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Legionaries acknowledge Father Maciel's misconduct

February 03, 2009

An American spokesman for the Legionaries of Christ has acknowledged that the group's founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, was guilty of behavior that was not "appropriate for a Catholic priest." But the spokesman, Jim Fair, denied reports that the Legionaries would formally repudiate their founder. These reports arose along with new charges that Father Maciel kept a mistress and fathered at least one child. Father Maciel had earlier been charged with sexual abuse of young seminarians under his care-- a charge that the Legionaries emphatically denied. After investigating charges against him, the Vatican in 2006 instructed the Mexican priest to end his public ministry and live the rest of his life in "prayer and penance." He died in January 2008.


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