Legionaries of Christ
| Legionaries of Christ |
(Religious order, VIPaedophile, Catholic Church/VIPaedophile)
|Formation||January 3, 1941|
|Founder||• Marcial Maciel|
|Interest of||European University of Rome|
|The Catholic religious order ran a VIPaedophile sex ring (likely blackmail as well) in several Latin-American countries.|
The Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ (also Legion of Christ) is a Roman Catholic clerical religious order made up of priests and candidates for the priesthood established by Marcial Maciel in Mexico in 1941. Maciel was also Director General of the congregation for over 60 years until forced to step down in January 2005 as a result of a child sexual abuse scandal.
One of the first English language public reports of abuse came in 1997 exposing abused that happened in the 1950s. Juan Vaca and seven other early victims of Maciel "gave graphic accounts" in the Hartford Courant of how they watched Maciel inject himself with a morphine painkiller in Spain and Rome in the 1950s and finally had to be hospitalized. Cardinal Valerio Valeri received reports "from an older seminarian in Mexico City" and the head of the one Legion high school at the time (Cumbres Institute), who were concerned about Maciel's drug use and "overly affectionate behavior with boys". Valeri suspended Maciel but in 1959 he was reinstated by Clemente Micara, the interim vicar of Rome.
For a long time, the Vatican dismissed accusations by seminarians that Father Maciel had abused them sexually, some when they were as young as 12. After years of denial by the Congregation and the Regnum Christi movement and dismissal of accusations made by many former members, an investigation prompted by the Vatican concluded that allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Maciel were true. The superiors of the congregation did not officially inform the rest of the congregation until a year after his death, during which time, they continued to permit an internal culture of revering him as a saint. The Legionaries of Christ eventually acknowledged their founder's "reprehensible and objectively immoral behavior" as head of the order. As a result of the scandal, Pope Benedict XVI also removed the vow of charity, which required members to maintain secrecy, impermeability, and refrain from criticism of superiors. The "very serious and objectively immoral acts" of Maciel, which were "confirmed by incontrovertible testimonies", represented "true crimes and manifest a life without scruples or authentic religious sentiment", the Vatican said.
After the scandals of Maciel came to light, some priests and seminarians left the congregation. Several schools and centers of formation closed.
In 2019, the organization admitted that Father Fernando Martínez Suarez had abused eight minors between 1990 and 1993. A month later, they admitted that members of the organization had sexually abused 175 children between 1941 and 2019. 60 of those were abused by its founder, some of whom were his own children from several relations. Six of the priests have died, eight have left the priesthood, one left the Congregation, and 18 continue in their posts. The Legion of Christ also singled out former Secretariat of State Angelo Sodano for leading efforts to cover up the reports of abuse.
- Frederic Martel In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy