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Register publisher apologizes for defense of Maciel

April 22, 2010

Father Owen Kearns, the publisher of the National Catholic Register, has issued an apology for his energetic defense of the late Father Marcial Maciel.

Father Kearns, who has regularly acted as a spokesman for the Legion of Christ, also apologized for his attacks against the critics of the order's founder. "They didn’t get everything about the Legion right but they were fundamentally correct about Father Maciel’s sexual abuse and I ask forgiveness," he said.

Father Kearns said that he defended Father Maciel because he was convinced that the charges against him were false. Having learned that in fact many of the charges were accurate, he felt compelled to apologize. In a message addressed to sex-abuse victims, he said: "I'm sorry for what our founder did to you. I’m sorry for adding to your burden with my own defense of him and my accusations against you. I’m sorry for being unable to believe you earlier."


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  • Posted by: Anselm - Apr. 22, 2010 10:06 PM ET USA

    I too accept his apology. Fr. Kearns, as your brother priest, you are in my prayers. This is a challenging time for you but may the graces of this Year for Priests give you comfort and direction.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Apr. 22, 2010 6:10 PM ET USA

    Apology accepted!