Ongoing Cover-up of Child Sexual Abuse by Legionaries of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation

promise, proposal:  Legionaries of Christ promises, proposes, declares “Our Commitment to Safe Environment”

Ongoing Cover-Up of child Sexual Abuse by Legionaries of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation

By Adriana Lozano González

Facebook, Legioleaks, 3/14/2021

English Introduction, Original Spanish language testimony; Microsoft/ReGAIN English translation

Fr. Jorge N, #LegionarioDeCristo,  was rector of the Apostolic School in Ontaneda, when he was accused of covering up countless sexual abuses of the children who lived there.

As a result, he was sent, again as rector of an Apostolic School (seminary for young boys), but this time to Chile. There he was accused of cover-up of the abuses that were going on in there and of pedophilia (public case).

From Chile he was sent to Argentina… where he was accused once again of abuse of a minor.

Finally, he was sent as a parish priest to a parish in the Cancun-Chetumal Diocese, Yucatan Peninsula, where he continues to exercise his priestly ministry, in contact with minors and vulnerable people.

 

I leave you the TESTIMONY (authorized) of one of the children who writes us about what he witnessed in Chile.

What should concern EVERYONE most (which is why it is made public, according to the manual of child protection #44), is that someone who has been charged for various crimes, in different countries, remains a priest  and in a position of authority. Please help spread the word so that Catholic Church Leadership acts quickly in these cases and does not keep exposing our children or vulnerable adults.

—-

Original Spanish:

El P. Jorge N, #LegionarioDeCristo era rector de la escuela Apostólica en Ontaneda, cuando fue acusado de encubrimiento de un sinnúmero de abusos sexuales a los niños que ahí vivían.

A raíz de esto fue enviado, nuevamente como rector de Apostólica, pero ahora en Chile. Ahí fue acusado de encubrimiento de los abusos que sucedían en este lugar y de pederastia (caso público).

De Chile fue enviado a Argentina…acusado una vez más, de abuso a un menor.

Finalmente, fue enviado como párroco a una Iglesia de la Diócesis Cancún-Chetumal, en donde sigue ejerciendo su ministerio, en contacto con menores y personas vulnerables.

Les dejo el TESTIMONIO (autorizado) de uno de los niños que fue testigo de lo que vivían en Chile.

Lo que más debería preocuparnos a TODOS (razón por la cual se hace público, según el vademécum de protección al menor 44), es que alguien que ha sido acusado por varios delitos, en diferentes países, siga como SACERDOTE y autoridad. Por favor ayuden a difundir para que la Iglesia actúe con rapidez en estos casos. Y no se siga exponiendo a nuestros niños ni adultos vulnerables.

 

 

English translation of testimony by former Legionary junior seminarian eye-witness of sexual abuse at Legion of Christ house in Chile.

[Editor’s note: in Spain and Latin America, particularly, junior seminaries have been functioning for centuries. There, young boys, 11-15 years old, live in a residential setting and are educated with a view to their becoming future priests. If the seminary or Apostolic School is part of a religious order or community, their next step will be the novitiate, two years of spirituality which prepare them for their first vows, after which they are called “religious”, and addressed as “Bro. X”.]

Monday, February 10, 2020

Dear X (female)

Greetings from Chile hoping you are well. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for helping truth prevail. This will not be easy because of the feelings and lived experiences which make it hard to reveal the following events.

My name is XX. I am thirty-five and I was a Legionary of Christ for 14 years. I entered the vocation center in Santiago de Chile (junior seminary) in January 1997. There were about 70 of us children that summer. The rector and novice master at that time was Fr. Pedro Pablo X, LC, who was at this post until July of that year because they decided to close the novitiate, and Fr. Jorge X, LC, took over as rector, as he had more experience than Fr. Pedro Pablo working with minors.

I remember clearly my first “spiritual direction” session with Fr. Jorge because he told me I shouldn’t be there because my family was not well off, and he would do his utmost to make me go home. I was very surprised by this as he should have been someone to help me discern my divine calling to the priesthood, and not someone who was going to make my life so miserable I would have to leave the seminary.

1997 was a very tough year for me because of so many changes and the arrival of Fr. Jorge who make things even worse. I will not go into details regarding his training methods which were really antiquated to say the least: weeks-long silence and incommunicado, public humiliation, and other such.

