Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi squirms out of Sexual Abuse lawsuit

 

Dear Readers,

just got this alert from Google referring to ICAS, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION APOSTOLIC SCHOOL

The Center Harbor school where several boys were reportedly molested by members of the disgraced Roman Catholic religious order, the Legionaires of Christ, is no longer a defendant in the federal lawsuits brought by the survivors.

Five men filed lawsuits against the order and the school last year in the United States District Court of Connecticut accusing the order of negligence for effectively facilitating and covering up the abuse.

Judge Kari Dooley dismissed the Immaculate Conception Apostolic School, or ICAS, from the lawsuit last month based on the argument that it is a separate entity based in New Hampshire. The Legionaries of Christ order is registered as a non-profit in Connecticut and it was headquartered in Connecticut for decades.

“ICAS’s principal place of business is in New Hampshire, where it operated, at the times relevant to the Complaint, a private, Roman Catholic boarding school,” Dooley wrote. “ICAS’s students attended class, boarded, and otherwise resided in New Hampshire, where the school was located. New Hampshire is also where the alleged sexual abuse took place. Indeed, absent from the Complaint are any specific allegations that ICAS conducted any non-administerial activities in Connecticut at all.”

The order has since moved its American operations to Georgia.

ICAS was considered a minor seminary for the Legionaries, and hundreds of boys from all over the world were educated there for the priesthood. According to documents filed in court, the school was founded by Fr. Anthony Bannon, a leading figure in the Legionaries, and Br. Fernando Cutanda, a man who the Legionaries has since acknowledged abused boys at the school in the 1980s.

The lawsuits against the Legionaries itself will continue. The order closed the Center Harbor school in 2015, and in 2019 put the Dane Road property up for sale. The property, with views of Lake Winnipesaukee, is reportedly valued at close to $9 million.

Bannon ran the North American branch of the order for much of the 1980s and 1990s and was close to the Legionaries of Christ founder, Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado. Known as Fr. Maciel, the founder has since been revealed to be a serial pedophile and drug addict.

Pope Benedict XVI moved against the Legionaries in 2010, after the Vatican issued a statement on Maciel’s crimes.

“The very grave and objectively immoral actions of Father Maciel, confirmed by incontrovertible testimonies, in some cases constitute real crimes and manifest a life devoid of scruples and authentic religious meaning.”

Maciel’s now notorious behavior reportedly included drug addiction, fathering several children with at least three different women, the sexual abuse of his own children and others.

The Vatican took temporary control of the order and forced the Legionaries to make changes to their constitution, including ending the practice of having members take secret vows to never criticize the Legionaries.

According to the Irish Times, Bannon helped Maciel deal with offshore accounts for the order. The Legionaries is believed to have at least $1 billion in assets, the Irish Times reports.

According to reporting from the Pandora Papers published late last year, the Legionaries secretly put close to $300 million into hidden trusts before Benedict moved against the order, in an effort to shield the funds from Vatican overseers. The order has denied any wrongdoing.

Bannon was subject of a 1990s Rhode Island lawsuit in which he was accused of defrauding a wealthy widow, essentially lying about Maciel and the order to get her to leave the Legion $60 million in her will, according to reports. The family contested the will, though they failed in court, and the Legion kept the money.

Bannon died last, and the Legionaries used the news of his death to raise money for the order’s scholarship fund for its schools.

There is a sixth sex abuse lawsuit filed in Connecticut by a Jane Doe who alleges she was abused at the order’s school for women in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island school was recently dropped from her lawsuit as a defendant.

Fr. Connor’s Damage-Control Strategy: Divide and Conquer Maciel’s Accusers

 
 

After the Legion of Christ Chapter General in early 2021, the New -first US born- General Director (Superior General), Fr. John Connor set about damage control.

He would take action to compensate the victims of Legion of Christ -now morphed into Regnum Christi Federation- Founder Fr. Marcial Maciel’s rampant sexual abuse of his seminarians in the 1950s, an albatross still hanging around the “reformed” institution’s neck.

Fr. Connor set about his task in a very Legionary and Roman way: Divide and Conquer. In order to do things à la Legion -like any cult would do- he would have to break up the group of seven plaintiffs who had not been taken care of for seven decades (1950-2020). Their case would have forever languised in Vatican archives unless investigative reporters Jason Berry and Gerald Renner had bravely brought their plight to the notice of the English-speaking world in February 1997 with a ground-breaking article in the Hartford Courant. https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-marcial-maciel-02-1997-story.html

Our readers are familiar with later developments, reported here and in other Catholic media:

  • Mons. Charles Scicluna’s interview of twenty Maciel victims in New York and Mexico City 2005, brings damaging information to soon-to-be-pope, Cardinal Ratzinger.
  • Pope Benedict’s slap on the wrist: Vatican Communiqué re Maciel May 19, 2006, eschewing a canonical trial.
  • Maciel’s death in January 2008 revealing sordid details of his double or multiple life, including mistresses and children.
  • Vatican investigation (euphemically called “visitation”) of the Legion and Regnum Christi, March 31, 2009,
  • Vatican “renewal” -never called “reform”- of Maciel’s brain child appoints Mons. Velasio de Paolis as Apostolic Delegate on July 9, 2010. Velasio de Paolis was with the Legion for four years, terminating his intervention at the congregation’s General Chapter in 2014. His work was hampered by his surrendering to the charms of LC Director Fr. Álvaro Corcuera and his coterie, and, among other problems, the desperate and fruitless search for the Legion of Christ’s charism and specific mission.

Fr. Connor’s task was daunting. But, like a Good American, he set about it forcefully and with a clear plan. As we have stated in our previous article, the fate of those early victims of Fr. Maciel’s abuse in Spain and Rome was a stumbling block to damage control among the members ad intra, and image laundering ad extra.

How to break that stubborn monolithic block of the remaining 7 accusers?

Divide and Conquer. The strategy was clever. The men were in their eighties. They had been abused in the late 1940s and 1950s and had left the sect not long after in various states of mental and emotional disarray. As we wrote previously, there had been at least twenty victims in that generation. Twenty that were counted. If we were to flesh out (forgive the expression) the total number -realizing how only a small percentage of sex victims acklowledge their abuse and come forward- the number would increase exponentially. Maciel had taught his henchmen how to control leaks and numbers. There could easily be a hundred, just from that period. Remember, we are talking about a serial sexual predador dressed in priest’s clothing. Several of his victims suggest that Maciel founded the Legion of Christ Catholic Religios Order, in the first place, to cultivate his ephobophile harem. Harsh words, and not the writer’s. Remember Maciel’s refined sexual appetite targetted emerging puberty. He, the founder, specialized in initiating the innocent boys into their sexuality. That way he would have total control, body and soul, of “his men”, as he called them.

LEGION OF CHRIST GENERAL STRATEGY

regarding Founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel’s, accusers and other cases of sexual abuse by him and by other Legion seminarians and priests.

  • DISCREDIT: “angry, resentful, vengeful”, “disgruntled old men”! (Fr. Owen Kearns, LC); a vendetta against the holy founder by ambitious former members, Richard John Nehaus in his “Feathers of Scandal” defense of Fr. Maciel in 2002. (Article since vanished from Internet to a large degree so as not to discredit Fr. Neuhaus, R.I.P. and Legion of Christ.)
  • STONEWALL UNTIL THEY DIE!
  • DIVIDE DIE-HARD ACCUSERS: as in the case of recent accusations against Fr. Fernando Martínez, abuser of 8-9 year old girls in Cancun, Mexico, 1991-3; and Maciel’s accusers.

 

IN THE CASE OF FOUNDER FR. MACIEL’S ACCUSERS:

Divide the group of Maciel’s “classical” victims, the ones who would not go away, would not shut up, and had not done the Legion the favor of dying off.

  • Sidestep and isolate resolute group leader, José de Jesús Barba, PhD Harvard, who demanded Legion leaders approach the survivors as a group and arrange full settlement of all damages: sexual, physical, personal, psychological, interpersonal, emotional, spiritual, religious… (several still suffer from some form of PTSD)
  • Deceive Barba into thinking and agreeing to work with Fr. Connor and Legion leadership, through a mutually agreed mediator, to reach a full settlement with victims. Meanwhile Fr. Connor is working diligently behind his back to implement the Legion’s strategy. Legion sign agreement with Barba, with a gag clause. Simultaneously disregarded agreement in order to reach their goal. ( cult characteristic: the end justifies the means).
  • Approach members individually and secretly, beginning in early 2020 -unbeknowned to Barba- offering them each an “Easter Egg” ($5,000.00, five thousand UScy), as a sign of caring and friendship -not as a settlement. they swear-, knowing that these men were now in their eighties and some of them were living in deep poverty (no property of their own, no steady income, little family support, failing health…)
  • As the first victims began crumbling and accepted the gift, leak to Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi members -the notice would slowly reach the public- “the victims are being taken care of”.
  • Take advantage of any chinks in the armor of Maciel victim- accusers to get them to accept gifts and sign agreements.

– Four victims accept the Legion overtures.

-Barba holds to agreement signed with Legion Leadership, refusing to enter into individual negotiations.

-Fernando Pérez Olvera also refuses, but cancer strikes…

Around March 2020 Fernando Pérez Olvera, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Legion pounces with the Easter Egg ruse. Pérez Olvera refuses to accept tiny nest egg. Legion leaders prevail with his wife to accept $10, 000.00 (ten thousand dollars) for his hospitalization.

