Thursday, February 21, 2013

Important chronological details revealed in the Marcial Maciel scandal


An analysis by Jason Berry in the National Catholic Reporter of newly released documents in a Rhode Island lawsuit makes sense of some previously unknown facts buried in the scandals involving the founder of the Legionaries of Christ Fr. Marcial Maciel.

The thousands of pages of testimony, financial and religious records unsealed by a judge’s order, open a rare view into the Legion culture shaped by its founder. In essence, it seems that at least by 2004, Legionary superiors and Vatican officials became aware of the double life of the founder.

Pope Benedict, dismissed Maciel from ministry in May 2006, but the Vatican communiqué did not specify why nor did it acknowledge the victims. Those explanations only came in 2010, after a Vatican investigation of the Legion prompted by news reports of the order's disclosure that Maciel had a daughter, a fact that was known since 2005.

Jason Berry’s account seems to be factual, balanced, and believable. Reading it enhanced my sense of “closure” with regard to the Maciel saga. If you have followed the history of the Legion up to now, you should read the article

Whether there is hope for the Legionaries as a phenomenon apart from Maciel, a position Pope Benedict has adopted in the Vatican takeover to reform the order, becomes the burning question. And a major challenge for the next Pope is to find a way to restore the credibility of the Church hierarchy in the face of the ingrained clericalism that has so affected the management of the abuse scandals in the Church.

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