Vatican Knew of Serial Abuser Maciel Going Back Seven Decades
(English & Spanish)
by David Nussman • ChurchMilitant.com • January 2, 2019 20 Comments
Cardinal João Braz de Aviz says a ‘mafia’ in the Church covered up notorious Fr. Marcial Maciel
MADRID (ChurchMilitant.com) – A high-ranking cardinal says the Vatican had information on notorious abuser Fr. Marcial Maciel as early as 1943.
Cardinal João Braz de Aviz is head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. In a speech last month widely reported in Spanish media, he said that the Vatican had known about Maciel for decades and did nothing.
Spanish Catholic magazine Vida Nueva quotes the Brazilian cardinal as saying, “Who covered him was a mafia, they were not Church.”
Cardinal Braz de Aviz was speaking in Madrid, Spain, addressing the 25th general assembly of the Spanish Confederation of Religious
Maciel, a Mexican priest who founded the religious institute the Legionaries of Christ, was first investigated by Vatican officials for allegations of drug abuse from 1956 to 1959. Despite numerous investigations into his behavior over the course of decades, it was not until 2005 that the Vatican determined child sex abuse allegations were credible and cracked down on Fr. Maciel. Church officials removed Maciel from his leadership of the Legionaries. Then in 2006, Maciel was commanded to retire to a life of prayer and penance. He died in 2008.
Father Maciel has been accused of molesting seminarians, fathering children with secret “wives” and even sexually abusing his own offspring.
Some are speculating that Cdl. Braz de Aviz might have brought up the case of Fr. Maciel to deflect blame for the current clerical sex abuse cover-up scandals tarnishing Pope Francis’ pontificate. The current pontiff has faced intense criticism since Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò testified in August that Pope Francis lifted disciplines that had previously been imposed on accused homosexual predator ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
The cardinal claims his congregation has “nothing to do” with cover-ups like the one that kept Maciel in ministry for decades. He said the congregation now follows “a very good process” for responding to abuse allegations.
He emphasized that it is important for Church leaders to “be immediate in the face of abuse,” adding, “What comes to us immediately has to be heard.”
Speaking about the clergy abuse crisis in general, Cdl. Braz de Aviz said, “I have the impression that allegations of abuse will grow, because we are only at the beginning. We’ve been concealing for 70 years, and this has been a tremendous error.”
SPANISH NEWS ITEM BELOW
El Vaticano conocía la pederastia de Maciel desde 1943
por Carlos Esteban | 02 enero, 2019
La Santa Sede conocía la pederastia del fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo y la ignoró durante 63 años, ha reconocido el prefecto de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada, el cardenal João Braz de Aviz.
“Quien lo tapó era una mafia, ellos no eran Iglesia”, ha asegurado Braz de Aviz en una entrevista concedida a Vida Nueva el mes pasado, cuando estuvo en Madrid hace un mes para clausurar la asamblea general de la Confederación Española de Religiosos (CONFER). “Tengo la impresión de que las denuncias de abusos crecerán, porque solo estamos en el inicio. Llevamos 70 años encubriendo, y esto ha sido un tremendo error”, dice Braz de Aviz.
La información ha saltado a las páginas de la prensa secular y la da hoy el diario español de referencia, El País, que ya en 2006 informó de la investigación a que había sido objeto Maciel entre octubre de 1956 y febrero de 1959 por encargo del cardenal Alfredo Ottaviani.
El peor caso de abusos en todos los sentidos, desde pedofilia a drogadicción, pasando por suplantación personalidad, poligamia e incesto, fue posible a lo largo de décadas y con la protección de la Curia pese a las constantes denuncias que llegaban a Roma, algo que podría haberse atajado, quedando en un desagradable incidente menor, antes de mediados del siglo pasado.
2 thoughts on “Vatican Admits knowing about Legion Founder’s Sex Abuse since 1943!”
It is indeed shocking to learn that the Holy See knew what Maciel was up to back in 1943, but did nothing much about this until some 63 years later! And when they finally did act, in 2006, the only sanction they imposed was to “invite [Maciel] to a reserved life of prayer and penance, renouncing any public ministry”. (Of course Maciel undertook this life of prayer and penance in a luxury apartment – in Jacksonville, if I remember correctly.)
But what I find even more shocking is – to refer back to the previous ReGain post (https://bit.ly/2Vz2WWb) – that LC/RC is still targeting and grooming vulnerable and young Catholics today, nine years after even Maciel’s former defenders acknowledged the hideous duplicity and wickedness of his life.
Both of these stories – the Holy See’s 63 years of denial/cover-up followed by its failure to close down LC/RC after everyone accepted that these groups had been set up by an evil charlatan – are surely evidence of the arrogant weakness of the Holy See. They have always been so keen to preserve the reputation of the Church that they have favoured inaction or minimal action when scandalous behaviour within the Church has been uncovered. The ‘Maciel bad but LC/RC good’ notion promoted by the Holy See since 2010 has always been dishonest and unsustainable. And 2018 has surely been the year in which we have seen this arrogant and weak policy of inaction and cover-up finally backfire. The reputation of the hierarchy and governance of the Catholic Church has plummeted this last year. It will be a long time before people inside and outside the church forget the significance of the words ‘Viganó’, ‘Pennsylvania’ and ‘McCarrick’.