Pope to meet Legion visitators on Friday
Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, the Vatican spokesman said today the five episcopal visitators to the Legionaries of Christ will meet on Friday April 30 to make their initial presentation and proposals for the beleagured religious congregation.
The disgraced founder of the Legion of Christ, Fr Maciel died in Jacksonville, Florida in 2008, where he had been sent to live the rest of his days in penance, forbidden to practise the priestly ministry in public. Since his death, the extent of Fr Maciel’s behaviour began to unfold: it emerged that he had fathered at least one child, that he had had multiple personas and that he had abused minor seminarians. In March, the leadership of the Legion issued a communique saying that Fr Maciel could no longer be considered a model of Christian life.
For over six months, five bishops headed an investigation into the influential congregation founded by Fr Marcial Maciel in Europe, North America and Latin America. Two visitators were specially designated for Italy and Mexico where the Legion is strongest. They finished the investigation in March. Mid-April veteran Vatican watchers predicted that the Pope might choose a commissioner to reform the order.
Fr Lombardi said there were no specific decisions expected about the congregation yet, saying that the Holy Father would make them at a later date “after careful study and reflection on the findings of the visitation”.
Jason Berry, an investigative reporter wrote two devastating reports in the National Catholic Reporter published at the beginning of April which implicate senior Vatican officals.