Legionaries apologize for Maciel's 'reprehensible' behavior
March 26, 2010
The Legion of Christ has issued a public apology to "all those who have been affected, wounded, or scandalized by the reprehensible actions of our founder."
The leaders of the troubled order acknowledged that the late Father Marcial Maciel fathered a child during a long affair, "and committed other grave acts." The Legionaries had previously acknowledged the founder's improprieties but never enumerated them.
For years the Legion of Christ had held up Father Maciel as an exemplar of virtue, and encouraged members to emulate him. Now the order conceded: "We accept that, given the gravity of his faults, we cannot take his person as a model of Christian or priestly life."
The formal statement came as the Vatican weighs the report of five bishops who had investigated the affairs of the Legionaries. The order now awaits a decision from the Holy See on whether the Legion should be given a new leader, restructured, or even disbanded.
The statement from the Legionaries recognized the questions that have been raised as to whether current leaders of the order were aware of Father Maciel's misconduct. "If it turns out that anyone culpably cooperated in his misdeeds we will act according to the principles of Christian justice and charity, holding these people responsible for their actions," the statement said.
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- Scandal-plagued Catholic order apologizes to victims (Reuters)
- Vatican inquiry into Legionaries concluded (CWN, 3/16)
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