As Pope Benedict XVI prepares for his visit to Mexico and Cuba, a new book, written by Jose Barba, a former member of the Legionaries of Christ is ready to hit the shelves on the day that the Pope arrives. Jose Barba was one of the original child victims of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi. He and other victims have sought justice from the Vatican since the 1970’s. Juan Vaca, another ex Legionary priest and early victim had resigned from the Legion in 1976 and at that time had forwarded a letter to Father Marcial Maciel accusing him of sexually abusing twenty of the young seminarians that he had known about, including himself from the time that he was 13 years old. A copy of this letter along with other evidence was forwarded by Bishop John R McGann to the Vatican in 1976, seeking action from the Vatican and Pope Paul VI against Father Maciel. Unfortunately the founder continued to remain in his position of power with access to children entrusted to his care in junior seminaries even though such testimonies had been presented and documented.
Associated Press writer Nicole Winfield and E. Eduardo Castillo have written an article about the Pope’s Mexican trip being clouded by the publicity caused by the new book which is being released at the same time. <a href=http://ktar.com/46/1517467/Popes-Mexico-trip-clouded-by-Legion-victims-book>Click Here</a>
Jose Barba’s book documents irrefutable evidence and proof that over a long period, powerful friends of the Legionary founder inside the Vatican covered up the truth to protect him, according to Bernardo Barranco, an expert from the Religious Studies Center of Mexico and author of the prologue of the new text. The book was based on careful research of 212 documents which had been stored in the Vatican archives going back to the 1940’s.
During the 1950’s a three year long apostolic visitation resulted in the suspension of the founder. According to Jose Barba, relative documents clearly showed that the Vatican had enough information then and since that time to know the founder’s true nature, the accusations, the opinion of experts, the revision of other experts on top of previous experts, and the opinions that the apostolic visitors gave. In spite of what was learned and documented from the investigation (which Maciel and the Legion referred to as <q>the War</q> and would later change to <q>the great blessing</q>) the founder was able to be reinstated and to remain in power for decades until he was again investigated and sentenced to a life of prayer and penitence two years before he died in 2006.
It is unfortunate that such a cloud is hovering over the Pope as he starts this important visit. However, it seems obvious that Father Maciel’s powerful Vatican supporters repeatedly prevented some of the truth from being made public at the expense of justice. Towards the end of Pope John Paul II’s term, then Cardinal Ratzinger was one of the few Vatican officials who did take the initiative to proceed with an investigation into Father Maciel’s life in spite of the fact that several Legion friendly members of the curia who outranked our current Pope at the time did their best to prevent truth and justice.
Jose Barba, Juan Vaca and others made repeated attempts to advise the Vatican about their experience and they followed prescribed procedures in a professional and respectful manner. Some of their history is contained in the articles and testimonies on this site. It is unfortunate and seems unjust that the past inactions of Legion friendly promoters are now coming back to cause hardship for Benedict XVI on such a rare opportunity to promote the Church in Catholic countries. However, at ReGAIN we are aware how painful it is for those who love the Church to present the inconvenient truth that needs to come out if justice is to prevail. We support Jose Barba and all of those past and current victims whose lives have been adversely affected by the founder or by their own or their family members’ involvement with the Legion and Regnum Christi.