I want to be clear that I never saw or heard anything about him personally abusing one of my fellow seminarians. I did hear from other seminarians about a religious brother who touched boys while they were sleeping, and sometimes pulled back the bedclothes to be better able to fondle them when lights were out. He must have begun doing that in 1998 or 99; the religious in question was called Marcel X who had a New Zealand background.

When I learned about these events I do not know whether Fr. Jorge knew that the Bro. Marcel was fondling the young seminarians or that several of us knew about the abuse. What I do know is that one day Marcel disappeared: when we came down for morning prayers, Marcel was nowhere to be seen. His name was never mentioned again. However, there was another religious brother -I can’t remember whether he and Marcel were ever there at the same time. The new religious was called Salvador. He had been a vocation recruiter in Santiago City before being assigned to the junior seminary. We had seen him before because he would bring the candidates to the junior seminary on weekends to show them around.

Salvador chose his special moments when the children were milling around the door trying to get in,  when his touching would be less noticeable. Or he simply came up to you and put his hand on your bottom when you were reading the notice board. I saw this with my own eyes and also felt his hands on me.

It was at this time when one of my companions in the group of minors – we were divided into three groups, younger boys, older boys and precandidates (for noviciate) according to age- approached me and told me he was being fondled by the Assistant (the name given to the religious with vows who supervises child seminarians). This companion told me  about the situations where the abuse was taking place. So I started looking into these situations and watching the Assistant. And sure enough I saw him. When I started getting between him and the other little boys, he touched me too. If it happened only once it could have been an accident but it was repeated. Nobody wanted to tell Fr. Jorge about what was happening. In reality we did not trust him much and were afraid he would punish us for speaking ill of the religious. I started pushing that religious away from me; I even came to blows to defend myself.

Finally, some of us informed Fr. Jorge. He called us one by one to his office. I don’t remember much about the conversation but I did tell him who were being abused by the assistant and where and how he touched my companions. Just as in the previous case, Salvador was taken out of the community, he was given a weekend sabbatical and later he disappeared. Years later I learned he was no longer a Legionary. I think he is married now. We could not talk about this with “outsiders” because the dirty linen is washed at home.  My family might have heard something but, naturally, I denied everything, and we went about our lives just as before.

I cannot state that Fr. Jorge had previous knowledge about these harmful  actions; I hope he did not because if he did have previous knowledge that would make him a monster; what I can inequivocably state is that he did know about the abuse during and after it happened. The strategy of removing the offender and keeping silence has always been part of the Legion of Christ modus operandi, and sadly of the Church.

We were there to follow Christ and not to experience that abuse! Having to protect ourselves, abused by those who were supposed to take care of us and want the best for us in the name of God! I was fifteen or sixteen and was lucky enough to be bigger physically than others my age; but my companions were thirteen and fourteen! We had to run away from our assistants. You got nervous whenever they approached, and even more so if they touched you -even it was just on the shoulder! No child deserves that!

I litterally had to punch another person to keep him away from a little boy! In a so-called seminary! These are horrible things that are just seeing the light, because back then they were minimized!

I am sharing these experiences with you in the hope that these abuses are not repeated, and that no child be exposed to them.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share these events; it also helps just to able to discuss these experiences with somebody else.

Affectionately yours,

XX, former Legionary of Christ.

 

 ReGAIN observes:

This is the straightforward testimony of a young man who has gone to the trouble of dragging up painful memories in the hope of preventing further abuse. One wishes Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi superiors not react defensively but take the complaint to heart and take action.

The testimony does not mention one very important point:

There is no mention of any spiritual or psychological help being offered to the victims or to the offenders. Surely, this is a very grievous omission and lack of responsibility on the part of Legion/Regnum formators and superiors (directors). ReGAIN, for its part, prays that Catholic authorities, in the person of Archbishop Charles Scicluna and his team, look into this and similar testimonies so as to “promote justice.”

Legion(aries) of Christ Recently convicted Child Sex Abusers


Archive photo a LC junior seminarians, Apostólicos. Priest featured is not accused, nor are any of the boys featured necessarily victims.

The Legion of Christ, through its Press Office, Oficina de Prensa, is beginning to reveal more recent cases of priest members suspected or found to be child sex abusers.

