Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado

Order: LC
Ordained: 1944
Status: Settled

Died: 01/30/2008
Diocese: Diocese of St. Augustine FL

From Mexico. Rejected by multiple seminaries, ordained by his uncle. Founder of the Legionaries of Christ in 1941. Called the “most brilliant fundraiser in the modern church.” By 1997 the Legion had seminarians – as young as age 10 – in 18 countries. Maciel sexually abused young boys throughout his career and fathered at least three children with two women. Nine men came forward publicly in 1997 to allege abuse as young boys when they were seminarians. Maciel was suspended from Legion leadership by Pope Pius XII in 1956 reportedly due to accusations of drug abuse and abuse of boys in Mexico. Reinstated in 1958. Pope John Paul II ignored reports of his abuse and, in fact, celebrated Maciel. Removed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, given life of prayer and penitence in Jacksonville FL. Died 1/30/08, age 87. By 2019 all but three of the men who had come forward accepted settlements from the Legionaries. The three called on the order to retract its “lies” about them to the media and called their low 5 figures offer a “humiliation.”

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