March 26th, 2010
12:35 PM ET

Founder of Mexican Catholic order abused boys

The founder of a Mexican Catholic order sexually abused minor-age seminarians and fathered three children with two women, the religious sect has revealed.

The Legion of Christ order and its lay Regnum Christi Movement asked for forgiveness Thursday for "the reprehensible actions of our founder," the Rev. Marcial Maciel.

"We express our sorrow and grief to each and every person damaged by our founder’s actions," said a communique signed by the Rev. Alvaro Corcuera and 15 other Legionnaires of Christ leaders.

The Vatican started an investigation into Maciel's actions in 2004 and concluded in May 2006 that he was guilty of sexual abuse, the group said. Law enforcement officials apparently were not informed.

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Filed under: Mexico • Vatican • World
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  1. dexter

    Law Enforcement Officials were not informed ..... that says it all.The Church's reputation was more important than bringing a hypocritical chils abuser to justice.That people pay attention to the pronouncements of this morally and ethically banckrup organization isamazing.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robert Ladue

    It is imperative, particularly that of the Pope, to "clean-house'. Pedophiles must be immediately reported to the authorities and the clerics stripped of their church office. There must be accountability and responsibility for each person's actions. No exceptions. Clerics are not above the law. No one is. There should have never been a policy of cover-up and transfer. Each must face his wrong doings and be made to under go the penalty for those wrong doings. Period. Lastly, within any organization, there must be transparency. Once a wrong doing has been done, rectifying action can then occur. As the Old Testament points out, " If your eye offends thee, pluck it out", In other words, a member of an organization must be removed immediately when a wrong is committed, without exception. Then, if the civil authorities are concerned, they should be immediately contacted.

    March 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. An angry American

    Even more worrisome is the distinct possibility that, with all the documented incidents of sexual abuse of minor children by Catholic clergy which have recently come to light, we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg. A reasonable inference can be made that the practice has been longstanding and widespread, possibly even rampant.

    This hypocritical, self-serving church leadership is richly deserving of all the public contempt and scorn which can possibly be heaped upon it. Its senior members publicly apologizing all over themselves frankly doesn't cut it. The sole reason for their doing so now is a perceived inability to contain the scandal any longer. If they felt they could continue to conceal the Godawful truth about utterly despicable clergy behavior, their whole history says they would do strive mightily to do so, no matter how many lives they might trample upon and destroy in the process.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. cancer

    got that right "dexter" the catholic church is so busy critizing the world and they can't or won't clean up their own backyard says a lot withit itself.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. terry

    if the Catholic Church can still turn a blind eye to what seems to be inherent amongst it's members, then they deserve the downfall they're experiencing....time for the Church to come clean after all these years of abuse if it wants to survive and time for the Pope to stop hiding behind his office.

    March 28, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. Pat in Omaha

    I am saddened and repulsed by all the recent news of abuse done by clergy in the Catholic Church! I am a "cradle" Catholic and will never understand why these situations were not immediately reported and why the abusers were allowed to continue in ministry! That being said, I am also saddened and repulsed that these situations are being reported in a way that
    makes all priests and bishops guilty or suspect.. I would like to have someone do a study of the percentages......and compare that percentage with men serving in other denominations, as well as coaches, doctors, uncle, dads, etc.
    Abuse is NEVER acceptable. Priest who abuse(d) must be treated like any other person doing the same thing. But please recognize the number of truly dedicated and holy men who are and continue to be wonderful examples of service.

    March 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JD not Catholic no more

    I'm glad the church denied my son of a Baptism. I grew up Catholic, and was an altar boy, with no abuse, so am probably a minority. Denying a Baptism for my son was the best thing that could have ever happened. Thanks for exposing these creeps and holding the higher level leaders accountable. I have my own beliefs and don't need a scandalous institution to help me with that.

    March 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. terry

    in his statement to the Irish Catholics, the Pope basically stated, and i'm paraphrasing, that the Second Vatican Counci was misinterpreted, and because of all the changes in society that were going on it was hard for the Church to know which direction they were to take...but the Pope then states, "In particular, there was a well-intentioned but misguided tendency to avoid penal approaches to canonically irregular situations. It is in this overall context that we must try to understand the disturbing problem of child sexual abuse" because the Church failed to understand the new policies of the Second Vatican, it gave them the go ahead to commit child abuse, or what does the Pope call it, "canonically irregular situations"....i think there is more to the situation than we are being told and those who have the most to lose usually cry the loudest...

