Rome restricts founder of priestly order who was accused of abuses

Controversial priest to refrain from ministry
The controversial founder of a powerful traditional Catholic order was a favorite of the late Pope John Paul II, but the Vatican under a new pope has disciplined Marcial Maciel Degollado, who faced multiple accusations of sexual abuse.

Maciel, 86, founder of the Legionaries of Christ (or Legion of Christ), has been asked to refrain from public ministry, limiting himself to “life reserved to prayer and penitence,” and Maciel has agreed to comply. The Mexican-born priest retired last year and lives in Rome.

The Holy See said on May 19 that Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees the Vatican’s response to sex abuse, acted with Pope Benedict XVI’s approval and decided not to formally sanction Maciel because of his age.


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