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Bl. John Paul II never informed of accusations against Father Maciel, former secretary says

Catholic World News - November 05, 2013

The longtime private secretary to Blessed John Paul II has insisted that the former Pontiff knew “nothing, absolutely nothing,” about the misconduct of the late Father Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

Critics of the Polish Pontiff have pointed to the close ties between Father Maciel and the Pontiff. Shortly after the death of John Paul II, the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI authorized disciplinary action against Father Maciel, who was eventually exposed as having lived a double life, abusing seminarians and fathering children.

But Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who served with John Paul II throughout his pontificate, says that the Pope was unaware of the accusations that had been leveled against Maciel. “The Holy Father should not have received that individual,” Cardinal Dziwisz concedes in retrospect. But he says that the Pontiff was kept in the dark because of failures of communication within the Roman Curia.

Cardinal Dziwisz also said that it is “insulting—I repeat, insulting” to suggest that Blessed John Paul II resisted pressure from then-Cardinal Ratzinger to take stronger disciplinary action against priests involved in sexual abuse. Neither Pontiff should be accused of seeking to cover up “this horrible plague,” he said.

Cardinal Dziwisz has recently released a new book about his work with Blessed John Paul II. The book, entitled Ho Vissuto con un Santo (“I Lived with a Saint”), was launched in Italy this week.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Nov. 06, 2013 5:46 PM ET USA

    It is a mystery why Benedict acted immediately to remove Maciel after JPII died.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Nov. 06, 2013 1:06 PM ET USA

    Although this scenario seems impossible -- too many people DID know about Maciel and could have spoken to the pope -- I find it equally impossible to believe that JPII would tolerate such filth for one moment or for any reason. A conundrum. It is probably prudent to withhold all judgment about this till much more is known.

  • Posted by: Adeodatus109 - Nov. 05, 2013 8:48 PM ET USA

    So,was Dziwisz aware? And if so, why did he not tell the Pope?

  • Posted by: shrink - Nov. 05, 2013 6:24 PM ET USA

    "...because of failures of communication within the Roman Curia." Right. Someone's failure is another one's accomplishment. Cui bono?

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