- Title: New report on child abuse rocks Catholic faithful in Mexico
- Date: 22nd December 2019
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (DECEMBER 22, 2019) (REUTERS) PRIESTS DURING MASS FAITHFUL DURING MASS VARIOUS OF WOMAN READING PASSAGE FROM BIBLE DURING MASS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BISHOP, SALVADOR GONZALEZ, SAYING: "For the next Christmas celebration to demonstrate a firm sense of community, to receive the baby Jesus with hope, being aware of situations of poverty and a dehumanisation, of sins in all its forms and the oppression of man." STATUE OF JESUS ON THE CROSS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CATHOLIC WORSHIPPER, ENIMIA ROJAS, SAYING: "I think that religion is for us to feel good. We come and trust the Church with the wellbeing of a child, and this happens. This is very bad and that's why a lot of faith has been lost. People go to other religions under which the same thing happens. So where is one to go for refuge?" FAITHFUL DURING MASS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CATHOLIC WORSHIPPER, SALVADOR ORTEGA, SAYING: "I think that priests should be representative of a moral standing. It (abuse allegations) is serious, and recognising them now is a step to start getting familiar (with the situation), so I think it (report) is good." VARIOUS OF FAITHFUL RECEIVING COMMUNION DURING MASS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LOCAL RESIDENT, FERNANDA MORENO, SAYING: "It is something that should be recognised, in favour of the people, of justice. But to recognise this (report) as if it is something to be proud of, no. This is the 21st century. An important decade in humanity is coming to a close and they (Church) are just starting to recognise this and that it happened. I think it is unacceptable." VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF MEXICO CITY CATHEDRAL
- Embargoed: 5th January 2020 23:25
- Keywords: Legionaries Mexico Vatican Vatican City child abuse report
- Location: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO / VATICAN CITY, VATICAN
- City: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO / VATICAN CITY, VATICAN
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001BB25E13
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Sexual abuse of minors was rife among superiors of the Legionaires of Christ Catholic religious order, with at least 60 boys abused by its founder Father Marcial Maciel, a report by the group showed.
The report is important because for decades until 2006, including during all of the pontificate of Pope John Paul, the Vatican dismissed accusations by seminarians that Maciel had abused them sexually, some when they were as young as 12.
The order said the report, which was released on Saturday (December 21) and covers the period since Maciel founded it in his native Mexico in 1941 to this year, was "an additional attempt (by the Legionaires) to confront their history."
Maciel, who died in 2008, was perhaps the Roman Catholic Church's most notorious pedophile, even abusing children he had fathered secretly with at least two women while living a double life and being feted by the Vatican and Church conservatives.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 92, who was secretary of state under John Paul, was for years one of the Legionaires' biggest protectors in the Vatican. Pope Francis accepted his resignation as dean of the College of Cardinals on Saturday and simultaneously changed church law to limit the dean's position to a five-year term, rather than for life.
The Vatican first acknowledged Maciel's crimes in 2006, when former Pope Benedict ordered him to retire to a life of "prayer and penitence." But Benedict resisted calls from some in the Church who said the order should be dissolved because it was toxic to the core. The Vatican instead took over the order in 2010 and began a process of reform.
The new report says that between 1941 and 2019, 175 minors were victims of abuse by 33 priests in the order. At least 60, or about one-third, were abused by Maciel himself, it said. Most victims were boys between 11 and 16, it said.
(Production: Roberto Ramirez, Manuel Carrillo, Paul Vieira)
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