According to the Courthouse News, Click Here the Legionaries of Christ and their affiliated entities are being sued based on charges that they used undue influence to persuade a dying man to change his will so that the Legion would get most of his estate valued at approximately $ 1 million.
Paul Chu of Connecticut claims that his father, James Boa-Teh Chu originally intended to leave all of his estate to his only son Paul but was coerced by Legion emissaries into changing his will while his health and mental capacity was declining. Paul Chu claims that his father would never have made donations nor named the Legionaries as the beneficiary of his assets had he known about their founder’s misconduct.
Members of the Legion visited Paul Chu’s father during a period when Father Marcial Maciel’s life was under investigation for grave improprieties. The family suspected that the purpose of the visits from the Legion were not to provide pastoral care but to look after their own interests (i.e. getting the man?s money).
The article mentions that
The Legionaries pattern of exploitive fund raising activities in the United States has been subject to scrutiny including in the diocese of Baltimore and other areas.
Paul Chu is seeking return of the one million dollars that he feels should belong to him and he is also asking for $ 10 million in punitive damages for undue influence and fraud.
ReGAIN Comment :
Once again, this case serves to demonstrate what we believe is the true primary purpose (as established by the founder) for the Legion?s existence.
There are similarities between this case and that of Mrs. Gabrielle Mee and her estate. The Legion reportedly made efforts to prevent the facts from that case from being made public by the news media. There were claims that Mrs. Mee was isolated in her declining years from outsiders after details about Father Maciel’s secret life had been publicized to prevent her from knowing the truth (and possibly revising her will accordingly).
Some of us long for the good old days when the priests came to visit the terminally ill and most of us believed that they were there primarily to administer the sacraments and to help guide the dying person towards everlasting peace and happiness.
We wonder if the bishops involved in these cases and other members of the hierarchy are noticing such cases. If there are no consequences for what seems to be happening here a day may come when other well intentioned priests find they are unwelcome to minister to the sick and dying because relatives no longer trust their intentions.