May 18, 2006

Vatican restricts ministry of Legionaries priest founder

Move seen as confirmation of sex abuse allegations against Maciel

By John L. Allen Jr.
National , May 18, 2006 9:12 a.m.

Capping a decade-long on-again, off-again investigation of accusations of sexual abuse, the Vatican has asked Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, to observe a series of restrictions on his ministry.

In effect, Vatican sources told NCR this week, the action amounts to a finding that at least some of the accusations against the charismatic 86-year-old Mexican priest are well-founded.

Maciel has not been laicized, but the restrictions issued shortly before Easter by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith limit Maciel's public activity, such as his capacity to celebrate public Masses, to give lectures or other public presentations, and to give interviews for print or broadcast.

The restrictions have been approved by Pope Benedict XVI, and the Vatican is expected to issue a brief statement shortly.

Posted by dcoday at May 18, 2006 09:28 AM