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Father Marcial Maciel to Appear in Court

March 13, 2007

A tough week for the Legionaries of Christ.

As if FoxNews contributor Fr. Jonathon Morris’ embarrassing and disappointing display of syncophant politics in defense of Sean Hannity’s on-air barrage of Fr. Thomas Euteneuer during the Hannity and Colmes program last week (you can view that segment here and read Fr. Euteneuer excellent response to Fr. Morris here) were not alarming enough, new troubles are surrounding the embattled founder of the Legionaries.

According to an article in El Excelsior, a newspaper published in Mexico City, Fr. Marcial Maciel must appear in civil court in Mexico City to answer questions regarding sexual misconduct and abuse within Legion sponsered institutions. Here’s a snippet from the article followed by the original Spanish:

Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, will have to appear before the nineteenth civil court in Mexico City to answer questions related to crimes of pedophilia, allegedly committed by him as head of the legion, as well questions related to a case of sexual abuse of a three-year old boy, a student at the Colegio Oxford, against Prof. Joaquín Francisco Mondragón Rebollo.

Also called to testify is Álvaro Corcuera Martínezdel Río, the congregation’s current director. If they fail to appear, they will be subject to 36 hours arrest.

Maciel’s interrogatory will consist of 38 questions, whose aim is to show how pedophilia has penetrated the educational institutions under the control and direction of the Legionaries of Christ. It is also intended to unmask Maciel’s accessories, who allegedly have allowed him to commit sexual abuse for the last sixty years.

The questionnaire seeks to expose the modus operandi of the educational institutions of the Legionaries of Christ when accusations of sexual abuse of children arise.

Marcial Maciel, fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, deberá presentarse ante el juzgado 19 de lo civil en el Distrito Federal, para responder a un interrogatorio sobre delitos de pederastia, presuntamente cometidos por él al frente de los legionarios, así como por el caso del abuso sexual contra un niño de tres años, alumno del Colegio Oxford, cometido por el profesor Joaquín Francisco Mondragón Rebollo.

De igual forma, está citado a declarar -como testigo- Álvaro Corcuera Martínez del Río, actual dirigente de la congregación. En caso de que no acudan se harán acreedores a un arresto de 36 horas.

El interrogatorio a Maciel consta de 38 preguntas cuyo propósito es “demostrar” cómo la pederastia ha “penetrado” en las instituciones educativas controladas y dirigidas por los Legionarios de Cristo. Además se intenta “desenmascarar” a los encubridores de Marcial Maciel, que presuntamente le han permitido cometer abusos sexuales durante los últimos 60 años.

El cuestionario pretende probar el modus operandi de las instituciones educativas de los Legionarios de Cristo cuando aparecen denuncias de abusos sexuales cometidos contra niños.

As someone who works for a Legionaries of Christ school, I am asked frequently about my thoughts over Fr. Maciel’s removal from public ministry. While I believe anyone with a familiarity with the Church’s canonical terms and processes can come to a reasonable conclusion as to what the Church’s intentions were in his removal, my only reply can come from my limited experience and exposure to the Legionaries.

I have come to respect immensely the Legionaries who dedicate their lives to ministering to our students. Similarly, many of my colleagues belong to the lay apostolate Regnum Christi, and I have come to admire many them for the spirituality and dedication to charity and education. While I am troubled by the controversy surrounding Fr. Maciel, I realize that there is much good that is done by the Legionaries of Christ, and whatever troubles may befall their founder do not negate the order’s true service within the greater scope of the Church’s mission. God will be the final and only judge of Fr. Maciel’s soul. Whatever may be the outcome of these civil proceedings, Fr. Maciel remains in the Lord’s hands.

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