ReGAIN is bewildered by the latest round of Legion excuses to Ana Lucía Salazar and other women, sexually abused as little 8-year-olds at the Legion of Christ, Instituto Cumbres school in Cancun in 1991-2.
Taking advantage of her prominence on Mexican media, Analú broke her silence a few months ago and raised Cain, something that is absolutely necessary to get Legion of Christ leaders attention.
She and her parents had approached Legion superiors soon after the abuses, almost twenty years ago’, and were stonewalled and lied to. The perpetrator -who had abused previously in Mexico City before being taken away from local authorities and REASSIGNED to Cancun- was reassigned to the Legion Novitiate in Salamanca, Spain. At present he is protected by the Legion in its Rome Headquarters.
Since Ana Lucía’s accusation, some of her companions, who were also abused by the same person, at the same time in the same place, have come forward to support her and consolidate the case against Fr. Fernando Martínez, LC. Two of these young women are now presenting their testimonies.
Unable to stem the tide of damning evidence piling up, the Legion has made several public statements; the leadership, in the person of Superior General, Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil, LC, has published press releases, written a personal letter of apology, excuses and promises to the victim. It would appear that the perpetrator has also written to Ana Lucia acknowledging his “lack of impulse control” leading to his “impure actions”which happened so long ago “and which he remembers every day with great contrition and for which he begs her forgiveness.”
ReGAIN needs to disavow innocent Fr. Robles Gil and Ms Salazar regarding the crocodile tears of pedophiles, who cannot help minimizing, excusing and playing the innocent victim…
But, as usual, there is no punishment (maybe “prayer and penance”) -as in the case of serial pedophile founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel- or any mention of compensation to the victims and their families.
The Mexican periodical, PROGRESO, published a report in November, 2019, which began:
“ROME (apro). – The Legionaries of Christ acknowledged today, 50 years after the first complaint, that the priest Fernando Martínez abused various children in educational centers of the organization in Mexico, according to the inquiry commissioned after last May (when) the Mexican conductor and singer Ana Lucía Salazar, one of the victims, publicly uncovered the case.
After an investigation that lasted six months and that was carried out by the specialized agency Praesidium, the Legionaries informed, in a note, that the controversial priest was the subject of various complaints between 1969 and 1993, presented by ex-legionaries, acquaintances or relatives of children of between 4 and 11 years, in various schools in the country, including the Summit (Cumbres) Institutes of Mexico City and Cancun.
In the latter institute, for example, Martínez abused between 1991 and 1993 of “at least six girls between 6 and 11 years old.” “Praesidium has corroborated these abuses with documents and multiple testimonies. […] Father Martínez, interrogated by Praesidium and in the internal investigation, admits with sorrow and remorse the abuses ”against these minors, reads in one of the paragraphs of the long communiqué.
It was “a very serious mistake of assigning, in this case, a priest who had committed abuses in a pastoral job with children and youth elsewhere,” they wrote in another section.
However, still today, Martinez would continue to maintain his status as a priest and would be waiting for the opening of a canonical procedure to be stripped of his habits, as the note suggests. The Superior General of the Legion, Eduardo Robles-Gil, delivered the results on November 11 to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and is awaiting ‘instructions on the canonical procedure to be followed.’
Therefore, at the moment, the only punishments for Martínez are not having access to public ministry and other restrictions, such as being able to dress his priestly cassock when he is in congregation buildings and not coming into contact with minors, as explained by the Legionaries, who Nor did they clarify whether they pointed the case to Mexican justice.”
As the leader can see, the Legion presents information to its own advantage and in carefully couched and often ambivalent terms. The meat of the matter is, as we mentioned above, that there were serious accusation against Fr. Martinez since 1969 -see bolded text above. The poor Legion superiors say they don’t know what to do and await instructions from their superiors…. When the Vatican, American and Mexican bishops have already made it clear.
