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Legionary official says founder's misdeeds were evident by 2006

April 29, 2010

The second-ranking official of the Legion of Christ has said that he realized in 2006 that charges against the group's founder, Father Marcial Maciel, were true.

Father Luis Garza Medina told the Italian daily La Repubblica that when the Vatican took disciplinary action against Maciel in 2006, ordering him to withdraw from public ministry and spend his last days in penance and prayer, he realized that the founder of the Legionaries was guilty of the charges that had been made against him.

The admission came on the eve of a Vatican meeting at which five bishops who conducted an apostolic visitation of the Legionaries will present their formal report. The bishops are expected to make recommendations about the future of the troubled religious order, although it is unlikely those recommendations will be made public. Pope Benedict XVI will take action after weighing the bishops' report.

One key question to be addressed by the Vatican is whether the current leadership of the Legion was involved in covering up Maciel's abuses. The Legion strongly defended the founder against accusations until finally admitting, earlier this year, that Maciel had led a double life.


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