Vatican Communiqué on Legionary Founder

Father Marcial Maciel Invited to Renounce All Public Ministry

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the Vatican communiqué issued today regarding allegations against the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel.



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Since 1998, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has received accusations, which were already made public in part, against Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, for offenses reserved to the exclusive competency of the dicastery. In 2002, Father Maciel published a statement to deny the accusations and to express his astonishment at the offenses against him by former Legionaries of Christ. In 2005, for reasons of advanced age, Father Maciel retired from the office of superior general of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ.

All these elements have been the object of mature examination by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, in virtue of the "motu proprio" "Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela," promulgated on April 30, 2001, by the Servant of God John Paul II, the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, authorized an investigation into the accusations. Meanwhile, the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Pontiff took place.

After submitting the results of the investigation to careful study, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the guidance of the new prefect, His Eminence Cardinal William Levada, has decided -- taking into account both the advanced age of Father Maciel as well as his poor health -- to drop the canonical process and invite him to a reserved life of prayer and penance, renouncing all public ministry. The Holy Father has approved these decisions.

Irrespective of the person of the founder, the distinguished apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and of Regnum Christi is acknowledged with gratitude.

[Translation by ZENIT]