RedTracker| The Vatican will appoint a special envoy to run and reform The Legionaries of Christ, whose founder Father Marcial Maciel, led a double life for decades. Maciel, who died in 2008 at 87, founded the ultra-conservative Legion of Christ order in Mexico in 1941.
Today, the Legionaries, as they are known, operate in nearly 40 countries with 800 priests, 2,600 seminarians and a lay branch, Regnum Christi, with more than 75,000 members. In Mexico, the group controls a vast network of schools and universities that preach traditional Catholic values.
In a long announcement made yesterday the Vatican said that the special envoy and a corrolary commission will oversee the “purification” of the order and the “re-definition” of its secretive, militaristic culture.
Maciel “skillfully managed to build up an alibi to gain the trust, confidence and surrounding silence, and strengthen his role as charismatic founder,” the Vatican said. Living “a life devoid of scruples and of genuine religious feeling,” the statement continued, Maciel “created around himself a defense mechanism that made him untouchable for a long time.” via LA Times
The founder of Legion of Christ engaged in “very serious and objectively immoral behavior,” the Vatican said — including fathering at least one child and sexually molesting boys and seminarians. Maciel was the darling of Mexico’s financial elite.