The pope’s envoy running the disgraced Legion of Christ religious order says the 1,000-plus rules governing the cult-like life of some of its members are invalid and will be whittled down to a core set of norms.
Pope Benedict XVI took over the Legion last year after the order admitted its Mexican founder sexually abused seminarians and fathered three children.
When Pope Benedict XVI took over the disgraced Legion of Christ religious order last year, expectations were high that heads would roll over one of the greatest scandals of the 20th century Roman Catholic Church.
But in the absence of radical change, the movement has seen a dramatic decline in membership since the scandal was revealed in 2009.
The papal official running the disgraced Legionaries of Chris
t has warned that the conservative order faces “certain shipwreck” unless its superiors and members work together to change course following revelations that their founder led a double life.
The Vatican has named a Spanish archbishop to investigate Regnum Christi, a cult-like
group affiliated with the Legionaries of Christ
, the conservative religious order disgraced by revelations
its founder sexually abused seminarians and fathered three children.
In an investigative report over the weekend, The Associated Press exposed the cult-like conditions in which the women of Regnum Christi live.
Pope Benedict XVI has ordered a probe into the ultra-conservative Legionaries of Christ after allegations that the order’s late founder Marcial Maciel secretly fathered a child
The leadership recently admitted that Maciel, a cult figure among Legionaries, led a “double life” after the discovery of his liaison with the mother of his daughter.
The Legionaries of Christ
, an influential Roman Catholic
religious order, have been shaken by new revelations that their founder, who died a year ago, had an affair with a woman and fathered a daughter just as he and his thriving conservative order were winning the acclaim of Pope John Paul II.
Jim Fair, a spokesman for the Legionaries, said only: “We have learned some things about our founder’s life that are surprising and difficult for us to understand. We can confirm that there are some aspects of his life that were not appropriate for a Catholic priest.”