Belief Beat

Pope Benedict made an appearance at today’s Vatican meeting to discuss the investigation of the Legionaries of Christ, a conservative Catholic order founded by the Rev. Marcial Maciel, who turns out to have fathered several children and abused seminarians.

As expected, the Vatican did not announce a decision about the order after the meeting, though some kind of statement is expected in the near future. 

From the Associated Press:

The case against Maciel is being closely watched as the Vatican struggles to show that it is serious about rooting out clerical sex abuse and being more transparent. The Maciel case has long been seen as emblematic of Vatican inaction on abuse complaints, since sex abuse victims had tried in the 1990s to bring a canonical trial against Maciel but were shut down by his supporters at the Vatican.

Only in March of this year did the Legionaries acknowledge that Maciel had also sexually abused seminarians and that two men are claiming to be his sons. One of those men has asked the Legionaries for $26 million and says Maciel had promised him and his two brothers a trust fund when he died as financial compensation for the alleged sexual abuse they endured at Maciel’s hands. The third son was adopted.

Maciel died in 2008 at age 87.

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