“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

August 11, 2009

New Allegations Against Fr. Marcial Maciel Surface in Mexican Press

The left-leaning Mexican daily newspaper,
La Jornada, is reporting an explosive new set of paternity allegations against the late Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

Earlier this year, the religious order was rocked to its foundations by revelations of its founder's fraudulent double life (see my February 3, 2009 commentary on this). New allegations surfaced today in a La Jornada article, which I have translated from the original Spanish and excerpted below:

Three More Children of Marcial Maciel Claim Inheritance Rights

Mexican lawyer José Bonilla Sada has made it known that three [additional] children, born in Mexico, will contest the Legionaries of Christ [claiming] that they should recognize their existence and their rights as heirs to the goods of the religious order's founder.

The litigant, who has as his assistant one Joaquín Aguilar — a victim of sexual abuse committed by ex-priest Nicholas Aguilar — said that he is confident that there is sufficient proof to demonstrate that even the late Pope John Paul II, along with the Legion, knew of the existence of Maciel's three other children, now adults, who were legally recognized by their father but whose names will be kept confidential.

Some months ago, the order founded by the late priest, [who was] accused of sexual abuse against minors, admitted the existence of one of his daughters. Her name, according to Bonilla's account on his blog http://conlajusticia.wordpress.com, is Norma Hilda. She lives in Madrid, Spain, where, along with her mother of the same name, she obtained a non-work related residence visa.

Originally from Guerrero [Mexico], she is approximately 23 years old and maintains a comfortable lifestyle level, such that she does not have to work; she lives in a luxury apartment building and also has other income [rents] from the same building in which she lives. They were acquired by Marcial Maciel with money from benefactors of the congregation.

It was precisely because of this blog that the late priest's three children contacted José Bonilla to represent them; after which they furnished him with a series of documents that verify their relationship to Maciel: photographs showing that they had met with John Paul II, all kinds of letters, and recordings of high-level leaders in the Legion of Christ discussing this issue.

The litigant maintains that the calligraphic [i.e., handwriting] evidence is sufficient to demonstrate that the letters were written by Maciel's own hand, and that his children can be subjected to DNA testing to demonstrate their blood relationship [with him].

At present, the lawyer is studying [the evidence] and composing a civil law suit, in which it would be determined that his clients have inheritance rights, although he admits that before coming to that point he hopes to reach a settlement with the Legion of Christ.

"I suppose," said Bonilla, "that he [Maciel] did leave them money. Our team is working on this, and some informants have have told us that it is a significant amount. One must remember that the Legion surrounded and was for [i.e. at the disposal of] the founder; practically speaking, everything was his.

He indicated that the deceased [priest's] children seek their existence be acknowledged and, eventually, they are contemplating making known [publicly] the life they had at their father's side, in the sense of how it developed, which is to say, what he counseled them, what he taught them, and that they have rights of inheritance. (link to original La Jornada article in Spanish)

Developing . . .


  1. May Jesus have mercy on Fr. Marcial and his victims and children and all those who followed and still follow him.

  2. It would be heartbreaking if JPII knew about all of this. My sources has told me one or two of his close aides who were pro legion kept quite a lot from him.

  3. Why do these adult feel entitled? Shouldn't they get jobs and pay their own way?I'm too working class to understand how taking money meant for Jesus would in anyway be the morally correct thing to do.

  4. Father Koening

    Perhaps more evidence for why JP II should not be canonized. That he was a holy man and is now in Heaven I have no doubt. But declaring him a saint would canonize his papacy about which there are too many questions. Advisors or no, these, and other things, took place on his watch. The "buck" has to stop somewhere.

  5. Pope John Paul II is a saint in my opinion but the opinion that counts is that of our Father in Heaven...and if he wants him to be declared a Saint, that is what will happen :)

    I am one of the millions of people that have been helped by Pope John Paul II since his return to the Father's house. Thank you dear Papa! :)

  6. I'm very much an advocate for the sainthood of our precious Pope John Paul II. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a Saint. Sadly, Saints have flaws. However, protecting the brotherhood at all costs is more of an institutional flaw that John Paul II went along with to get along. Pope Benedict less than ten years ago slapped a reporter for suggesting Maciel was a pervert and asking him questions. This cult-like institutional flaw is alive and well at the Vatican, the Episcopal Conference,Chanceries, right down to the pews. The recent experiences of whistleblowers in Boston Catholics of Cardinal O'Malley's contract with abortionists would frighten the hair off of your head. There is something profoundly wrong with the cult-like mentality across the board and shame on us if we don't pry it out.

