Latest Update: July 2, 2009
Five prelates to begin probe of Legionaries in July
An apostolic visitation of the Legionaries of Christ will begin August 15, with five bishops conducting inquiries in different geographical areas, Vatican officials have quietly confirmed. Informed sources at the Vatican have verified the accuracy of a reporter by Sandro Magister of <i>L’Espresso</i>, who said that the five bishops charged with the investigation received their detailed assignments at a June 27 meeting with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of State, and other ranking officials of the Roman Curia. After investigating the affairs of the Legionaries the five prelates will report back to the Holy See.
Latest from CatholicCulture.org 2/4/09 6 PM
Legionaries ‘cannot deny’ reports of Father Maciel’s misconduct
With multiple reports alleging that the late Father Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, kept a mistress and fathered one or more children, a spokesman for the Legionaries in Rome conceded: “We cannot deny the existence of these facts but we can’t go into detail because we have to respect the privacy of people involved.” A former financial officer for the Legionaries told the New York Times that he routinely gave Father Maciel large sums of cash, for which no accounting was given.
As of this morning (2-3-09) the news is sketchy and doesn’t seem to be from primary sources, yet but it has been reported on several blogs that Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries, was living a double life. Here is what was reported on one website:
It’s Out. Maciel is Out.
Today, Fr. Scott Reilly, LC, Territorial Director in Atlanta, Georgia, announced to all those who work in the Territorial Direction of the Legion of Christ, that Marcial Maciel had a mistress, fathered at least one child, and lived a double life. For this reason, the Legion is renouncing him as their spiritual founder.
But as a poster on my Discussion Forum wrote:
But where is the primary source of information? Upon glancing at the various blogs who mention this, I don’t see any links to proof of these statements by Fr. Reilly. I would expect to see a news conference or formal statement or letter from the current General Director to come out eventually.
My Two Cents:
Whether Maciel did or didn’t lead a double life is important, if indeed this is true. However, I know MANY Legionaires priests, many who are dear friends of mine in Jerusalem, Rome, America and other parts of the world — and I will be teaching a semester on apologetics at their Regina Apostolorum University in Rome in April. Even if the founder lived a double life, it does not reflect at all on the great and noble men of the Legion around the world today.
I know there are other controversies concerning the order, but I am speaking of the many LC men I know. They are excellent priests, intelligent theologians and philosophers, and make up a great revival movement helping to restore the Church. I will continue to encourage and love these great priests.
As the American Papist wrote: “There are many good and holy Legionary priests. I have been privileged to know several. The sins of the founder ought never be visited upon their heads, ever. Similarly, the Legionaries of Christ serve the Church in many important ways, these good things they have done must never be ignored.”