Was There a Legionary Cover Up of Fr. Macial’s Sexual Misconduct?
Fr. Luis Garza was asked at the September 25 RC State of the Section meeting in Atlanta if there had been a cover-up (regarding the founder’s sexual misconduct). Father Garza’s response was summarized on Trastevere blog Click Here for Spanish article
An English translation of this article is available on life-after-rc blog
The above accounts show that according to statements made by Fr. Garza, the Vatican began the 2005-2006 investigation (regarding allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Fr. Maciel) thinking that he was innocent and just wanted to clear his name for the sake of history, but later, as the investigation proceeded, they realized that he was guilty. It goes on to say that a lady (Norma) appeared in the summer of 2005 and she stayed in Cotija where Fr. Maciel was staying but very few (of the consecrated women) thought that this was an affair.
According to Garza, dementia affected the founder’s thinking and behavior in his later years.
In Feb 2006, Malen Oriol expressed her concerns to Fr. Garza that the lady (Norma) was taking advantage of Fr. Maciel and she asked him to intervene. That was around the time that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) contacted Fr. Alvaro Corcuera and advised him that the founder had been found guilty (it was not clear exactly what he had been guilty of). According to the report, Fr. Garza said he did not believe the CDF.
Then around Feb. or March in 2007 they began figuring what to do. By that time, the Legion had received positive results regarding Normita (Fr. Maciel and Norma’s daughter).
Fr. Maciel died on January 30, 2008. Apparently even though he had been urged to confess about his relationship with Norma and Normita he had refused to do this.
Reportedly Fr. Garza said that they started to tell some people, about 50 LCs in November 2008 and by January 2009, some of the unfavorable news was leaked to the press.
Would the Vatican have been likely to launch a year long investigation into Fr. Maciel’s life and interviewed one hundred witnesses around the world if they thought that he was innocent and just wanted to clear his name for the sake of history? At the time, there was a considerable amount of well publicized evidence including the Hartford Courant articles about credible claims of sexual abuse of minor seminarians by Fr. Maciel and the claims had been made by credible individuals.
Norma, one of Fr. Maciel’s
wives for months had been living in a room adjacent to Fr. Maciel and their daughter
Normita came and went to Cotija to be with them. Is it reasonable to state with any certainty that the consecrated women who lived in the complex did not suspect anything untoward? At the time, these women were bound by solemn promises of obedience and
charity to never criticize any superior (especially the founder who they had been encouraged to idolize as a living saint). The consecrated women who witnessed Fr. Maciel living with his family would not have been allowed to discuss any suspicions with each other about what was going on.
Is it likely that Fr. Maciel’s behavior (having a mistress) was a result of dementia? According to numerous testimonies on this and other websites and in books and articles, there had been credible reports of his sexual activities with men women and children going back to his very early adulthood. Although it is possible that the founder in his 80’s suffered some degree of dementia, this would not explain his sexual misconduct over all the many previous years. This excuse for the founder’s actions is similar to one that was tried by some Legionaries years ago when they blamed his perversions on having received a blow to the head.
It is interesting to note that Fr. Garza was quoted as saying that he did not believe the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, considering that they had interviewed so many people and had spent a year gathering facts.
There is a personal testimony from Aaron, an ex Legionary priest who as a teenager had been sexually abused by his superior and spiritual director during his time in the Legion. Further details of Aaron’s story may be seen in articles on this website.
Fr. Garza disbelieved Aaron without having ever met him and allowed the abusive priest to continue his ministry in a school.
According to the Trastevere article, Fr. Garza stated that
around Feb. or March in 2007 they (the Legion) began figuring what to do.
The time line here is interesting. The Vatican started their investigation into the founder’s life in 2005. It seems obvious from accounts that Fr. Maciel was openly living with a mistress and daughter in Cotija since at least early 2006.
Yet, Fr. Garza seems to have chosen to simply deny any accusations of wrong doing even after the Vatican had sentenced the founder to a life of prayer and repentance and had advised the Legion that he was found guilty. The Legion continued to pretend that Fr. Maciel in the same manner as Jesus Christ had been victimized by the Vatican who falsely judged him. It seems that they waited until early 2007 to accept some of the facts and only then decided what to do.
When they finally did decide what to do it seems that they did as much as they could to keep things quiet for damage control.
Fr. Maciel displayed a consistency in his actions throughout the decades and Fr. Garza has also been consistent in his actions. The statements attributed to him in the Trastevere article raise serious questions about cover ups to those who have not had their thinking powers compromised by the mind numbing structure within the Legion and Regnum Christi consecrated life.
Now that there has been some relaxing of the rules in the Legion and for the 3gf (consecrated) women we suggest that those who are seeking the truth check facts from outside sources as well as from the foxes who continue to guard the henhouse.