Victims criticize sex abuse report released by Maciel’s Legionaries of Christ

24/12/2019
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14:38
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AP
Victims criticize sex abuse report released by Maciel’s Legionaries of Christ

Victims criticize sex abuse report released by Maciel’s Legionaries of Christ

24/12/2019
14:38
AP
Mexico City
-A +A
According to media reports, Vatican authorities knew about the abuse but ignored the situation

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In Mexico, victims of sexual abuse by priests from the Roman Catholic Legionaries of Christ sharply criticized an internal report on pedophilia released on December 21.

On Monday, the victims called the report incomplete, saying that it is missing some victims and does not denounce those who covered up the sexual abuse cases, allowing them to continue molesting children for years.

“It is a small report. We have no idea about its foundations. We do not know where they get the numbers from nor how they did the investigation,” said Ana Lucía Salazar, a woman who was abused by a Legionnaire when she was 8 years old.

Marcial Maciel abused 60 children

“It is tainted and weakened because the victims of (Legionaries of Christ founder) Marcial Maciel alone were more than 120, and they do not name those who covered it up or were complicit,” Salazar said.

The report issued by the Legionaries of Christ identifies 33 priests and 71 seminarians accused of sexually abusing minors since the religious order was founded by pedophile Marcial Maciel, nearly eight decades ago.

It says that 175 people were abused by priests, including 60 by the late Maciel. But it did not specify the number abused by seminarians, though it did show there was a multigenerational chain of abuse with victims later becoming abusers.

Child sex abuse reaches alarming levels in Mexico

Other victims such as Alberto Athie, an academic and former priest who was one of the first to denounce Marcial Maciel, also insisted on the need to identify those who covered up the abuse.

Maciel died in 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida, after the Catholic church forced him to resign as head of the Legionaries of Christ.

The Mexican church also criticized the report: “This report arrives late, incomplete, and under a cloud of suspicion that what is said there is not all there is,” Monterrey Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera, president of the Mexican Bishop’s Conference, told reporters on December 24.

Cabrera said that “there was a very large criminal cover-up” and a “criminal silence” on the part of Vatican authorities and members of the Legion of Christ who failed to report abuses or prevented others from doing so.

The leaders of the Legionaries of Christ will discuss the report at a general meeting in January.

Salazar and other victims say there can be reconciliation only where all the guilty are punished and the order is purged of abusers.

“They have only tried to wash the face” of the order, Salazar said. “And it is not working. People have not looked kindly on it, and we victims are angry because each one who is not counted is being re-victimized.”

Child sexual abuse increases by 39% in Mexico

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