Translation of the decision about Founder of Legionaries of Christ

Communication of the Holy See Press Office

In reference to the news in circulation about the person of the Founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Rev. Fr. Marciel Maciel Degollado, the Holy See Press Office communicates the following:

From 1998 onward, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith received accusations, some of which are already public, against the Rev. Marciel Maciel Degollado, founder of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, for delicts reserved to the exclusive competence of the Dicastery.  In 2002, Rev. Maciel published a declaration to deny the accusations and to express his displeasure for the offense offered him from some former Legionaries of Christ.  In 2005, for reasons of advanced age, the Rev. Maciel retired from the office of Superior General of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ.

All these elements were the object of mature examination on the part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and, according to the norm of the Motu Proprio "Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela" promulgated on 30 April 2001 by Servant of God John Paul II, the one-time Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, His Eminence Joseph Card. Ratzinger, authorized an investigation into the accusations.  In the meantime, there occurred the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Pontiff.

After having submitted the results of the investigation to close study, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the direction of the new Prefect, His Eminence William Card. Levada, has decided, taking into consideration the advanced age of the Rev. Maciel as well as his delicate health – to renounce a canonical process and to invite Father to live a life reserved to prayer and penance, renouncing any kind of public ministry.  The Holy Father approved these decisions.

Independent of the person of the Founder, the well-deserved apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and of the Association Regnum Christi is recognized with gratitude.

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