170 minors. Victims of 27 priests, 16 of whom continue to be so because in canonical justice, as in civil justice, the crimes of abuse of minors continue to prescribe, and many rapist priests – the majority – die without answering for their crimes, for their sins. These are the updated figures of pedophilia in the Legion of Christ, the congregation founded by what has probably been the greatest predator of minors in the history of the Catholic Church, Marcial Maciel Degollado.
The report, which updates the one presented last year, recognizes that the Legion of Christ pedophiles had one of their favorite corners in our country. Thus, the congregation admits that at least six of the 27 abusive priests that it housed in its bosom (more than half are still within the order) operated in our country, mainly in the seminaries of Salamanca and Ontaneda. The small Cantabrian town was Maciel’s favorite setting. Despite the exercise of transparency, we know little else: neither the names of the abusers (except Maciel’s), nor the number of their victims in Spain. Only after repeated questions, a spokeswoman for the Legion points out that there were at least a score of abused in our country.
It is known that at least 170 minors were abused in the congregation, the vast majority of them children and adolescents between 11 and 16 years old. There are six more cases than those reflected in the previous report. “In 2020, six complaints have arisen for alleged abuse of minors accusing priests not included in the 1941-2019 Report. These complaints refer to alleged events that occurred between 1970 and 2013, emphasizes the report, which claims not to have received any complaint against members of his congregation since 2016.
And what happened to the Spanish? In a communication to the legionaries, its territorial director, Javier Cereceda, admits the abuses “in our novitiate in Salamanca or in one of the two minor seminaries that we had in Spain, especially in Ontaneda (Cantabria)”, where the most of the rapes. Especially those of Marcial Maciel.
“We suffer with his pain and wish for his healing. I express our firm determination to put ourselves at his service in listening and in whatever actions aimed at healing and reparation are necessary,” says Cereceda, who admits, for the first time, that they will compensation. Although we do not know how many or who, because the report does not say.
But, how many minors were abused in Spain, for how long, by whom? Little, or nothing, we know. Only that the abusers in our country were six, and that all of them acted “several times”. We do not know their names, nor the total number of victims, because as they are prescribed cases, they are protected by the Data Protection law, justified in the order. The only name given is that of the founder, Marcial Maciel Degollado.
Two of the six abusive priests have already died, and canonical proceedings are still active on three. None of them are in Spain. They do not have a public ministry and follow their respective security plans in the places where they reside. Except for Maciel, “they are published with the name encoded for legal reasons, although the Congregation in other countries has proceeded to the publication with the full name and surname, name and initials of surnames or initials of first and last names given that legal frameworks they do allow it. ”
Only two condemned
Globally, it is found that the reports are late, very late. Thus, of the 27 abusive priests, three died without being civilly tried, while only two have been convicted by criminal means. “The others have not been prosecuted so far for various reasons, such as the legal situation in different countries or the statute of limitations,” the report admits. Only two of the 27 predators were convicted by the courts.
Regarding canonical justice, two of the 27 priests died without being tried, 16 were sanctioned, eight are currently in canonical proceedings and one received a dispensation from the ministry without trial. “The Holy See has been asked to consider lifting the prescription of eight of these cases so that they can be judged,” says the report, which indicates that “all the cases of the 16 priests who have committed abuse and are still in the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ have been presented to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “. Because more than half of them are still members of the Legion.
The congregation assures that since 2016 no complaint has been received, and that “a process of reparation and reconciliation has been carried out with some 50 of these victims, with the intention of opening the same process to all the victims who so desire” . Asked by this newspaper, the congregation has not been able to say how many Spanish victims have availed themselves of this right, nor how many survivors in the world have been financially compensated.
All the information in www.religiondigital.org