The facts about Fr. Marcial Maciel seeing the light of day a year after his death

The facts about the founder of the Legionaries of Christ after decades of suspicion and allegation are now being acknowledged by the Legionaries. The Legionaries of Christ is a large and successful organization. It consists of a global order of priests, the Legion, which now has over 800 members and some 2,500 seminarians, and a lay community called Regnum Christi which is present in 22 Nations and has 70,000 members. This is a sad day:
From the Wikipedia profile of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado:

"In the summer of 2008 rumors began to surface in Madrid regarding a 22 year old university student thought to be the daughter of Fr. Maciel from a relationship sustained with a Spanish woman in the 1980's. A son is also said to have been born of this relationship. The details are still sketchy and the whole story promises to be as bizarre as all other chapters of the Legion's Founder's life, but faced with irrefutable evidence and fearful of another shock wave tearing at the inner fabric of the Congregation, Fr. Alvaro Corcuera and other Legionary superiors have begun going around and making some of the priests of the Legion partially aware of the facts. Among the Legionaries that know the latest revelations there is widespread outrage and a general feeling of having been duped and betrayed for so many years by Fr. Maciel and which ever members of the Legion's leadership were aware of his double life. Internally, the Legion has collapsed and is now struggling to recreate itself on the merits of its works alone, with no reference to the Founder. His name and history are being purged from the Congregation' s internal literature, his pictures are being removed from the walls of the schools and seminaries of the Legion and his writings are no longer being quoted in homilies and preaching of Legionary priests."

Update: 2/3/2009 - 2:00 p.m. CST - As of this time the LC website has not removed much if anything from "The Founder" section. And the FAQs section does not refer to this maelstrom. This could be due to slowness on behalf of the webmaster???

Update: 2/3/2009 - 7:03 p.m. CST - Mixed reports are surfacing about whether the Legionaries will repudiate their founder in spite of all the acknowledged behavior of Father Degollado. CNA has a story that quotes the spokesman of the Legionaries of Christ.

Update 2/3/2009 - 9:51 p.m. CST - The New York Times weighs-in with some new information regarding  financial shenanigans on top of everything else.

Update 2/4/2009 - 2:50 p.m. - Whispers in the Loggia blog has posted an informed backgound piece that will be interesting to all, regardless of their stake in this tragedy.

Update 2/4/2009 - 6:13 p.m. - Phil Lawler of has a good opinion piece with good suggestions for new directions by the Legion of Christ.

Update 2/5/2009 - 6:55 a.m. - From Rorate Caeli: A Mexican commentator refers to the scandal of Fr. Marcial "the last nail in the coffin of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ".

Update 2/5/2009 - 3:35 p.m. -  This letter from Fr Alvaro Corcuera, LC, is addressed to all Regnum Christi members in the wake of the recent news about Father Marcial Maciel, LC. Also,, well-known as an internet service controlled by the Legion of Christ weighs in with a story along party lines.

Update 2/5/2009 - 8:30 p.m. - Father Thomas Williams, LC, an influential representative of the Legionaries answers questions posed by Our Sunday Visitor. His answers are more direct than previous comments by official spokespersons of the LC.

From a former Legionary priest:
One year ago today (January 30th) the Founder of the Legion of Christ, our Founder – Nuestro Padre – passed away. Instead of recalling with pride and nostalgia my thirty year participation in the foundation in privileged close company of the Founder, I find myself nearly disconsolate. Outrage, grief, a deep unutterable feeling of betrayal and deception have been growing in my soul for nearly six months as bits and pieces of the truth have painfully been made known to me.

Up until very recently I defended Fr. Maciel in public and private, knowing that the very essence of my identity as a Legionary priest depended on it. Now there is nothing to defend. It has all collapsed, and with it, a lifetime of enthusiastic commitment and high idealism.

I sit here humbled and heartsick with one earnest plea for the present leadership of the Legion: please, do the right thing. For the love of God and in honor of the hundreds of men, like yourselves, that have given their lives to the Congregation, bearing the burden of a fidelity that our Founder demanded of us but was unable himself to deliver: do what is right.

Put the truth first. You owe it to us all. Tell us the whole story, tell us what our options are now and set about the reform of the Legion.

The Legion must go forward, purged of the toxins released into its bloodstream by years of machiavellian duplicity, and recreate itself solely on the merits of its works.

No more spin, no more platitudes, no more intimidation to keep the Legion’s men from thinking, questioning, seeking the truth. Step aside if need be and allow others – with clear motives and fresh eyes – to save all that is good in the Congregation and dissipate once and for all the inner culture of deceit and control. A canonical visitation conducted in rigorous transparency might yet save the Legion of Christ.

I am amazed and grateful to God that so much good has and continues to be done by a religious order that has venerated and nourished its spirit from a Founder now discovered to be the antithesis of the very spirituality and discipline he imparted to us while so brazenly and artfully occulting his other life from us.

So please, do not pretend that this is not devastating to all of us. Do not act like nothing has happened and that nothing should change. Have the basic decency to come clean with your own men and trust them enough to help you take the Legion to where it must go from here. Full disclosure is the only option. You’ve tried everything else, now, finally now, give truth a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised by the strength, resiliency and commitment of us all.

May God continue to guide us, in spite of ourselves. Peace.

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