- Jul 9, 2020
ROME – When we look back at the Catholic experience of the coronavirus, it will be tempting for closures and suspensions to be what we remember most. In many parts of the world Catholics were unable to attend Mass for months, driving some of them online for worship and others
The Vatican office that grants official recognition to international Catholic lay movements and organizations ordered the groups to develop detailed child-protection guidelines and norms for handling allegations of the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.
According to one expert in Church law, carrying out the recent suppression of an Argentine religious institute is a complicated, messy and time-consuming process that no churchman looks forward to. Yet for victims thirsting for justice, explanations aren’t enough – they want action.
Similar to the Legion of Christ founded by the late Mexican Father Marcial Maciel Degollado or the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV) launched by Peruvian layman Luis Fernando Figari, members of the Hermanos Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista tell of a toxic internal culture where abuse and manipulation ran rampant.
When the Vatican suppressed Argentina’s Hermanos Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista this summer, the act was welcome news for ex-members, some of whom have been waiting for years to get justice for alleged abuses suffered under the group’s founder and other members.
When Chrystian Contreras Javier Gomez, entered Argentina’s Hermanos Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista at age 15, he thought he was walking among spiritual giants whose life of contemplative prayer fueled a heroic service to the poor. Yet it wouldn’t take long for him to discover that there were more sinners than saints behind the community walls.