May 27, 2005

Vatican rejects probe of abuse claims against order's founder

Chicago Sun-Times

May 27, 2005


VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican said this week there was no investigation under way of allegations that the Mexican founder of a conservative religious order sexually abused seminarians more than 30 years ago, and the Holy See had no plans to bring a church trial against the priest.

The Legionaries of Christ said last week that the Vatican had notified them about the status of the case involving the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degallado. In the late 1990s, nine former seminarians alleged Maciel had abused them when they were young boys or teenagers in Roman Catholic seminaries in Spain and Italy. The alleged abuse was in the 1940s-1960s.

Maciel, 85, has denied the allegations and said his accusers plotted to defame him.

''There is no investigation under way, and it is not foreseen that there will be one in the future,'' a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said.

Earlier this year, news reports surfaced that the Vatican had reopened the sexual abuse case against Maciel. But Vatican officials at the time said the reports resulted from a misunderstanding.

Posted by kshaw at May 27, 2005 06:07 AM