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
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Loya

    Each morning a new item on Catholoc priest molesting young boys and fathering illigimate babies while preaching word of God against adultary.. Changes the taste of my mouth...Looks it has been going on for 1600 years. Calibacy is not Order of God in Holy Bible. It is man made tradition. Why not scrap it? and let priests have wives and children. The Chrch will be a pious place to send innocent children.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. George


    Whatevver makes you feel better about having left your faith. its sad that you think you are in the minority of those who weren't abused. It is actaully the other way around. It indeed is a shame and scandalous that some priests have done the things they have done, but that doesn't make the "institution" scandalous. There are simply some people who are within the "institution" who have done some terrible things. You can rely on the ideology of the French Revolution which has poisoned the minds of people up to our own day that the Catholic Church is a 'big bad institution' all you want, in order to justify you doing what you already wanted to do, which it sounds like was not to go to Church, but to be able to sit at home on Sunday or go out and do something that you think might be more fun, all you want I suppose. But at least acknowledge that rather than making excuses, pointing the finger at someone else and blaming them. Be a man!

    March 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Don

    First, it is reprehensible that any person would abuse a child. These priests are not men of God, but men of power, men of division. This is not what Jesus looked at the Church. But Second, the beginning of the Catholic Church was NOT at Pentecost. It was in 325 AD under Constantine, who basically merged two groups together-the cult of Mithras and Christianity. The church before that did not have "professional" clergy, but people who Loved God, Loved one another, and loved their neighbor. In the midst of this, where is the basic commandment that Jesus Himself taught-"Love one another as I have loved you" ?

    March 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cleveland guy

    The problem is, and I said so in another post, is that you have an institution investigating and trying to police itself. That rarely, if ever, works, And it never alleviates suspicion. The vatican should immediately:

    A) Hire a law firm with no connections to the vatican that specializes in ethics investigations and give it one simple task: find the truth behind child abuse by the Catholic Church
    B) Give the investigators the power to subpoena all records and testimony needed
    C) Give the investigators an unlimited budget
    D) All those with credible allegations against them should be turned over the proper secular authorities for further investigation and/or prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
    E) Make all the findings public

    • create an impeachment process for the papacy

    March 30, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dennis Morgan

    The church would be best served by a candid admission of guilt in not handling this matter. It would be also well served by immediately allowing married priests including women.


    March 30, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mary Ann

    The Catholic Church began at Pentecost, 33 a.d., and all of the bishops proceeding from that time, Don, starting with Polycarp and Ireneaus, both "hearers" of the Apostle John, have taught the same faith that Catholics now profess now.

    It's the same with the Coptic Catholics, the Marionite Catholics, and all middle Eastern Catholic Churches in union with Rome: we all have been around since the 1st century, and we all still profess the same beliefs.

    Cleveland Guy, the Catholic Church ain't a democracy, thank God.

    Truth is not decided by a vote.

    The last time the people voted in the Bible, Jesus got crucified, and Barabbas was released.

    March 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. A. Smith, Oregon

    Catholics look to Pope Ratz as the apostolic succession of Jesus Christ. They bow to Pope Ratz, kiss his hands, kiss his huge golden elaborate rings and pray to him as God in the flesh.

    Pope Ratz ordered his Church Parishes in America to file Bankruptcy rather than Pay the US COURT ORDERED monetary settlements to the thousands of children the Vatican clergy raped and sodomized.

    Does that sound like a decent man, much less anyone with ethical and moralistic standards YOU admire?

    The order to bypass US Court ordered monetary settlements is a cold hearted and utterly disgusting signal that Pope Ratz does not care one iota about the thousands of sexually abused children and he cares completely about the Vatican's wealth and plunder.

    I can think of NO WORSE example of a religious leader.

    Pope Ratz is a utterly disgusting religious father-head who has not even a grain of the spirit of Jesus Christ running in his body.

    Pope Ratz should RESIGN

    The Vatican should be sued back to the Dark Ages and shunned by the civilized world.

    March 31, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. A. Smith, Oregon

    How many young innocent children committed suicide after being repeatedly raped and sodomized while under the care of Vatican Clergy?

    CNN Staffers have the resources to find out how many children that were raped and sodomized by the Vatican Clergy went on and took their own lives as a result of that horrific experience that shattered their young innocent lives.

    March 31, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. ceaser

    Let the Priest's marry and that will solve the problem?
    They need to be punished for the crime of pediphelia and/or rape,not provided a live-in victim.

    March 31, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. Loya

    An unmarried celibate priest is inexperienced and deprived of one of the most important human feelings. Love and sacrifice for family and children. Preaching the word of God for Love calls for inner conviction and personal experience... Keeping the preacher hungry of sex would most likely turn him in to predator on young and innocent Children. The abuse has surfaced only 7 years back. For 16 Centuries molestation by sex hungry preachers has been covered up. Why is Catholic Church punishing the priests keeping deprived of family love and turning them in to pedophiles?

    March 31, 2010 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mary Ann

    So Jesus as being unmarried and celibate was deprived and inexperienced as well?

    Can you document your claim that there have been 16 centuries of abuse???

    Come on Loya, put all those documents out there as evidence. Because if you can't, then you're just slandering an entire group of people.

    March 31, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mahina

    The assumption that priests being allowed to marry and have children will somehow stop them from being pedophiles is insane and frightening. The people who perpetrate these types of crimes don't do it out of some imagined necessity, they do it because it is what they are, and they are in every part of society, not just the priesthood. Celibacy does not cause debasement, it exists before the vows and will exist after them. Think about what you are saying. Let child abusers marry and have kids. Now that's just genius.

    March 31, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kevin A

    Im amazed how people will say to forgive priests for molesting boys, but god forbid you get a divorce. Then you face excommunication, etc. I feel sorry for the curses of the catholic church, which has been responsible for more corruption, wars, condemnation than any other religion in the world. My savior is Jesus Christ and I pray that catholics will open their eyes to His teachings and message. Being the season of Lent, maybe priests can give up molesting boys...

    March 31, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Davud

    I think this scandel will finally force the Church to embrace the idea of Priests and Nuns being allowed to marry and have families. Life without sex is boring and empty and that realization must make its way through the Churchs hierarchy.

    I think when they see millions of people leave the church thats when it will realize the mistakes they made.

    PS The reason the church banned allowing preists to get married was due to a practice hundreds of years ago when married priests were leaving church property to their children. The Church instead of proclaiming church property to belong solely to the Church decided to ban the idea of marriage.

    March 31, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kent

    Centureis ago, Catholic priests were allowed to marry and have children. Celibacy was optional, then later mandatory due to property and land ownership. The main concern of the Catholic Church was not that their priests would be better able to handle the demands of their parish without the burdens of a family; the main concern was if the priest died, the Church wanted to insure that the property and land was not inherited by the wife and children.

    It always comes back to power, money and control. When I learned of this in one of my courses at a Catholic university, I was able to see the Catholic Church more clearly. Very eye opening!

    March 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
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