On May 30, 2020 Fernando Pérez Olvera succumbs to pancreatic cancer in Monterrey, Mexico; with his dying breath he demands Justice from the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation, led by Fr. John Connor.

Saúl Barrales dies, April 5, 2021, as reported in ReGAIN article

On the other hand: Mission Accomplished Fr. Connor! You are a worthy son of arch -schemer, pedophile, imposter, impersonator and malignant narcissist, Founder of the Legion of Christ -now called Regnum Christi Federation-  to distance itself from the much maligned, yet Vatican approved, Legion of Christ religious congregation.

P.S. Spanish language article in respected newspaper (El País) three victims of sexual abuse accuse Fr. Connor of cover-up. 

Apostolic Nuncio Mentions Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi & Marcial Maciel re Sexual Abuse

Mexico bishops investigated over abuse cover-up allegations

Archbishop Franco Coppola , Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico, has revealed that 12 bishops in Mexico are being investigated for covering up the abuse.
By Madoc Cairnes  The Tablet, Nov 3, 2021

Twelve bishops in Mexico are being investigated for covering up the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, although no conclusions have so far been reached, the Vatican ambassador to the South America nation has revealed.

Archbishop Franco Coppola, the Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico, said that some of the investigations, carried out on the basis of new norms established by Pope Francis, have been referred to the Vatican itself. 

With the Nuncio’s revelation that more than one-sixth of Mexico’s Bishops are under suspicion of concealing abuse, the image of the Church in the overwhelmingly Catholic nation is likely to be further tarnished.

In 2019 one bishop revealed that at least 103 Catholic priests in Mexico have been suspended in the past nine years for sexual abuse against minors, out of more than 271 priests have been accused of sexual abuse.

In 2020 the Pope sent the team of investigators he directed to Chile in 2018 to Mexico, in a move suggesting problems of abuse and cover-up in Mexico could be as severe as the Chilean crisis. Although the visit was cancelled, Archbishop Coppola, the Papal representative in Mexico, has made confronting the abuse crisis a personal priority. 

Mexico was at the epicentre of one the most significant cases of abuse and cover-up in the recent history of the church, that of Fr Marciel Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

An internal report by the religious order in 2019 concluded that Maciel had abused at least 60 minors over decades – during which Maciel, and the legion, were regularly lauded by the institutional Church.

The consequences of the scandal continue to unfold. When Archbishop Coppola released his personal email and appealed for victims of abuse to come forward, most of those who contacted them wanted, he said, to talk about the Legionaries of Christ. 

With 84 million Catholic residents, Mexico has one of the highest number of Catholic inhabitants in the world, second only to Brazil. The moral authority of the Church in Mexico has been eroded in recent years, however, with protestant denominations making inroads in the north and south of the country. Across Latin America, the portion of people who identify as Catholic has declined in recent decades, from around 90 per cent in the 1960s to 69 per cent in 2014. 

Vatican orders all Heralds of the Gospel boarding schools to be Closed!

Heralds like XX Century Knight Templars

The students are to be sent home to their families

https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/vatican-wants-boarding-schools-run-heralds-gospel-be-closed?fbclid=IwAR3MV3RCyG7dRKEuGHaBsBDA8jLiCjyIU4aziuQphhJdV-vSFE1uHpZ057s

Names of Non-Compensated Sexual Abuse Victims of Fr. Marcial Maciel, Founder and Superior General of the Legion(aries) of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation

Fr. Maciel (1920-2008) began abusing his adolescent seminarians soon after the foundation in Mexico City 1941. He was investigated twice by the Vatican, never went to trial in canon or civil law, and lived out his days in luxury and pleasure, unrepentent.

 

Names of Not Compensated Sexual Abuse Victims of Fr. Maciel, Founder and Superior General of the Legion(aries) of Christ -now morphed into Regnum Christi Federation

 

Recently deceased while the Legion/Regnum Superiors played cat and mouse, waiting for them to die off:

Saúl Barrales Arellano    (maternal surname goes last in Spanish; although people can be named by their maternal surname in certain cases, as in the case of Francisco González, called Parga )

Félix Alarcón Hoyos

Fernando Pérez Olvera

 

Living Survivors in their 80s,

two of whom are living in abject poverty and illness

José de Jesús Barba Martín

Alejandro Espinosa Alcalá

Francisco González Parga – together  with  Alarcón, the only other victim                                    ordained to priesthood-  went public in 2005 when  victims                                    were  interviewed by then Vatican Prosecutor, Mons. Charles                                Scicluna, in Mexico City)

Arturo Jurado Guzmán

José Antonio Pérez Olvera

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