Thursday, April 23, 2009

External Superior appointed over Miles Jesu by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar of Rome

After an investigation into Miles Jesu by the Vicariate of Rome and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life started in June of 2007, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Cardinal Vicar of the Diocese of Rome has decided to appoint an external superior over Miles Jesu. He will take the place of Fr. Mark Gelis, M.J. who was previously the General Director of Miles Jesu.

In Fr. Gelis's letter on the Miles Jesu website, he makes it sound like this act of appointing an external superior over Miles Jesu is just a matter of "special assistance" for "accompanying us in the further development of our programs for admission and formation of candidates as well as the preparatory formation of the members before deepening their commitments."

What Father Gelis doesn't mention is that this external superior is being imposed over Miles Jesu after an investigation that was started after approximately 19 members in May of 2007 (including members who were former members of Miles Jesu's governing body, Miles Jesu priests, as well as members who had been in Miles Jesu for over 25 years) reported witnessing over the years in Miles Jesu the following abuses: manipulation of possible recruits to join Miles Jesu, financial dishonesty, practices against Canon Law such as non-confidential spiritual direction, not providing all members with adequate health care/insurance, Miles Jesu's teaching that one's salvation strictly depends on joining Miles Jesu, it's prohibition of many members to pursue higher education, it's appointment of a Vicar Directress over the women's branch with no formal education in theology or Canon Law, sexual abuse, and various other abuses that show Miles Jesu has cultic qualities.

Up until now these members have been afraid to speak out and warn the Catholic faithful of this dangerous group because they were intimidated with legal threats by a lawyer working for Miles Jesu. After years of suffering they have also not been helped in any way by the Vicariate of Rome, the Congregation for Religious, or Miles Jesu. Hopefully this new superior, Fr. Barry Fischer, will be willing to help victims of Miles Jesu who after years of trying to serve the Church in Miles Jesu are left in destitute situations. Hopefully, he will also prevent Miles Jesu from harrasing ex-members with legal threats.

If you, like so many others, have been abused, deceived by, or adversely affected by Miles Jesu at any time either as a member or a benefactor, please contact Fr. Barry Fischer, CPPS. To find out how you can talk directly to Fr. Fischer directly please call Miles Jesu's publically listed number (773) 262-0861 (Chicago, IL USA house). No member of Miles Jesu can impede you from speaking to Fr. Fischer. If you are aware of abuses it is your duty to inform Fr. Fischer, so that you can help him to reform Miles Jesu

You may also contact the Cardinal directly:

Here is the contact information for Cardinal Vallini which is listed on the website of the Vicariate of Rome:

Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano 4 - 00184 ROMA
tel. Vicariato 06-

In the United States, Miles Jesu currently operates in the canonical territory of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchy of Chicago, and the Diocese of Phoenix. These dioceses should also have information on how you can contact the external superior appointed over Miles Jesu.

From the Official Website of Miles Jesu:
An Important Message from Rome

Divine Mercy Sunday
April 19, 2009
Rome, Italy

Dear Brothers and Sisters and Friends of Miles Jesu,

The Lord is truly risen, Alleluia!

The Easter Season is a time of new birth, new life and renewed joy. This Easter Season our Heavenly Father has brought to our Ecclesial Family Miles Jesu new birth, new life and renewed joy in a very special way.

The canonical visitation to Miles Jesu has been formally concluded by Cardinal Agostino Vallini with decree of March 25, 2009. With this decree, the Church has also put our Ecclesial Family on a path for a happy and fruitful future. During this time, She is showing her motherly solicitude by giving to us the special assistance of Fr. Barry Fischer, CPPS, of the Society of the Most Precious Blood, as an extraordinary, external superior to Miles Jesu. Fr. Barry will be helping us in the much needed revision of our constitutions (whose five-year approval ad experimentum has expired) before their final approval. Fr. Barry will also be accompanying us in the further development of our programs for admission and formation of candidates as well as the preparatory formation of the members before deepening their commitments.

Fr. Barry has already spent a few days with us at our general house in Rome, and all of us here are already experiencing the loving, gentle and guiding hand of mother Church through him. He has been superior general of his society for two terms and a missionary in Latin America for 26 years, and thus brings to us a wealth of experience. In the near future, Fr. Barry will be communicating with you personally through this website in his capacity as the new superior of Miles Jesu.

