Loading
News outlets seek unsealing of Legion of Christ docs in lawsuit

.- Four news organizations are seeking the release of sealed court documents from a lawsuit contesting the will of a Rhode Island woman who gave $60 million to the Legion of Christ.

Jim Fair, Communications Director with the Legion of Christ, said the donor was “a beloved member of our spiritual family” and the religious congregation was “respectful and diligent in carrying out her wishes.”

He told CNA Oct. 24 that it is “appropriate” for the documents to stay sealed “to ensure that potential jurors are not influenced and that the Legion’s constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury is protected.”

On Oct. 24 the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Providence Journal and the National Catholic Reporter submitted a legal filing that argued the public has a right to access the documents concerning a legal challenge to the will of Gabrielle Mee.

Mee, a member of the Legion of Christ’s lay movement Regnum Christi, left $60 million to the congregation.

Mee’s niece, Mary Lou Dauray, challenged the will in court. She said her aunt, who died in 2008, had been defrauded by the order into leaving her fortune to it.

Since Mee’s death, the Legion of Christ has been through major turmoil following revelations that its founder Fr. Marciel Maciel had sexually abused seminarians and fathered children by at least two women.

Fr. Maciel had given financial advice to Mee, while another priest helped her with estate planning.

Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein threw out Dauray’s challenge in September on the grounds she lacked standing to sue. However, he said the transfer of money from “a steadfastly spiritual elderly woman to her trusted but clandestinely dubious religious leaders” raises “a red flag.”

Dauray’s attorney Bernard Jackvony, a former Rhode Island lieutenant governor, plans to appeal the ruling.

He told the AP that the case documents contain information about the Legion that is not known to the public. He favors their unsealing.

However, Fair defended the Legion. “We believe our actions with regard to Mrs. Mee and her estate were appropriate and honorable and are confident we will prevail in any legal actions in this regard,” he said.

Mee became a consecrated laywoman for Regnum Christi in 1991. Fair said she was a benefactor of the Legion of Christ and apostolates like Mater Ecclesiae, Inc. because “that way she could fulfill the wishes of her late husband and her own to help the Roman Catholic Church.”

Tags: Legion


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
29

Liturgical Calendar

July 29, 2014

Saint Martha

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Gospel
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 14: 17-22
Gospel:: Jn 11: 19-27

Saint of the Day

St. Martha »

Saint
Date
07/29/14
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Homily
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: