A Stain on Saint John Paul II’s Legacy

“A succession of papacies — including that of John XXIII, also to be canonized Sunday – simply turned a blind eye to credible reports that Maciel was a con artist, drug addict, pedophile and religious fraud.”

In what she refers to as the greatest stain on Pope John Paul II’s legacy, Nicole Winfield of Associated Press http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/closer-look-at-the-greatest-stain-on-john-paul-ii-s-legacy-1.1784534 writes about the sexual abuse scandal that festered during his watch and mentions how his top advisers failed to grasp the severity of the abuse problem. She states that Pope Francis has inherited John Paul II’s most notorious failure on the sexual abuse front – the Legionaries of Christ order, which John Paul and his top advisers held up as a model.

She goes on to say that the documents show the Holy See was well aware of Maciel’s drug abuse, sexual abuse and financial improprieties as early as 1956, when it ordered an initial investigation and suspended him for two years to kick a morphine habit.

Juan Vaca, an ex Legionary, who was the Legion’s superior in the U.S. from 1971-1976 and who was victimized by Father Maciel is quoted as feeling outraged that John Paul II would be made a saint because he did nothing to preserve the Catholic Church and society from the horrendous crisis inflicted upon them by the Catholic clergy sexual abuse..

ReGAIN Comment:
The article quotes several church authorities who are defending John Paul II’s reputation regarding his positive attitude towards Father Maciel his Legionaries of Christ even though it took so many years to discipline the controversial Legion founder after the Vatican had been informed of very serious allegations. John Paul II was surrounded by some very strong supporters of Father Maciel, including former Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former head of the Congregations for Consecrated Life, Cardinal Franc Rodé and John Paul II’s former secretary Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. The latter has been the leading force behind John Paul II’s fast track canonization.

ReGAIN is in agreement with Rev. Robert Gahl, a moral theologian at Rome’s Pontifical Holy Cross University who was quoted in the Associated Press article as recommending a full investigation into the Legion scandal so as to clear John Paul II’s involvement.

It seems a shame that there will remain a blemish on the sainthood of such a holy man as the beloved John Paul II because he provided such strong support and encouragement to a monster. If he did so because several of his closest advisors deliberately withheld critical information from him or if they deceived him, then people have a right to know the truth. The Legion for years promoted themselves based on the close association between their founder and Pope John Paul II, based on the popularity of the latter. Many people laid aside any doubts they had about the Legion and Regnum Christi because of slick advertising campaigns that made reference to John Paul II’s approval. It was not uncommon for Regnum Christi or Legion members to respond to criticism or questions about the Legion or its founder to reply:do you know more than Pope John Paul II? Pope John Paul II’s enthusiastic endorsement undoubtedly led to many people committing their lives to a false prophet and many millions of dollars forked over by benefactors to expand the Legion coffers. If the saintly John Paul II knew nothing then the unanswered question screams out. WHY?

Until further investigation is carried out and made public, the question why Saint John Paul II recommended Father Maciel as an efficacious example for youth will remain an unfortunate mystery.


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