Wednesday, March 10, 2010
From Aol News
So much love for the Vatican and the Church, and the Legion of Christ is cutting the Church to the quick.
Vatican Faces Widening Sex Abuse Scandals
(March 9) -- Sexual abuse scandals mired the Catholic Church on Tuesday as inquiries in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands intensified and the Vatican digested allegations that the Mexican founder of one of the church's most favored sects sexually molested his illegitimate sons.
The most recent accusations against Maciel involve a woman, Blanca Lara Gutierrez, who told officials she had a long relationship with a man she knew as an "employee of an international oil company, a private investigator and a CIA agent" before she found out his true identity.
She said Maciel fathered two sons with her and adopted a third. Two of the sons said Maciel molested them as children. The case grew more complicated Tuesday when the attorney representing the family resigned when it became known that one of the sons had asked the Legionaries of Christ for $26 million in return for his silence.
Jim Fair, a spokesman for the Legionaries of Christ in North America, said Tuesday that the order is still reeling from the allegations against the founder.
"We are still in those five stages of grief outlined by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross," Fair told AOL News. "It's as if Father Maciel lived in two different universes, like some old science fiction movie. And now it's all blowing up."
Fair said that Legionaries priests and lay members "have a tough row to hoe" with their faith but added that that the priests are "first and foremost Roman Catholic priests and they are part of a church that has survived 2,000 years with some flaws and will no doubt continue."
Fair said Maciel was clearly a "very flawed man" who nevertheless did "a lot of good."
According to Fair, the order has more than 800 priests and 2,500 seminarians worldwide, along with 50,000 members of the associated lay group Regnum Christi.
Church critics have pointed out that after years of turning what many call "a blind eye" toward clerical sexual abuse, the Vatican is now in what can only be described as crisis management mode.