockefellers.
Maciel cultivated the Garza family for years, ingratiating himself with the parents. Three of the siblings became immersed in Regnum Christi; the other half reacted against Maciel's tactics.
"Our family is hopelessly split to this day," said Roberta Garza, the youngest sibling. "One of my aunts gave Maciel a house."
A 1978 graduate of Stanford with a degree in engineering, Luis Garza joined the Legion after a period in Regnum Christi. The family made huge donations over the years, with Luis reported by one former Legionary as donating several million of his own. He earned a canon law degree from the Jesuits' Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Maciel named him vicar general as a sign of his rising authority.
In 1989, Mee went to Rome and met with Maciel to see the progress of the Legion seminary being built with her generous help.
Jackvony, a former Republican lieutenant governor of Rhode Island, asked Garza in deposition: "Were you aware of a gift [Mee] made to the Legion in 1989 of a million dollars?"
"No, I was not aware."
"Did you ever become aware of that in your official duties?"
"Did you become aware of it later?"
"I don't remember."
Jackvony bore down: "In 2002, there were a total of four million dollars in gifts, including a condominium in Narragansett?"
"The only thing I know about this is it's a condominium."
"In 2003," Jackvony continued, "there were gifts totaling about $3,600,000. Are you aware of any of those gifts?"
In contrast, Fr. Stephen Fichter, chief financial officer for the Legion in the late 1990s, gave often detailed answers despite 11 years' distance. Fichter left the order in 2000, uneasy with the internal rigidity, yet believing then Maciel was innocent of the seminarians' accusations. In 1997, before theHartford Courant investigation profiled nine ex-Legionaries recounting how Maciel abused them as boys, Garza had traveled to Legion houses in three continents, telling Legionaries and Regnum Christi members that certain accusations soon to be published were lies and none of them should read the media account if they came across it. Computer access was tightly limited in those years.
Fichter joined the Newark, N.J., archdiocese and earned a doctorate in sociology. He divides his time as a New Jersey pastor and in a research position at Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate in Washington.
"While I firmly believe that God can write straight with crooked lines, and that he brought some good into my personal life through the Legion," Fichter testified, "I personally feel deceived, defrauded, lied to" by the scope of information on Maciel that surfaced by 2011.
Fichter recalled reviewing Gabrielle Mee's bank investment files in Rome and storing her donation records "in paper form in some filing cabinet."
Maciel drew money in a manner "totally inconsistent" with ordinary Legionaries. "I would always have to give him $10,000 in cash; 5,000 in American dollars and 5,000 equivalent in currency to the country he was traveling," Fichter said. "I do not know what he used that money for. He never gave an accounting of that money."
"Rhode Island's attorney general [Peter Kilmartin] has the right to intervene in our case because it involves a charitable trust," Jackvony said. "The fraud by Maciel and the Legion of Christ demonstrated in these documents also deserves immediate attention to determine whether laws against financial abuse of the elderly have been violated."
[The following is extremely important!]
Maciel hid his pathological sex life behind a wall of wealth and an image of militant orthodoxy, charming John Paul II. He capitalized on footage of a beaming pope, celebrating Maciel and his cheering Legionaries at a public audience. A 30-person fundraising office at the Legion's U.S. headquarters in Cheshire, Conn., marketed cassettes of the event as a pivotal item in the Legion fundraising. A scene of John Paul embracing Maciel at the altar dramatized his standing for wealthy benefactors, like Mee.
By 2004, the Legion had a $650 million budget and $1 billion in assets for the prep schools, seminaries and universities in Latin America, Europe and North America. In 2005, with John Paul's death, Ratzinger broke with the pope's resistance to prosecuting Maciel and ordered Vatican canon lawyer Msgr. Charles Scicluna to investigate. Scicluna worked at Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is housed in the majestic palazzo called the Holy Office where Galileo was convicted of heresy. The upper floors house certain Roman Curia officials, including Rodé, 78, now retired as the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
[So you see how difficult it was to do anything against Maciel since he had the pope's personal protection, a pope who was declared a saint, and the same pope the Kiko's so often use and picture to authenticate themselves.]
A secret safe
In 2004, Rodé became prefect of the congregation that governs religious orders. His predecessor, Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo, took a $90,000 gift from Maciel, according to the priest who carried the envelope. Martínez Somalo refused interview requests.
Rodé said he took no cash gifts from the Legion.
