Legionaries apologize to founder's victims

February 17, 2014

Representatives of the Legionaries of Christ, meeting to reform their troubled congregation nearly four years after it was effectively taken over by the Vatican, announced a new slate of leaders and formally apologized to victims of their disgraced founder.

The statement by the congregation's extraordinary general chapter, released Feb. 6, expressed "deep sorrow" for the late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado's "reprehensible and objectively immoral behaviour," including "abuse of minor seminarians," "immoral acts with adult men and women," "arbitrary use of his authority and of material goods," "indiscriminate consumption of addictive medicines" and plagiarism.

The members of the chapter acknowledged a "long institutional silence" in response to accusations against him, and offered a progress report in efforts to overcome the founder's demoralizing legacy.