.- Father Jose Cardenas, the director of the Legionaries of Christ in Chile, has lamented the recent revelations about the order’s founder, Father Marcial Maciel, as well as the “pain and confusion caused in the Church and in society.”
In a written questionnaire published by the Chilean daily “El Mercurio,” Father Cardenas said, “The recently revealed facts about the private life of our founder seem incomprehensible and deeply sadden us. We cannot help but decisively reject them as contrary to Catholic morality and to the duties of the priestly and religious state,” he wrote.
He also explained that the desire and purpose of the Legion continues to remain the same: to serve the Church and society through education, evangelization and other apostolic works; and in addition to rejecting the scandal this has caused, they ask for forgiveness for all of the pain this caused the victims and the Catholic Church.
“As our general director has already done, we ask forgiveness of all those who have been affected, and likewise, we lament the pain and confusion caused in the Church and in society,” Father Cardenas continued.
He went on to note that the Legionaries in Chile are undergoing a review from the Apostolic visitor appointed by the Holy See, as are members of the order and of the Regnum Christi movement in other parts of the world.
Father Cardenas expressed thanks for the spiritual support the order has received from the Chilean bishops, clergy and the laity, which has helped them to look towards the future with hope.
“Father Maciel was instrumental in beginning the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement in the Church, and therefore we must be thankful. But it is also evident that he cannot be an example to us in these unfortunate events,” he said.
“This does not exempt us from discerning and conserving the good we have received from him as our founder. It is a good time to confirm our conviction that Jesus Christ is our center, our guide and our model,” he added.
Regarding the Apostolic Visitation ordered by Pope Benedict XVI and being carried out in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela by Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati of Concepcion in Chile, Father Cardenas said Archbishop Ezzati is being received in humility, gratitude and total openness.
“We are thankful for his fatherly presence among us as the Holy Father’s envoy,” he said.