Order continues to minimize and deny abuses, to protect abusers, to shy away from Church guidelines and avoid informing local Child Protection Agencies about Sex Abuse in its ranks.
Some would like to believe that with the death of Fr. Maciel the Legion’s Sex problems are over. A fair amount of sweeping under the carpet has taken place. And Cardinal De Paolis must accept some of the responsibility from his comfortable position of washed hands; le mani pulite, as Italians like to say,.
Legion superiors, true to the tradition of the founder,pick up the brush and do their bit.
We cannot totally isolate Fr. Maciel’s predatory pederasty from the body Legion. He sowed his seeds in his victims -at least attempted to physically- some of them became predators.
Recently, Legion of Christ US Provincial, Fr. John Connor, gave an “account” of how the institution has dealt with accusations of sexual abuse against its active members.
1] This article reproduces the reaction of a former Legionary who is a very successful lawyer:
2] ReGAIN in its comment insist that the Legion continues to sidestep Church and Legal Child Protection Guidelines. In its statements regarding sexual abusers in its midst The Legion of Christ Catholic Religious Order uses SELECTIVE MEMORY, as a simple search in Google demonstrates:
-Vatican investigating Legion over 7 pedophile priest:
May 11, 2012
-Legion admits Fr. Izquierdo’s Abuses:
1] Todd Carpunky
Facebook’s reaction for Fr. John Connor’s statement:
<The statement from this priest is grossly misleading
Years ago a good friend of mine was repeatedly molested by a superior at the Legion’s minor seminary. The abuser, Fernando Cutanda, was a “brother” (not yet ordained) at the time, and my friend was in his early teens. Another boy saw my friend hiding under a bed in the dorm one night, and my friend told him why. That boy then informed the rector.
What happened next? Did the Legion inform the local authorities in NH or at least kick Cutanda out? No, they immediately sent Cutanda to Rome where they made him a superior (i.e., a “formator” of other seminarians), and a couple years later (1992) they had him ordained a priest despite the fact that they knew he was a child rapist.
A few years later in a sign of divine justice he was involved in a bad car accident in Mexico (where he was also in a leadership position), and he was still in a coma when I left the Legion in 1996. Years later I heard that he had left the priesthood and was living with his family back in Spain.
Then, about 5 years ago, I heard a distressing rumor that Cutanda was working in the Philippines with Catholic schools run by the Legion that are targeted at children from poor families. I used google and chats on Facebook with someone in the Philippines involved with the organization to confirm that it was the same Fernando Cutanda who had molested my friend. It was. I told the person in the Philippines what Cutanda had done. He then relayed it in the organization there. I’m told that there was then a group meeting there with Cutanda in which Cutanda’s excuse was that the child rape was just some “inappropriate excess of affection” he had with a student in the past.
Once I confirmed it was the same Cutanda, I emailed the Legion’s superiors in Rome (Corcuera, Garza and Sada) and cc’d the superiors in the U.S. who had known what Cutanda had done since the late 80’s (Legion Frs. Bannon and Bailleres). I told them that I knew Cutanda was working with their schools for poor kids in the Philippines, that I knew what Cutanda had done to my friend years ago, that I knew that they knew he was a child molester and that they still had him ordained a priest with that knowledge and now had him working with kids in the Philippines. I demanded that Cutanda be removed immediately from his current post with the schools in the Philippines or else. The response I received from the Legion was that (i) as a result of some organization-wide audit, they were already in the process of removing him from his post and (ii) he “is married now”, as though getting married somehow renders a pedophile no longer a pedophile and justified him working with kids again just because he is “married now”…. Their response didn’t deny any of the other accusations I made about Cutanda, including their longstanding knowledge or their failure to act after they knew. They also said that they apologized for any abuse the victim “may have suffered” and they were praying for him.
In my response to their email, I indicated, among other things, that they had never formally apologized to the victim for what they knew happened so long ago (and cc’d the victim) and asked whether a formal, direct apology to him would be forthcoming. They never responded. That was in 2010 (and I still have the emails).