Just as the star reappeared for the Three Holy Kings after consulting with the religious leaders in Jerusalem and filled them with exceeding joy, so i am fully confident that, by divine providence, Fr. Barry's guidance will further our Ecclesial Family on this solid and secure path for a joyful and fruitful future in the service of Jesus and His Church. Let us give thanks to God for making us "a little part of the great Epiphany of the Lord, as a simple witness of the hope of His coming and the world beyond."

May Holy Mary, Our Lady of the Epiphany, make the beautiful light of her resurrected Son to shine forth with greater splendour on our Ecclesial Family and in each one of our hearts, filling each of us, her sons and daughters, with great joy and consolation at this milestone in our Ecclesial Family's history. Let us join Mary at this time in magnifying the Lord for all the great things He is doing for us! The Lord is truly risen, Alleluia!

In Corde Matris,
Fr. Mark Gelis, MJ

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Source (PVT)



Anonymous said...

It's sad that Miles Jesu is not even offering a superficial apology like the Legionaries of Christ did.

Anonymous said...

Miles Jesu and the charism of "availability".

On reading of Miles Jesu literature you will notice the use of the word "availability" and "available" over and over.
For example look at the following page on Miles Jesu's website:

Miles Jesu claims that "availability" is key to it's charism. But what exactly does "availability" mean in practice? An ex-member of Miles Jesu recently contacted this blog and asked to have the following article posted, to warn the Catholic faithful about Miles Jesu and their charism of "availability".

Miles Jesu and "Availability"
(Written by someone who lived Miles Jesu's "availability")

Miles Jesu embraces the ideal of being available to serve God and the Church in whatever way requested. The Blessed Mother's availability to do the will of God is frequently used as an example of this disposition. Although this ideal does have a valid place in spirituality, Miles Jesu distorts its practice, resulting in the destruction of the person.

In Miles Jesu the ideal of availability very often means the following: abandoning all personal interests, hopes and dreams; putting aside your natural talents and dispositions to do what you are totally unfit to do; never again going back to school; never again visiting your family or friends; linking your dreams to the Generals'; surrendering any sense of a social life; never developing any personal job or project because of continuously being assigned something new; living in a state of detachment so severe that everything can change overnight, i.e., where you live, who you live with, what you do, etc.; giving up what you thought was your vocation and replacing it with a new idea; being only focused and concerned about doing what the General says; ignoring all you own needs, wants, hobbies, etc., surrendering all sense of privacy, etc. In short, Miles Jesu availability ultimately means sacrificing your future, truly and entirely, on the altar of blind obedience. Miles Jesu's ideal of availability is so angelic it is inhuman. Its practice creates uneducated and underdeveloped individuals only concerned about obeying.

But it gets worse. The Miles Jesu ideal of availability also means the following: going to countries to live without required visas; deceiving new recruits; kicking out members without affording them any sense of dignity and justice; offering bribes to government officials; being indefinitely removed from school just as exams begin; harshly correcting people when you know they are innocent; living in inhumane conditions; accepting absolutely impossible assignments without access to the means to achieve them; slandering people who left Miles Jesu before their family, friends, benefactors and community members, surrendering the right to any privacy in regard to letters, emails, phone calls; not being allowed to take a walk alone; surrendering access to your own passport, etc.

Anonymous said...

The book “Take Back Your Life” by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias is written to help people in “Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships”. In Appendix A (p. 327-328) which is co-authored by Janja Lalich and Michael Langone they publish a very interesting list that they have found to be the general Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups. Each and all of the 15 point they include in their list resembles and describes in detail actions taken by the superiors of Miles Jesu. I did take the liberty to take out small parts of a few points in the list that I did not think resembled MJ at all. In the end though, there was actually only very little that I was able to exclude from the list because it did not match with MJ practices. Is Miles Jesu therefore a Cult? We will let the list be the guide to answer this question.
The authors first start out by stating that “concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups.” This control and influence is strongly evidenced in Miles Jesu (MJ) in the following list.

1) The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader. In MJ’s night prayers the members were required to recite in the chapel as part of their renewing of Baptismal Promises “I pledge total and unconditional loyal allegiance to Miles Jesu and to its general director…”. Interesting to note is that when visitors were in the chapel for night prayers the words were changed to “I pledge allegiance to Your Vicar on earth Pope N. …”

2) Questioning, doubt and dissent are discouraged or even punished. Any member that wanted to be a priest was told the line “If God wants you to be a priest then you will be a priest.” This line was used frequently with any new member who felt called to the priesthood and voiced it until they stopped voicing it. The members were expected to not put any pressure on the superiors toward and what they wanted to do and were told to let God’s will be shown through the will of the superior. The great virtues were to be docile and humble but most of all available to do whatever their superiors wanted of them.

