Entering religious life is not without it risks. Not only do you have to leave the comfort of your home and family (as in my case) or the comfortable sense of responsibility in your career (as is more and more the case today), during formation you, of necessity, have to withhold judgment in some cases in order to learn the spirit of the community, its customs, stories, manner of interpreting events in the light of a charism that is still only incipient in you. You have to trust the superiors and formators to some degree, and your trust is based on faith: ultimately, faith in the Church which granted the congregation its recognition and approval, and in Jesus who said the "gates of hell shall not prevail."
Unfortunately, superiors don't always know what they're doing or fully live the values they proclaim. They can let you down.
Because of that, there's a verse in today's first reading that has long provoked conflicting feelings in me: "Remember your leaders who spoke the Word of God to you." I still remember how I felt at the realization that my trusted spiritual director (a longtime superior in my community), was, despite all her sincerity and good will, not a reliable guide at all. I felt unmoored, and began to question everything I had ever heard in community. The circumstances were not grave; the spiritual harm I suffered not deadly, but I was profoundly shaken.
This allows me to feel tremendous sympathy for the Legionaries of Christ and members of Regnum Christi now that the unsavory allegations against their founder are beginning to be substantiated. So far, official statements have been characterized by incredibly vague language, as though the community were hoping that a simple admission of "conduct unbecoming" would allow the whole matter to be dealt with and all traces of it swept carefully under the rug of charity. I hope that what we have seen is just a first step, while they consult with some of our wisest bishops about the best course of action to take for the greater glory of God and good of the Church. (I would recommend they seek counsel from the bishops who did not fawn over them during the founder's prosperous lifetime.) Meanwhile, there are thousands of innocent souls who "left all things" to hear "the Word of God" from a man who is now being revealed as a kind of Dorian Gray of the clerical state. Today's reading can, for now, only drive a stake further into their hearts: "Remember your leaders... consider the outcome of their lives and imitate their faith." How can they do that and still maintain peace?
But it is especially important for those betrayed members of the two communities to go back to that reading from Hebrews. They are consecrated to Jesus, not to any human being; they put their ultimate hope in Jesus, and he is completely, utterly faithful. Even if their "leaders" fail, "the Word of the Lord stands forever": "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever."