Below is an excerpt from a Time Magazine article. I skipped the first part which is basically a rehash of the current facts in the scandal. The rest of the article makes some pertinent points about Vatican motivation and spin strategies designed to leave the Legion more or less intact.
Maciel Scandal Puts Focus on a Secretive Church Order
By Tim Padgett - TIME - Monday, Mar. 08, 2010
By Tim Padgett - TIME - Monday, Mar. 08, 2010
.....This month Benedict is expected to receive the first report of a five-bishop team he sent out last year to investigate the Legion around the world. Sources familiar with the probe say it's meant in part to determine if others in the order besides Maciel have committed sexual abuse, and whether the order's current leadership was aware of Maciel's behavior but covered it up via payoffs to mistresses and abuse victims. Fair said the Legion had no comment in that regard. But Maciel victims like Vaca say Legion bosses such as its general director, the Rev. Alvaro Corcuera, and the Rev. John Devlin, Maciel's private secretary, should step forward with what they knew. (I don't believe we will ever get to the bottom of this story until all the sources of Legion revenue are uncovered. It does not look like that is in the mandate of this investigation.)
Still, victims are keeping their expectations low: the ultra-secretive order that Maciel built, like some shadowy fraternity from a Dan Brown novel, may be simply too powerful to cudgel.
Established in 22 countries, it operates nine universities, 125 religious houses and more than 160 schools. In the U.S. alone it runs 21 élite Catholic prep schools, a university in Sacramento, Calif., and some of the only seminaries for teenage boys in the U.S. at a time when the American priesthood's ranks are thinning exponentially.
In Mexico, the children of telecom billionaire Carlos Slim, one of the world's richest people, have attended its academies. In fact, like its rival conservative organization, Opus Dei, the Legion counts some of the world's wealthiest Catholics among its followers — its lay membership, known as the Regnum Christi, or Kingdom of Christ, has some 70,000 members worldwide — and it is one of the Church's top fundraisers.
Just as important, however, is the thorny issue of John Paul II, who died in 2005 and was succeeded by Benedict. The Vatican had investigated Maciel's personal life as early as the 1950s; but John Paul, whose papacy began in 1978, showered praise on the Legion's founder, calling him "an efficacious guide to youth."
Vaca says that remark is what compelled Maciel victims to tell their stories for the book Vows of Silence, published in 2004. They eventually got the Vatican, even under John Paul, to take their allegations seriously, but Church watchers say Benedict's current mission to canonize his predecessor is another reason Rome won't want to punish the Legion too harshly. "The Legionaries of Christ are going to withstand this [latest] blow," says Elio Masferrer, an expert on the Catholic Church in Latin America at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Rome, he predicts, "will not take any meaningful action" — just as it hasn't, he argues, in widespread clerical sex abuse cases in Ireland and the U.S., despite Benedict's vow to remove the "filth" of sex abusers from the priesthood.
Analysts like Masferrer do believe, however, that the Maciel scandal, especially in the wake of last week's revelations, is having "a devastating impact" on the Catholic Church in Mexico. The Church is already hemorrhaging congregants to Protestant evangelical sects, and it has seen its clout diminish in areas like the capital, Mexico City, where secular leftists recently passed a law permitting gay marriage. "The politicians can say that the Church officials are in no position to give moral lectures," says Masferrer. (Some members in the Mexican government are calling for an investigation into the Legion, similar to the efforts in Ireland.)
While the Legion's website message last week was sympathetic to Lara and her sons, the order made a point of exposing José Raúl González's private demand earlier this year that the Legion pay him $26 million to keep quiet about his father's sexual abuse. The order insists it did not pay, suggesting that as the motive for the tell-all radio interview. Masferrer says the Legion has also circulated reports that Maciel was surrounded by exorcists in his final days, suggesting that his immoral acts were the work of demons and not the priest. That's a Hail Mary ploy at best. And it does little to obscure the fact that it's up to Benedict now to decide whether Padre Maciel's Legion is itself possessed of enough demons to warrant more severe penance. (Surprise, suprise, surprise.)
It's amazing how when the going gets tough and the deck looks stacked it's time to pull the Devil card. I don't think it really matters whether Maciel was possessed, drug addicted, suffered from multiple personality disorder, or whatever current excuse the Legion has dreamed up. The bottom line is not any of that, it's the Vatican's support for a man they knew was perverted.
It's not about Maciel. It's about the money, favors and gifts Maciel brought with him to the Vatican. It's about every single corrupt official, including cardinals and perhaps a pope, who enabled Maciel in order to keep their access to Maciel's influential donors. It's about some of those donors as well. I doubt very much all those rich folk were completely taken in by a hypocritical narcissistic pedophile. They wanted Maciel's access to the Vatican and were willing to pay for it. At bottom you could say Maciel was not about the devil, he was all about access. Any decent psychologist will state that in pedophilia it's not so much about gender as it is about access. Maciel had the access thing down really really well in all parts of his 'multiple personalities'.
It's not surprising the Legion is publicly spinning away in order to protect their 'access'. I doubt Legion brass really give a fig about any other aspect of Maciel's legacy except his access. That they will protect because that is the Legion's only real charism. And certain Cardinals and bishop visitators will help them keep their charism because they like their access to expensive hams or something.
This whole situation really angers me in case you couldn't tell. I stack this sordid mess up against the LCWR investigation and I get angrier. The message here seems to be you can be as perverted and heretical as you want as long as you provide access to Mammon. Oh, did I just mention the name of a devil?