Tuesday, May 10, 2005

My name is legion, continued...

It's been a bumpy day. I spent most of it in the hospital visiting with some very sick individuals. I have celebrated 6 funerals in the last 15 days. Of the six, five died of complications stemming from HIV/AIDS. My last one (yesterday) was a 32 year old latina who left behind four children. Only about ten people made it to the ceremony. I accompanied her to the cemetery along with her kids. That was all.

This world can be a lonely place.

That said, I return to the topic of my previous post.

All the mentioned articles retell the story in practically the same way: Marcial Maciel, Mexican catholic priest, founder of a growing religious congregation of priests (Legion of Christ) and a movement of laity (Regnum Christi) faces allegations from eight or nine ex-members of the Legion who claim they were sexually abused as youngsters.

Since the statute of limitations makes a trial impossible in civil court, the plaintiffs have sought recourse to a court of Canon Law. They claim that their case, presented eight years ago at the Vatican, was virtually frozen because neither the reigning Pontiff, John Paul II, nor Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith(CDF), wanted to pursue a matter so prejudicial to such an influential and recognized Church figure as Fr. Maciel.

The case languished in obscurity until December 2004 when canon lawyer, Rev. Charles J. Scicluna, a Maltese priest assigned promoter of justice for the CDF, reopened the case and traveled to Mexico and the USA to acquire statements from those involved.

Meanwhile, great speculation was raised by Fr.Maciel's refusal to accept a fourth term as Superior General of the Legion of Christ, after being unanimously reelected by the General Chapter of the Congregation held in Rome, January 2005.

To my knowledge, at least five books have been published in recent years retelling the tales of supposed abuse by the power wielding Fr. Maciel and his minions. They are:

(Back soon, supper's burning...)