It appears that the Legionaries of Christ - a popular Catholic cult based on the work of a remarkably twisted, evil man - has a new contender for spiritual leader: Chris West.
The Legionaries of Christ is, of course, famous for being founded by Marcel Maciel, the man whose spirituality turned out to be based on having sex with anything that moved, and a few things that didn't.
Maciel is also notable for being one of only a handful of people who have been seriously reprimanded by the Pope himself, when Pope Benedict sent Maciel to perpetual occupation of a monastery cell. This allowed him to meditate on his sins and kept him away from other people's genitals. Blessed John Paul II would have done the same thing if only he hadn't been completely hoodwinked by Maciel and supporters. But even saints make mistakes sometimes.
And the idea that saints sometimes make mistakes is quite convenient for the members of the Legion, who still prefer to think of Maciel as a saint, rather than a monster.
Maciel was... well.... maybe not a saint, but at least saint-like, except for all those romps with all those girls and boys. Well, and the pregnancies. And the secret child support for the resulting progeny. And the larceny. Which we can overlook all of that, because he was just a wounded man, you see.
So Maciel is really a saint, just like Blessed John Paul II, because Blessed JP II liked Maciel right up until the end and you can always trust a saint, except when you can't. That should be proof enough for anyone!
Thus, it's no real surprise to see a Legionary priest compare Blessed Pope John Paul II to Maciel.
And it's no real surprise to see Chris West, who loves comparing John Paul II to Hugh Hefner, double down on the Legionary comparision. Chris generously points out that the LC cult could now hitch its wagon to his star, and help him promote the "theology of the body."
Now, sure, the LC wouldn't be promoting JP II's version, it would actually be promoting Chris West's version, and Chris's version is essentially heretical because it denies that Catholic virtue IS virtue.
But all of these persnickety details should slip right by the members of the Legion because they aren't really well-known for critical thinking when it comes to leadership.
Yep, that's EXACTLY who we want teaching Catholic theology, especially the theology of human love: untrained lay cult members who were spiritually formed by a sex maniac.
Of course, Chris was himself formed in a cult, a cult that had ALSO been suppressed (albeit, only by the local church), Chris has promoted other cult leaders in the past, Chris is surrounded by people who started or participated in other Catholic cults that the Church has expressed concern about, so it is hardly surprising that Chris now apparently wants to hitch his star to the Legion's cult.
Or vice versa.
Doesn't matter, really.
What matters is this.
Cults make TONS of money for the leaders.
Men like Chris West and his publisher, Matt Pinto.
So, if West can successfully promote himself into the leadership, or at least into a starring role in the Legion, everyone will make out like a bandit.
And John Paul II's minor work will be turned into a major spectacle.
Think Barnum and Bailey.