All are offered without conditions to those affected and are calculated based on the severity of the abuse, the age of the victim, and the negligence verified by the institution.
In the past year, four of the six ongoing canonical processes have concluded. In one of them, dismissal from the clerical state was decreed and in two others public priestly ministry was prohibited. The fourth case, involving a priest who no longer belongs to the congregation, was closed.
In that same period, seven more processes have been initiated, so there are nine active in total. All implicated priests have restrictions on their ministry until the facts are clarified.
The Legion of Christ states that “all known cases of priests who have committed abuse” and remain in the congregation have been submitted to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Cover-up and negligence
Throughout 2022, an independent investigation was concluded “on the actions of major superiors” in relation to a case of abuse that occurred prior to 1992.
The objective was to “determine possible personal responsibilities on the part of the authorities of the congregation” other than that of the founder, Marcial Maciel.
The conclusions of the investigator, a judge of a diocesan canonical court in Mexico, have been presented to the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and to the director of the Legionaries of Christ.
Regarding safe spaces, six of the nine territories of the institution have been accredited by the specialized organization Praesidium.
In addition, a new international director has been appointed for this area and each territory has a coordinator.
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Father Javier Cerceda, LC, territorial director for Spain, reiterated in a letter the “total availability” of the institution to the victims with whom it maintains contact and offered “To those who, due to whatever circumstances, have not been able to take the step, we want to say that we are at your disposal. That we want to listen to them, that we respect when it is their time and their processes, and that we want to meet them.”
“Our own history can only be restored based on truth, justice, and the healing of the victims who are part of it, and to whom we owe ourselves,” he continued.
Addressing “all the people who have suffered the horror of abuse by our brothers,” the religious stressed that “aware that we cannot erase the past, we are irrevocably committed to accompanying them on their path of healing.”
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.