3) Meditation, denunciation sessions are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader. Sessions of faults being listed off to members were frequently held. Denunciation sessions are a better name for it and occurred quite frequently. Members used in the denunciation sessions aimed at another would then next day be the target of a denunciation session aimed at them. This kept members from forming close friendships with fellow community members because they were used against each other repeatedly, even things said in spiritual direction and in confidence. This also kept them relying solely on their superiors for overall guidance. The practice of meditation was increasingly used to indoctrinate the members with the wishes of the superior and to exhort the members to follow him with blind obedience.

4) The leadership dictated, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act and feel, including what to wear and where to live. The members were drilled to believe unquestioningly sayings like “Feelings are not facts.” “Put your feelings in your pocket.” “You are following your feelings which is lacking in virtue”. Suit and tie was required most times, no sandals (something the superior started wearing but still forbade the rest of the members from wearing). Members were to be dressed formally from morning until night most days unless playing sports or doing some other activity. As stated above, the practice of meditation was increasingly used to indoctrinate members with the wishes of the superior and to exhort the members to follow him with blind obedience.

5) The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leaders and its members. The group/leader is on a special mission to save humanity. Members were instilled with the belief that they were specially called by God to help save the world. Hard work and little rest was thus expected of them. The hard work and little rest caused many a member to have nervous breakdowns and to have to take extended periods of rest. After recovery more intensive work followed with little rest and again led many to breakdown. Other members (the majority) learned to cope with the pressure in diverse way including drinking alcohol (in varying amounts) and smoking “to be able to relax”.

6) The group has a polarized, us versus them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society. Even Church authorities were seen as not knowing what was best for Miles Jesu. This is seen in the editing of the MJ Constitutions where each and every change the Church recommended was fought over. This is also seen in the Canonical Investigation where members were encouraged to not cooperate with the Canonical Investigator as he had no authority over Miles Jesu.

7) The leader is not accountable to any authorities. All types of abuse including psychological, physical, spiritual and sexual abuse went on, was covered up and was not resolved by leadership which then led to further and worse acts perpetrated by the main leader. Fr. General was the law, “what he says, goes”. No dissent was allowed without being then placed in a belittling denunciation session. The leader also was an alcoholic and a drug addict. This went unchecked for many years and was supported and covered up by the leadership.

8) The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify the means it deems necessary. Members were taught that it is alright to lie if they did not think the asker of the question was entitled to know the truth. The example used was “If during World War II a Nazi asked you if you knew where Jews were hiding you could tell them No even if you did know where Jews were hiding because the Nazis had no right to know and would kill the Jews if found.” This was used as a blanket permission to outright lie or used as needed for members to only say what served MJ.

9) The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and control members. Often this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion. Sessions of fault listing, along with internal spiritual direction kept members under control. They were told who their spiritual director would be, always an older member that was already ingrained in how to keep members inline. There was little leeway as to how something could be done. They were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. They had to do things exactly like they were commanded or be demoted and ridiculed many, many times, even years later about the same thing.

10) Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group. Although members were encouraged to stay in contact with family (especially for monetary assistance) The communication was to be written in a letter once or twice a month or with a phone call once a month. But they had to pay for the phone calls even if from overseas. They were kept so busy that visiting family was impossible unless “in the area” or if the family wanted to visit them. If the member wanted to be a priest, again they were told to not voice this and just follow the commands given radically altering their personal goal they had before joining the group.

11) The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members. Members were exhorted time and time again to get vocations. If a member did not get new members they would not even be considered for the priesthood. If members did not bring in new members they would be the victim of denunciation sessions again and again. This led to multiple and intensive meetings on how to get vocations and how to keep them. If someone left it was a members’ fault and could not be blamed on anything else. Excuses were not tolerated. Being told “You are defending yourself” was seen as lacking in virtue.

12) The group is preoccupied with making money. Members were exhorted time and time again to get money. If a member did not bring in money they could not pay for their studies for the priesthood. If they did not bring in money they would be the victim of denunciation sessions again and again. Each member was required to bring in at first $500 each and every month. Priests and those studying for the priesthood were required to bring in $1000 each and every month. This escalated to the point that each community was required to send $100 per member in each community to Rome for the Mother House’s use while still covering all of its own expenses. If a community could not pay its bills help was given but this included denunciation sessions till the members learned to bring in the amount desired. The medical fund was non-existent and when it did exist it was almost penny-less because the funds would be used for other things that the Superiors thought it was better used for. The members’ medical expenses thus had to be covered by their own fundraising efforts. Most of the members thus were delinquent in seeing doctors and dentists regularly because they could not afford it and could not rely on the medical fund. On the other side members were commanded to take flights time and time again with little notice which always were very expensive, being last minute. The return flights were also unused many times which caused other tickets to be bought, again last minute, to be able to return to the community that the member originally came from. So even though making money was high on the priorities so was blind obedience which ended up being very wasteful of money.

13) Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group related activities. Members lived full time in MJ and were expected to work over and above what is expected in the professional world. During an annual conference many members would only get 2 to 3 hours of sleep for two nights then lead a tour for a week and then be allowed only one day of recuperation time before having to start working on other projects.

14) Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members. Again members lived full time in MJ in a community with common dorm rooms. No one was allowed a single room except the Fr. General. Members had to always go around in twos and their social life was spent trying to get more members, more money or something else out of those they talked to according to leadership instructions. Deep friendships were discouraged with outsiders because then when members were moved to another community it could cause those people to turn against MJ. These movings could happen at any time and many times with less than 24 hours notice with no explanation given to the friends of the member.

15) The most loyal members feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave—or even consider leaving—the group. Members that left MJ, and there were quite a few over the years, were always labeled as “emotionally unstable”. They were kept tabs of and when they messed up it was used as an example to all the remaining members to not leave MJ because if they left they would end up messing up too. “God punished them for not being faithful to their vocation” was the line fed to the members. Many members that left were slandered, libeled and ridiculed by MJ especially in the diocese they ended up going back to, so that they would not be believed if they decided to talk negatively about MJ. This known threat would keep members from leaving and it would keep those that did leave from saying anything out of fear of reprisal.

It is interesting that every point in the list of Cult Characteristics is found in some way in the actions of Miles Jesu. This list contains just some of the experiences members had. There are more examples but for the sake of brevity (already four pages) they will not be included here. At first Miles Jesu was not seen as a cult but now it is clear that MJ at some point went wrong and needs to be changed by fixing the above actions. If change is not possible MJ should be suppressed altogether, because at this point of time Miles Jesu is a cult. This list is printed to try and get MJ to change and if they do not change, to keep others from falling prey to their cultish practices.
January 28, 2008.

Anonymous said...

When I think of what MJ has done to a sibling of mine ... God help you, I can't say that enough. What's never mentioned is what this so called "Order" has done to our loved ones who joined this mockery. And the "general government" makes me LOL, I hope to never hear of this joke of a congregation again. I PRAY TO GOD Fr. Fisher smashes this cult of lies and power-hungry creeps. Satan is alive and well from within and has been having a field day with souls -- and with mine because I've suffered for and with my sibling. Time to clean house, folks.

Anonymous said...

this is not a cult that can be "saved" it should be dissolved. if fr. barry finds MJ okay and leaves after his investigation, their fangs and claws will come out again -- then they'll turn around and sue him. *rolls eyes* and having laymen over clergy????? i've mentioned this to several religious and they look at me like this: 0_o

miles jesu is whacked.

Anonymous said...

To anyone who criticizes Miles Jesu they say "Oh, well they are just liberals." "They are just attacking the Church". "They are not orthodox"

They can't see that the problem is not their orthodoxy, but the way they TREAT their members

Anonymous said...

That's true, in Miles Jesu, a layman with no education AT ALL can be a superior of a priest. Does that make any sense?

Anonymous said...

The GC (General Government) is cheerless, joyless, ruthless, sneaky, uncharitable, and they're heartless liars and manipulators. They've also got a talent for twisting words and ignoring what they choose not to hear, e.g., talking to them is like talking to a dead fish. They also like members Dumb & Dumber. This way they dance circles around you so you have no knowledge of Canon Law but they're quick on the draw to shove your face in it. They've also been known to literally hunt members down and "return" them to the house. They actually believe they're doing the right thing, that Fr. Duran is "holy and saintly," but they leave you on a curb with a pittance in your pocket, no where to go, and you've given your life to them. Now you have no education and can start working at McDonald's. MJ is "full of dead mens' bones" indeed. I'd love to give my name but they'll probably try and sue me like the do other members for "scandal." Don't make me laugh. I'd say a lot more but I want my comment posted so I'll end now.

Anonymous said...

A layman has no conception of God calling someone to Himself --- not to Miles Jesu, but to Himself. Deacons and Priests should be given the greatest regard in respect and privacy, yet how they love to belittle those religious vocations. Let's all sit around again and drag out past "sins" over and over and over and over of not just religious but the members. You either join in the belittling (even reluctantly) or get eaten up yourself.

No one accomplishes anything, there's no personal satisfaction in a job well done; the rug is consistently ripped out from under you as you flee from state to state (the fleeing done when a Bishop wants to know who and what the order is). Heaven forbid you actually feel good as a human being -- now you're conceited! The order is dog-eat-dog in order to survive mentally and even physically. The health & mental problems that came from members were pent up feelings of the lack of expression, privacy, hopelessness, personal thoughts, lonliness and feeling sub-human. Miles Jesu (the Devil) takes your soul.

All of this and more under the guise of 'it's what God wants.' And all that poverty nonsense. Yet they've got enough money to hire Bill Clinton's lawyer to sue ex-members ... members THEY put on the curb literally and with zilch. They've broken too many Canon laws to numerate but it's a smack down if you dare to simply want to visit your family. They LOVE keeping you away from the ones who know you best. This way, it's easier for MJ to control your very mind.

They use words like the Miles Jesu Order, House, General Government, Father General -- when it's a crummy little group running and ruining human beings. It's all about pride and money and nothing more. I'm in full agreement with the above post: DISSOLVE. Then put the GC on the curb and see how it feels. Knowing these fools they'll turn around and sue the Pope.

Anonymous said...

Under the 20 key points of what makes a cult, Miles Jesu satisfies 19 of those points. Scary stuff. Yet I see they're all ready posturing themselves before Father Barry. And his presence makes MJ come to a screeching halt, praise Jesus. My hurt has turned to rage and yes, I'm in counseling -- something they've refused me over and again. "It's in my head," they'd say, and that I'm "proud."

Why is this self-appointed congregation still around? Hmmm? Oh, well, Lucifer is sneaky, too.

Unfortunately, I must remain Anonymous like the other posts. I don't want the GC showing up at my door, I'd have a heart attack. Keep praying that dear Priest who's taken on the job of overseeing MJ and their antics, pray he has the fortitude and tenacity to crush their hate and rid them from Rome forever.

One more thing, that Path to Rome --- utter chaos, hogwash and completely ridiculous. Just another one of their jokes.

spiritofthesouth said...

I hear they have space creatures and the holy grail too..

sinful not to share that power with us...

Such pain my brothers such pain.

Anonymous said...

But the question is what disciplinary action will be taken against those General Government members who covered up abuse and left Fr. Duran in office, therefore potentially endangering other people?

Will they be turned over to the civil authorities or will the Vicariate help them to cover up further?

Anonymous said...

UNBELIEVABLE!!!! A scandal WITH NO SEX!!!! This is not possible. There must be a mistake somewhere. NO THEFT, or whirlwind vacations???? NOT POSSIBLE. NO SEX NO SCANDAL.

Anonymous said...

They've been known to go to Catholic universities and set up shop among campus religious groups.

I've seen their operation and it's frightening. They insisted student groups meet at their house instead of on-campus once they became "friends" with the students.

I lost a good friend to them as well. He's still with them, doing what and where, I don't know.

Pray for him and this group. It's not too late.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Still no apology from this group. Wonder what their plans are for apologizing.......

Anonymous said...

Some people lost more than 20 years in this group and are without any help. The Vicariate has done NOTHING to help them. NOTHING.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Fr Barry Fischer is STILL not making Miles Jesu reveal the real reason for the investigation! Does he not care about those who will enter Miles Jesu in the future? STOP THIS COVERUP!!

They are still recruiting people!!!

Anonymous said...

Miles Jesu internal documents exposed by Wikileaks now back on the web!

Anonymous said...

That's been allowed in the Franciscans for 800 years. St. Francis of Assisi himself was never a priest.