NCR stories about Fr. Marcial Maciel

by Dennis Coday

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Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, right, is pictured celebrating Mass in this undated CNS file photo.

The National Catholic Reporter printed its first story about Fr. Marcial Maciel in 1997, Legionaries founder accused of sex abuse, and followed the story for 11 years. Here is a list of the most recent stories. The last link in in this list takes you to an even more extensive list of NCR coverage, more than three dozen stories dated 1997-2006.

Fr. Marcial Maciel leaves behind a flawed legacy
February 22, 2008
Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the once powerful founder of the Legionaries of Christ and favorite of the late Pope John Paul II, was buried in Mexico recently in what was described as an “understated and solemn” ceremony, a disgraced figure who was plagued in his latter years by persistent charges that he had abused young seminarians in his earlier years.
Maciel died in Houston Jan. 30, several weeks after suffering a stroke.

Vatican restricts ministry of Legionaries priest founder
By John L. Allen Jr.
May 18, 2006
ROME -- Capping a decade-long on-again, off-again investigation of accusations of sexual abuse, the Vatican has asked Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, to observe a series of restrictions on his ministry.
In effect, Vatican sources told NCR this week, the action amounts to a finding that at least some of the accusations against the charismatic 86-year-old Mexican priest are well-founded.

The sad truth about Maciel
May 19, 2006
The decision by the Vatican in the case of Fr. Marciel Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, that he be restricted in his public ministry after being found guilty of multiple acts of sexual abuse spanning decades brings some resolution to a particularly disturbing chapter in recent church history.

Maciel devotees resist Vatican ruling
June 2, 2006
Benedict did something rare and unexpected: He openly broke with his predecessor, internally banishing a priest who was lavishly celebrated by John Paul. For Juan Vaca, the punishment fell short of the crime. Vaca, 69, is a former Legion priest who in 1976 sent the first in a series of petitions to the Vatican detailing allegations of abuse against 20 seminarians. “The Vatican made no mention of us, the victims,” he told NCR. “I think the communiqué was concocted with the Legion participating in its drafting.”

Maciel accusers seek accountability
November 3, 2000
In the lore of the Legionaries of Christ, Marcial Maciel Degollado started his religious order in Mexico on Jan. 3, 1941, when he gathered 13 young boys around him to teach them theology. ... One of Maciel’s uncles, Bishop Francesco Gonzalez Arias of Cuernavaca, Mexico, oversaw his training and ordained him a priest on Nov. 26, 1944. He was 24, a young age for a priest, especially one who had failed to finish two seminaries.
On Feb. 23, 1997, in an article in The Hartford Courant, a darker version emerged, tainting the official version.

Legion eager to get past founder's sex abuse charges
June 3, 2005
The Vatican’s announcement May 20 that Legionaries of Christ founder Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado will face no canonical trial for numerous accusations of sexually abusing seminarians put a spotlight on the new papacy of Benedict XVI, raising questions and drawing harsh criticism from victims.
In many circles, the announcement, widely distributed by the Legionaries, was seen as the Vatican’s way of saying “case closed” on the questions surrounding Maciel and the accusations of sexual abuse first made public by a group of former seminarians and, in recent months, by a growing number of other alleged victims.

Legionaries of Christ: Legionaries face restrictions in Baltimore
June 27, 2008
Insisting on greater “accountability and transparency,” Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore has demanded that the Legionaries of Christ, a controversial religious order, and their associated lay movement, Regnum Christi, provide a complete accounting of both their personnel and activities in the archdiocese.
O’Brien also barred members of both groups from engaging in one-on-one spiritual counseling with anyone under 18.

Baltimore archbishop demands greater accountability from Legionaries of Christ
June 12, 2008
Demanding what he calls greater “transparency and accountability” from the controversial religious order known as Legionaries of Christ and their associated lay movement, Regnum Christi, Archbishop Edward O’Brien of Baltimore has directed both groups to disclose all activities within his archdiocese, and to refrain from one-on-one spiritual direction with anyone under 18.

Documentary on Maciel lifts curtain on Legion, Vatican judicial system
April 28, 2008
The case of Fr. Marciel Maciel Degollado, founder of the controversial order of priests known as the Legionaries of Christ, occupies a sadly distinctive place in the long history of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic church. A new documentary by Jason Berry, “Vows of Silence,” details the arduous path victims faced in bringing Maciel’s abuse to the Vatican’s attention.

Legionaries founder accused of sex abuse
March 7, 1997
An extensive investigation by The Hartford Courant, a major daily in Connecticut, revealed last week that Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and superior general of the Legionaries of Christ, has been accused by former students of molesting them when they were attending the order's schools.

Archive of NCR stories about Fr. Marcial Maciel 1997-2006.

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