May 21, 2005

Vatican says no church action planned against Legionaries' founder

Catholic News Service

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican has confirmed that it plans no canonical process against the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, investigated for alleged sexual abuse of teenagers under his care.

The Vatican confirmation came after the Legionaries issued a May 20 statement saying that "there is no canonical process under way into our founder, Father Marcial Maciel, LC, nor will one be initiated." Father Maciel has consistently denied the accusations made against him.

The confirmation was issued by Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman, after Catholic News Service asked him about the Legionaries' statement.

The decision not to start a canonical process comes after Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, an official of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, traveled to Mexico and the United States earlier this year to interview adults who said they were abused by Father Maciel, now 85, when they were teenage seminarians of the Legionaries.

"We hold no grudge against those who accuse us; rather, we keep them in our prayers while expressing our humblest gratitude to the countless people of good will who in these circumstances have reiterated to us their support and esteem," said the Legionaries' statement.

Posted by kshaw at May 21, 2005 01:54 AM