"I esteem the charism of the Legionaries," [Wow! Does that sound familiar: "the charism"] Rodé told NCR in a Nov. 29 interview at his apartment at the Vatican. He saw young men of rock-solid orthodoxy, their numbers rising in Latin America as vocations sank in Europe and North America. Rodé gave celebratory speeches for the Legion in Brazil and Chile and praised the founder after Maciel's ouster.
Asked whether that was a mistake, he couched his answer in the context of papal loyalty. "It is difficult to say it was a mistake by the pope," he said, referencing John Paul's praise of Maciel long after the 1998 case filed in the doctrinal congregation. "I don't know. I wasn't there" to know what John Paul knew, or would not consider, about Maciel.
[Exactly what the Kiko's say: the pope, the pope, the pope.]
Rodé defends the Legionaries as a phenomenon apart from Maciel, a position Benedict took in the Vatican takeover to reform the order.
[This is what will probably happen eventually to the NCW. To save souls and prevent scandal, Rome will separate the movement from its founder and give it new leadership.]
A former Legion priest, speaking on background, said he met with Rodé after Maciel's death and the cardinal told him of a VHS he had seen when Maciel was superior general of Maciel and his young daughter.
Asked about this, Rodé gave a somber nod, saying it was "late 2004, or early 2005." The Legionary who showed it wanted him to have the information before the order's election for superior general, the position Maciel held for decades. Rodé says he persuaded the 84-year-old Maciel, by then under investigation, to step down. Maciel was re-elected and then retired.
What did Rodé do about the videotape showing Maciel's daughter?
"I told Msgr. Scicluna all about the problem," the cardinal said.
Scicluna reported directly to Ratzinger.
[Now watch what Rode says - even though he is the prefect of religious orders.]
As the prefect over religious orders, why did Rodé not punish Maciel?
"It was not for me to pronounce the penalty," he said. "But he was, in the end, corrected" -- by Benedict's 2006 Vatican order sending Maciel to a "life of prayer and penitence."
Did the cardinal confront Maciel about his child?
"It was not my obligation."
Why not?
"I was not his confessor." Rodé paused. "It was my obligation as prefect for religious to get him to step down, and I did."
The cardinal's interview lends validity to another dimension of Garza's testimony: his mounting suspicions about Maciel having a child and what it took for him to confirm it. This occurred almost two years after another Legionary showed Rodé the videotape.
By 2005, Maciel was showing "basic evidence of dementia, like forgetting things, repeating things in a conversation," Garza stated in his Rhode Island testimony.
After he stepped down as superior general, Maciel left Rome and began traveling. He spent time that spring in his birthplace, Cotija de la Paz, Mexico, where the Legion has a religious house. Photographs of a reunion with his former paramour, Norma Hilda Baños, and their daughter, Normita, 23, later appeared in a Mexican gossip magazine.
Maciel's final months
Yet even as he battled dementia, Maciel was a domineering figure. Who oversees an ex-superior general long revered as a living saint? But the Legion high command worried about Scicluna's investigation as well as Maciel's stability following a visit he made to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Garza's testimony reveals his concern that Maciel, in a slow mental decline, was still traveling whenever and wherever he pleased. After the visit to Mayo Clinic, Maciel in the spring of 2006 checked into Sawgrass, a five-star hotel in Jacksonville, Fla. The Legion, as always, paid his expenses. The evidence suggests he was in Jacksonville that May when the Vatican announced his dismissal to "a life of prayer and penitence."
There is no indication from the lawsuit that Garza, born 1958, had knowledge of Maciel abusing seminarians a generation before. The Legion's counterattack on the original accusers insisted that those men in their late 50s from Mexico and Spain hatched a conspiracy to bring Nuestro Padre down. The motives were never explained, but Maciel's charismatic personality and the many financial gifts he dispensed to curial officials and others over many years were among the reasons a chorus of defenders spoke out in the late 1990s. Among those who echoed John Paul's admiration for Maciel were Fr. Richard John Neuhaus; William Bennett; George Weigel, a biographer of John Paul II; and Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon, who later became the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.
The Vatican order of dismissal threw Garza into an awkward situation. The Legion's response contained contradictory elements. The order proclaimed its loyalty to Benedict while comparing Maciel to Christ as falsely accused, facing his new life with "tranquility of conscience." In this bizarre fandango of language -- the Vatican ordering Maciel into penitential life while praising the Legion, and the Legion comparing their founder to Christ -- Maciel was running up charges in a Florida luxury hotel.
And so the Legion bought a house in a Jacksonville gated complex and installed several priests to live with Nuestro Padre.
"And what was the purpose of them being there?" Jackvony asked in the deposition.
Garza replied, "To create a community."
"Why?" Jackvony asked.
"For Father Maciel to live a life of penance and absence from public ministry," Garza said.
Yet even with his new home, Maciel pined for Rome. He flew back in September 2006, hoping to attend the canonization ceremony of one of his uncles, a bishop in Mexico. The timing of Benedict's dismissal order was undoubtedly tied to that canonization. Vatican officials did not want a beaming Maciel at the ceremony knowing, as one official later told NCR, that he had molested "more than 20 but less than 100" victims.
Garza does not specify how they persuaded Maciel that he could not attend the canonization, but he returned to Jacksonville.
Garza by then was suspicious of Normita, 23, and her mother, Norma Hilda Baños, in her late 40s, who had been at the Sawgrass Hotel and were spending time with Maciel in his life of penance at the Legion house with the pool.
Among the group at the house was Javier Maciel, Nuestro Padre's brother. The priests and Javier, Garza testified, "knew the women" but would not say who they were. As Garza's suspicions grew, he stayed at a less-expensive hotel on his trips to Jacksonville, not at the "community" in the newly purchased house. In October 2006, Garza asked Norma "if the girl was the daughter of Father Maciel," he testified. "She confirmed that."
Garza tracked down her birth certificate and determined that Normita had studied at a Legion college in Mexico.
Garza was, like all Legionaries, beholden to the "private vows" never to speak ill of Maciel or superiors, never to seek higher office in the Legion, and to report to the superiors any criticism overheard about the founder. Maciel had imposed the vows to safeguard his sexual secrets. Benedict would later order the vows abolished. But at that time, Garza had only one person in whom to confide: the new superior general, Fr. Alvaro Corcuera.
By early 2007 the Legion was in an existential drama with the Vatican. Maciel was gone, sort of. Corcuera and Garza, who had long defended him of the pedophilia accusations, faced a huge internal issue: how to tell Legionaries, Regnum Christi members and the donor base about Maciel's shadow family.
Garza was also concerned about the impact on the women. Normita, he testified, said "she had this father that was very caring for her but in many instances very absent." Norma supported herself by "property that she leases," raising further questions of fraud in the legal action. How did she gain title to rental real estate when she apparently did not work?
Maciel met Norma in Acapulco, Mexico, in 1980. Normita was born three years later. In 1997, he moved them to Madrid, providing support in an upscale apartment, according to Spanish reports.
Through the year 2007, Maciel's paternity stayed hidden. The Vatican made no disclosure, nor did the Legion. How much each side knew about the other is not clear from the available evidence.
Maciel's dementia was getting worse by the end of that year, according to Garza's testimony. He sank into his final illness in late January 2008. According to a report in Madrid's El Mundo, as Norma and Normita joined the priests closest to Maciel in the Jacksonville house, Corcuera, his successor as superior general, tried to anoint him, to which he reportedly yelled, "I said no!"
The body went back to Cotija de la Paz for burial in a family tomb. The Legion announced that he had gone to heaven. Garza and Corcuera were trying to decide how to reveal the truth as Vatican officials looked on.
Gabrielle Mee died four months later in Rhode Island.
In July 2008, the Legion's American communications director, Jim Fair, traveled to Rome to discuss ongoing media strategy. Fair gave a deposition in the litigation too. In the Rome meeting, he stated, Corcuera revealed that Maciel had a daughter: They had to prepare for news coverage when it was disclosed. "We were very emotional in our response to this," Fair testified. "I think the only question any of us asked is, are you sure, and [Corcuera] said yeah."
In a telephone interview with NCR on Sunday, Fair said no Vatican official attended the meeting, nor did they discuss Vatican involvement.
Why did the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which had investigated Maciel and then the Legion, not release the information or prod the Legion to do so when Benedict dismissed Maciel in 2006?
Why did the Vatican sit on the information all those years?
[This is the same question we are all asking about Kiko and his clan.]
José Barba, the retired Mexico City college professor who filed the 1998 recourse against Maciel in the doctrinal congregation tribunal, argues that the paramount issue for Benedict was protecting John Paul II's reputation.
[Sadly, here we see it. In fact, JP2's support of Maciel became the main obstacle to his canonization. Learn more here.]
"Ratzinger wanted to elevate John Paul to beatification," said Barba, coauthor of La Voluntad de No Saber ("The Will Not to Know"), an analysis of Vatican documents on Maciel. The book's publication last March and Benedict's refusal to meet with Maciel victims on a trip to Mexico ignited an onslaught of bad press for the pope. Benedict had to reckon with the embarrassment of John Paul's praise of Maciel after the 1998 case, in essence scoffing at allegations against one of the most notorious sexual criminals in church history. By keeping a lid on Maciel's secret life, Barba said, Benedict hoped "to defend the sainthood case against the accusations that John Paul protected predators."
More in this series:

