This multi-part exposé is a journey into the mind ofJuan J. Vaca, a child and victim of abuse, deception, evil and lies. These excerpts are from an original letter to Maciel begging him to stop the lies. Translated from the original Castillian.
To: Marcial Maciel, L.C.
Superior General of the Legionnaires of Christ
Via Aurelia Nuova, 677
Dear Father Maciel:
I will begin this letter by giving you my most sincere thank you for sending me a photocopy of my Rescript of Laicization and for the included letter. However, I must inform you that I did not receive it until last week, on October 12 to be exact. I see that your letter was mailed form the Vatican on August 26, but it was postmarked with an ordinary rate and therefore, it arrived by boat in quite a deteriorated state (semi-torn and with indications that it had gotten wet). It is because of this delay that I did not acknowledge receipt of your letter earlier.
Juan is both apologetic and utterly concerned that Maciel may be worried regarding his delay in responding. At this moment, having just left the Legion, asking for his Reprieve of Secularization, Juan feels alone, neglected, hurt and afraid. Juan notes the condition of the letter citing the method of delivery and the overall deterioration, this can only be symbolic of how Juan must believe Maciel sees him in his eyes.
It has taken me an additional eight days to reply due to the fact that I wanted to give myself time to pray and meditate, for a reasonable time, concerning the form and contents of this letter, in order to be able to write it with the utmost moderation and respect possible.
Rather than be reactionary with an emotional response, Juan has taken a week to collect his thoughts, pray for guidance and find his courage through meditation. Still at this moment, Juan believes that Maciel deserves the utmost respect and moderation. Legionaries believed that speaking out against the founder was against the foundational laws of the congregation.
In no way did I want the moment to arrive where I would have to send you this letter. When I wrote you those pages in December of 1962, in which I specifically asked you, in the name of God and for the tranquility of the consciences of so many of us, for an explanation regarding the moral contradictions of your life, your response was to send me to Ontaneda Spain, only a couple months before I was going to receive my priestly ordainment. I myself typed the appropriate document to the Religious Council and I still have a copy, and your response was to indefinitely delay my ordinations for six painful years.
Juan feels he is on his last leg. He has exhausted all other methods of baring the pains inflicted on him by Maciel. He feels punished for confronting Maciel fourteen years earlier about his indiscretions. He feels slighted by being reprimanded to a mission in Ontaneda for six years, while his friends continued on to their ordinations.
Even though now you can cause me little or no harm, after the incredible and extremely serious evil that you caused to so many, it is not my desire to write this letter, Father, but it is your letter that has forced me to write this one. I do this before God and place my hope in Him, so that once and for all, you Father, will correct the aberrant contradictions of your life and stop exposing the Institution of God that is the Legion, the reputation of our catholic priesthood and the entire Church to the serious scandal that would follow if the public or the competent Authorities ever discovered your sexual abuses (considered degenerate and crimes according to the law, and pathological anomalies by medicine) that you committed against so many of us for so many years. All of this, not to mention the various aspects of a secular life so in contradiction to religious vows, or your painful past of addiction that caused you so much pain, manipulation and enormous expense in order to fix that scandal.
Juan writes this in fear, he was abused, still feels abused, and is only now finding the strength to realize that Maciel can no longer hurt him. But then he calls Maciel, Father, a term deserving of so much respect, but having caused so much pain. He begins to outline the series of offenses, addiction and abuse, painting a picture of denial, corruption, manipulation and coverups.
For me, Father, the disgrace and moral torture of my life began on that night of December l949. Using the excuse that you were in pain, you ordered me to stay in your bedroom. I was not yet thirteen years old; you knew that God had kept me intact until then, pure, without ever having seriously stained the innocence of my infancy, when you, on that night, in the midst of my terrible confusion and anguish, ripped my masculine virginity from me. I had arrived at the Legion in my childhood, with no sexual experience whatsoever, without even having any knowledge of the existence of such things as masturbation and other degenerations against nature, It was you who initiated the aberrant and sacrilegious abuse that night; the abuse that would last for thirteen painful years. Thirteen years of terrible anguish and confusion for me.
Juan describes the first time he was abused, the pain he felt from that moment on. Maciel stole the life of Juan with no regard for the consequences or pain that would continue for the rest of his life.
How many innumerable times did you wake me in the middle of the night to abuse me, abusing my innocence. Nights of absolute fear; so many nights of lost sleep, that on more than one occasion placed my own health in serious jeopardy.
Imagine the fear Juan must have felt. He was a confused, innocent, all-believing child, afraid of his Founder, his Father, his guardian.
In October of 1950, you took me to Rome, the only adolescent among the small group of philosophy students and theology students, with the ulterior motive of continuing the sexual abuse against me. Three months later, instead of returning me to Cóbreces, you tried to convince me to remain in Rome, offering to enroll me in the best school and, later, to enroll in the Novitiate program there in Rome. Blessed be God that he freed me from your proposition. Nevertheless, each time that you returned to Cóbreces and, later, to Ontaneda, I had to suffer the same abuses by you. At that time, I realized that I was not alone, several of my friends were also victims of your lechery. How horrible!
Juan must have felt honored to go to Rome, but at the same time, he must have been afraid to realize that Maciel only did this to continue the sexual abuse. It was on his return that he realized that he was not alone.
And thus, your abuse against us became more and more acute as I spent my two years of novitiate, my two years as a junior, my three years of philosophy, and the first three years of my theology. In the month of September 1956, the scandal of your addiction became public. You feared that they would also discover your homosexual activities and you skillfully manipulated the situation, naming us assistants of the communities of the Rome School. You gave these positions to those who loved you the most and had the most faith in you. (We considered you to be a saint and a special person, for whom we would have given you anything; you had us completely under your control; you could have done whatever you wished with our wills, our minds and our consciences). You appointed Jorge Bernal as theology assistant, Alfonso Samaniego as philosophy assistant, Cristóforo Fernandez and me as the novitiate assistant: and you instructed us to reveal absolutely nothing negative about your intimate life to the Papal Visitors.
Juan describes moving up throughout the Legion, putting the abused in positions of authority. He as well as everyone in the Legion believed that Maciel was a Saint, they would do anything for him, anything at all. This was the norm throughout most of Maciel’s life, even into the early 2000’s. Maciel built a fortress around him, built his army, created a sense of fear and love, all in the name of God’s will.
Stay tuned for Part II of “The Incest of Our Father”.