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More Bad News for the Legionaries of Christ: Fr Thomas Williams Admits Paternity

By Deacon Keith Fournier
May 16th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sadly, on Wednesday, May 15, 2012, one of the legion's most prominent and popular clerics, Fr Thomas Williams, LC, ThD, a moral theologian, announced his own moral failure. Fr Williams is widely known for his writing, speaking and commentary during numerous television appearances. (NBC,CBS and Sky News) He has been a source for the major networks on the Vatican, as well as a "go to guy" for comments on the sexual abuse scandals over the last several years.  His popular web site has now "gone dark".  Pray for Christ's Church.

CHESAPEAKE,VA (Catholic Online) - The Legionaries of Christ has been undergoing a major time of penance, purification and restructuring under the corrective hand of the Church. The intervention and oversight was occasioned by the scandal arising out of the immoral double life and criminal activity of its disgraced and deceased founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado. The intervention has been serious and properly severe.

Sadly, on Wednesday, May 15, 2012, one of the legion's most prominent and popular clerics, Fr Thomas Williams, LC, ThD, a moral theologian, announced his own moral failure. Fr Williams is widely known for his writing, speaking and commentary during numerous television appearances. (NBC,CBS and Sky News)

He has been a source for the major networks on the Vatican, as well as a "go to guy" for comments on the sexual abuse scandals over the last several years.  Among his fourteen published books on Christian living and spirituality were Becoming the Christian You Want to Be and A Christian Guide to Conscience. His popular web site has now "gone dark". 

The Legionary Priest admitted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, that he had fathered a child in the past. He also announced that he is taking a one year leave of absence under the direction of his religious superiors. Fr Williams released the following statement:

"A number of years ago I had a relationship with a woman and fathered her child. I am deeply sorry for this grave transgression and have tried to make amends. My superiors and I have decided it would be best for me to take a year without active public ministry to reflect on the wrong I have done and my commitments as a priest. I am truly sorry to everyone who is hurt by this revelation, and I ask for your prayers as I seek guidance on how to make up for my errors."

Regnum Christi is the lay movement associated with the Legionaries of Christ. It has been depleted in the wake of the fallout occasioned by the evil acts of the founder. Their website contained the following letter concerning Fr Williams. It was written by Fr. Luis Garza, a member of the US leadership.

*****
Legionaries of Christ
Regnum Christi

May 15, 2012
To all Legionaries and Regnum Christi consecrated members,

It is with sadness that I send you this note, especially at a time when we are experiencing renewed enthusiasm for our mission within the Church. The last thing I would wish is to add a fresh wound when older wounds may not have healed fully.

Nevertheless, it is my duty to inform you that Father Thomas Williams, LC, after consultation with his superiors, will undergo a period of reflection, prayer and atonement without public ministry, and has just issued the following statement:

"A number of years ago I had a relationship with a woman and fathered her child. I am deeply sorry for this grave transgression and have tried to make amends. My superiors and I have decided it would be best for me to take a year without active public ministry to reflect on the wrong I have done and my commitments as a priest. I am truly sorry to everyone who is hurt by this revelation, and I ask for your prayers as I seek guidance on how to make up for my errors."

I know that this will be shocking news to you.  In the wake of all that we have been through as a Movement in the past several years, it won't surprise me if you are disappointed, angry or feel your trust shaken once again.

Father Williams has enriched the faith of so many through his teaching, public speaking and writing, and has been a spiritual guide for many in the Movement.  That is what makes this failing such a painful reminder that we are all frail humans, in desperate need of God's mercy.

I hope that you will join me in praying for all those who have been affected by his actions, and for Father Williams during his time of prayer, penance and renewal of his priestly ministry. 

Any further information is at the discretion of those involved. We will support them in any decision they make.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Luis Garza, LC

*****

We ask the global readers of Catholic Online to pray for the child, his or her mother - and, yes, to pray for this priest who has acknowledged and confessed his sin against consecrated celibacy and his priestly service to Christ's Church. John Allen, a reliable Catholic source, reports that Fr Williams is undergoing medical treatment for a form of cancer and is living with his parents.

We also ask for prayer for all who are still associated with the Legion of Christ. Finally, we ask for prayers for the Church and those in leadership who seek to pastor this difficult situation.

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