Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

2/4/2009 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pray for those hurt. Pray for the members of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi. Pray for the Church.

Fr. Marcial Maciel, a consecrated celibate priest, is alleged to have had a mistress, fathered at least one child and lived a double life.

Fr. Marcial Maciel, a consecrated celibate priest, is alleged to have had a mistress, fathered at least one child and lived a double life.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/4/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Americas


CHESAPEAKE, VA. (Catholic Online) - My awareness of this horrible news began with the somewhat odd “hint” given by Apologist, Author and Blogger Patrick Madrid who sent shock waves and questions throughout the Catholic and broader Christian community with this veiled reference on January 31, 2009: “I'm sorry to tell you that some shocking, saddening news about a prominent figure in the Church will soon become publically known, perhaps as early as Monday or Tuesday. Don't worry. This is not about the Holy Father or any previous pope, nor does it have to do with a lay person. Let's start praying earnestly that God will bring some kind of good from this and, of course, offer prayers for those involved.”

However, my efforts to get to the facts of this shocking story led me to Thomas Peters of “American Papist” who broke the real substance of this awful turn of events (http://www.americanpapist.com/blog.html). He has done a great job of keeping the reports factual while maintaining the proper spirit in delivering such devastating news. No-one can do anything but mourn over this news, and pray for the members of the community birthed from the work of this now deceased, errant Priest. The ecclesial movement consists of a global order of priests, the Legion, which now has 800 members and 2,500 seminarians, and a lay community called Regnum Christi which is present in 22 Nations and has 70,000 members. The story has now been picked up in numerous new media sources as well as in the more traditional media venues. That includes the newspaper associated with the community and lay movement.

The Members of the Legionaries of Christ and its lay movement, Regnum Christi, are deeply shocked and heartsick. Their founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, had already been alleged to have been involved in serious and scandalous sexual impropriety in the past. They had hoped that those matters of the past would have stayed matters of the past. The allegations have sometimes been relegated to the level of unsubstantiated suspicion by some within the community. However, in 2006 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found them substantial enough to respond with a direction that Fr. Marcial cease from his involvement in any and all public ministry:

"...After having attentively studied the results of the investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the guidance of the new prefect, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, decided - bearing in mind Fr. Maciel's advanced age and his delicate health - to forgo a canonical hearing and to invite the father to a reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry. The Holy Father approved these decisions.”

Father Marciel Marciel followed the direction of the Church. He lived the remainder of his life as a penitent. He died on January 30, 2008 at the age of 87. However, the Religious community and lay movement he founded continued their many apostolic endeavors. Both have produced some wonderful work in and for the Church. Certainly its lay members, its priests and all who recognize the good which they have all done - and, hopefully will continue to do - were shocked by these new reports.

Here they are. The influential, deceased founder of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi, Fr. Marcial Maciel, a consecrated celibate priest, is alleged to have had a mistress, fathered at least one child and lived a double life. I will use the summary set forth in the recent article on “American Papist” written by Thomas Peters. It appears to be the most comprehensive, up to date and substantive. It is based upon numerous reports including sources within the community itself:

“1) Maciel fathered a child who is now in her early 20's;
“2) Maciel offered some money illicitly to his own family;
“3) The current head, Alvaro Corcuera, entertaining his own suspicions, demanded that the case be reopened several years ago;
“4) The health of the Legion depends on denouncing him as founder and moving on.
“I have heard more details in addition (a second child, etc), but in this situation, I tend to think we've already learned enough to make an evaluation. Anything further is simply prurient interest.”

One of the fruits of the work of the Legionaries has been the National Catholic Register which is owned by the community. The editor of the paper is Tom Hoopes. He commented on the matter: "All I want to say is, I’m sorry. I want to say it here, because I defended Fr. Maciel here, and I need to be on the record regarding that defense: I’m sorry, to the victims, who were victims twice, the second time by calumny. I’m sorry, to the Church, which has been damaged. I’m sorry, to those I’ve misled. I did it unwittingly, but this isn’t a time for excuses. The Church gave me great, great good in Regnum Christi. The Church did bring justice, and did penalize this man. Thank God for the Church. I seek repentance and forgiveness, and I leave it at that."

