May 20, 2006

Holy See Halts Investigation of Legionary Founder


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2006 ( The Holy See won't continue with a canonical investigation into accusations against Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, and has invited him to renounce all public ministry.

A communiqué issued today by the Vatican press office said that "since 1998, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has received accusations, which were already made public in part," against Father Maciel, 86, "for offenses reserved to the exclusive competency of the dicastery."

"In 2002, Father Maciel published a statement to deny the accusations and to express his disgust for the offenses against him by former Legionaries of Christ," the statement said. "In 2005, for reasons of advanced age, Reverend Maciel retired from the office of superior general of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ."

"After submitting the results of the investigation to careful study," continued the statement, "the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the guidance of the new prefect, His Eminence Cardinal William Levada, has decided -- taking into account both the advanced age of Father Maciel as well as his poor health -- to drop the canonical process and invite him to a reserved life of prayer and penance, renouncing all public ministry. The Holy Father has approved these decisions."

Posted by kshaw at May 20, 2006 11:57 AM