27 Apr 2011

Best city in the world honours man who protected notorious Catholic child abuser

Chain The Dogma    April 27, 2011

Why is the best city in the world honouring a man who protected one of the most notorious child abusers in the Catholic Church?

by Perry Bulwer

The fast-tracked beatification of Pope John Paul II takes place May 1, 2011 and at the request of the Archbishop of Vancouver the City of Vancouver proclaimed that day “Blessed John Paul II Day in Vancouver”. The four reasons given for that proclamation are: 1) that is the day the Catholic Church will beatify him; 2) he played an unprecedented role in promoting peace and justice around the world; 3) he visited Vancouver once in 1984 and spoke to hundreds of thousands of people; 4) Catholics in Vancouver revere him.

Regarding the fast-tracking of that beatification, which will place John Paul II one step from sainthood, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, stated at a conference in Rome: "Clearly his cause was put on the fast track, but the process was done carefully and meticulously, following the rules Pope John Paul himself issued in 1983". How convenient. Beatified according to his own rules. But that is not the only ethical lapse in this process. Pope Benedict, who revered John Paul II, will be the first Pope in many centuries to bestow that honour on his immediate predecessor. It is also the fastest trip towards sainthood a Pope has ever taken.

Retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Sydney, Australia has a different take on that fast-track. He headed an Australian bishops’ commission on clerical sexual abuse from 1994-2003 and is the author of the book “Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church.” In June 2008 at the University of California at San Diego he stated: “If sainthood for John Paul II is placed on the fast track, those in charge should take note of the cases of priestly sexual abuse he ignored, especially that of Father Marcial Maciel Degollado.”

Cardinal Amato explained that “Pope John Paul II is being beatified not because of his impact on history [so much for point 2 in Vancouver's proclamation] or on the Catholic Church [there go points 3 and 4], but because of the way he lived the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love....” He added, candidates must have “... lived the Christian virtues in a truly extraordinary way and ... must be perceived 'as an image of Christ'.” And Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who served as Vatican spokesman under Pope John Paul, explained further that “beatification is not a judgment on a pontificate, but on the personal holiness of the candidate”.

According to those criteria, Pope John Paul II was a virtuous, holy, image of Christ to be imitated by others. But was he? His friendship with and protection of one of the most notorious sexual abusers and pedophiles in the Catholic Church, Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the influential Legionnaires of Christ, suggests otherwise. Bishop Robinson

... described Pope John Paul II’s non-response in the matter of Father Maciel Degollado, head of the traditionalist Legionnaires of Christ, as “a failure of moral leadership on a massive scale.” The late pontiff had access to extensive documentation that Maciel Degollado had sexually abused 30 seminarians from the 1940’s to the 1970s, mostly in Spain and Italy. Some believe the true figure to be much higher.

But John Paul II, a close friend of Maciel Degollado, remained silent. The latter stood at the pope’s right hand during three papal visits to Mexico. Later, John Paul referred to him as “an efficacious guide to youth” and he heaped praise on Maciel Degollado on the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood in 2004.

In her New York Times column, Maureen Dowd recently wrote:

Santo non subito! How can you be a saint if you fail to protect innocent children?

For years after the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legion of Christ, was formally accused of pedophilia in a Vatican proceeding, he remained John Paul’s pet. The ultra-orthodox Legion of Christ and Opus Dei were the shock troops in John Paul’s war on Jesuits and other progressive theologians.
There was another reason, according to Jason Berry, who has written two books on the abuse crisis and is the author of the forthcoming “Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church.”
“For John Paul,” Berry told me just after returning from Good Friday services, “the priesthood had a romantic, chivalrous cast, and he could not bring himself to do a fearless investigation of the clerical culture itself.
“He was duped by Maciel, but he let himself be duped. When nine people accuse the guy of abusing them as kids, the least you can do is investigate.
“Cardinals and bishops had told him about the larger abuse crisis for years. And he was passive to an absolute fault. He failed in mountainous terms.”

Marcial Maciel did not just sexually abuse seminarians. He is alleged to have fathered at least six illegitimate children and sexually molested at least two of them. Legion of Christ officials, after decades of denial, recently acknowledged their founder had abused seminarians and had sired at least one child. So far, however, the Vatican under Benedict's lead is only interested in reforming the Legion, not shutting down that corrupt order that John Paul II promoted and protected.

If Pope John Paul II was so holy why did he protect a monster like Marcial Maciel, but failed to protect the thousands of children abused by predator priests while he was the head of the church? And as Maureen Dowd asked, “How can you be a saint if you fail to protect innocent children?” That would have been a good question for the bureaucrats at Vancouver City Hall to ask before acquiescing to the archbishop of Vancouver's request for a special day to honour a man who failed to protect innocent children. Perhaps it should have been the survivors and exposers of Catholic clergy abuse who got the special day of honour instead.

This article was found at:


Related Articles:

Vatican refuses to shut down corrupt Legionaries order for fear of imposing ideas on others, yet indoctrinating kids ok

Vatican names Spanish archbishop to investigate cult of consecrated women associated with disgraced Order


  1. Ridding Catholicism of the stench of this Legionary of Christ

    By Hugh O’Shaughnessy September 21, 2011

    At last, the Vatican begins to move in earnest to clean up the scandalous mess of the egregiously wealthy rightwing Legionaries of Christ. Their members are known to some as the "millionaires of Christ" and their stench has been in the nostrils of Catholics for too many decades.

    A start was made on 15 July to repair the enormous damage to the church done by the late Marcial Maciel Degollado, who founded the Legion of Christ in 1940. The pushy Mexican priest was the bisexual pederast, drug-addicted lover of several women and father of three who hoodwinked a succession of popes from Pius XII and who was eventually run to ground and disgraced by Benedict XVI in 2006.

    At the start of 2011 Richard Gill, for 29 years a US priest of the Legionaries of Christ but who had left the Legion last year, wrote: "It is no exaggeration to say that Marcial Maciel was by far the most despicable character in the twentieth century Catholic Church, inflicting more damage on her reputation and evangelizing mission than any other single Church leader."


    Maciel Degollado left a series of dirty marks wherever he passed. Gill, for instance, wonders why the Vatican department that deals with religious orders gave its approval in 1983 to a new constitution for the Legion, which has proved to be irregular and defective. Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, who headed that department and was one of the few senior Argentine clerics to have come out of his country's dirty war with credit, clearly committed an error in approving an unsatisfactory constitution. Paradoxically he also happened to be one of the few leaders of the church in Argentina who stood up to the sort of raging conservatives who were attracted to the Legion. Because of this, Pironio received death threats from rightwing extremists in his homeland and had to flee to Rome. Worse, his reputation was gravely damaged.

    How did Maciel Degollado fool such a succession of popes? The literal meaning of his mother's surname – which in Spanish fashion is inserted after his father's surname Maciel is fascinating. The literal meaning of "degollado" is "a man whose throat has been ripped out". How weird!

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  2. Legion of Christ priest: What God expects of me now is to care for my child and his mother

    By Deacon Greg Kandra, Patheos May 12, 2013

    A prominent American priest of the Legion of Christ religious order has decided to leave the priesthood after admitting he fathered a child years ago.

    The Legion said Saturday the Rev. Thomas Williams, a moral theologian, author, lecturer and television personality, had asked Pope Francis to be relieved of his celibacy and other priestly obligations. A friend, the Rev. John Connor, wrote in a Legion blog that Williams wanted to care for his son and the mother.

    After Williams’ admission, the Legion’s then-superior acknowledged he had known for years about the child, yet allowed Williams to continue teaching and preaching morality. It was another blow to a congregation discredited by revelations that its founder was a pedophile who built a cult-like order which the Vatican is trying to reform.

    From Fr. Connor’s blog:

    Roughly a year ago, I heard the news that our brother Legionary Fr Thomas Williams LC fathered a child a number of years ago. As a result, Fr Thomas discontinued his public ministry and took a year for prayer and penance to discern his future course in the light of God’s plan.

    Fr Thomas, after much prayerful reflection and discernment, has written to the Holy Father to request dispensation from the obligations of his ministry.

    Such decisions are not easy. We all balance success and failure, joy and sorrow in our lives. None of us escapes sin and the need to ask forgiveness.

    I have known Fr Thomas well for the better part of a decade. I have appreciated and enjoyed his friendship, his wisdom and counsel and I deeply respect his decision about his future. After recently finishing spiritual exercises he wrote me saying “I came to the serene conviction that what God expects of me now is to devote myself to caring for my child and his mother. By responsibly and lovingly accepting the consequences of my actions, I will continue to serve God and his Church. I know I should be with my son and try to be the kind of father he needs.”

    I have complete confidence that Fr Thomas will continue to be a valuable instrument in God’s plan and positively influence many, many people for the good of Christ’s Kingdom. I hope all of you will join me in praying for the success of Fr Thomas in his new life.