Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado
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.”
Our Database of Publicly Accused does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.