Pope Benedict: The Vatican addressed Maciel scandal ‘slowly and late’ and Maciel ‘remains a mysterious figure.’

From the Regnum Christi website:
Peter Seewald: The Church was shaken also by revelations about the double life of Marcial Maciel Degollado…
Benedict XVI: Unfortunately we addressed these things very slowly and late. Somehow they were concealed very well, and only around the year 2000 did we have any concrete clues. Ultimately unequivocal evidence was needed in order to be sure that the accusations were grounded.
To me, Marcial Maciel remains a mysterious figure. There is, on the one hand, a life that, as we now know, was out of moral bounds—an adventurous, wasted, twisted life. On the other hand, we see the dynamism and the strength with which he built up the congregation of Legionaries.
Meanwhile we have had an apostolic visitation carried out and appointed a delegate who together with a group of collaborators is preparing the necessary reforms. Naturally corrections must be made, but by and large the congregation is sound. In it there are many young men who enthusiastically want to serve the faith. This enthusiasm must not be destroyed. Many of them have been called by a false figure to what is, in the end, right after all.*
That is the remarkable thing, the paradox: that a false prophet, so to speak, could still have a positive effect. New courage must be given to these numerous young men. A new structure is needed so that they do not fall between the cracks but are guided correctly so as to be able to continue performing a service to the Church and to mankind.
Our Pope makes a very important point, in that even if Maciel was ‘a false prophet’, that today, ‘by and large the congregation is sound’ and underscores that ‘there are many young men who enthusiastically want to serve the faith.’
It is quite tragic that so many good people and people with religious vocations who had ties with the Legionaries, have had their names dragged through the mud and their reputations tainted simply because their founder led a double life. Furthermore, the Pope’s resolve that the Legionaries need ‘a new structure’ so that the priests are ‘guided correctly’ does not shy from the fact that even the order must recover.
For further commentary see this Associated Press article where it is reported that Jim Fair, the Legion's communications director, said "the Legion agrees with the pope's comments in the new book."


  1. It's very true to say that there must have been two sides to Maciel. The good side was the calibre of the priests and seminarians that the order created. Strong, confident, dynamic and holy. I only hope that all of those elements can be recreated again.


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