    It is unacceptable and it must not and will not stand.

  7. Just another reason enforced celebacy should be done away with

  8. Right. Because married men never have extra-marital affairs.

  9. Obadiah, please. Logically, this situation proves that celibacy is the better part; if priests were all married and had children, those children might well be doing what Maciel's children are doing right now; claiming inheritance rights ie taking money from Our Lord.

    Before a priest is ordained (in the Roman Catholic Church), he knows about the discipline of celibacy. It's not like they suddenly drop taht on his head on the day of his ordination, put a gun to his head and say, "You're going to be celibate and LIKE it!" They CHOOSE it by saying YES to ordination, knowing that this is NOT going to change.

    There's an entire, beautiful theology and spirituality surrounding the gift of celibacy...you might want to take some time to learn about it.

  10. Um, Obadiah, fr. Maciel didn't participate in Enforced Celibacy. THAT'S why he ended up with 6+ kids.

  11. Those who are quick to assert that celibacy should be tossed should understand it's a vow the priests choose to take. They follow the amazing example of the High Priest, Jesus, Son of God. Anyone who can't uphold the virtue should be truthful enough to walk away before they hurt others and cause scandal. The great majority of priests CAN and DO uphold celibacy. It is not impossible, as Jesus exemplified.

  12. Everyone who is heaven is a Saint. Papacies are not sainted - people are. Because we are in an age where we are able to know so many details about everything, we mistakingly assume that we have total understanding. The church has an established set of rules to declare men and women saints. I am guessing that the individuals investigating Pope John Paull II will be more thorough than just reading a bunch of newspapers.

  13. re: Celibacy. Fr. Maciel was thrown out of at least two different seminaries before founding the LC's. Perhaps they saw his proclivity to sins of the flesh and therefore unable to live celibacy? Seems reasonable.

  14. Fr. Maciel was a very talented fellow, but he had some serious problems. It's tempting to wonder what he might have been if he had been able to marry and still be a priest.

  15. What difference would it have made? Fr. Maciel had several mistresses and victims. So it's not like he restricted himself during his lifetime to a single concubine.

    Even married priests, like all married men, must spend time away from their wives, and experience periods of continence because one's wife is unable to participate in the marital act.

  16. It is amazing to me that people focus on the money aspect of it. Do you really believe The Lord needs money? if money is the only thing that the church can offer these victims for what they went through, why not?

  17. It's even more amazing that still there are people who can believe God has something to do with any specific church or religion...And as long as they keep choosing to go blind through their lives, these churches and religions will continue to enrich their leaders ONLY. Wake up, people! God wants all of you to use your money for your own good instead giving it away to self sanctified delinquents.

  18. The point is not whether priests can or cannot be celibate...the question is why do they have to be celibate to be a priest. Why can't the church allow some priests to have families of their own, the ones that know that that is something they want, and the ones who want celibacy - go for it! Becuase to be celibate is a rare and special calling...that not all are capable of. Thus recruiting and ordaining any great amount of men to be priests is like the church is asking for it - the scandals, etc...Either the Church needs to realize that not many can live this way and ordain less or open the spectrum and let them get married and have a fuller realm of spiritual leaders. Just a thought.

  19. If sex is a gift from God, then priests reject this gift when they take the vow of celibacy. Imagine! Seems that would be a sin.

  20. John Paul II knew of allegations against Maciel and protected him. He met some of his children.
    That doesn't wave any flags...a priest with children? Both the Vatican and the upper members of the Legion of Christ protected and enabled Maciel. Maciel, had multiple families, lied, extorted and misused money, bribed Vatican officials, raped boys, girls, young men,even sexually abused three of his own children. He died still a priest with no punishment. His protector Pope John II on the fast track to sainthood? I guess even pedophiles need a patron saint. And the legion of Christ goes on its evil way. Sad The Catholics in the pews, good priests and nuns, and innocent children are the victims. It is time the pedophiles and their protectors become victims.