    March 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Robert Tindell

    Of course, there is another Catholic priest molesting more children. The pope condomns it as he has always done. The Church probably uses it as a recruiting tool for new priests. The Pope will do nothing, because he is one of the old perverts himself. Why does the Church want to destroy themselves? I think the priests should all have background checks and that the Church leadership should be charged with conspiracy to commit 1000's of cases of child abuse. Our Pope is the most responsible for the atrocities and should excommunicate himself and turn over every single document the church has. He was responsible for punishing priests when he was a Cardinal. Where do they get these pieces of crap in the leadership? Why has the Catholic Church abondoned god? Is there a God?

    March 28, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mary Ann

    JD, I'm not glad that the priest denied your son Baptism, but it wasn't your son's fault. The Church has regularly refused to baptise the children of those Catholics whose lives demonstrate that the child will not be brought up in a Catholic home.

    March 29, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bob in Cedar Rapids

    Also, Catholics; Jesus alone is our great, high priest. His death on the cross paid for your sins FULLY and has annulled the earthly priesthood.
    Please, lose faith in the Roman Catholic Church and its scummy, pedophile priests but don't lose faith in God. God is NOT the one chasing little boys around trying to pull their pants down!
    The Catholic Church is a cult designed to oppress and control the minds of men worldwide since its inception around 380AD. Totally IMPOSSIBLE for Peter to be the first Pope since he dies almost 300 years prior. The Roman church was at that time, unheard of!

    March 29, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ken

    Why not cut to thje quick- Let these priests, etc. be permitted to marry and lead a normal life; could be done with the stroke of a pen if the hierachy would face up to facts and reality of life.

    March 29, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mary Ann

    Bob, the Catholic Church began at Pentecost in 33 a.d., and your silly claim that the Church began in 380 is totally undocumentable.

    The writings of the Church Fathers, such as St. Ignatius, St. Polycarp, and St. Irenaeus, bishops of the early Church demonstrate the Catholicity of the Early Christians.

    Ken, Matthew 19:12 has the celibate Jewish rabbi known as Jesus telling us that some give up sex for the kingdom of God. This is a hard teaching he said, let him accept it who can.

    If you can't accept it, fine, but the Catholic Church aims for the supernatural hieghts that our Lord pointed to.

    Besides, most pedophiles are married to women, and end up molesting school children, and in the old days, Boy Scouts. But now homosexuals are banned from leading the Boy Scouts, so that took care of much of their problem. The Church is doing the same thing with its seminaries.

    March 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dan

    Mary Ann, no offense to you personally, but it's Catholics with the like-minded philosophy about the infalibility of the Catholic Church which has allowed the Priests to do as they please in respect to molesting children and generally imposing on a family. I imagine you would have the Catholic Church return to the era of pre-Vatican 2.

    March 30, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tyr Beiron

    You are right about those details, Mary Ann. Thank you for your post. Bigotry and ignorance from knowing few facts and jumping to convenient conclusions for the sake of entertainment and publishing self-righteous comments is becoming the norm in reading these recent news reports about the Catholic Church, its priests and certainly, some very serious problems they are facing now. The same people who purport to be liberal and open-minded now show themsleves short in compassion and understanding. Sounds like the rabble at its best. To that end, much of the peripheral noise made is at best just entertainment. Criminal acts have a clear pathology; the question is what can the Church do to better handle those in their ranks and in positions of trust who have these pathological tendencies. Canon Law, which deals with the life of the clergy is in some countries is a respected independent form of law – just as Shariyah or Ismalic Law operates for Muslims – and complements the Law of the land or common law. As I have written elsewhere, this is likely to be revised now to handle these sort of "irregular" cases. Of course, the acts of abuse and other problems are not new; we have seen priests leave to marry, priests who fathered children and so forth and the Church has never denied this. I have seen priests being put in very difficult situations because of very serious advances by men, women, boys and girls who are flirting with danger by trying tos seduce them directly or indirectly. No news agency has covered a story about this sort of trial a popular priest or religous may endure, and sometimes leave their vocation as a result. We have seen it in movies too, as old as "The Sound of Music". In a way I am pleased with how the Church has to deal with these problems today, as it will emerge better for it. The problem really is about how anyone with this sort of pathological problem can get the help they need in our enlightened society. Criminals who murder even get legal and medical help paid for by the state; I don't see why society cannot provide the necessary care for these people who have such problems which are certainly more serious than sexual addiction or deviant sexual fetish. We are so prepared to condemn; are we ever prepared to help?

    March 30, 2010 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
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