Monday, May 4, 2009

President Ashcroft and the Legionaries

A brief story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Friday contained several remarkable statements by Southern Catholic College President Dr. Jeremiah Ashcroft about the school’s emerging new affiliation with the Legionaries. He said it will be beneficial because the Legionaries are one of the few Catholic religious orders that is growing and because they have a strong associated lay order. He said that “concerns over negative reports about the order were alleviated when Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta, a college board member, affirmed the affiliation as a good move.” He said, “Our sense of [the apostolic visitation] is that it is a good thing by Rome and will result in an even stronger order.”

I wish reporter Christopher Quinn had made a little more of his opportunity to converse with President Ashcroft. Can Ashcroft prove the growth of the Legionaries with valid statistics or is that an unexamined cliché? Is he aware that there has been and may well be further attrition in the order and in Regnum Christi as a result of the now widespread knowledge that the founder was a fraud? The Legionaries are under investigation for sexual and financial corruption and this recommends them? How can Archbishop Gregory assure him that the Legionaries will continue to exist after the visitation when his brother archbishop in Baltimore Edwin O’Brien has said that that in itself is an issue for the visitation to consider? Does Archbishop Gregory claim the same powers as Cardinals Rodé and Sodano to keep the Legionaries from harm, no matter what they do?

If Legionary Vocation Director Rev. Anthony Bannon was telling donors in March that the Legionaries could barely afford heating oil this winter , where’s the money coming from to bail out the College? Or was Father Bannon exaggerating a little? Can Ashcroft guarantee that the Legionaries have given up their Founder’s attitude that the primary goal of Legionary schools is recruitment ?

I wonder if President Ashcroft will converse with me, a pseudonymous no-account, but concerned and well-intentioned.



    Legion Desperately Seeking FUNDS!

    It would appear from the Legion/Regnum's present frantic efforts at fundraising that the leadership cadre is feeling the pinch. (see below pitch from ZENIT, the LC/RC news agency in Rome).

    The desperate search for funds does not mean that the Movement or its members are actually poor; it just means that they dont have as much as they want. One of the strategies being employed presently is to project "Business As Usual" = Denial, or "We are Growing More than Ever" = Reaction Formation, whereby the Movement continues to expand, buy properties, schools and colleges, and embark on new "Apostolates" and "Missions"

    Because the image of Legion and Regnum Christi has been tarnished for the Catholic public, the Movement is seeking donations through ZENIT, its "Missions" and other "worthy causes" [i.e. "Fronts"]

    BE CAUTIOUS with Solicitations such as the following:

    "Dear Reader,

    Would you like to be one of the 8,400 English-edition readers who allow ZENIT to grow?

    ZENIT's policy has always been to spread Church news as widely as possible, through the best technology available.

    That is why we offer our news service free to all readers who make "personal use" of it. Even when we charge fees, such as to media clients, we offer low rates for those on limited budgets who are involved in the work of evangelization.

    This policy has brought good results. More than 620,000 e-mail subscribers receive ZENIT in seven language editions. That includes 600,000 personal-use readers.

    We want to maintain the no-fee policy for private subscribers. Many of our readers would never be able to get ZENIT otherwise.

    But to cover costs, we have to rely on donations from our readers!

    This year we need to collect $1,600,000 from readers' donations. This amount would cover about 70% of ZENIT's annual budget for 2009 that you can find at:

    In past years, the English edition has been the one that has contributed the most to ZENIT's support.

    We are confident that this year, too, the generosity of the 150,000 ZENIT English-edition personal-use readers will be the key to the success of the campaign.

    Specifically, we propose the goal of $420,000 from ZENIT's English edition.

    That $420,000 amounts to $2.80 per private reader per year -- about the price of three or four newspapers!

    We already know that, in fact, it is not possible to receive $3 from each of our 150,000 private readers.

    But perhaps we can receive $50 from 8,400 of you!

    Are you among the 8,400 who can send $50?

    We understand that many readers face financial difficulties. But those who can afford it, can help those who cannot!

    If you send a donation of $15, you will be paying for 5 people who cannot pay to receive ZENIT free during an entire year. If you send $60, you will be helping 20 people, and $120 will enable 40 people to receive ZENIT. Whatever the amount, your donation will be extremely valuable.

    Please, think about it!

    If you can, send $10, $20, $50 or more ... do so today!

    Your donation will help make ZENIT widely available -- and that can change lives!

    ZENIT's impact in the world depends on your generosity!

    To send your contribution, please click on:

    To send your donations using a credit card, through the Web pages indicated above, you will access our security server, which ensures total confidentiality.

    To send donations using a check or bank transfer, you will also find instructions in the same Web page.

    Any questions? Please contact us at:

    With best wishes and gratitude for whatever help you can give us.

    Yours sincerely,

    Carmen Lago

  2. Catholics keep giving Legion Money!

    Dear Friend of ZENIT,

    Many thanks to those who have already helped us during our annual fundraising campaign.

    Your support is crucial -- it enables us to provide a service that reaches countless readers around the world, many of whom have limited resources and few opportunities to get news about the Vatican, the Church at large, and world events viewed from a Christian perspective.

    If you haven't done so yet, please consider a donation to help us meet this year's goal of $420,000 for ZENIT's English-language edition.

    So far we have received $203,000 from English-edition readers -- more than half the goal!

    Will you help us?

    Your donation will ensure that ZENIT continues to provide the news perspective you have come to rely upon.

    -- Could you afford a large donation? Of $500 or even $1,000 or more?

    Some of our readers have already given sizable donations; others probably could.

    -- Could you pledge a monthly donation? Even small monthly donations are a big help with our budgeting and planning.

    To donate, just click at:

    To donate by credit card, you can access our secure server.

    To donate by check or wire transfer, you can find the directions at the Web addresses above.

    Any questions? Contact us at:

    If you have already donated, thanks again.

    If you are still considering a donation, think of it as a way to strengthen the Church's voice in the media.

    God bless,

    Kathleen Naab