Mexican priest's alleged son admits seeking money
MEXICO CITY — A man who says he is the abused son of the founder of a conservative Roman Catholic religious order acknowledged Friday he asked the group for money to keep quiet.
Jose Raul Gonzalez said he asked The Legionaries of Christ for $26 million because the Rev. Marcial Maciel had promised him and his brothers a trust fund when he died and as financial compensation for Maciel's alleged sexual abuse.
Gonzalez's admission to MVS radio's Carmen Aristegui came a day after the Legion distributed statements by two prominent members saying they had met with him. One of the priests said Gonzalez had demanded money in exchange for his silence.
Gonzalez's mother, Blanca Lara Gutierrez, earlier told MVS that Maciel led a double life for almost 20 years, having two children with her, adopting another and abusing two of the three. It is one of the most damaging allegations yet against Maciel, who before his death had been the subject of a Vatican probe into multiple allegations he sexually abused seminarians.
"The only thing we did was to tell the story of our lives, and besides we didn't choose to be the victims of a sexual predator," Gonzalez said.
He said the family decided to ask the Legion for money "to end that chapter (because) we were tired of that situation."
Legion leaders last year acknowledged that Maciel had a daughter in Spain, but they have not directly accepted allegation by several seminarians that he molested them.
Maciel died in 2008 at age 87, more than a year after Pope Benedict XVI disciplined the ailing priest by sending him to "a reserved life of prayer and penance, renouncing every public ministry."
Lara Gutierrez said that she was 19 when she met Maciel, then 56, who passed himself off as "Jose Rivas," an employee of an international oil company, a private investigator and a CIA agent.
She said she didn't discover his real identity until 1997, when she saw a magazine article about previous allegations.
The family's accusations could not be independently verified but the order took them seriously enough to acknowledge several meetings with Gutierrez.