Rumblings began last week about how the Legionaries were gathered in bits and bobs to inform them that the founder was indeed guilty of “certain accusations.” The rank and file were told in various places — some on retreat, others in special meetings. There are some consistent details about the Official Explanation that are trickling in:
- Maciel fathered a child who is now in her early 20’s;
- Maciel offered some money illicitly to his own family;
- The current head, Alvaro Corcuera, entertaining his own suspicions, demanded that the case be reopened several years ago;
- The health of the Legion depends on denouncing him as founder and moving on.
In the comments at Amy’s blog, Tom Hoopes, Executive Editor of the National Catholic Register, owned by the Legionaries of Christ, says,
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.
Maciel died a year ago in Houston, where he had been living secretly at the LC residence.
(I had many friends in the LC/RC. I was never “incorporated,” but I was closely connected with a Regnum Christi apostolate, College Compass, and served on its advisory board.)
Update: See also Pat Madrid.
But the LC/RC PR machine still seems to be in denial, as this Catholic News Agency report suggests:
Responding to unconfirmed revelations of misconduct by the Legionaries of Christ Founder Fr. Marcial Maciel, the U.S. spokesman for the Legionaries of Christ has acknowledged unspecified actions that “weren’t appropriate for a Catholic priest.” However, he insisted that Fr. Maciel “was and always will be the father of the Legion.” …
“We’ve learned some things about our founder’s life that are surprising and difficult to understand,” Fair told CNA on Tuesday.
“We can confirm that there are aspects of his life that weren’t appropriate for a Catholic priest.
“Obviously he had human feelings but it remains true that through him we received our charism, which has been approved by the Church.
“Our commitment remains and we‘re going to go forward and love Christ and serve the Church,” he remarked.
Asked to verify the specific allegations, Fair replied:
“Fr. Maciel died over a year ago and obviously whatever has happened is between him and God and God’s judgment and mercy, so we’re going to let him take care of that.”