Pope Francis addresses the Fr. Marcial Maciel, Legion of Christ Founder, scandal for the first time

Improved translation from the original Spanish

Pope Francis speaks for first time about the Marcial Maciel scandal

ROME, 14 Mar 15 / 3:17 a.m. ( CNA ) .

In his interview with Televisa Mexico’s Valentina Alazraki , Pope Francis spoke for the first time in his pontificate about the scandal of Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, whom he considers “a very sick person” and he recalled how both St John Paul I and his predecessor, Benedict XVI behaved correctly by investigating the case.
When asked about whether he knew Maciel or heard about a cover-up in the case, the Holy Father stated “I never had contact with the Legionaries of Christ. Because they were not in Buenos Aires and the first parish was given (to the) by my predecessor, the parish of Santa María de Betania; the parish had been left (vacant) by the previous religious, the Picpus (Congregation of the Sacred Hearts). There were three of them (Legionaries); there were three LC religious in Buenos Aires; in other words, I never met them. I heard about  them.”
“When I came (to Rome) to take, not the course, not the course for new bishops but the Ecclesial Movements Encounter, I stayed with, in other words the course was held at their building, a university, no? This was the other contact I had with them. In other words, I never got to know them,” he stated.

Francis recalled that “when I heard about the big scandal (uses popular Spanish: “el escandalazo”) it hurt me a lot. I was shocked.”
“How could this person go that far?
Evidently, he was a very sick person because besides all the abuses I think there were two or three women mixed up in it, children, with one or the other of them, I don’t know, like there was something going on there, and a lot of money. It all goes back to the same; that corruption begins with deep pockets. Right? But I believe it has to do with a sick person. A very sick person.”
The pope indicated that when the Vatican “became aware of it, it began to act firmly.”
“Then Cardinal Ratzinger took up the case and he kept working on it –Pope St John Paul II gave him the green light; and when he (Ratzinger) became pope he took action because the process was ripe.”
“But I want to make it very clear that then Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope St John Paul II were aware and they decided: Let’s go ahead. One in the investigation; the other in giving the green light.”

Responding to the concern about if “there was cover-up” Francis indicated that one can presume there was, although in all justice you are presumed innocent. But it would be unusual if there were not, if he did not have some kind of “godfather” around, half duped, half suspecting who would not know. Well, I have not researched that.”

The Pope went on to clarify that “the (Sex Abuse) Commission is not for the abuses but for the protection of minors; in other words, to prevent it. Right? The problem of child abuse is serious; most abuses occur in the family and neighborhood environments.
I don’t want to give numbers so as not to make mistakes. Just one priest who abuses a minor is enough to shake the whole Church structure to confront the problem. Why? Because the priest has an obligation to educate this boy, this girl, in holiness, in the encounter with Jesus. And what he does is destroy the encounter with Jesus.”
The pope underscored that “we have to listen to the abused. I listened for a whole day to two Irish, two English and two Germans. Their interior destruction…I mean they (the abusers) are cannibals. It’s as if they devoured the children. They destroy them, right? Even if it were just one priest it would be enough to fill us full of shame and make us do what needs to be done.”
The pope stressed that “we have to keep going ahead and not turn back. I mean, to destroy a creature is horrible, just horrible.”
“And that is why I am so grateful both to Pope Benedict who had the strength to state it publicly and to Pope St. John Paul II who had the courage to give the green light to the case of the Legionaries,” he reiterated.

You can read the full interview in its original Spanish at the following link: https://www.aciprensa.com/noticias/nueva-entrevista-el-papa-francisco-explica-como-fue-su-eleccion-hace-dos-anos-82104/

5 thoughts on “Pope Francis addresses the Fr. Marcial Maciel, Legion of Christ Founder, scandal for the first time”

  1. A comment was made in English to editorial introduction to the first posting of the Spanish language article: the writer made interesting points about the editor and Church leadership “missing the point”:

    “from your comments here, I’m not sure if you get it. The issue is not so much how could Fr. Maciel found this order, but it is the profound effect of Maciel on the Legion and how that effect is being propogated in the heart of the church around the world, including a few minutes from where I live. It seems so much easier to talk about Maciel and not Maciel’s effect on this order. The scandal that nobody is mentioning is thousands times larger than anyone, even you, apparently, will even talk about. The stones are crying out!”

  2. Has Jose Barba’s book ever been translated into English?
    I am frankly annoyed that the Pope used the term “ripe” to praise Pope John Paul for giving Ratzinger the “green light” to investigate Maciel and the Legion.To me “ripe” means the scandals were already getting out to the public via word of mouth and the media .
    In 2000 I spoke about the Legion and RC directly to a Polish Monsignor who was alleged to be an emissary field worker who reported directly to the Pope. The next day the pastor said at Mass the Polish priest flew out that night to Rome for an “emergency”. He had been visibly shaken when I told him what I knew was going on with the Legion from home schooling parents.
    It just appears that I am reading history being rewritten to appear the Vatican acted quickly when they knew children were abused.