1- ReGAIN has found the following statement in English regarding a relatively recent case in the USA: Fr. Benjamin Cieply, LC

https://legionariesofchrist.org/fr-benjamin-cieply-lc/?fbclid=IwAR0g84082oCtBI326cZ_3WprkHcHMowyfpGx10wQXtMcprzXY

ReGAIN is discovering how the Legion is revealing these cases (mandated by the Vatican or local bishops?) piecemeal, some in English, some in Spanish. So it is hard to see the extent of the abuse.

2- The Fr. John O’Reilly, LC, case in Chile is now common knowledge. Irish-born, Fr. O’Reilly joined the Legion in the late 1960s and found his way into the privileged position of being one of Fr. (The Saint) Maciel’s favorite waiters at the mother-house in Rome… Because of his good manners, smiling disposition and assimilation of the Legion system he ended up in Chile, promoting the Legion and Regnum Christi among the political (Pinochet & Co.), business and conservative church upper classes. Together with Fr. Raymond Cosgrave he was the main LC/RC mover and shaker in Chile. During the last decades he was also chaplain at one of the Legion’s elementary school. His demise began with accusations he had sexually abused two little sisters who were students. The parents’ civil case went on and on in Chilean courts until he was convicted and sentenced to four years supervised house arrest. Fr JOR lost his Chilean citizenship and was expelled from the country. The case was later referred to the Vatican where the conviction was upheld and the Vatican imposed its own sanctions. . He is now residing at the LC mother house in Rome.

In and effort to clean up its image, The Legion has been emitting communiques about Fr. JOR for the past year or more. The most recent . communique was found by ReGAIN in Spanish

With further research an English version might be found

3- A more recent conviction we posted was the case of Vladimir Reséndiz who abused two boys at the Legion’s minor seminary in Gozzano, Northern Italy.

4- Very recently the Legion’s Spanish language Press Office released a long statement regarding Fr. José Luis Díaz Atilano, a drawn-out case of this Mexican priest in Chile which was tried in civil and ecclesiastical court. The Legion wants to show it is doing the right thing…

One may wonder why these convictions occur so long after the offense was reported. This happens for a variety of reasons:

  • the victims are young, innocent, vulnerable and don’t know how to defend themselves or speak up
  • they may be very ashamed, thinking they are the guilty party (this is part of the art of pedophilia)
  • it may take a long time for people to believe them after they do summon up the courage. They may be dissuaded from talking, for a variety of reasons.
  • The Legion may try to bribe them (see Gozzano case) to keep silence.
  • Cases can be difficult to prove because of time elapsed (statute of limitations)
  • Cases may cost the victim/family money they don’s have.
  • Courts are exceedingly slow.
  • Separation of Church and State in some countries make judges leery of getting involved against Catholic Church or Catholic institutions and religious orders.
  • Church courts and tribunals are usually slower than civil courts….
  • Legion may try to defend the accused member and have the financial resources to protract the case for months or years, “interrogatories” etc., until the e victim runs out of money… Many cases never reach trial….

In another recent move the Legion has stressed its “safe environment” guidelines; however, a careful scrutiny reveals that the Legion still prefers to handle its cases in-house, i.e. that victims contact the Legion outreach staff. Besides, their American guidelines may not be applicable to other countries. In the USA the Legion vaunts its participation in the safe environments system Presidium, but this may be limited to the USA or English-speaking world.

WITH THE LEGION AND REGNUM CHRISTI, YOUTH AND PARENTS NEED TO READ THE SMALL PRINT BEFORE COMMITTING. Remember, they were founded by a conman!

Legion of Christ faces new Priestly Scandal

we have already published a Spanish language post yesterday.

Here is a link to the VOA article reporting on how the Legion of Christ and the priest, previously rector of the Legion´s Maria Mater Ecclesiae international seminary in Rome (training priests sent by their bishops from all over the world) revealed that the padre, Fr. Oscar Turrion,  had just had a daughter out of wedlock/vows and -almost an afterthought- a boy from a few years previously. According to his very recent contrite letter, he felt it was time to come clean.  His superiors have been very understanding and did not reveal the slip until the padre was ready to leave and start his new life.

Events were originally reported by Associated Press

UK Daily Mail quotes full AP article

 

!La Muerte del Legionario de Cristo Olvidado, P. Raymundo Comiskey : Salvado por “la Amabilidad de los fieles”!

