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Title Legion of Christ - Maciel accusers seek accountability
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Legion of Christ - Maciel accusers seek accountability November 3rd, 2000 - In the lore of the Legionaries of Christ, Marcial Maciel Degollado started his religious order in Mexico on Jan. 3, 1941, when he gathered 13 young boys around him to teach them theology.In the lore of the Legionaries of Christ, Marcial Maciel Degollado started his religious order in Mexico on Jan. 3, 1941, when he gathered 13 young boys around him to teach them theology. [...] On Feb. 23, 1997, in an article in The Hartford Courant, a darker version emerged, tainting the official version. The newspaper, based in Hartford, Conn., reported that nine professional men alleged publicly that Maciel had molested them when they were young men, as young as 12, in Legion seminaries in Spain and Italy during the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Maciel s accusers included three professors, a priest, a teacher, an engineer, a rancher and a lawyer. One of the professors, a former priest who died in 1995, left behind an accusatory deathbed statement. The accusers said they had decided to go public because Pope John Paul II had not responded to letters from two priests sent through church channels in 1978 and again in 1989 seeking an investigation. In fact, they said, it was after the pope praised Maciel in 1994 as an efficacious guide to youth that they decided to make their accusations public. [...] In a letter to the editor of The Courant published on March 2, 1997, Maciel denied the accusations as defamations and falsities with no foundation whatsoever and said he was praying for his accusers. None of Maciel s accusers filed legal action or sought financial compensation from the Legionaries or the Catholic church. Many of them remain loyal Catholics and said they were not blaming the religious order or the Catholic church. They said all they seek is accountability by church authorities for what they said was Maciel s sexual misconduct. The Vatican has maintained silence on the issue. In a letter to the editor of The Courant published on March 2, 1997, Maciel denied the accusations as defamations and falsities with no foundation whatsoever and said he was praying for his accusers. None of Maciel s accusers filed legal action or sought financial compensation from the Legionaries or the Catholic church. Many of them remain loyal Catholics and said they were not blaming the religious order or the Catholic church. They said all they seek is accountability by church authorities for what they said was Maciel s sexual misconduct. The Vatican has maintained silence on the issue. [...] Fr. Owen Kearns, a spokesman for the Legion and publisher of its newspaper, the National Catholic Register, said at the time that Maciel s appointment has brought great joy to the tens of thousands of lay people who, with the Legionaries of Christ, spend their lives daily in evangelization. Fr. Owen Kearns, a spokesman for the Legion and publisher of its newspaper, the National Catholic Register, said at the time that Maciel s appointment has brought great joy to the tens of thousands of lay people who, with the Legionaries of Christ, spend their lives daily in evangelization. This is a summary extract of the full story as it appeared in the National Catholic Report, Nov. 3, 2000