July 9, 2010.
The Legion of Christ finally knows the name of the papal delegate who will help resolve problems caused by the double life of the congregation's founder, Marcial Maciel.
Italian Archbishop Velasio De Paolis is the papal delegate. The 74-year-old De Paolis currently presides over the prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See and is a professor of Canon Law at the Gregorian University of Rome. Two vice delegates will help De Paolis: one English speaking and the other Spanish speaking. The vice delegates have not been named yet.
The pope decided to name a delegate supervisor to the Legion because of its current directors' failure to resolve the congregation's problems. Five bishops interviewed more than 1,000 members, went to almost all the religious houses and visited a number of projects the congregation manages in order to make this decision.
“The key to the Holy See's intervention in the Legion of Christ will be marked by the future of its current leadership. No one can deny that the superiors of the congregation of the Legion of Chris were heirs to Maciel and were heirs of the system of power within the congregation that the Holy See has denounced. Some of these superiors were complicit with that structure.”
The Vatican denounced Marcial Maciel as the result of its first investigation, calling his conduct “gravely serious,” “objectively immoral” and “revealing a life devoid of scruples and true religious sentiment.”
The bishops also denounced defense mechanisms built around the founder that prevented recognition of his double life.
The Vatican asked the order to “redefine the charism” of the Legion of Christ while preserving its true nucleus. It also urged the congregation to “review the exercise of authority” and to defend “the enthusiasm of youth's faith” that could have disappeared after seeing the founder's double life.
Fr. Miguel Segura
Rector, Legion of Christ Center for Superior Studies (Rome)
“They've all had to talk with their families, their benefactors and with their pastors in their ministries. Everyone had to explain not only what happened but also what we feel and what we want to do. This has been a period of suffering, but at the same time, there has been a period of growth and purification.”
The legionaries publicly declared that Marcial Maciel was not “a model of the life of Christ or priesthood” within weeks of the Vatican publishing its findings.
The congregation also denounced the double life and sexual abuses Marcial Maciel committed and expressed “dismay” at what had happened.
The legionaries also apologized to all the victims for not having believed them and said they welcomed the provisions in obedience to the pope.