The whole phrase, "'The best-laid plans of mice and men / Go oft awry", comes from a Robert Burns poem.
I got this email yesterday. I sat on it for a while, thinking of whether to let these "plans" come to fruition, or allow you all to make your own judgement on the motives behind it.
Hello all. We are entering, or have already entered, into a critical period in the life and mission of the authentic and restored CFC, in relation to the Vatican. The IC (Int'l Council) under Joe Tale has gone to the Vatican, as brokered by Archbp Arguelles, the brother of Joey who is an IC member. They were chastised (Rylko letter of March 11 to JT) but at the same time were given the opportunity to rectify things. This they have made a show of doing but have not really conformed to the directives of the Vatican.
What is the score? What are the plus factors for us? (1) The Vatican recognizes me as the founder of CFC. (2) They agree that the social should not overpower the spiritual. (3) They have the findings of our Philippine bishops under Bp Reyes, saying the IC veered away and were disobedient to the bishops. What are the plus factors for them? (1) They are considered the legal CFC (this is due to the legal validity of the election of the IC), and so they are the CFC recognized by the Vatican (though I maintain this does not necessarily exclude us). (2) The Vatican, I believe, wants to save face. The permanent recognition of CFC was just granted in 2005 and it really does not look good that in just two years it has split. This is probably why the Vatican will not recognize just us and not them, since that will take fancy legal/canonical footwork.
Complicating matters for us is the certainty that the IC has campaigned for its cause with the Vatican. They have a formidable propaganda machinery with political and secular minds running it. They have maligned me as they do everywhere. I was surprised when the monsignor in the Pontifical Council for the Laity (PCL) said that the problem was just between two persons (TM and me) and even implied that I was jealous of TM! This is exactly the line (and the lie) that the IC continues to tell.
In my visit to the PCL last April 7 (Cardinal Rylko was not around, just his two deputies), while recognizing me as the founder, they wanted unity and reconciliation. In their directive to JT, the PCL wanted unity and reconciliation, and hoped that the split would not affect CFC outside the Philippines. Bp Reyes visited the PCL just last April 21. He did this because Archbp Arguelles, without informing him, lawyered for the IC and brought them to the Vatican (we have good information that the PCL rebuffed JT's earlier request to meet Cardinal Rylko; but how can they refuse an archbishop?). I have not yet talked with Bp Reyes, but his initial report to Maribel is that the Vatican will allow two CFCs in the Philippines, but only one CFC in other countries. This is probably because the Philippines is already split and the bishops have recognized two CFCs, but they do not know that CFC in the world is also already split and so mistakenly hope that unity can be maintained (and thus the scandal localized). One importance of this, if this is so, is that indeed, given certain circumstances, the Vatican can allow two CFCs.
If what Bp Reyes reports is as I got it, then the status of the name of CFCs throughout the world that are not aligned with CFC Global will be in jeopardy. Thus, if you agree, I ask you to write the PCL/Vatican regarding your own communal situation. The IC did a lot of campaigning, and now, in this critical period, we probably need to do so too. Following are suggested inputs, though you of course should write out of your knowledge of the truth and out of your personal/communal conviction.
*** State your credentials (National Council, governance team, elder position, etc.).
*** Describe the situation in your country or area regarding the split. This clearly tells the Vatican that the split has already affected the CFC world. State what percentage of the CFC membership has gone with CFC-FFL. This says that we are not a small splinter group as the other side claims.
*** Speak about how you see the crisis/split. How the other side veered away. How they were disrespectful to the bishops. How you are for the restoration of our authentic charism. How CFC-GK will ultimately destroy CFC. How you can no longer follow the IC.
*** Make your appeal to the Vatican. To recognize that we are the true CFC. And whatever else.
*** If you have a CFC corporation, then say so. The PCL has to know that CFCGMFI, even with the IC legally elected, is not the true owner of the CFC name. It is all of us throughout the world, and in your case, even legally speaking.
*** If you have approval by your bishop, say so.
In addition, there can be personal testimonies.
*** Brethren who have really something significant to say.
*** Clergy who have journeyed with us and know well our situation (e.g., Spiritual Directors of South Africa).
Write as led by the Holy Spirit. The overall intent is to let the Vatican know what has already happened throughout the CFC world, and contrary to the disinformation of the IC. Our hope is that the Vatican will not suppress your use of the CFC name.
Please send your letters, immediately by fax and then followed by a hard copy, to:
Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko
President, Pontifical Council for the Laity
00120 Citta del Vaticano, Europe
FAX 06 698.87214
Tel 06 698.87322
Mostly I have been letting go and letting God, allowing God to fight for us, and normally not responding to the unfounded attacks of the other side. There have been so much maligning, slander and lies, and we do know that Satan is the father of lies. We are in intense spiritual warfare. So many people, our brethren as well as the Vatican, are confused and ask, "What is truth?" If it was just me, I can continue to be silent and rejoice in the persecution. But your own life and mission are now affected or could be affected even more, perhaps adversely depending on what the Vatican pronounces. So while we of course are indeed totally dependent upon God's mercy and grace, there are times when we need to more aggressively speak about what is right and true and just. This is such a time. Some would say it is even long overdue.
I attach for your info, if you have not seen this yet, a paper on "The Real Issue." God bless and protect us all.
"For to me life is Christ, and death is gain." (Phil 1:21)