March 4, 2010
In response to a radio and television program that appeared March 3 in Mexico, the Legion of Christ is releasing the letter that Fr Carlos Skertchly, LC, wrote to Mr. Raúl González Lara this past January 12. We publish it with absolute respect for the person of Raúl González Lara, bearing in mind that he himself published it on March 3. The attached letter shows the Legion of Christ’s position toward Mr. González and this complex situation, which we have come to know about through him after the death of our founder, Fr Marcial Maciel, LC. Fr Carlos Skertchly is currently in Rome, replacing Fr Cristóforo Fernández in his functions as general procurator of the congregation.
We share the suffering and pain of the members of the González Lara family, understanding the difficult circumstances they have lived and are living.
In recent years, the Legionaries of Christ have gradually come to know, with surprise and great sorrow, hidden aspects of the life of Fr Maciel. We confirm our commitment to act in truth and charity. We renew our request for forgiveness from the affected people for all of the suffering this has caused and for the ensuing scandal.
Communications office of the Legionaries of Christ, Mexico
Fr Carlos Skertchly’s letter to Mr. Raúl González Lara:
Thy Kingdom Come!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Mr. Raúl González Lara
I would like to leave a written record of our meeting this past January 6, according to your wish for a first response to your requests. With the intention of being precise and formal, I preferred to do it in writing. I also confirm my availability to continue dialoguing with you.
At this time, it is impossible for Fr Álvaro Corcuera to come to Mexico to meet with you as you requested, so he asked me as his representative to be available to meet with you and listen to you.
Our intention as members of the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, is to do whatever is possible to uncover the truth about our founder’s life, to look for the best solutions—in a spirit of gospel charity—to the complex situations that are presenting themselves, and to reach out pastorally to all of the people who have suffered or who may be affected by it. It is in this spirit and with these intentions that I met with you.
In our meeting this past January 6 at the Anáhuac University North, we had the opportunity to talk for an hour. During that time, you mentioned some aspects of your life in relation to your father, whom you identified as Fr Marcial Maciel. You also informed me of your intentions and the petition that you are presenting to the superiors of the Legion of Christ: you are asking them to give you a sum of 6 million dollars in fulfillment of what you say was your father’s will, expressed orally to you in a conversation. You also ask for another 20 million dollars as compensation for your sufferings.
On January 8 in the afternoon, I received your phone call, in which you confirmed your request, affirming that “if you give me the money, I will keep quiet about the truth,” and you asked for a response by January 13 at the latest.
In response to your petition, I can tell you the following:
1. As I affirmed in our meeting and on the phone call, we want to understand your situation, try to shed light on the still obscure aspects we are facing, seek the truth, and reach out to people. However, in no way can we accede to your request for money in exchange for silence. While we value all of the pain and suffering that you have shared with us, and we deplore the evil of scandal that may follow, we will never accept petitions of this sort, which are also illicit. We prefer to seek and face the truth, no matter how painful it may be.
2. In fulfillment of the responsibility I have received, I informed Fr Álvaro Corcuera of the content of our conversations, and I will tell you his comments and answers. From now on, I can confirm our desire and availability to accompany you and offer you the pastoral support you are willing to receive, since, as you told me, the deepest solution to your difficulties is not economic. I would also like to take this opportunity to mention that we have heard that a Mexican journalist will soon be publishing a book on topics related to Fr Maciel. We have not had any contact with the author and we have yet to know the book’s content. We are deeply sorry for the suffering and moral damage that this writing may cause you, your relatives, and us as well. We are also sorry for the public and ecclesial scandal it will generate.
I ask you once again to reflect on your position, and once again, we are always ready to work together to seek the truth, the evidence, and the best solutions to this situation which is so painful for everyone. This will surely be a difficult process that will take time.
With the assurance of my prayers for you and your family, yours sincerely in Christ,
Fr Carlos Skertchly, L.C.