May 19, 2006

Vatican Punishes a Leader After Abuse Charges

ROME
The New York Times

By IAN FISHER
Published: May 19, 2006
ROME, May 19 The Vatican cautiously acknowledged today long-standing allegations of sexual abuse by the founder of prominent Catholic community, asking him to give up his public ministry in favor of a quiet life of "prayer and penitence."

The announcement marked the first public action by Pope Benedict XVI on the sensitive issue of sexual abuse in the church. And it came against a priest with a particularly high profile: the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, 86, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, one of the fastest growing Catholic communities, praised often by Pope John Paul II.

The statement said that Father Maciel would not undergo a church trial for the allegations against him, which were not disclosed, though at least nine men had accused him of molestation. The reasons, the statement said, were Father Maciel's "advanced age" and "weak health."

Posted by kshaw at May 19, 2006 11:33 AM