The Legion, being that special institution, needs to be told personally by the Vatican, or by the pope in person, what they should do….Rules that apply to those ordinary diocesan priests and ordinary religious many not apply to them. They are the Hope of the Church and Friends of the Pope…
In 1969 serious accusations were made against Fr. Martinez when he worked with children at the Instituto Cumbres in Mexico City.
The Legion superiors -Fr. Maciel was probably involved- decided to mollify parents and REASSIGN the perpetrator.
No rehabilitation treatment for offender.
Compensation to victims, unknown.
Offender goes to another place, Cancun, in a similar assignment, elementary school, confessor…. and re-offends.
Superiors Eloy Bedia, local bishop, Jorge Bernal Vargas…. probably after consultation with Fr. Maciel, TRANSFERRED perpetrator to the safety and immunity of Salamanca, Spain; to a novitiate… overseeing teenage seminarians…
When the latest scandal breaks, Legion superiors, the new generation of reformed superiors, send Martinez to Rome, where he is out of the grasp of authorities and where he continues to practice the priestly ministry.
Ms Salazar, has met with the Vatican nuncio in Mexico to explain her plight. She and a former Legionary who supported her, were flabbergasted when the Vatican envoy excused -or tried to joke- about the offense, citing Nietzsche, “for some men, sex with children is the greatest of all pleasure.”
That exchange did little for Ana Lucía’s devotion to the Catholic Church.
In contrast, the Mexican Hierarchy has been more sympathetic and supportive, issuing a document calling on Legion leadership to be more proactive in supporting victims and promising to take the case to the Mexican Bishops Conference.
Bishops of Mexico demand reparation for the damage due to sexual abuse
In a message, the general secretary of the CEM and General Coordinator of the National Council for the Protection of Minors requests the resignation of the clerical state of alleged sexual abuser belonging to the congregation founded by Marcial Maciel
10.12.2019 | Mexican Episcopate Conference
Always in favor of the victims
Mexico City as of December 10, 2019
Committed to the protection of children and adolescents, in our Churches in Mexico, we want to state as National Council for the Protection of Minors (CNPM) of the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate some aspects about the report of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ of the November 22, 2019, regarding the cases of sexual violence committed by the PR Fernando Martínez, LC and the press conference carried out by some victims on November 26, 2019:
1. First of all, we recognize the courage and search for justice by the victims of the PR Fernando Martínez and the work of the associations that accompany them in this search; We ask God to enlighten them and we reiterate to their service.
2. In the aforementioned report, we have not found a concrete act of justice and reparation for the victims, nor who currently, on the part of the Congregation, assumes the responsibility of making those responsible for the cover-up transparent.
3. In the canonical field, the previous investigation has been carried out that precedes a canonical criminal process, awaiting the determinations that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will take.
4. In the civil legal field, given that the religious Congregation informed that the denouncement of facts was already presented before the competent authority, we have offered the victims the support and guidance to proceed in the most appropriate manner and we ask the law enforcement authorities that investigate and demarcate the corresponding responsibilities by action and omission.
5. In this sense, the victims have been urged, not only to file criminal complaints, but also to demand compensation for the actions or omissions by the directors of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ.
6. We urge the Director General to request the Holy Father, pro bono Ecclesiae, to resign from the clerical state of Fr. Fernando Martínez, keeping him subject to religious obedience in a residence in Mexico, in order to be available to the competent authorities .
Finally, we express our firm commitment that in this one – and in all cases of sexual abuse of minors within the Church – priority attention is given to the victims, the aggressors are criminally reported, the damage caused is repaired, the those responsible face legal proceedings before the civil and canonical authorities and they act expeditiously and responsibly. Only in this way will what is claimed in Psalm 84: “Mercy and truth meet; Justice and peace kissed. ”
+ Alfonso G. Miranda Guardiola
Auxiliary Bishop of Monterrey,
CEM General Secretary
General Coordinator of the National Council