Skip to comments.Vatican sanctions founder of Legionaries
Posted on 05/19/2006 2:47:33 AM PDT by catholicfreeper
Vatican sanctions founder of Legionaries
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican said Friday it had asked the Mexican founder of the conservative order Legionaries of Christ to renounce celebrating public Masses and live a life of "prayer and repentance" following its investigation into allegations he sexually abused seminarians.
In an official statement, the Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI had approved the sanctions against the Rev. Marcial Maciel - making it the first major sexual abuse disciplinary case handled by the pope since he took office last year.
In the statement, the Vatican didn't say whether it found the allegations against Maciel to be true. And it said that because of Maciel's age - he is 86 - it decided against mounting a full-fledged church law trial against him.
Instead, it said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had "invited the priest to a reserved life of prayer and repentance, renouncing every public ministry."
The question becomes what happens to the Order. Thats the biggie , which I guess really is the hardest action that the Pope might have to do. That is what is really depressing me. Is the order desolved? I am not sure how a order is going to function long term when the founder has been accused of this. Shall it be renamed?
A note here. The article does mention that the Vatican has not commented on the validity of the charges. However, this doesnt strike me as a something that is for the"good of the order" so that he can just withdrawl for PR purposes and that the order can move on. That is " to renounce celebrating public Masses and live a life of "prayer and repentance" seems like a punishiment to me.
"seems like a punishiment to me."
You're right. It is. Which means they're sure he's a a sick freak who did exactly what he's accused of doing. Otherwise, they wouldn't punish him.
It's just they're trying to punish him without being alltogher explicit on the "Yes boys and girls, he's a sick freak and we waited until he was 86 to do anything at all about it."
If I recall these charges occured decades ago and thank God didnt involve kids. However there is a matter of a trust relationship. This was coming to a head in the last years of John Paul II POntificate, the investigation that is.
"If I recall these charges occured decades ago"
Yeah. I hear you. What a moral abomination it is that the victims had to wait that long for the Catholic Church to do anything about it.
"and thank God didnt involve kids"
What are you saying? It could have been worse? How's that relevant?
"However there is a matter of a trust relationship."
What in God's name are you talking about? A relationship between whom? And trust based on what?
Ok first off yes. I suppose if it had involved pedophila yep that would have been worse. When I am saying that there is a relationship based on trust involved here, I am not trying to excuse the allegations. The point is that whats makes the allegations worse because of Elder/seminarian relationship. These allegations were investigated at certain points in the past. When new evidence was brought up the Church reopened the case. They have had exhaustive interviews in this case. Its not a simple case of a Church Cover up. This new investigative process has been ongoing.
"May. 17 (CWNews.com) - The Pontifical Atheneum Regina Apostolorum will host a seminar on consecrated life on May 20, marking the 10th anniversary of Vita Consecrata, the apostolic exhortation by Pope John Paul II (bio - news) concluding the bishops' Synod on the same topic.
Co-sponsored by the Congregation for Religious and the Legionaries of Christ, the conference will include addresses by Cardinal Franc Rod? and Paolo Scarafoni, the prefect and secretary, respectively, of the Congregation for Religious
Well this should be interesting. Its getting mid day in Rome and so far my Catholic Blogs in Rome I look at have not reported much on this yet. I wonder if any statement will be tomorrow or alluded to at this event.
This is the offical declaration right now. I can't get a English version yet.
"In riferimento a notizie diffuse circa la persona del Fondatore dei Legionari di Cristo, il Rev.do P. Marcial Maciel Degollado, la Sala Stampa della Santa Sede comunica quanto segue:
A partire dal 1998, la Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede ricevette accuse, già in parte rese pubbliche, contro il Rev.do Marcial Maciel Degollado, fondatore della Congregazione dei Legionari di Cristo, per delitti riservati allesclusiva competenza del Dicastero. Nel 2002, il Rev.do Maciel pubblicò una dichiarazione per negare le accuse e per esprimere il suo dispiacere per loffesa recatagli da alcuni ex Legionari di Cristo. Nel 2005, per motivi di età avanzata, il Rev.do Maciel si ritirò dallufficio di Superiore Generale della Congregazione dei Legionari di Cristo.
Tutti questi elementi sono stati oggetto di maturo esame da parte della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, e, a norma del Motu Proprio "Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela" promulgato il 30 aprile 2001 dal Servo di Dio Giovanni Paolo II, lallora Prefetto della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, Sua Eminenza il Cardinale Joseph Ratzinger, ha autorizzato una investigazione delle accuse. Nel frattempo avvenne la morte di Papa Giovanni Paolo II e lelezione del Cardinale Ratzinger a nuovo Pontefice.