We ask all of the readers of Catholic Online throughout the world to pray for those hurt by this behavior. Pray for the members of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi. I have known Legionary Priests and lay members of Regnum Christi. They have all been wonderful Catholics and good people, deeply in love with the Lord and His holy Church. My heart breaks for them in this time of struggle and disappointment. We also ask our readers to pray for the Catholic Church which, in the midst of this very difficult time of history, will now also have to bear with what will be a fierce season of reaction to this latest tragedy.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Americas

PROTECTING THE PAST: Peru resorts to drones to save archaeological treasures Watch

Image of Home to the spectacular Inca city of Machu Picchu as well as thousands of ancient ruins, Peruvian archaeologists are working around the clock to protect sites from squatters, builders and miners.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A culture is worth nothing if it doesn't preserve its past. To this end, the South American nation of Peru has now resorted to unmanned drones to protect its many archaeological sites. Home to the spectacular Inca city of Machu Picchu as well as thousands of ... continue reading


Would you know if a tiger was in your home? Watch

Image of A tiger was found in a cage in a room of an abandoned house by Mexican authorities. The tiger has been moved to a local zoo while police conduct an investigation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Bengal tiger was found by Mexican police officer in an abandoned house after they  received an anonymous tip from a member of the public. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The property was located in the municipality of Chilapa de Alvarez, in the state of ... continue reading


CHILD LABOR HORROR: Ten-year-old children can now be put to work in Bolivia Watch

Image of Ten-year-olds will be able to work as long as they are under parental supervision and also attend school. Twelve is now the minimum age for a child to work under contract. Those children would also have to attend school.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Long a blight of many civilized nations, the South American nation of Bolivia has become the first nation to legalize child labor for children as young as 10 years old. Congress approved the legislation early this month, and Vice President Alvaro Garcia signed ... continue reading


Watch out America! China invades South America with epic trade deal Watch

Image of Brazil is one of the countries that is seeing a massive economic boom, and has made major deals with China in the last few years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China is expanding its trade partnership with Brazil, with a $7.5 billion financing agreement with Brazilian miner Vale, the purchase of 60 passenger jets from Brazilian plane maker Embraer, and renewed commitment to invest in Brazil's infrastructure. LOS ... continue reading


Looking good for your age? Try this Brazilian who's 126 Watch

Image of Jose Aguinelo dos Santos was reportedly born on July 7, 1888, a recently released birth certificate says. If true, at 126 years old, he would be the oldest person alive.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Brazilian man may hold the distinction of being the oldest living person in the world after he received a birth certificate showing that he turned 126 last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Jose Aguinelo dos Santos was born on July 7, 1888 to two former ... continue reading


Putin meets with Fidel Castro and his brother: Russia and Cuba to work together Watch

Image of Cuba and Russia at one time enjoyed one of the firmest Cold War alliances. That relationship ended abruptly with the collapse of the Soviet bloc at the start of the 1990s.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cuban President Raul Castro, joined by his ailing brother Fidel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both Putin and his Cuban counterpart signed a slew of agreements expanding cooperation between the two countries. Russia has been the communist island's ... continue reading


The only clear winner in the World Cup - is Univison Watch

Image of Legions of soccer fans used Univision's free streaming to covertly watch games on their office computers or cellphones.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Whatever side of the fence you're on with the World Cup - along with the worldwide televised phenomenon it's quickly become, it's clear that the only real winner will be Univision. It's a gamble that paid off. Taking half-a-million dollars, the Spanish language ... continue reading


Peruvian government makes abortions easier to obtain Watch

Image of Women who become  pregnant as a result of the crime of rape are not allowed an abortion in Peru because the child in the womb is also recognized as having a right to life. The U.N. is attempting to coerce Peru to change its laws to allow abortion in cases of rape.The legislators of Peru do not want to promote another crime in response to horrendous crime of rape. The death of the child would also be a criminal act.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peru may be making the procurement of an abortion easier. The South American nation, along with  many others on the continent, have had very stringent laws on taking the life of a child in the womb through procured abortion. Every procured abortion always ... continue reading


Nicaragua canal will be 'the biggest [project] built in the history of humanity' Watch

Image of Workers supervise the dredging of the Río San Juan in Nicaraugua.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hailed as "the biggest [project] built in the history of humanity," the Nicaraguan government and the Hong Kong-based HKND Group plans to build a canal linking the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. A route has been settled upon, stretching 173 miles from Punta ... continue reading


Amazon rainforest may have been a savannah just 2,000 years ago Watch

Image of As little as 2,000 years ago, the parts of the Amazon rainforest might have actually been savannah, new evidence suggests.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers have recently revealed that parts of the immense Amazon rainforest may have been grassland until just about 2,000 years ago, citing that a shift to a wetter climate may have been the culprit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study, which ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter