Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, February 12, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

SJB Ravioli Dinner 2016

Home : News : Local
New head of Legionaries of Christ weighs burden of founder's sins
Catholic News Service photo
Mexican Father Eduardo Robles Gil, the new general director of the Legionaries of Christ, is pictured during an interview in Rome. 
Catholic News Service photo
Mexican Father Eduardo Robles Gil, the new general director of the Legionaries of Christ, is pictured during an interview in Rome. 
Catholic News Service


ROME — When accusations of sexual abuse against Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and then-general director of the Legionaries of Christ, were first published in 1997, Father Eduardo Robles Gil was running one of the congregation's schools in Mexico City.

Father Robles Gil did not believe Father Maciel had molested boys in his own seminaries, yet the accusations troubled him, and he asked himself what he would do if they turned out to be true.

"I said, 'I am happy being a priest, it is where God wants me, and he called me to the Legion, so I would continue being a Legionary priest,'" he told Catholic News Service Feb. 28. "Having made that decision, I was no longer affected so much by what might come out in the newspaper."

Today, Father Robles Gil is the troubled congregation's new general director. He is the congregation's first elected leader after nearly four years of Vatican-supervised reform that, he said, have left members full of "hope, enthusiasm (and) optimism."

The Mexican priest was chosen during the Legionaries' extraordinary general chapter, which closed Feb. 25 after approving a new constitution, which remains unpublished pending final approval by Pope Francis.

The seven-week gathering of 61 Legionary priests from 11 countries also issued a letter condemning Father Maciel's "reprehensible and objectively immoral behavior," including "abuse of minor seminarians," "immoral acts with adult men and women," "arbitrary use of his authority and of material goods," "indiscriminate consumption of addictive medicines" and plagiarism.

Father Robles Gil told CNS neither he nor any other Legionary leader knew about Father Maciel's crimes before 2006, when the Vatican disciplined the founder, instructing him to follow a "life reserved to prayer and penitence, renouncing all public ministry."

It was only after Father Maciel's death in 2008, when his successor personally told him the accusations were true, that Father Robles Gil believed in the founder's guilt.

"Father Maciel handled himself in a very intelligent way in order to be able to hide his things," the general director said.

Although the founder often withdrew thousands of dollars of cash at a time, supposedly for travel, he kept his biggest illicit dealings separate from the congregation's finances, said Father Robles Gil, who  served as treasurer of the Legionaries' Mexican branch for two years in the early 1990s.

The new general director later sat on a commission dealing with some of Father Maciel's victims, seven of whom received what he describes as "symbolic" amounts of financial compensation for sexual abuse.

Now, the general director said: "I don't know anyone inside the Legion who says it is not certain Father Maciel did these things."

Father Robles Gil does not rule out, nor does he lament, the possibility that some members still feel close to the founder.

"Someone can have a father who committed sins, who abandoned his mother, and continue loving his father," he said. "Someone can read the books of Oscar Wilde and enjoy the books of Oscar Wilde without worrying whether he was a sinner or not."

Although Father Maciel's published works are free of doctrinal error, the Legionaries no longer assign them to their seminarians, the general director said.

"If you cannot present someone as a teacher, neither can you present his writings for the purpose of priestly formation," he said.

Father Robles Gil said Father Maciel's disgrace is a serious handicap for the congregation, because canon law calls on religious orders to be faithful to their founders' spirit, but Father Maciel can no longer serve as such a "reference point" for members.

Legionaries have thus been forced to "leap over" their founder and discover their charism in the Gospel, church teachings and their own experience of spirituality, the general director said.

That God chose to found the congregation through an instrument as flawed as Father Maciel is an example of the "mystery of human liberty," he said.

"But tell me what good work, in the whole church and the whole world, wasn't made by a sinner?" he asked. "The size of this sin may be bigger and more incoherent, but all the good things in the world, in history, have been made by sinners."





Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved