Jason Berry on Maciel

Jason Berry, who, together with Gerald Renner, has probably spent more time investigating the Legion of Christ than any other journalist, writes about the latest scandal at NCR.

Rumors that the Legionaries had reached new damning conclusions about Maciel have built in recent days, in the wake of confidential meetings the new superior of the order, Fr. Álvaro Corcuera, has been holding with members to inform them of an internal probe of Maciel’s conduct.

Legionary sources told NCR that Corcuera has stressed that Maciel’s misconduct was not a “one-time slipup,” but rather “a pattern that stretched over years.”

These sources said Corcuera and other Legionary officials began their review after Maciel stepped down as the order’s superior in January 2006, and after the Vatican’s conclusions were issued four months later.

These new statements represent the first time that the Legionaries of Christ have conceded that Maciel was guilty of any misconduct. When the sex abuse charges first surfaced, the order issued strenuous denials; in the wake of the 2006 Vatican investigation, it issued a statement suggesting that the finding was a “new cross that God has allowed [Maciel] to suffer.”