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Former Legionary leader dies of cancer

July 01, 2014

Father Alvaro Corcuera, the worldwide leader of the Legion of Christ from 2005 to 2012, died in Mexico on June 30 at the age of 56.

A native of Mexico City who was ordained as a Legionary priest in 1985, Father Corcuera was elected as general director in 2005 when the order's founder, Father Marcial Maciel, stepped down. He led the Legion through a chaotic period in which the founder was first ordered by the Vatican to a life of silence and penance, and then exposed as an abuser, womanizer, and drug user who had lived a double life. After defending his predecessor for several years, Father Corcuera conceded in 2010 that the "reprehensible actions" of Maciel rendered him unfit as a model.

In October 2012, as the Legion went through a process of intense reform under the supervision of Cardinal Velasio de Paoli, Father Corcuera requested a leave of absence from his work. Several months later he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Despite the inexorable progress of the disease he traveled to Rome in January to participate in the general chapter of the Legion, which elected a new general director, Father Eduardo Robles-Gil.


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