Friday, May 19, 2006

On Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado

The Vatican Press office has issued a statement about the founder of the Legionaries of Christ.
It says that since 1998 the CDF has received complains about 'crimes reserved exclusively to the competency of the dicastery.' Fr Maciel published a denial of these accusations in 2002. In 2005 he resigned as superior of the Legionaries due to reasons of 'advanced age'.
The above items were object of 'mature examination' by the CDF under the norms of JPII's 2001 motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitati tutela.
Having received the results of the investigation, Cardinal Leveda has decided not to pursue a Canonical Process due to reasons of advanced age. He has invited Fr Maciel to a discreet life of prayer and penance renouncing all public ministry. The Holy Father has approved this decision.

Personal Note
I must say that this is a most extraordinary press release. I'm sure that some commentators will see the decision not to pursue a canonical process against Fr Maciel as being a cover-up. However, the question must be asked what one can do in any legal system when the one accused of any crime is of advanced age.
The fact that the Vatican has made public Cardinal Leveda's request to Fr Maciel that he live a discreet life of prayer and penance renouncing all public ministry is significant. It would be very easy to draw the conclusion from that statement that substance was found to the allegations. Indeed, such a statement certainly does not benefit Fr Maciel's reputation. It will be interesting to see what the response of the Legionaries will be.

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