  3. Street
    recruiters and the legionnaire I know, lie in order to ridiculize
    Buddhism. that affects my craddle faith. The religous lie! i
    The main lie is that meditation is a way of being lazy or sleepy. They
    have not watched Bruce Lee. Buddhas injunction to first think you are
    going to take a breath and then take it and then think you have taken it
    and then ditto with expelling, is at first slow but leads to great
    efficiency and self awareness.
    I was told that the religious themselves, priests and such, don’t
    themselves know that they are lying, they are prepared with the
    information on other faiths that serves them to whittle away at them,
    they are not told about the parts of other faiths that would allow them
    to know the strenght of those faiths.
    That makes Priests into what I was taught women were, ignoramus
    lead by the nose types of people.
    I was taught to tremendously despise what women were said to be,
    which was not at all what the women around me family and teachers were. A strange fact of psychology is that we see the world as our
    parents tell us it is and it takes years to replace what we have been
    told by explanations that have to do with what we observe, often it
    needs the intervention of a psychologist to make us see that our parents were not always right. Your parents see you as spoilt and you will believe yourself spoilt. An outsider with lots of experience with people and different types of parenting can,maybe make you see that your parents were contrary to their own belief strict in an awful lot of things even over strict. What ones parents tell one has such a strong hold on people, at least in some aspects. of life in others they boot out what their parents say readily. I saw women as i had been told to see them.

    Street recruiters made me know more about the church than was
    conducive to respecting them. as is in this case of fouling
    Buddhism. I was happy before respecting the strengths of Catholicism and the strengths of Buddhism, street recriuters took the catholic bit out of that equation and turned me into what i am a person who would change a lot of what the church do.
    The nuns told me that nice kind priests were the ones who studied
    other religons so I should not do so.I have learnt that those priest
    were more cunning than kind.
    The strange thing about manipulation is that the lightest injunctions
    especially when they have to do with religion make one do what is asked.
    I felt that it would be arrogant to do what was meant to be the job of
    special priests, so for years did not do it. Arrogant or fool hardy for
    putting at risk my soul. small insult like arrogant and fool hardy have a big effect on how behave those who manipulate know how scared people are of being insulted.

    One thing that is terrible about manipulation is that, when you go to
    people for help with manipulation, those you turn to say,”how could an
    adult have allowed themselves to be influenced by light injunctions”? ,
    Also, with the scorn of their thinking, “how could that be,” goes a
    refusal to believe that I could have been put upon by small injunctions.
    Small injunctions, in wordly bullies, go, “how could you be so unkind
    as not to believe me? Am i a lier?”
    This attitude of most others means you do not get help when you are faced with the manipulative, however they are wrong about adults and manipulation, adults do get manipulated.
    I suppose adult life is life in which you are left to fend for yourself, not life in which you cannot be manipulated and the idea
    taht adult fend for themselves has lead to wrong thinking on their
    capacities to do so without any help, of course, help can mean your
    helper takes over your life so you are better off without it. Help
    should be with methods of arguing your own points of view. If you read
    about sects, millions of people are manipulated easily.
    I also had decided, long ago in childhood that it was my job to reduce ignorance about other religions, an idea that was all mixed up with having no proper plan about how to do such a thing, fate has served me ways to do so without my planning such a thing, mixed also
    with diffidence about my ability to do any such thing. I had decided i had to elucidate the better part of other religions because when I was small I worked out that five bits of information or four about Jews and each one negative, was not good, much as at the
    same time I was told and taught endlessly, not to be anti Semitic. so Christians were being half good, I saw that there was much needed room for improvement.
    This put me beyond the reach of street recruiters who advocate for orthodox as the Pope calls it, in Catholic attitudes. I see them as battening down the hatches on a lot of orthodox catholic theology they dont at the moment like.
    I saw eclecticism as my vocation and also, psychology, which in many things takes us far from orthodoxy, has made me a relativist in religion. So i certainly was not what the strict would call catholic and it was street recruiters insistence on making me orthodox that allowed me to become aware of this. However, much as I was not a catholic, except of the sixties, seventies times, it was not a good idea to force me so to renounce all catholisism. They forced me to talk against them, to try to change the church to rub off its worst edges. I stopped thinking tha twhat they did in charity work was enough for us to give them a lot of lee way in other things.
    i h ave to send this without more correcting when i corect things they sometimes disappear.

  4. what i first wrote in last post got more or less lost ind in my attempt to save it has got into a formate which changes at least how the lines are set out I darent read it to see hwat other changes have appeared wheen i sent it. WHen i pressed the send button the paragraphs were in more or less normal places. Sorry.

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