[Jason Berry, author of Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church, is a longtimeNCR contributor on a joint assignment with GlobalPost for its new religion blog, Belief. Support for this report came from the Knight Grant for Reporting on Religion and American Public Life, sponsored by the Knight Program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism; the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting; and the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute. Additional reporting from Rome is part of a joint project by Berry for NCR and GlobalPost.]

Note: While Kiko Arguello is not reported to be involved with any sex crimes (though we have to question the seriously skewed preoccupation with sexual sins that we are now seeing from the seminarians and hearing from former members of the Way), the fact that Kiko is able to get away with even more influence (he has over a million followers - much bigger than Macial), is indicative of just how much more skillful Kiko is at buying up Rome and paralyzing its leadership to act against him. 


  1. Dam Tim how can you still be catholic? Your church is corrupt

    1. Looks like you didn't read the intro. BTW, it's spelled "damn". Try again.

  2. Mary Lou Garcia-PeredaApril 4, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    It's time that the "Regular Catholics" — particularly those who have been straddling the fence and/or sitting on the sidelines admonishing that "All we need to do is pray" — acknowledge that we cannot depend on Rome to free us from the Nefariously Cancerous Wickedness that AAA wants to impose on every parish on Guam.

    We need to embrace our membership in the Church Militantin addition to praying, we must INFORM ourselves and ACT to preserve the AUTHENTIC Catholic Faith.

  3. WOW!!! How scary the many similarities between the two "charisms".

  4. Tim, if a person claims/brags to have fathered children, isn't there a law that says he must provide child support or otherwise be listed in the news as a "deadbeat dad'? Just asking.

    1. ahhhh, but he *has* been providing for both the child's and mother's care! To be in the news the mother/child will have to report him in....and in this case there was no desire to do so.

    2. Where are we going?

    3. Anon 12:30, I thought there was more than one? How generous of him to take care of all of them. He must be pulling in a hefty salary. Or is getting help from generous donors like the Charities Appeal? Just asking.

  5. Thank you Tim for making this available for all to see. Evil is always looking for an opening to claim more souls away from God. Mary Lou is right, fighting for our Faith is what a true follower of Christ must do. The DECEPTION, CORRUPTION, CRONYISM, POWER BUILDING, and other works of the devil must be challenged and purged from the Church that Jesus Christ founded. When our Church leaders fail us we must stand up and demand that they do what they promised Christ when ordained or get out! We must get rid of the "career" religious leaders who are using their position in the Church to enrich themselves and their cronies, not practicing what they preach. The days of blind obedience is over. Trust must be earned from now on. We the laity, the faithful, have each other and must band together to fight for Christ the King. Our salvation is at stake.

    1. Just want to add that priests must preach the teachings of Jesus Christ and follow them. Unfortunately, we have bishops and priests who preach and espouse things that are secular in nature.

    2. EVIL ----------TIM }:

  6. There is a report/article I came across in one of searches that mentioned the reason for Pope Benedict's sudden resignation was that a warrant of arrest was in the making to include seizing Vatican assets.
    With Pope Francis, some are saying the mafia is out to get him for taking measures to weed out money laundering activities in the Vatican Bank. ISIS has openly threatened the pope for speaking out against them and cooperating with the CIA to help identify funds that may be aiding terrorist organizations. Let us continue praying for his safety. St. Michael.....

  7. We all need the medicine of the Mercy of God. Alleluia.

  8. So Tim, you are saying you are wiser Than the recent popes? Are you saying that our popes are idiots? Are you saying that only they lay know better? Make this its own forum.

    1. Anonymous @8:38

      Kiko is a layman too. Not a priest. Not a religious. A layman. See how he handles the current popes, as well as Saint John Paul II? It's a slippery slope you are on. Be on guard of how your questions are really only one-sided.

      If the object of Wisdom is God, then I will say that Tim's Wisdom is finely tuned.

      Now if you believe your questions are valid, then point your questions back at Kiko and see how that spins for you.


  9. Excellent story Tim. Thanks for taking the time to again inform the uninformed. Church history is so interesting. In fact, a read of The Old Testament is also full of stories of the rise and fall of so many thought to be great leaders corrupted by power and riches.

  10. Tim, Happy & Blessed Easter to you and the family. Corruption, sex, greed, power, great material for a movie, or mini-series. The similarities with the NCW are striking and should be a wake-up call for those souls who are "innocently" walking in the Way. See Father Pablo's session on Truth.

    EWTN recently aired a story on the NCW in the Denver Archdiocese. NCW & MJ what a mix.

  11. Tim, you are out of control. All of this unfounded slandering of Kiko (who I guarantee is a holy man and not the master manipulator you make him out to be) and the NCW is pretty low.

    You are starting to sound like a JFK assassination conspiracy theorist.