So, FIVE years later they issue a statement in which they try to make it appear, for whatever reason, that they recently received allegations, promptly reported them to the local police in NH, had the allegations investigated independently, found them credible and promptly offered support to the victims. Those are LIES. They agreed to pay for counselling for my friend years ago only after his diocese had gotten involved. At that time (YEARS AGO) the Legion priest (Fr. Anthony Bailleres) told him that he was the only known case of sex abuse that had occurred in the Legion (which is now known to be very false). This statement is nothing more than a disgusting and disgraceful attempt at a whitewash. It has made me angrier and more disgusted than I have been in a long, long time
QUÉ DESGRACIADOS SON!! ¡
¡QUÉ ASCO ME DAN!!>
This is not the first time Todd Carpunky has spoken out: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/a-secret-shame-inside-the-latest-scandal-to-rock-the-catholic-church-1739889.html
& & & & &
2] ReGAIN Comment
- The Legion, master wordsmiths, refer in the title of their document to “past sexual abuse cases”, as if there were none in the present! What an assumption.
- They mention only one offending Legionary who is no longer a Legionary; as if they have been no others. To learn about other Legion Sex Abuse cases search ReGAIN and use Google!
- What is the Legion doing about Cutanda’s victims –whom they have denied and mistreated in the past? Fr John Connor, LC, the Legion’s director for North America, accepted the Board’s recommendation and arrangements have been made to give the victims suitable support. How vague can you get!
- And what is this Presidium organization the Legion refers to? It is an agency that gives accreditation for organizations who deal with children, to insure the atmosphere is healthy and safe for children.
- However, this is not the same as holding abusers accountable. The Legion does not refer to the guidelines the Vatican has already issued regarding cases of sex abuse by clergy and religious, May 3, 2011. We cite one paragraph:
<Vatican guidelines to bishops: e) Cooperation with Civil Authority
- Sexual abuse of minors is not just a canonical delict but also a crime prosecuted by civil law. Although relations with civil authority will differ in various countries, nevertheless it is important to cooperate with such authority within their responsibilities. Specifically, without prejudice to the sacramental internal forum, the prescriptions of civil law regarding the reporting of such crimes to the designated authority should always be followed. This collaboration, moreover, not only concerns cases of abuse committed by clerics, but also those cases which involve religious or lay persons who function in ecclesiastical structures.>
- Nor does the Legion of Christ commit to abiding by civil laws and local Child Protection Enforcement agencies, which include informing the corresponding authorities when an allegation is made or a victim comes forward.
- Connor’s statement continues: ‘Nothing further will be said” –Don’t ask any more questions, reporters or interested individuals- because we have “to respect the identity of the victims.” At least he refers to the two victims as victims.
- In his report Fr. Connor mentions serial pedophile Fr. Fernando Cutanda, LC, who was accused 30 years ago! If we cut through the verbiage we see he has not been held accountable in any serious way.
- Apparently the Legion has not reported offending members to civil authorities.
They prefer to let decades pass before taking action: when accusations are made they deny or minimize or blame the victim;
- they transfer the offender to another “front”, hide them away;
- They may or may not keep them away from children (see case of senior LC priest and Maciel victim, an offender who has never been monitored by the Legion; it seems they don’t consider poor Mexican children to be important, Thy Kingdom Come!);
- They wait for the offenders to grow old, become senile or suffer from dementia. Then they won’t do anything because they are old and suffering (see case of multiple offender, Fr. William Izquierdo, Master of Novices in Dublin and Cheshire, CT…)
- The Vatican showed them how to do this by delaying Marcial Maciel’s indictment until he was in his 80s and then avoiding a church trial because he was too old and feeble…He brushed off the tap on the wrist and carried on as usual until he died unrepentant.
Reference to Presidium an “accreditation agency” in this article from Vatican Radio that refers to approval of LC constitutions: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/11/02/legionaries_of_christ_learning_from_mother_church/1109988