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Awaiting Vatican Action

Now that the apostolic visitation has been completed the suspense continues as Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, William J. Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Franc Rodé, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life together with Pope Benedict XVI decide the future of the Legionaries of Christ. For details of Sandro Magister's report and opinion refer to:

The article points out the absolute dependence on Fr. Maciel, the absurdly exacting rules, the 332 page long handbook for the examination of conscience and the failure of the Legion to follow orders from the Vatican to remove the extra vows.

Nicole Winfield of Associated Press offers her report on the completion of the Vatican probe of Legionaries scandal at

Pope Considers Hand Picked Commissioner To Run Legion

In Brian Ross Investigates on ABC News The Blotter? Russell Goldman reports that Italian news sources are claiming that the Pope is likely to turn the reins of the Legion over to a handpicked commissioner who would have full powers to run the order.

For details see:
Pope Considers Commission To Take Over Legion by Brian Ross ABC News

Regain staff and friends along with thousands of people and their families who are affected by the Pope's decision following the Vatican visitation await the outcome as prayers for the Holy Father are offered around the world to support him in dealing with urgent issues now reaching a crisis stage. We offer our own prayers that God will bring order to the chaotic situations that have developed and that Pope Benedict XVI will be guided in wisdom and understanding by the Holy Spirit in whatever decisions he makes.

Accusers’ Victory Not Complete – Sanctions Against Maciel Don’t Spell Out Guilt

They finally feel vindicated by the Vatican's imposing of sanctions on the high church leader who they say sexually abused them when they were young boys and teenagers.

For years they tried futilely to call to the attention of church authorities the indignities they suffered in seminaries under the man they called Nuestro Padre, Our Father, the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado.

The former members of Maciel's Legionaries of Christ are now old men who have made a success of their lives after leaving the Legion.

But burning in their souls has been a desire to seek justice and a recognition by the Vatican of the wrongs done them in seminaries in Spain and Italy in the 1950s and '60s.

That recognition came Friday when the Vatican announced, after a year's investigation, that Maciel, 86, had been asked to give up appearing in public as a priest and to live a reserved life of penitence and prayer.

Still the victory is not complete. /

We feel some element of vindication in that the Vatican recognized that he has been guilty and he has been condemned, said Juan Vaca, 68, of Holbrook, N.Y., one of the accusers who flew to Mexico City to be with his companions. At the same time, he said Saturday, the Vatican is double-talking again in not clearly specifying Maciel's degree of guilt.

The Vatican's statement, approved by Pope Benedict XVI, said it was bearing in mind Father Maciel's advanced age and his delicate health to avoid a canonical trial.

Canon lawyers and other church observers say that no sanctions would have been imposed had the Vatican not found him guilty of at least some of the accusations.

But the fact there was no canonical trial to reach a definitive judgment of guilt left an ambiguity which Maciel quickly seized on. In a statement released by the Legionaries, Maciel, retired in his hometown of Cotija, Mexico, proclaimed his innocence but said he would abide by the Vatican's decision.

That hasn't set well with some of Maciel's accusers, eight of whom brought a canon law suit against him in 1998. Others who said they were abused are reported to have come forward to the church's investigator, according to the National Catholic Reporter, an independent news weekly, which broke the news of Vatican sanctions against Maciel.

We feel thankful to some extent. We feel a sense of trust and a new stream of air have entered the church, said Jose de J. Barba Martin, 66, a college professor in Mexico City and a leader among eight former Legionaries who brought the canon law suit against Maciel.

Nevertheless, Barba said in a telephone interview from Mexico City, Arturo [Jurado] and I feel this statement has left an opening for the Legionaries to say Father Maciel is innocent.

Jurado, 66, recently retired as an instructor at the U.S. Defense Department School of Linguistics in Monterey, Calif., and moved to Mexico. He was with Barba and two others of the eight men who brought the Vatican suit in Mexico City Saturday. They were interviewed by the Mexican media.

The story was also big news in Madrid, where the Rev. Felix Alarcon is now retired after years of working in Rockville Centre, N.Y., and Venice, Fla. He too was one of the eight accusing Maciel.

The church has for the first time put herself on the side of the victims. The other pope [John Paul] wasn't able to do this. This pope will force them to keep their feet on the ground, Alarcon, 72, said in a telephone interview.

Barba and Jurado said they spoke to their Vatican-sanctioned lawyer, Martha Wegan, who was very pleased and happy with the verdict. But they said they are demanding direct recognition by the Vatican through her.

We have asked our lawyer to demand we have a written communication [from the Vatican] to us, Barba said. It wasn't enough that the Vatican make a public statement, he said.

Barba said he and the others were very disappointed that the Vatican thanked the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi, its mostly lay auxiliary, for their work when what is really needed is reform.

When the stem is corrupt so are the branches, Barba said.

Another accuser with the group in Mexico City was Saul Barrales, 74, who was fired as a teacher in a Catholic school when he came out against Maciel in the first public expose of the accusations in The Courant in 1997


I congratulate the Vatican in that finally the pope did something, he told The Associated Press. Pope John Paul II supported [Maciel] but I think he was deceived or he wasn't totally informed of the truth. But the present pope is doing the right thing.

