Legion superior explains reasoning behind recent statement addressing 'misdeeds' of founder


The Superior General of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Alvaro Corcuera, earlier this week explained the reasons that prompted his congregation to issue their March 26 statement which publicly acknowledged the misdeeds committed by its founder, Father Marcial Maciel, for the first time.

“Once a year we have a meeting with all of the superiors of the congregation, called our territorial directors, and with the General Council as well,” Fr. Corcuera explained. “We have talked a lot about the very difficult situation with which we are faced, and we all agreed to issue a statement in which, naturally, we cannot express all of our sentiments.”

“But we do wish to offer, once again, our feelings of profound sorrow and regret to all the victims who have suffered from these acts,” Fr. Corcuera noted. “It is an act of forgiveness that has no other purpose than to open our hearts with humility to each and every one of those who have been harmed, and unfortunately scandalized, by the actions of our founder, Father Maciel.”

According to the Mexican daily, Milenio, Fr. Corcuera added that there was no particular significance to the date on which the statement was issued. The statement, which was released one week before Good Friday, “was not an act of opportunism,” emphasized Fr. Corcuera. “Rather, I simply did not want to wait any longer, because it was necessary and appropriate to take a blunter, clearer and firmer action.”

After noting that he had spoken with some of Fr. Maciel’s victims to ask them for forgiveness, Fr. Corcuera added, “As soon as I can go to Mexico, I definitely want to meet with the others, who I esteem and who, I am sure, need a word and gesture of closeness.”

Fr. Corcuera said his conscience is at peace. However, he also stated that he feels great sorrow and sadness for what has happened.  “It is something I could have never imagined the day I was elected at the general chapter.  If I had known everything that was to come, there would have been a funeral because I would have had a heart attack. However, I am proud of this family, and I am very happy with everything that I see,” he said.

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