Vatican Launches Investigation into Sac Churches

CBS 13
April 2, 2009

The Vatican has launched an investigation into Sacramento-area churches and priests that are part of a religious order whose founder was accused of abuse.

Church leaders say they are not surprised by the investigation, considering the recent scandal surrounding the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, who fathered a child and is accused of molesting boys and using drugs.

The alleged victims say the sexual abuse happened in the 1950s in Spain, but the Vatican is investigating the conservative religious order with a strong presence in Sacramento.

Father Lino Otero, the pastor of Our Lady of Guadeloupe Parish, says his church, a seminary in Colfax and the University of Sacramento, the only Legion-run university in the country, will be under scrutiny.

"We welcome it," Father Otero said. "If there is anything, they will find it."

Chico Chavez, who was sexually molested by a Sacramento priest as a child, fears that nothing may be done no matter what the Vatican discovers.

"We may never know what truly comes out of this investigation," he said. "Being a victim of a priest, a Catholic priest sexually molesting me, I would be skeptical of what the church is doing because of their track record."

Church leaders do not know when the investigators will come or how long they will stay.


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