Legion of Christ
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Basic Information

The Legion of Christ is a religious order founded in Mexico (now represented in 21 countries) with about 800 priests, and possibly as many as 70,000 members in it's lay companion Regnum Christi. They're part of the Roman Catholic Church, but are currently under investigation by the Vatican.

1941 - the order was founded by Marcial Maciel
1956 - Maciel is investigated for Drug Abuse [2]
1970s - the first allegations of sexual assault of children (at Legion of Christ sites) reach the Vatican. A total of 9 men allege that they and about 20 others were abused by Maciel for over three decades, starting in the 1940s. [2]
1979 - Maciel tours with Pope John Paul II
1998 - the Vatican first publicly acknowledges that claims of sexual abuse by Maciel had reached them, but apparently does not investigate or take action
2004 - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) initiates the first official vatican inquiry into the Maciel sexual assualt and pedophilia claims. 30 witnesses testified.
2006 - Maciel steps down from the leadership of the order, but the church does not state his crimes or acknowledge his victims.[3]
2008 - Maciel dies.
2009 - More than a year later, the Pope called a apostolic visitation to examine the allegations of sexual abuse and financial mismanagement within the Legion. The Legion of Christ has now acknowledged that Maciel has fathered at least one child while he was a priest (Catholic priests take vows of celibacy). [3]

In addition to those controversies, the order has some strict policies, many of which are unusual. "The first duty of a legionary is to love and esteem the Legion." The priests are forbidden to ever show emotions like sadness or worry. They must take vows never to criticize the leadership of the order. Legion priests are drawn almost exclusively from the upper classes, and move in elite social circles. Due to their recruiting policies, the Legion has been banned from 6 diocese in the United States. [2] This 3,000 person order (800 priests, 2,500 seminarians) has a yearly budget of $650 million, and is very active in politics concerning bioethics.

The UK Independent called Maciel a "narcissistic sociopath". Allegations of the brainwashing of children have been made, as have comparisons to cults, and allegations of bribery and corruption.[3]


Game and Story Use

  • Yuck. If nothing else, this is shameful and an embarrassment to the church. It's taken 30 years of sexual abuse allegations to get any real investigations opened, and the church waited till he died to start to make things right.
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