A blog by the magazine's editors and contributors


The Vatican rules on Maciel (updated)

John Allen reports:

Capping a decade-long on-again, off-again investigation of accusations of sexual abuse, the Vatican has asked Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, to observe a series of restrictions on his ministry. In effect, Vatican sources told NCR this week, the action amounts to a finding that at least some of the accusations against the charismatic 86-year-old Mexican priest are well-founded. Maciel has not been laicized, but the restrictions issued shortly before Easter by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith limit Maciel's public activity, such as his capacity to celebrate public Masses, to give lectures or other public presentations, and to give interviews for print or broadcast.


The AP reports that the Vatican will release a statement on Maciel this Friday.

About the Author

Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



Commenting Guidelines

  • All

John Allen links to a website of the Legionaries defending Maciel. It links to strong statements supporting him by Weigel, Neuhaus, and Glendon, among others.

Yes, it's quite a journalistic feat to drop that in as the walk-away. All those statements of support. All those claims that allegations lack credibility. Apparently the Vatican thinks otherwise.

Wow, wow, wow and more wow. This seems to me a paradigm shift. Benedict XVI also said recently that saints were being made too rapidly and that greater care was in order. Wow again. Deus Caritas Est, the extreme overture to the Orthodox. What is next?

This is truly good news, but I am not surprised. Both this and the stricter approach to canonization seem to me to be indirect rebukes to JPII. Benedict, I suspect, would never have agreed tp the personal prelature for Opus Dei. What next?

It's almost Shakesperean:"out, out, damned spot"

C.S. Lewis wrote the following in Mere Christianity:Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one's first feeling, 'Thank God, even they aren't quite so bad as that,' or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everythingGod and our friends and ourselves includedas bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.

Stuart appears, if I read his intent correctly, to be saying the finding re: Marciel, is a slippery slope, however, I would remind him that as in all things both secular & religious certain people are called upon to render judgment based on evidence. Thus both the church & society are governed by laws and standards. Given the time involved to render a decision one must trust to the fairness of the penalty. So I fail to see how black becomes gray the white. Perhaps Stuart views the decision through his own colored glasses.

"Black becomes gray the white"? "Slippery slope"? I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.

The less we sacralize the clergy the less we will be scandalized by their behavior. Only God is good and we should never forget it.

Woops, Staurt your right I did get careless in my colors. You did indeed move from white to grey to black. So perhaps for this dodo you could explain your little post in nice easy to understand terms of just what you were driving at with respect to the Vatican's ruling on Marciel. I read it as trying to say it wasn't just.Note: I did paraphrase my comment with "if I read his intent correctly..."

"I read it as trying to say it wasn't just."Not at all. For all I know, the ruling is perfectly justified (and perhaps even insufficient). The C.S. Lewis quote is just a cautionary tale about being a little too happy that one's enemies are caught doing something wrong. That's something we all have to watch out for.

I agree with Stuart, but don't believe the word "enemy" applies to Maciel. Not in my mind, anyway.

Add new comment

You may login with your assigned e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.

Or log in with...

Add new comment