|This man done enough 'wrist slapping' over the Legion. Now he needs to do an exorcism.|
The AP has released an article from it's Rome bureau in which Legion Director Fr. Corcuera admits he failed to investigate rumors concerning Fr Thomas Williams when he took over the order from Maciel in 2005. Now he claims he will investigate all accusations against Legion priests. It is incomprehensible that eight accusations of sexual misconduct have surfaced in the last three weeks, forced by AP investigations, when the Vatican has supposedly been investigating this group for two years. Why in the world should anyone believe anything that spews from the mouths of Legion leadership or the Vatican about this group? Sigghhhh.
Legion No. 1 admits he knew of priest's kid in '05
The Rev. Alvaro Corcuera wrote a letter to all Legion members in which he admitted he had heard before he became superior in 2005 that the Rev. Thomas Williams, a well-known American television personality, author and moral theologian, had a child. He said he took Williams' word that the rumors were false.
Corcuera said that after becoming superior in 2005, he confirmed Williams' paternity yet did nothing to prevent him from teaching morality to seminarians or preaching about ethics on television, in his many speaking engagements or his 14 books, including "Knowing Right from Wrong: A Christian Guide to Conscience."
Williams, for example, was the keynote speaker at a Legion-affiliated women's conference just last month in the U.S. and was scheduled to speak at another one in October.
Williams admitted last week he had fathered the child after The Associated Press confronted the Legion with the allegation. In a new statement Tuesday, Williams said he had resisted his superiors' encouragement to keep a low profile after the allegations were known to them.
"I foolishly thought that I had left this sin in my past, and that I could make up for some of the wrong I had done by doing the greatest good possible with the gifts God has given me. This was an error in judgment, and yet another thing I must ask your forgiveness for," he wrote, according to the text obtained by the AP. (Wrong, he thought he had it all sufficiently covered up, and the Maciel debacle left Legion brass still ripe for a little black mail.)
Williams has not identified the mother or said whether he was supporting the child or involved in the child's life. The Legion has said the child is being cared for.
Revelations of Williams' child and subsequent cover-up have further eroded the Legion's credibility and compounded the scandal at the order, which in 2009 admitted that its late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel had sexually abused his seminarians and fathered three children with two women. For years, the Legion had denied the abuse allegations and publicly discredited the seminarians who went public with their accusations in 1997.
Maciel, who founded the Legion in 1941 in Mexico, died in 2008.
The scandal is particularly grave given that Maciel was held up as a model for the faithful by Pope John Paul II, who was impressed by the orthodox order's ability to attract money and young men to the priesthood. Maciel's double life, and the continuing problems of the cult-like order, have cast a shadow over John Paul's legacy since the Vatican knew of Maciel's crimes as early as the mid-1950s, yet he continued to enjoy the highest Vatican praise and access until he was finally sanctioned by Rome in 2006.
In 2010, the Vatican took over the Legion after determining that the order itself had been contaminated by Maciel's influence and needed to be "purified" through a process of reform that is under way.
Following an AP investigation, the Legion on May 11 admitted that seven priests were under Vatican investigation for allegedly sexually abusing minors and other sacramental violations, an indication that Maciel's crimes were not his alone. Five of the seven concern sex abuse accusations, the Legion clarified Tuesday. Two concern violations believed to involve using confession or spiritual direction to have inappropriate sexual relations with women.
Corcuera also revealed that a Legion priest is currently under criminal investigation in the U.S. for alleged sex abuse and that three others had been cleared. Three former Legion priests have been referred to civil authorities, he said.
In his letter Tuesday, Corcuera announced that the Legion was going to review all past cases of allegations of sexual abuse to ensure that they were handled properly. Victims of Legion priests and critics of the order have said there are many more cases of abusers which have been well-known to the leadership but covered up for decades.
"Are there other cases waiting to be discovered, more scandals ready to attack your faith and trust? I can never say for sure Corcuera wrote. "I can, however, tell you that we are following the lead of Pope Benedict XVI in dealing with abuse and sexual misconduct in the Legion." (No, what is actually happening is you are being forced in to doing so by the AP who has taken complaints by victims and members far more seriously than the Legion. Benedict is leading nothing.)
Corcuera's letter is unlikely to stem the outrage among the members of the Legion's lay branch Regnum Christi, for whom Williams was a major point of reference in the United States and a top public defender of Maciel when the allegations of his crimes were leveled years ago. Many had forgiven the Legion for its decades of deception concerning Maciel, thinking it was an isolated case. The recent revelations show otherwise. (And there will be more. Jesus weeps for Regnum Christi.)
Corcuera said that after confirming in 2005 that Williams had indeed fathered the child, he asked him to start withdrawing from his public work. But only in 2010 did he limit Williams' work as a priest. Williams, however, continued to write books, speak at conventions, author articles and, most significantly, teach morality to seminarians at the Legion's university in Rome. He only stopped teaching in February, abruptly, after a Spanish association of victims of the Legion forwarded the allegations against Williams to the Vatican.
It really would be in the Vatican's best interests to disband this organization before much more gets exposed. This house of cards, based on serving the financial interests of the wealthy, promoting particular political interests, and bilking the innocent out of their money is about to collapse. I would disband this organization before Interpol gets enough complaints and decides it's in their best interests to do the investigating. The Vatican has demonstrated over and over again, for fifty freaking years, it has no real interest in 'investigating' this organization in any meaningful sense.
Personally, I hope Interpol starts moving in on the Legion---- if they haven't already. I also have no doubt this Vatican will do exactly as it has done, nothing. Jason Barry has already shown how many Vatican bigwigs have benefited from Legion largesse and the fact those Vatican cardinals are still in power means the Vatican has way too much to lose to attempt to do anything but weather another Legion created firestorm.
Fr. Williams, who had a great deal of access to Maciel for over a decade, has to know way too much and it is most likely for this reason that Corcuera did nothing about the information he received in 2005. The year 2005 was before Maciel was slapped on the wrist by Benedict. JPII was still hanging on as Pope and Maciel was still untouchable, and so it seems Williams was able to make himself untouchable. The fact this untouchable status continued into 2012 until the AP forced the issue should give pause to anyone who still trusts anything about the Legion or about this Vatican investigation.
For me, the Legion represents in an all too real form everything that is corrupt about the Roman Catholic clerical priesthood and hierarchy. How it does it's business, how it abuses it's laity, how it thinks it's above the laws the rest of us mere mortals have to follow, how it is forced to protect the myth from scandal--demythologizing--rather than act like even half way decent human beings and deal with it's victims.
A commenter wrote the other day about Jesus confronting the demon who named itself 'Legion'. It remains to be seen if our Pope, an alter christus and apostolic descendant of Peter, will confront his own version of Legion. Slaps on the wrist don't cut it.