More On Love Opposes Use

"The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39)

Natalie (full article):
The personalistic norm, as articulated by JPII, confirms that "the person is a good towards which the only proper and adequate attitude is love"

In the "negative" definition, the personalistic principle "states that the person is the kind of good which does not admit of use and cannot be treated as an object of use and as such the means to an end"

JPII explains that the command to love persons is not the personalistic norm in and of itself, but rather, Christ's command to love is based on the personalistic norm.
"The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:40)

As John Paul II noted "Love is the opposite of use". Much depends on this.

Love and Responsibility:
"Nobody can use a person as a means towards an end, no human being, nor yet God the Creator"

"When two people consciously choose a common aim this puts them on a footing of equality, and precludes the possibility that one of them might be subordinated to the other"
Maciel wove the Legion and Regnum Christi to enable his goals. In the process the elaborate networks and goals that he shaped, hobbled the spiritual maturation of both groups.

To rediscover the true mutual service of both the priesthood and the laity, let's look closely at St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians:
And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,(Ephesians 4:11-12)
Equipping the laity is the role of priests. Not to direct the building. Not to organize recruitment schemes. Not to bind souls to apostolic commitments. Not to co-opt lay programs. Not to scare parents into entrusting the care of minors. God doesn't use men. Any apostolate that instrumentalizes men cannot build the Kingdom.

St. Paul knew that the one great thing worthy of priestly dedication is to equip the laity to answer the universal call to holiness. Anything that departs from this is not the model that Jesus gave his disciples. If a priest tries to build on any other ground his labor is in vain. The only route to spiritual maturity for priests is to serve the spiritual development of all...
until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming.(Ephesians 4:13-14)
Any violation of personal freedom is gravely serious. Even when done with best of intentions, the results are far reaching, for practitioners and targets and for the entire Church community.
Love and Responsibility:
"This principle... lies at the basis of all the human freedoms, properly understood, and especially freedom of conscience"

"Anyone who treats a person as the means to an end does violence to the very essence of the other"
Any group that puts lofty goals for the Kingdom ahead of conscience and freedom does violence, not just to the wider community, but also to the very essence of that group itself.

Maciel was more than a sexual predator that personally harmed those who met him personally. He shaped and groomed an entire organization, its norms, its culture, its practices and its methodologies to enable unbridled pursuit of power and glory.

Whereas he hid bad intent behind good appearance, he co-opted many to compromise good intent with recruitment and commitments and grandiose schemes that instrumentalize souls.

The insistence to this day that Maciel was a flawed man who did a lot of good, reveals an organization with little comprehension of what Maciel has wrought. Fr. Berg has provided an excellent summary of the great spiritual immaturity that Maciel groomed:
...inability to see and honestly recognize the flaws and errors that so many people outside the Legion are able to see. unhealthy suppression of personal freedom (which is a far cry from the reasoned, discerned and freely exercised oblation of mind and will that the Holy Spirit genuinely inspires in the institution of religious obedience) and occasions unholy and unhealthy restrictions on personal conscience.

...a simplistic, and humanly and theologically impoverished notion of God's will (its discernment and manifestation) that breeds personal immaturity.

...the negative personality change which many, if not most, Legionaries undergo over time: the shallowness of their emotional expression, the lack of empathy and inability to relate normally to others in so many contexts, the general sense of their being "out of touch," etc.

...systematically deprived of the kind of information they not only have a right to know but a fundamental need to know: a complete presentation of the basic facts of Fr. Maciel's double life

...largely unaware of most of these things, shielded as they are from virtually all negative information about the Legion and Regnum Christi. Consequently, they lack the requisite interior freedom to genuinely discern God's calling in their lives at present.
Instrumentalizing people is at the heart of the grave deformation that Maciel created:

Sandro Magister (full article):
Rebuilding from the ground up a congregation still deeply influenced by its disgraced founder will be an arduous enterprise.

Priests and seminarians who until very recently were steeped in the writings attributed to Maciel will have difficulty finding new sources of inspiration, not generic but specific to their order. The current leaders of the congregation aren't helping, either. On the contrary. One of Maciel's former personal secretaries, Fr. Felipe Castro, together with other priests of the Legion, has worked in recent months to select from among the founder's many letters a group of letters to be "saved" for the future, to keep a positive image of Maciel alive.

The dependence of the Legionaries on Maciel was – and for many still is – absolute. There wasn't a shred of daily life that escaped the rules he dictated. Absurdly exacting rules. Which prescribed, for example, how to sit at the table, how to use a napkin, how to swallow, how to eat chicken without using one's hands, how to debone a fish.

But this was nothing compared to the control exercised over consciences. The handbook for the examination of conscience at the end of the day was 332 pages long, with thousands of questions.

And then there were – and are – the statutes properly speaking. Much more extensive and detailed than those provided to the bishops of the dioceses in which the Legionaries have their houses. The five visitors went through a lot of trouble to obtain the statutes in their entirety.

From the statutes one gathers that in addition to the three classical vows of religious orders, of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the Legionaries were bound by two other vows – plus a third called "of fidelity and charity" for the select members of the congregation – which prohibited any kind of criticism and at the same time required telling the superiors about confreres seen violating the ban.

These extra vows were supposed to have been removed by order of the Holy See, in 2007. But the rank and file of the Legionaries do not seem to have been notified of this revocation.

The boundary between the spirit of obedience and the spirit of subjection is not always clear in the congregation founded by Maciel.

Among the Legionaries, the competition encouraged by the rules is to see who can make the most proselytes. And the novice immediately enters a collective machine that completely absorbs his individuality. Everything is meticulously overseen and regulated, in a thicket of limitations. From personal mail to reading material, from visits to travel.

Over the eight months of the apostolic visit, this control was relaxed only in part. Some priests told the visitors about the things they believed were wrong. Others have left the congregation and been incardinated into the diocesan clergy. Others have continued to defend Maciel's legacy. Others feel lost. Still others, finally, have faith in the rebuilding on new foundations of a religious congregation that is part of their lives and that they continue to love.