Dopo aver sottomesso le risultanze dellinvestigazione ad attento studio, la Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, sotto la guida del nuovo Prefetto, Sua Eminenza il Cardinale William Levada, ha deciso - tenendo conto sia delletà avanzata del Rev.do Maciel che della sua salute cagionevole - di rinunciare ad un processo canonico e di invitare il Padre ad una vita riservata di preghiera e di penitenza, rinunciando ad ogni ministero pubblico. Il Santo Padre ha approvato queste decisioni.
Indipendentemente dalla persona del Fondatore si riconosce con gratitudine il benemerito apostolato dei Legionari di Cristo e dellAssociazione Regnum Christi."
So he's finally getting a small part of the punishment he truly deserves and even that's coming decades after the fact?
The bastard. If only they had made a very public example of him years ago -- excommunicate the creep, disolve the order, excommunicate any member of the order who refuses to renounce the founder publically whenever his name is mentioned ...
Well, excommunication is really not an option here. Also one does have a order of Priests and lay folks world wide here. So it will be interesting to see how that is handled. To be clear its my understanding that he has no involvement in running the order since the Investigation started.
He's not Catholic?
If he's Catholic, then by God they damn well should excommunicate him.
Excommunication is the harshest punishiment. However most excommunication can be done away with by going to confession to a Priest. often. FOr instance in the case of abortion to which one time and still might have that penalty. IN other words like any other man if this allegations are true he would confess his sin to a priest.
Zadok the Roman blog has these observations
"On Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado
The Vatican Press office has issued a statement about the founder of the Legionaries of Christ.
It says that since 1998 the CDF has received complains about 'crimes reserved exclusively to the competency of the dicastery.' Fr Maciel published a denial of these accusations in 2002. In 2005 he resigned as superior of the Legionaries due to reasons of 'advanced age'.
The above items were object of 'mature examination' by the CDF under the norms of JPII's 2001 motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitati tutela.
Having received the results of the investigation, Cardinal Leveda has decided not to pursue a Canonical Process due to reasons of advanced age. He has invited Fr Maciel to a discreet life of prayer and penance renouncing all public ministry. The Holy Father has approved this decision.
I must say that this is a most extraordinary press release. I'm sure that some commentators will see the decision not to pursue a canonical process against Fr Maciel as being a cover-up. However, the question must be asked what one can do in any legal system when the one accused of any crime is of advanced age.
The fact that the Vatican has made public Cardinal Leveda's request to Fr Maciel that he live a discreet life of prayer and penance renouncing all public ministry is significant. It would be very easy to draw the conclusion from that statement that substance was found to the allegations. Indeed, such a statement certainly does not benefit Fr Maciel's reputation. It will be interesting to see what the response of the Legionaries will be.
# Posted by Zadok the Roman @ 12:29
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Why doesn't he deserve the harshest punishment? You can get excommunicated by bumping the Pope like a Manager might bump an Umpire. Here's a guy who was bump'n and grind'n with young seminarians. Hardly seems right to do anything 'sides excommunicate the creep.
First, more facts will come down on this as the weeks go on. I am under the impression that even the order wasn't fully aware of whats was going to happen. Especially from comments that a spokesman said to the Catholic News Agency yesterday. From the limited news I have seen, it appears that he doesn't exactly have all his mental faculties together. Thus there is no trial going to happen. It appears the that the Vatican however felt there was some substance to these charges. However its hard to excommunicate a guy if he is not all there mentally. Again pretty much all we have is this statement and the off the record comments made by a Cardinal to a reporter yesterday. That being said we don't excommunicate rapist etc. So I really don't see how a Priest would be excommunicated and cut off from the sacraments in a similar sexual crime or misconduct situation. Plus in the end if he doesn't confess it and seek reconciliation from God he is in effect excommunicated for eternity so whats the point. Of course we are assuming this all happened, which I guess in the end only God , Marcial, and the alleged victims know. But it doesn't look good.
Just for clarification, I keep calling this a religious order. In reality its a reigious congregation
Oh well, I am sure there will be updates. I off to catch a few hours of sleep. Sad case. At one point in my life when I was considering the priesthood the Legionaries was one I look at for a time. However after one weekend retreat with them I knew their regime would probally not be for me. I suppose I might be deluding myself to think of the troubles of Padre Pio in a moment like this and hope against hope this is a similar situation. However if this is true, I pray for Father Marcial, the order, the lay movement and the victims. The Priests of this order are fine ones too so if any freepers know any be gentle with the questions this week.
Prayers for Fr. Maciel and the Order.
Thanks for the ping. More prayers for Father Maciel, the Order and the Church.
Did your mother get scared by the sight of a priest while pushing your baby carriage?
Has the Church failed you in some way?
Is there objective reason to believe that you would handle situations like this better than Benedict XVI or that you are better informed than he?????
If you are not Catholic, what business is it of yours how the Church handles matters of internal discipline involving only its priests and its seminarians?
BTW, lest you imagine otherwise, if the facts indicate guilt, I would probably be a lot harder on the miscreants in my Church than you would be. Of course, that would be justice rather than rage.