Vatican will review Legion of Christ due to its founder

· Latin America

The ultra conservative Catholic religious Order Legion of Christ will get an official visit by Vatican delegates, according to official statements by the same group. In what is known as an Apostolic Visit, the Order called the attention of Pope Benedict after the scandalous revelation of the life of its founder, Father Marcial Maciel who died last year.

The action ordered by the Pope intends to study the situation of the Catholic order and give a report to the Vatican authorities.

Marcial Maciel, a Mexican priest that founded in 1941 in his country the Order under the name of “Legion of Christ” (Legionarios de Cristo), was reveled to have a daughter. The Catholic Order is traditionally aligned at the most conservative wing of the Church and it is well known in Spain and Latin American countries.

However, Maciel has been accused of molesting seminarians and fathered a child, this one revealed last February after a fully Vatican investigation.

The general director of the order, Father Alvaro Corcuero, published a letter for the members of the religious group. In what has to see with the evidence of Maciel’s molesting children, he said:

“He agradecido cordialmente al Santo Padre esta ulterior ayuda que nos ofrece para afrontar las actuales vicisitudes relacionadas con la vida de nuestro padre fundador que ya fueron objeto de las investigaciones de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe concluidas en mayo de 2006, y las que han salido a la luz recientemente”

I have thanked cordially the Holy Father for this coming help offered to face the current situations related with the life of our founder and that was an object of investigation of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and that were concluded in March 2006 and published recently

The Vatican Secretary of State, Mgr Tarcisio Bertone, communicated the decision to Corcuero in a letter dated March 10th of the Apostolic Visit. During the visit, the pontifical delegates will see the works of the Order and its normal life and will prepare a report to the Vatican. Although some members of the group in Chile said to El Mercurio that the visit is not the same as an inspection or canonical intervention to take drastic decisions, it is true that the Order is under a serious revision. In May 2006 the order received its first apostolic visit after the accusation of some former seminarians that Marcial Maciel have molested. In that time, the Holy See asked the elderly founder to renounce to any public ministry and live in a reserve life of prayer and repentance. He stayed in United States obeying the Vatican dispositions until he passed away last year.

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