May 31, 2005

From the Editor's Desk


News goes on, uninterrupted by one’s stroll through a garden. And so it was last week when the reports began surfacing that the Holy See had determined that no canonical action would be brought in the sexual abuse accusations against the Mexican priest Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the religious order the Legionaries of Christ.

It appeared for several days that that was the story -- investigation over, case closed.

But Jason Berry, the writer who broke the story of the sex abuse scandal in the United States and who has written an important and engaging book about Maciel, had spent time recently in Mexico interviewing people about Maciel. Those interviews included a number of people who had been recently questioned by a Vatican investigator looking into long-standing abuse charges against the priest. What Jason knew, and subsequently reported, was that there is far more to the story than one would get from either news releases or the Legionaries’ Web site. Jason was just putting the finishing touches on a story about his reporting in Mexico when the Vatican announcement broke.

Most of you know John Allen as a brilliant explainer of the sometimes confusing and inaccessible world of the Vatican. At the service of that brilliance is old-fashioned reporting, dogged pursuit of facts and details. In the case of the Maciel story, John just kept reporting and interviewing and questioning until it became clear from his vantage point that there was more to the story than the simple declarations of the Legion and even the confirmations of the Vatican press office.

Posted by kshaw at May 31, 2005 01:40 PM