Did the Legionaries of Christ Wrongly Coerce, Defraud and Deceive a Wealthy Benefactor? – Rhode Island Case Is Moving Ahead
http://www.boston.com/news/local/rhode-island/2014/03/06/judge-oks-legion-christ-lawsuit/9K8U0qx8qyZMENdQbiMzZI/story.html reports that a federal judge in Rhode Island
has agreed to let a lawsuit move forward against the Roman Catholic religious order the Legion of Christ, turning down an attempt by the disgraced order to end the lawsuit brought over a late Yale University professor?s $ 1 million bequest.
The lawsuit has accused the Legion of preying on James Boa-Teh Chu and defrauding his son, Paul, of an estate valued between $1 million and $2 million. According to a previous article by Jason Berry in the National catholic Reporter http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/judge-gives-green-light-legion-inheritance-lawsuit the lawsuit seeks $10 million in punitive damages.
The judge has reportedly found that Mr. Chu held a
deep regard for the sanctity of Father Maciel and that
after his death, his son found documents that he believes show evidence that Legion officials fostered that image even as a Vatican investigation was uncovering troubling facts about the Legionary founder.
According to the Associated Press report, there are documents that demonstrate that Legion officials fostered an image of their founder as a living saint to the wealthy benefactor, even as the Vatican investigation at the time was uncovering very disturbing facts about Father Maciel.
According to the Associated Press article, the Legion denies the allegations in the Rhode Island suit and claims it does not pressure anyone to contribute. Legion spokesperson Jim Fair has stated that the Legion has behaved correctly regarding Mr Chu.
It appears that the Legionaries of Christ even after completing a three year renewal continue to deny any and all accusations of wrongdoing, following the example set by their founder who denied any and all charges against him.
Over the years, Legionary leaders in unison denied charges about their founder that had come from most credible sources. They showed little to no concern for victims or for justice. They showed only that they cared very much about their own reputation. They feigned surprise when the truth came out about their founder's fraudulent secret life even though it was later discovered they had known about it for years.
Now, years after the founder?s death, the same old spokesperson, when faced with accusations against current Legionary leaders recites the same old mantra of denial.
The magistrate judge in question has heard testimony and has concluded that the case against the Legion has merit.
The Legion is well known for their overly aggressive recruiting and fund raising tactics and for promoting idolization of their founder. Based on past history, Jim Fair?s denial sounds weak, lame and insincere. Who can believe anything the Legion leaders say now, considering their statements in support of Fathers Maciel and Williams when they knew the truth?
Now that this Rhode Island case is proceeding, will the credibility of the Legion suffer further damage when the verdict regarding this lawsuit becomes public knowledge?