Maciel founded the Legionaries in Mexico in 1941 and it has a significant presence in that country, where it runs a number of schools for children of the elite classes. It has grown to be an order of 650 priests and 2,500 seminarians in 20 countries. It has 11 universities, including its first in this country, the newly incorporated University of Sacramento in California. It also has about 25 elementary and high schools run directly by the Legion or by Regnum Christi.

Its U.S. headquarters are in Orange, it has a seminary in Cheshire and a fundraising operation in Hamden. It has been barred from four dioceses - Minneapolis-St. Paul; Los Angeles; Baton Rouge, La.; and Columbus, Ohio - because of its secretive methods of operating. Archbishop Harry Flynn of Minneapolis-St. Paul accused the order of setting up a parallel church.

Throughout his reign, Pope John Paul II ignored accusations against Maciel, whom he repeatedly praised. Vaca sent letters to the pope outlining his charges against Maciel through official church channels in 1978 and again in 1989. He never received an answer.

John Paul made the first public trip of his pontificate to Mexico in 1979, after having been elected in 1978. Maciel paved the way, securing a personal invitation to the pope from the then-Mexican president, José Lopez Portillo. It was considered a great diplomatic coup in a country with strong anti-clerical laws and which endured bloody persecutions of Catholics in the 1920s and '30s. Maciel became a regular member of the pope's inner circle on subsequent trips to Mexico.

Coincidentally, the Vatican announced April 28 that one of Maciel's uncles, Rafael Gui?zar Valencia, bishop of Veracruz, Mexico, who died in 1938, will be declared a saint. He went underground during a period of bloody persecution and ran a clandestine seminary, which Maciel attended when was 16. The day after Gui?zar died, the seminary administrator expelled Maciel in what Maciel later called a misunderstanding. He was later expelled from another seminary, in New Mexico, in another misunderstanding, but was eventually ordained in 1944 by another bishop who was a close relative.

No date has been announced for Gui?zar's canonization, but as a suspended priest it is unlikely that Maciel will be able to attend.

Radical Reform In Store For Legion

Following is an unofficial English translation of the original article. For original article in Spanish Click Here

The head of the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Gian Maria Vian, stated that the intention of Pope Benedict XVI is to achieve a “radical reform” of the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ.

While waiting in the next few days for the appointment of an apostolic commissioner to conduct the re-founding of the Legion, the journalist told Notimex about the enormous effort led by the Vatican to get to the bottom (of this situation).

The situation of the Legionaries is very delicate, has required a particular effort on the part of the Holy See, already begun in the last years of the pontificate of John Paul II and then accelerated by Benedict XVI, he said.

He recognized the enormous work? led by the five bishops who reviewed all the houses of the Legion in the world by the Pope’s order and as part of an apostolic visitation after the public recognition of the immoral actions of the founder, Marcial Maciel.

The findings of that investigation were contained in a lengthy statement released last 1 May, which made it clear that the structure of the congregation has been heavily damaged by the criminal acts of its founder.

In this regard Vian said that (the statement was) a very detailed bulletin that was not expected and it showed a willingness on the part of the Holy See to tackle the problem in the fairest way, i.e. take into account an important fact, the Legion must be radically reformed.

The director of L’Osservatore Romano referred to the Apostolic Delegate who is expected to reform the Legion. There has been concern about the appointment of Italian Archbishop Velasio De Paolis because of his advanced age, 74 years and that this could be an impediment to (achieving the objectives of) the mission.

His age does not seem to be an obstacle because the Pope is 83 years old, John XXIII was 78 at the Second Vatican Council. If Archbishop De Paolis is selected as the delegate he is only 74, so he is younger (than those mentioned) so his age is not necessarily an obstacle.

Although it has not yet been officially announced, sources in Rome are assuming that De Paolis will be named as curator of the Legion. Formal appointment is expected for next week

The same sources claim that the bishop will be accompanied by two deputy delegates, one for the Hispanic and the other for the Anglophone areas.


Archbishop Velasio DePaolis Named As Vatican Delegate to Lead Reconstitution of the Legion

The Holy See Press Office, Vatican Information Services has issued a statement confirming the anticipated appointment by Pope Benedict XVI of Italian Archbishop Velasco De Paolis as a special delegate to take over the Legionaries of Christ.

Archbishop De Paolis is a top official in charge of managing Vatican finances,
Knowledgeable Vatican observers have noted the significance of selecting a person with financial as well as legal expertise. (The Legion has reportedly accumulated approximately
$ 30,000,000,000 over the last several decades).

Based on an article by the New York Times, Marco Tosatti, a veteran Vatican correspondent with the newspaper La Stampa has commented that the new Vatican delegate has a particular understanding of the organization of religious orders.

Mr. Tosatti likened the Legionaries to a company that has gone bankrupt and added that a great deal of restructuring would go on and that he expects the current leadership to soon be out.

To see Vatican Information Services press release:
Click Here

To see the New York Times article:
Click Here

Veritas Liberabit Vos

Religious Groups Awareness International Network, Monitoring harmful groups in mainstream Churches


Religious Groups Awareness International Network, Monitoring harmful groups in mainstream Churches

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