May 19, 2006

Vatican disciplines Mexican priest after abuse case

Washington Post

By Philip Pullella
Friday, May 19, 2006; 7:49 AM

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican said on Friday it had disciplined an aging Mexican founder of an influential Catholic religious order who has been accused of sexual abuse, instructing him to retire to a life of "prayer and penitence."

The move against Father Marcial Maciel, 86-year-old founder of the Legionaries of Christ, is significant because he and his conservative order had found favor under the late Pope John Paul, making the decision by Pope Benedict even bolder.

The instruction was the new Pope's first major decision involving sexual abuse charges since his election last year. Before he was elected, Benedict decried the "filth" in the Church.

The sanctions against Maciel made him one of the most prominent persons to be disciplined for alleged sexual abuse and could be devastating for the order and its lay branch Regnum Christi, which claims tens of thousands of members.

Posted by kshaw at May 19, 2006 07:19 AM