Prominent Legionary of Christ Priest Convicted of Child Abuse in Chile

Based on a report by Reuters on Yahoo News, influential Legionary priest, Father John O’Reilly was found guilty of sexually abusing a child in his care at an elite Legionary religious school in Santiago.

The tribunal has established beyond all reasonable doubt that … O’Reilly resolved to carry out actions of a sexual nature via body contact with a school student, said Judge Maria Teresa Barrientos.

According to another report in The News the abuse took place between 2007 and 2010, starting when the victim was under five years old. Father O’Reilly had previously denied the charges. He will be sentenced next month and prosecutors are requesting that he be sent to prison for 10 years.

ReGAIN Comment:

The Legionaries of Christ, for years promoted as the fastest growing Catholic religious order has fallen on hard times since 2009, when their founder, Father Marcial Maciel, who had been idolized for decades was exposed as a fraud. Since then, in spite of the attempt at a renewal by the Vatican, hundreds of priests and consecrated women from Regnum Christi have departed while their schools and universities close.

Irish born Father O’Reilly, during his training in Rome was a personal admirer of Father Maciel and was privileged to be one his personal waiters in the private visitors dining room at Via Aurelia 677

This case of Father O’Reilly is comparable to some of the actions of the Legionary founder, who was accused by one of his sons of sexually abusing him from the time he was seven years old. Other less horrific forms of victimization of people of all ages continue in the Legion and Regnum, Christi as members are exposed to a structure and methodology that systematically makes them increasingly dependent, obedient and isolated and thus vulnerable to various forms of deceit, manipulation and abuse.

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