Las Últimos días del Padre Raymundo Comiskey, Legionario de Cristo:
Conversación de John Lloyd Stephens con SAGS, testigo

“I have always relied on the kindness of strangers

Blanche in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar named Desire

Conversacion comienza el 29 de mayo 2015 via Facebook
Conversation started Friday 5/29, 4:45 pm and continued intermittently for over a day.

JLS
Estimada, escribiste del Padre Raymundo y sus últimos años; estuvo el con alquien que conociste. Cuéntame más pues no soy ningún defensor de los LCs and de acuerdo en que prefieren a los ricos; he escrito mucho al respecto, más que nada en inglés.  Cuídate mucho,

JLS, contemporáneo y amigo del Padre Raymundo.

   &&&&&

Saturday 2:08 am

• SAGS
Hola,muy buenas noche

así es soy la hija de la persona que lo atendió durante sus 6 años aquí en Mérida. Y durante todo el tiempo que estuvimos viendo por el Padre Ray lo hicimos con mucho cariño; es verdad humildemente -así como era él- pero nunca le hizo falta nada.

Ni sus medicinas, ni su comida especial, sus doctores.
Eso sí, fue humillado muchas veces por el obispo (Elizondo) y por el Padre. Ibarra. Pero siempre lo defendimos.

JLS:
Gracias, S. Tú estuviste durante sus últimos momentos? Al menos que estuviera en presencia de personas que lo querían…

S.-
Así es
Fue muy rápido todo
Es más a las 8:20 am fue al baño y le preguntamos que si se encontraba bien
Nos dijo que sí
Al igual se le preguntó padre ya quiere desayunar y nos dijo no hija más al rato
Y vimos que se acueste; al minuto escuchamos un ronquido y fuimos corriendo
Y ya estaba muerto

JLS:
él era muy terco y escondía los dolores.
S.- Era el marcapasos que estaba trabajando

JLS: fecha y hora?

S.- Murió el 26 de mayo a las 8:39

JLS: no sabía que tenía marcapasos

S.- Si el Padre Ray tenía marcapasos desde hace tres años. Es más; la última vez que vino a verlo el que se hace llamar obispo lo ofendió mucho
Y ya sabe el Padre Ray no dijo nada. Cosa que no aguanté. Y sí me metí porque no me gustó como lo estaba tratando.

JLS:
Cuando yo lo vi en Enero como que no supo o no quiso explicarme lo de su salud….su mente no estaba clara. !Qué bueno!(que lo defendiste)

S.- (respondiendo a que no sabiamos de su marcapasos)
Así es porque el padre no era de explicar sus enfermedades

JLS: tengo noticias del obispo y de cómo trata (el Obispo) a los padres

S.- Es más; cuando usted vino el Padre Ray estaba tomando medicamentos para la depresión que le dió cuando se fue el obispo (Editor: después de la visita del Mons. Elizondo). Y por culpa de él se le secó un líquido…

JLS- !Qué pena! ?Cuando fue la visita de Elizondo?

S.- Antes de su cumpleaños. No me acuerdo muy bien la fecha. Porque de verdad después de ese día juré que ese obispo no volvería a pisar mi casa para ofender al Padre Ray.
Le hicieron muchas cosas. Y ahora sí se para y dice que cubría todos los gastos. Que el seguro igual, etc.
!Mentira!
Por último, mi mamá vendió el coche para poder solventar los gastos. El padre siempre estuvo atendido por sus médicos que lo querían mucho.
El padre era diabético, dependiente de insulina, tenía marcapasos, le dieron infartos en el rostro. (Editor: parálisis faciales) y le dio neumonía.

JLS: Ray me mencionó algo de una deuda. Pero no se explicaba bien. Y Mons. Bernal me había dicho que los legionarios le pasaban una buena ayuda semanal. Pero resulta que no; así que Uds. se quedaron con una deuda grande.
S.- Así es. Así que el Padre Patricio y amigos del Padre Ray están viendo qué hacer (para solventar la deuda) ya el que Obispo Elizondo y el Padre Ibarra no quieren.
JLS: Sé que hace un tiempo los Padres Patricio y Bernardo recaudaron fondos entre los fieles para los gastos del Padre Ray.
S.- Eso sí que no sabía
JLS: tengo que irme. Voy a ver si yo o el grupo de ReGAIN podemos hacer algo por la causa. Sigamos comunicándonos