Legion of Christ

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a Legion of Christ
Legion of Christ

Background

Generally Accepted Facts from Wikipedia

The Legion of Christ (LC) is a Roman Catholic religious institute, made up of priests and seminarians studying for the priesthood. It is affiliated with the apostolic movement Regnum Christi, founded in 1959, which includes lay persons and diocesan priests and has branches of lay Consecrated Men and Regnum Christi Consecrated Women.

The Legion was founded in Mexico in 1941, by Marcial Maciel. He directed the congregation as its general director until made to step down in January 2005 as a result of grave scandals.

The Legion of Christ has founded religious communities in 22 countries. Its members include three bishops, 944 priests and 875 seminarians (including minor seminarians) as of the end of 2015. In the U.S. it operates four schools (and assists at several others).

Regnum Christi is the lay movement. Like the Legionaries, they dedicate themselves to various apostolates such as education and spiritual direction.

In 2006, Maciel was investigated by the Holy See and suspended from his ministry, initially over breaches of celibacy. This followed public revelations that he had sexually abused minors, which were later confirmed. Maciel died in Jacksonville, Florida, on January 30, 2008, aged 87, and was buried in his hometown of Cotija de la Paz, Michoacán, Mexico.

After Maciel's death, and following more revelations, Pope Benedict XVI ordered an apostolic visitation in 2009. At the conclusion of the visitation, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis was delegated to examine the Legionaries' constitutions and conduct a visitation of its lay affiliate Regnum Christi. On October 19, 2012, De Paolis published a cover letter for a summary of the Regnum Christi's charism which he had approved as a working document.

The Legion completed a five-year renewal process that included a revision of its constitutions, which were approved during an extraordinary general chapter. On 4 November 2014, after an extensive process of the reform of the Legionaries of Christ, the Vatican approved the congregation's amended constitutions.

Marcial Maciel

Marcial Maciel was born in Cotija, Michoacán on March 10, 1920, into a devout Catholic family during a time in which the Mexican government was fiercely anticlerical. He became a priest after a troubled youth. Maciel was expelled from two seminaries for reasons that have never been explained. He became a priest only when one of his uncles ordained him after private studies, to later die of a heart attack after a heated dispute with Maciel.

After years of denial by the Congregation and the Regnum Christi movement and dismissal of accusations made by many former members, an investigation prompted by the Vatican led to the conclusion that allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Maciel were true. The superiors of the congregation did not officially inform the rest of the congregation until a year after his death, during which time, they continued to permit an internal culture of revering him as a saint. When the information was leaked to the press, the Legion was pressured into making a statement on the matter.

The Legionaries of Christ accused the founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, who died in 2008, of “reprehensible and objectively immoral behavior” as head of the order from its founding in 1941 until Pope Benedict XVI removed him in 2006.

The Legion underwent a visitation by the Vatican and a process of renewal through a series of discussions revolving around the "charism" of the movement, the relationship of the congregation to the lay movement, and the place of both within the Church. The entire congregation revised the Constitutional document under the direction of a central committee and presented a final version to the new Pope Francis. Under the guidance of Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the congregation announced the order's Extraordinary General Chapter in Rome in January 2014, for a "total restructuring". After the General Chapter new superiors were appointed.

Additional Relevant Facts

Questionable Unannounced Student Trip

From the Wall Street Journal article, With Elite Backing, A Catholic Order Has Pull in Mexico, by Jose de Cordoba, published on January 23rd, 2006:[1]

In 2004, two Baton Rouge, La., Catholic schools warned parents about the Legion's "questionable methods." Members of Regnum Christi paid for Baton Rouge students to fly to Los Angeles for a screening of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" without notifying the schools. A spokesman for the Legion says the incidents were "misunderstandings" caused by the Legion's relative youth and overzealous Regnum Christi members.

Relationship to #Pizzagate

Connection to Marcial Maciel

As discussed above, pedophile priest, Marcial Maciel, was the founder and head of the Legion of Christ.

Connection to Carlos Slim

From the Wall Street Journal article, With Elite Backing, A Catholic Order Has Pull in Mexico, by Jose de Cordoba, published on January 23rd, 2006:[2]

Two years ago, a handful of Latin American billionaires and some of the world's top financiers gathered at New York's Plaza Hotel. They were honoring Mexican plutocrat Carlos Slim and raising money for schools for poor children run by the Legion of Christ, a fast-growing conservative Roman Catholic order. Among those giving speeches at the black-tie gala were the Rev. Marcial Maciel, the 85-year-old Mexican founder of the Legion, and Citigroup Inc. Chairman Sanford Weill. Within hours, the diverse group of 500 well-wishers raised $725,000. The Legion was in its element. Founded in 1941, the order concentrates on ministering to the wealthy and powerful in the belief that by evangelizing society's leaders, the beneficial impact on society is multiplied. Like the Jesuits who centuries ago whispered in the ear of Europe's princes, the Legion's priests today are the confessors and chaplains to some of the most powerful businessmen in Latin America. "The soul of a trash collector is as important as the soul of Carlos Slim, but if Slim is converted, think of the influence and power for good he would wield," says Luanne Zurlo, a former Goldman Sachs securities analyst who organized the benefit. Mr. Slim, Latin America's richest man with a fortune estimated at $24 billion, says he's not a highly devout Catholic but is helping the Legion create 50 low-cost universities in Latin America.

For reference, this event took place in 2004, two years after the massive story of pedophile priests broke in 2002 (which would later become the basis for the Oscar-winning film, Spotlight)[3] and during the course of decades of sex abuse allegations against Legion of Christ founder, Marcial Maciel.[4]

Slim's wedding was also officiated by the Legion of Christ founder, Marcial Maciel.

From Fusion:[5]

[Marcial] Maciel even officiated the wedding ceremony of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and was especially close to many prominent businessmen in the northern city of Monterrey.

Connection to Luis Garza and Jose Sabin

From the Daily Beast article, Did Second Most Powerful Man at Top Catholic Order Sexually Abuse Teenage Boy?, by Jason Berry, published on November 6th, 2016:[6]

Attorney Michael Reck told The Daily Beast that [Marcial] Maciel, [Luis] Garza and Father Jose Sabin sexually assaulted the plaintiff, a young American who had a period of study in a Legion school in Mexico, in 1990-91. 

Reck said that the priests individually abused the boy in his early adolescence, on numerous occasions. The youth had relatives near Mexico City, who helped him return to his native California, ending his experience with the Legion schools.          

According to Reck, the plaintiff took action after seeing Alex Gibney’s recent HBO documentary on the clergy abuse crisis, Mea Maxima Culpa, which has a strand on Maciel. “John Roe 1” reported the abuse to the Legion and sought legal representation from attorney Jeff Anderson, an interviewee in the film, according to Reck, a member of the law firm.

Father Garza was a key figure in the Legion’s strategy of defending Maciel from pedophilia accusations while he was alive; but he has not been previously accused of sexual misconduct.

Connection to former CIA Director, William Casey

From Newsweek article, Father Marcial Maciel and the Popes He Stained, by Jason Berry, published on March 11th, 2013:[7]

Even as Maciel siphoned Legion funds to support his secret life and shadow families, President Ronald Reagan’s CIA director, William Casey, and his wife made a seven-figure donation for construction of a Legion building in Cheshire, Connecticut, and were memorialized by a plaque.

Note that, at the time of the donation (presumably 1986 based on the article), William Casey was the acting CIA Director under Reagan.[8]