Catholic World News

John Paul II unaware of Maciel scandals, says postulator for his cause

April 22, 2014

Pope John Paul II was never informed about the personal scandals surrounding the late Father Marcial Maciel, according to the postulator for the late Pontiff’s cause for canonization.

For years, calls for an investigation of Father Maciel were thwarted by Vatican officials, including some close to Pope John Paul II, such as Cardinal Angelo Sodano (his Secretary of State) and Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, his personal secretary. But the Pontiff himself was not aware of the complaints lodged against the founder of the Legion of Christ, says Msgr. Slawomir Oder.

“There is no sign of personal involvement of the Holy Father in this case,” said that postulator. Questions about the Pope’s knowledge of the case were thoroughly investigated and fully resolved as part of the research leading to his canonization, he said.


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: koinonia - Apr. 23, 2014 10:27 PM ET USA

    This area is a problem. Phil Lawler admitted recently that we still do not know the extent, if any, of what was known by Pope John Paul II. All things being equal, it is difficult to understand how such a lengthy and close relationship was possible. It can't be entertained that it was possible that Pope John Paul II could have been completely unaware without an unavoidable and unsettling doubt. The future lies in wait patiently. The breath-taking haste is both fascinating and disconcerting.

  • Posted by: feedback - Apr. 23, 2014 2:01 AM ET USA

    Blessed John Paul II wasn't the type that would turn a blind eye on sexual abuse by any clergyman. This is reminiscent of Cardinal Francis George held responsible for Daniel McCormack's abuse of boys. Bureaucrats around the Cardinal kept hiding from him the facts to the very end.

  • Posted by: filioque - Apr. 22, 2014 11:32 PM ET USA

    This will remain a problem area. Apparently efforts were made to inform John Paul II about the abuse problem and he pushed the dossiers away. He had long experience in Poland with the Communists manufacturing accusations and, tragically, he seems to have thought the enemies of the Church were still at it. But Card. Sodano and now Card. Dziwisz might have some explaining to do, especially if they knew the truth and let JP II keep up his public support. Card. Ratzinger was frustrated for years.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Apr. 22, 2014 10:16 PM ET USA

    I also wonder how a man can direct the Catholic world and be so out of the loop.I could reluctantly imagine he just didn't want to believe it and therefore would not aggressively pursue the truth,at the great expense of the most vulnerable souls. Those crooks that surrounded him share in Maciel's crimes. I believe rush to canonize JPII is ill advised,but Pope Francis is not standing in the way,and I do trust him. He was smart enough to make sure he is not isolated from his flock.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Apr. 22, 2014 8:29 PM ET USA

    Perhaps the canonization of Pope John Paul II is premature. It took until the 1930's for the Church to canonize St. Thomas More, a martyr for the faith. Why the hurry to canonize JP II? If evidence surfaces, after the canonization that JPII knew about Maciel, then the whole canonization process will become suspect.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Apr. 22, 2014 7:00 PM ET USA

    I'll take Msgr. Oder's word for it, but I have to say it's hard to believe. I am just another Catholic in the pew, and I knew about it; I read many accounts in different magazines recounting the stories of priests who were victims of the fiend. Perhaps the pope was insulated from the outside the world.

  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 22, 2014 6:50 PM ET USA

    How odd this all seems and the pope didn't know anything?