Father Maciel’s Vatican Godfather Dies: Cardinal Angelo Sodano goes to meet his Creator

Pope Francis once stated, when questioned about Fr. Maciel and how he had succeeded in deceiving so many people, including Vatican officials, for such a long time and always came out smiling, that Maciel “must had had a godfather in there”.
That Godfather was Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the man behind Pope John Paul II’s throne for many years.

Pope Francis talks with Cardinal Angelo Sodano as they arrive to attend a consistory at the Vatican

Pope Francis once stated, when questioned about Fr. Maciel and how he had succeeded in deceiving so many people, including Vatican officials, for such a long time and always came out smiling, that Maciel “must had had a godfather in there”.

That Godfather was Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the man behind Pope John Paul II’s throne for many years.

As his death is announced, several important news media, including Reuters’ Philip Pullella, pull no punches

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. 

Part Two: Legion of Christ Avoids Compensating Victims of Sexual Abuse by its Founder, Father Marcial Maciel, LC

                                      

Part Two: The Legion of Christ Avoids Compensating Victims of Sexual Abuse by its Founder, Father Marcial Maciel.

 

March 4, 2021, under the patronage of Apostle Nathanael

 

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit’                                                                   John 1,47

 

Responding to concerns of our readership, we  will try to clarify statements made in Part 1.

 

The current director general of the Legion of Christ/Federation Regnum Christi, Father John Connor, has not yet met personally with The Group of Victims of Sexual Abuse at the hands of their founder, Father Maciel.

 

  1. The original number of eight complainants has been reduced to six due to the deaths of Mr. Fernando Pérez Olvera in late 2020 and Father Félix Alarcón in 2021:

 

    1. José de J. Barba Martín
    2.  Saul Barrales Arellano (seriously ill)
    3. Alejandro Espinosa Alcalá (extreme financial hardship)
    4. Arturo Jurado Guzmán (ill)
    5. José Antonio Pérez Olvera (extreme financial hardship)
    6. Francisco González Parga, who was not of the original group of 1997 but who bore his testimony before the prosecutor, promoter iustitiae, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Monsignor Charles Scicluna in CDMX April 2005 – and who would come to replace Juan José Vaca who received compensation several years ago directly from Father Alvaro Corcuera, Q.E.P.D., then director general of the Legion of Christ.

 

  1. Father Eduardo Robles Gil, LC, not Fr. Connor, was the one who met three times with representatives of the group – Barba, Pérez Olvera and Jurado – at a CDMX hotel between late December 2019 and early January 2020, in the presence of a legal mediator. He was accompanied by Father Simán, LC (he of the calculator).

 

  1. A letter with three requests was submitted in writing to Father Robles Gil:
    • Reparation  of the moral damages of the group by the Legion of Christ in 1997: The Legion motivated three men of their trust (AA, JLG, VV) to bear false testimony against the victims, claiming that they lied and formed a conspiracy against innocent Father Maciel. At the same time, the Legion of Christ forged letters (a ruse often used by Father Maciel) from an elderly Chilean bishop to strengthen Father Maciel’s defense in the Hartford Courant newspaper.
    • Reach an agreement through a panel representing both sides to agree on the amount of financial compensation for victims.
    • To notify the representative of the group, Dr. José Barba Martín, of any communications the Legion might have with the victims. (To ensure the honesty of negotiations and avoid divisions.)
          • The letter was delivered to Father Robles Gil and signed as received by him in the presence of witnesses.
          • The Legion required the three victims to sign a (unilateral?) confidentiality document.

 

  1. During the general chapter of the Legion of Christ in Rome in January 2020 the change of director general was made, with Father John Connor being elected. He sent an email to Dr. Barba in January explaining that he had been elected and that the Legion saw it as a priority to solve the problem of the victims (at least those in question; it was not clear whether he had the other victims of Father Maciel recognized by the Legion in mind). -Hence the reference in the first part to the chapter documents already mentioned.- Fr. Connor alluded to his knowledge of Father Robles Gil’s CDMX encounters with the victims. He did not say directly that he had seen such a letter or that he had read it. The reader might suspect that this was about two legionnaires passing the hot potato. Moreover, the lack of clarity – not to say confusion – and the lack of coordination of the leadership gave Father Connor time to think about how to proceed in such a delicate matter.

 

  1. In the first part of the article, we accused Father Connor of putting loyal correspondence with Dr. Barba and the group of victims to one side, preferring to launch his astute personal crusade to win over the remaining victims,  approaching them individually with the Easter Egg trick- a five-thousand-dollar-small cannonade- to soften them, divide the group of victims, and  drive the members away from Dr. Barba’s leadership. Barba  remains incorruptible and has stood firm regarding the fair  conditions  of an arrangement with the leaders of the Legion/Regnum.

 

  1. Early this year when Dr. Barba reminded Father Connor that a whole year had gone by without the Legion responding to the Father Robles Gil letter, Father Connor replied that Dr. Barba’s letter and requests are “too sophisticated” and as such deserve no consideration. (Although the mediator had not objected to the letter when it was presented to Father Robles Gil and was accepted for consideration by the Legion director general.) Father Connor remains politely in contact with Dr. Barba by email.

 

  1. ReGAIN would hope that all active and former members of the organization work and pray for an equitable solution to this seemingly endless saga.

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED AS NEEDED

ReGAIN drafting under the

patronage of Saint Nathanael (Bartholomew) and

protection of St. Michael the Archangel

 

The Torture Chambers of the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation

Two of Fr. Maciel’s Victims describe in detail the places where sexual abuse took place:  the Infirmary of the Legion mother house, Via Aurelia Nova 677, Rome, Italy

Link

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