Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View Legionares of Christ to be inspected by Vatican
5 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2009 - 1:57PM #1
Prajna
Posts: 1,705

"VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has taken the extraordinary step of ordering an investigation into a conservative Roman Catholic order that recently disclosed that its late founder had fathered a child.


The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said investigators would visit all of the institutions run by the Legionaries of Christ, one of the fastest-growing orders in the Roman Catholic church.


Bertone said in a letter to the head of the order posted Tuesday on the Legion's Web site that the Vatican was stepping in "so that with truth and transparency, in a climate of fraternal and constructive dialogue, you will overcome the present difficulties."


The Legionaries of Christ was much admired by the late Pope John Paul II for its conservative view, strict loyalty to Vatican teaching and success in enrolling recruits. However, its Mexican founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, was long dogged by allegations he sexually abused seminarians.


In 2006, a year into Benedict's pontificate, the Vatican disciplined him on the sexual abuse charges, asking that he lead a "reserved life of prayer and penance," and refrain from celebrating Mass in public. Maciel died in 2008 at age 87.


Last month, there were fresh revelations about Maciel's sexual life. The Legionaries' head, the Rev. Alvaro Corcuera, has not publicly provided details, but individual Legion leaders have confirmed that Maciel had a relationship with a woman and fathered a daughter who is now in her 20s and living in Spain.


While the abuse charges had long cast a cloud over Maciel, the latest disclosures tarnished the Legion's reputation even more. Observers have questioned how it can carry on since the order is so closely affiliated with Maciel's persona.


Maciel is held up as a hero whose life is to be emulated; seminarians and members of its lay affiliate study Maciel's writings and they pray that the spirit of the founder lives on in their behavior.


Corcuera said the Legionaries welcomed the Vatican investigation "with deep gratitude," saying Benedict was offering his support as the order faces "our present vicissitudes related to the grave facts in our father founder's life."


The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the investigation was the way the Vatican can get firsthand information about a problem in the church. In a similar move in 2004, the Vatican sent a team of investigators to an Austrian seminary following revelations that seminarians were hoarding child porn.


More recently, the Vatican sent teams of investigators to visit all 229 U.S. seminaries following the church abuse scandal.


The team of prelates for the Legionaries investigation will be named by the Vatican and will get under way over the next several months, Lombardi and Corcuera said.


Founded in 1941 in Mexico City, the Legion says it has more than 800 priests and 2,500 seminarians worldwide. Its lay branch, Regnum Chrsti, says it has 50,000 members globally. In the U.S. alone, the Legion has a couple of dozen prep schools and has been building a college - the University of Sacramento - in California.


Pressure had been building in recent weeks for an external review of the Legion, even among some of the group's staunchest defenders, to see if any of its current leaders had covered up Maciel's wrongdoing and to make sure no further misdeeds were taking place.


Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O'Brien traveled to Rome in February to question Legion leaders about Maciel's misdeeds, and upon return warned his parishioners not to join the Legion or Regnum Christi.


"He was asked to do penance in 2006 and still they were holding him up as their hero, their icon," O'Brien said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "That shows how insensitive they were and I think, right now, unaware of the damage that's being done not coming out and saying things."


Although the Legion has made no official statement about the outstanding abuse claims against Maciel, some Legion leaders say the latest revelations about Maciel fathering a child gives credence to the abuse allegations.


"There was some validity to those as well," said the Rev. Thomas Williams, a moral theologian who has held leadership positions for the Legion in Rome.


"It's really come as a very hard blow to all of us. This is a very very big deal," Williams said in a recent interview with EWTN, the Catholic TV network.


Genevieve Kineke, a former Regnum Christi member who now presses the movement to end its secrecy, said the church leaders in charge of the evaluation will have to overcome what she called the "culture of solidarity" inside the order."


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090331/ap_on_re_eu/eu_vatican_legionaries_scandal;_ylt=AnmK1nLYw8FpR4B0adSx9vk7Xs8F


 

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2009 - 9:35PM #2
jane2
Posts: 14,295

This ought to be interesting!! We'll learn much about the current structure of the RCC in the "findings".

discuss catholicism
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2009 - 9:57PM #3
Prajna
Posts: 1,705

See how big that rug really is

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2009 - 10:40AM #4
Shaner
Posts: 1,596

This Order has a big Seminary in my Province......and they're also the ones I get mail from, although I have no idea how they obtained my address.


They're always looking for donations.  Yes, it'll be interesting to see what comes of it, if you hear anymore Praj, please update?


God bless,


Sandy


 


"Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of Eternal Life"
"Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2009 - 12:23PM #5
malanga
Posts: 626

Pass the popcorn please!

