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After scandal, overseer gives Legion of Christ clean bill of health

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/28/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Cardinal tells priests Lord has healed their order and reaffirmed his love for them

The Legion of Christ in 2010 was beset over "seriously and objectively immoral behavior" and "real crimes," including the sexual abuse of boys in his seminaries. Many of the allegations centered on the orders' founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado. Papal overseer Cardinal Velasio De Paolis has since examined the order and has given them a clean bill of health.

Following a statement of apology to the victims of Father Degollado in addition to the adoption of a new constitution and the election of new officers, 'The Legionaries have been reconciled with themselves, with their history, with the world and with the church,' De Paolis said in a homily this week.

Following a statement of apology to the victims of Father Degollado in addition to the adoption of a new constitution and the election of new officers, "The Legionaries have been reconciled with themselves, with their history, with the world and with the church," De Paolis said in a homily this week.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
2/28/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, Legion of Christ, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, scandal


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Cardinal De Paolis celebrated the closing Mass for the extraordinary general chapter of the Legionaries of Christ. The cardinal has also ended his service as papal delegate overseeing the order.

The cardinal told the priests that the Lord had healed their order and reaffirmed his love for them.

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Following a statement of apology to the victims of Father Degollado in addition to the adoption of a new constitution and the election of new officers, "The Legionaries have been reconciled with themselves, with their history, with the world and with the church," De Paolis said in a homily this week.

"Great strides have been made in the issue regarding the founder and his personal life on the one hand, and on the other, the evaluation of the congregation that recognizes that it was founded by him," the cardinal said in his homily.

Expressing "deep sorrow" for Maciel's "reprehensible and objectively immoral behavior" members of the general chapter expressed regret that it had taken them so long to reach out to and apologize to his victims.

The statement also "affirms that the personal behavior of the founder cannot be seen as personal faults of the other Legionaries, as if they should be held responsible for his actions," the cardinal said at Mass. "Rather, the Legion itself can be seen as a victim of the founder's wrongful actions."

Soon to be sent to Pope Francis for approval, the new constitutions will explain "the charism and spirituality, the spiritual patrimony and the identity" of the Legionaries of Christ and "the norms necessary to conserve and promote them," the cardinal said.

De Paolis said the 61 chapter delegates, who came from 11 countries, "renewed their 'yes' to their Legionary vocation" and, in doing so, "they have been freed of the burden that weighed on their backs."

"Raise up a hymn of thanksgiving to the mercy of God who has tended your wounds, who has healed you and who has once again affectionately reaffirmed the love he first had for you," the cardinal said.

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