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2009 - 3:31PM #6
Prajna
Posts: 1,705

The blog, AmericanPapist, has alot more of details about this sitaution and how it has progressed since the accusations were first made:


http://www.americanpapist.com/labels/legionaries%20of%20christ.html


 


 

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Apr 02, 2009 - 6:00PM #7
Prajna
Posts: 1,705

Here is a partial "update."  Which I'm sur emost people will answer with a "Duh!"


"By Miguel Angel Gutierrez


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict's probe into an influential Roman Catholic priestly order could uncover more cases of sexual abuse similar to those committed by its founder, a victims' group in Mexico said on Wednesday.


Pope Benedict ordered the investigation into the Legion of Christ last month following a string of scandals tied to its founder, Father Marcial Maciel, a Mexican, who died last year at the age of 87.


"We have testimonies that there have been other Legionaries who followed Maciel's example," said Jose Barba, the legal representative of eight former Legionaries who started court proceedings against Maciel in 1998. "The ramifications of the problem exist throughout the Legionaries of Christ," he added.


Barba, who says he was abused by Maciel when he was in the order as a teenager training to be a priest, said he expected the investigation would take months.


"What they have to investigate is to what extent the evil, the gangrene was spread through the Legionaries of Christ and didn't end just because Father Maciel died," Barba said.


Last month, the order said it had found evidence that Maciel had lived a double life for decades.


While running an order of priests who take vows of celibacy, Maciel had a mistress with whom he fathered at least one child.


In 2006, Pope Benedict told Maciel to retire to a life of "prayer and penitence" after accusations that he had molested boys and men among seminarians decades earlier.


The order had denied the molestation charges for years but the Vatican moved against Maciel after new evidence emerged. At the time, the sanctions against Maciel made him one of the most prominent persons to be disciplined for sexual abuse.


Founded in 1941, the conservative order now has about 800 priests and 2,500 seminarians in more than 20 countries. It also runs a pontifical university in Rome. Like in many religious institutions, the founder became a cult figure among members, even while he was alive.


(Editing by Eric Walsh)"

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Apr 02, 2009 - 7:51PM #8
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Apr 2, 2009 -- 6:00PM, Prajna wrote:


Here is a partial "update."  Which I'm sur emost people will answer with a "Duh!"


"By Miguel Angel Gutierrez


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict's probe into an influential Roman Catholic priestly order could uncover more cases of sexual abuse similar to those committed by its founder, a victims' group in Mexico said on Wednesday.


Pope Benedict ordered the investigation into the Legion of Christ last month following a string of scandals tied to its founder, Father Marcial Maciel, a Mexican, who died last year at the age of 87.


"We have testimonies that there have been other Legionaries who followed Maciel's example," said Jose Barba, the legal representative of eight former Legionaries who started court proceedings against Maciel in 1998. "The ramifications of the problem exist throughout the Legionaries of Christ," he added.


Barba, who says he was abused by Maciel when he was in the order as a teenager training to be a priest, said he expected the investigation would take months.


"What they have to investigate is to what extent the evil, the gangrene was spread through the Legionaries of Christ and didn't end just because Father Maciel died," Barba said.


Last month, the order said it had found evidence that Maciel had lived a double life for decades.


While running an order of priests who take vows of celibacy, Maciel had a mistress with whom he fathered at least one child.


In 2006, Pope Benedict told Maciel to retire to a life of "prayer and penitence" after accusations that he had molested boys and men among seminarians decades earlier.


The order had denied the molestation charges for years but the Vatican moved against Maciel after new evidence emerged. At the time, the sanctions against Maciel made him one of the most prominent persons to be disciplined for sexual abuse.


Founded in 1941, the conservative order now has about 800 priests and 2,500 seminarians in more than 20 countries. It also runs a pontifical university in Rome. Like in many religious institutions, the founder became a cult figure among members, even while he was alive.


(Editing by Eric Walsh)"




Prajna


I smell a whitewash in the making. I would like to be wrong.


For starters, this is called a "visitation" not an investigation by the Vatican. I wil look to truly independent news organizations like the National Catholic Reporter for any news available. The NCR is owned by laity. (Will say, however that their so-called reporter John Allen has lately become a Vatican mouthpiece and apologist.)


The Legionaires have plenty of money and have their hooks into the very wealthy of the Church in many places. We need to follow the money, too. In my diocese they run this "prep" school, the ads for which propose some New England picture.


We also need to remember that for centuries the Church has looked the other way about sexual abuses, not only of children, but of seminarians, by priests.


Time only will tell what the outcome of the"visitation" will be. At least Benedict threw Maciel back into a life of penance.


 

discuss catholicism
Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook