Archivo de la categoría: Marcial Maciel

Time for the Vatican to take a new stand on sexual abuse

By Ruth Bertels

It was an ordinary August morning, Thursday, the 7th, to be precise, not yet too hot, filled with promise of a completed column, at least by mid-afternoon, with the possibility of a long walk to follow.

Then, there came the news on CNN that orders for the cover up of abused children by priests came from the Vatican, and had been kept secret for 40 years, according to CBS News correspondent, Vince Gonzales.

The policy was written in 1962 and was stored in the secret archives of the Vatican by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, who died on August 3, 1979. The document focused on crimes initiated as part of the confessional relationship and what it calls the ‘worst crime,’ sexual assault committed by a priest or attempted by him with youths of either sex…”

Bishops were instructed “to pursue these cases in the most secretive way …restrained by a perpetual silence … and everyone (including the alleged victim) …is to observe the strictest secret, which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office … under the penalty of excommunication.”

That evening, John Allen, reporter for The National Catholic Reporter, explained on CNN that the letter referred to an older period in the Church and to only the treatment of clergy abuse as an internal matter. Another representative from the New York-based Catholic League echoed Allen’s statement and demanded a retraction by CNN.

On the CBS News site, there is a copy of the document in both Latin and English, though one needs special software to access it.

Personally, like many Catholic writers, I find such news difficult to treat, so much so that this piece was put up on the site last week, then taken down. Of course, it was the wrong decision. A document hidden in the Vatican archives concerning the abuse of children cannot be ignored, no matter how distressful it might be to either the writer or reader, nor how long it has been buried..

Richard Sipe, a former priest, who has written at length on the subject of sexual abuse by priests in his book, Sex, Priests, and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis, is quoted by CBS, in reference to the newly discovered document, as saying: “This is the code for how you must deal with sex by priests. You keep it secret at all costs. And that’s what’s happened. It’s happened in every diocese in this country.” He concludes his work with these thoughts on celibacy:

“What of real value will remain if we reject a celibate/sexual power structure based on categories of superiority, and in turn demand personal application of the gospel message – a universal call to love? Won’t the religious world fall apart? Won’t chaos reign? No. Celibacy will persist – celibate love – and the process of celibacy genuinely entered into and honestly pursued. Marital love equally will remain, integrated and enhanced. The value of sex and its responsible use will be enhanced. Life will be more greatly treasured.” (Italics, mine)

That last sentence: “Life will be more greatly treasured” contains the heartfelt prayer of every sincere Catholic on both sides of the ocean. Treasuring life implies the willingness on behalf of shepherds to protect their flocks from every harm, no matter the personal cost.

While such protection may include one’s fellow bishops, or others in authority, it must not be offered at the expense of the most vulnerable, the little people in the pews.

Rome fails to understand, or refuses to face the reality that, despite, Ottaviani’s efforts long ago, there is nowhere to hide sexual abuse secrets forever, certainly not when they involve such a public figure as the founder of the Legionaires of Christ, Rev. Marciel Maciel Degollado.

When a reporter approached Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on the subject, he was angrily brushed off. Apparently, abuse of boys doesn’t rank up there with fighting off the evils of inclusive language in the liturgy, a married priesthood, or the ordination of women.

However, one would think that a prelate, versed in both moral and dogmatic theology, would take time to consider the special kind of scandal Rome’s ignoring Maciel’s moral turpitude presents to the abused, now-grown men, their families, and the entire Catholic world, for the order ( more properly described as a cult) has become world-wide, and continues to grow more powerful after the pattern of Opus Dei.

Does not the praying, thinking Body of Christ see the Vatican’s position as indifference to God’s people, indifference that philosophers tell us is the opposite of love, for it judges certain people as of no-account, expendable sheep, lost and not worth the finding? Protect Maciel at all costs, no matter who gets hurt in the bargain.

What is the result of such indifference? We have no way of measuring. The other day, over a cup of coffee, a mother of a large family looked at her friend and asked, “Do you ever get the feeling we’ve been had?”

When the laity begin to feel that they are expected to follow laws not required of those in authority, it doesn’t take long for bitterness to settle in, followed by confusion and sadness over their personal, tarnished Holy Grails.

Most hurtful of all is a mother’s scalding tears over the lessons she has taught her children down the years, which now appear to be meaningless. Lately, I’ve been receiving e-mails from such mothers, wondering what they are to say to their children, who tried the Legionaires way of life, and are now living in a desert of disillusionment.

An excellent Web site on this sect is: You will find there testimonials of those who have been abused, along with excellent professional advice on recovering from the brain-washing common to all cults.

We on this side of the pond will continue to hope that the Vatican will follow O’Malley’s example, defrock Maciel, strip him of his position as head of the Legion, and set Rome on a new path of openness and compassion for the members of the hierarchy, priests and laity, who hunger for real leadership from Peter’s Throne.

Maciel’s abuse of the boys in his care is scandalous, yet Rome’s refusal to acknowledge the scandal by keeping him in power is another kind of scandal, and one is hard put to decide which does the greater harm to God’s people.

What we find in O’Malley’s prompt actions since taking over the Boston Archdiocese is his determination to shepherd the wounded sheep in his care, which includes everyone. No one has escaped the heartache of the moral failure of sexual abuse. .

As far as the question goes: “Do you think we’ve been had?” I’ve been pondering it a bit and have decided that we probably have “been had.” That hurts our pride some, doesn’t it? Yet, perhaps, in the Gospel sense, we’ve ended up “being fools for Christ’s sake.” And that’s a different story altogether.

By Ruth Bertels

August 18, 2003


Insights About Pedophiles: From The Victim’s Perspective

Modus Operandi of Pedophiles
(Method of Operation)
Preface: We have compiled some insights about pedophiles gathered over nine years of experience working with adults who have experienced pedophilic violence. Additionally, insights come from the collective wisdom of persons who have survived experiences of pedophilic ritual abuse-torture. Wisdoms shared with us during two years of conducting interviews a “kitchen table” research project which is evolving into a book entitled, “The torturers walk among us”. As we witnessed the survivor’s telling of the monstrous acts inflicted upon them by cruel men and women perpetrators, we concluded that pedophiles engage in very intentional behavior. Having said this, we are aware that the literature speaks to the fact that some acts of pedophilia occur without pre-planned intentionality, to which the perpetrator takes responsibility, has empathy for their victim, and can respond with remorse for the harm they have inflicted, for instance, a one time incident of incestuous rape. One-time ordeals are not the situations we are referring to.

The population of pedophiles we have been “introduced to”, that we speak about, are the “hard-core” pedophiles who engage in intentional repetitive acts of pedophilia, who engage in group pedophilia, who are involved in systemic institutional pedophilia, or who participate in acts of non-political pedophilic torture including ritual abuse-torture.

This paper, although written from the perspective of the victim from the perspective of exposing the impact of pedophilic victimization and traumatization is by no means a complete detail of the extensive harms infants, toddlers, children or youth victims suffer. It does not detail the potential accumulative effects that a young victim may be burdened with in their adult life. Nor does this paper detail the extensive atrocities which pedophilic perpetrators inflict unto their young victims. We have attempted to briefly make visible the suffering of the young person, in the hope this will help society understand and empathize with young victimized persons and their need to have bystanders become involved. We see partnerships between adults who have been victimized as children and non-abusive others which focuses on exposing pedophilic atrocities, which focuses on holding structures like the Church accountable, and which challenges persons who have abused their positional power and public trust to cover up all forms of violence against the young as the prime solution for building a safe society for the children of the future!

In response to discussions we had with persons in Boston, who are working so diligently to have the institution of the Roman Catholic Church hold itself accountable for hiding endemic pedophilic abuse, this paper shares our general insights about pedophilic behavior, uses examples of convicted pedophile priest behaviors or of alleged pedophilic priests behaviors gathered from information reported in the media.


To dominate & to express totalitarian power & control over their victim(s);
To satisfy their needs & desires for cruel & inhumane pleasure & entertainment; and/or,
For greed & money if perpetrators engage in the exploitation of their victim(s) via the “sex” trade and/or pedophilic pornography.

Like-minded men & women, mothers & fathers. Other kin. Friends or neighbors. Persons from all walks of life. Persons who use positional power as a cover. The professional, cleric, or lay person.


Perpetrators their attitude of superiority:
Pedophiles frequently believe they are superior, for instance, in the case of priests they are groomed to believe they are next to god and statements made, this year, by the Pope stating priests have to be perfect people can reinforce a sense of superiority. Such like-mindedness creates a specific group philosophy which supports group think, group attitudes, and group behaviors which, when combined together, transforms into a distorted opinion of Self and a distorted opinion of (persons who do not belong to the group). For pedophilic groups this like-mindedness can be described as:
A perpetrator holding the belief that outsiders victims are inferior;
Having a belief that their victims are inferior makes it easier for the perpetrator to disregard the humanity of their victims and to treat their victims as objects this is called objectification;
Once objectified the child/youth is sexualized turned into a sex object; then,
To help excuse their pedophilic behaviors the perpetrator engages in blame-the-victim” excuses. The victim is blamed for what happened to him/her, for example, western society blamed the slaves for their slavery, the Nazis believed the Jews and other marginalized persons such as homosexual or disabled persons, and gypsies were inferior and thus deserving of the atrocities inflicted upon them. Similarly, pedophiles will blame their child/youth victim by saying the child/youth was being sexually provocative, was dressing or moving in a sexually-permissive manner, or instigated the sexualized behavior. Case in point, accused priest Shanley, making a speech at a Man Boy Love pedophilic conference, is quoted as saying that children are responsible for all sexual behavior with adults including incest and bestiality.

These ideological processes of making another group inferior, objectifying them, then engaging in victim blaming are processes perpetrators of human atrocities take to enable them to intentionally harm innocent persons without feeling guilt or remorse.[1] As one pedophilic priest stated, “once I got past the `sin’ all I had left was the pleasure.”[2] Our work suggests pedophiles that commit acts of pedophilic ritual abuse-torture also engage in these same processes which enables them to take cruel pleasure in harming their infant, toddler, child, or youth victims without feeling any emotional turmoil or remorse.

Victim blaming tactics:
Victim blaming can be consistent throughout every thought and act the pedophile performs, it serves to keep pedophiles from feeling any shame, guilt, remorse, or caring about their child/youth victim. Victim blaming is about blame shifting. Blame shifting tactics permit the pedophile to transfer responsibility for their acts of pedophilic abuse unto their child/youth victim. Victim blaming and blame shifting commonly transfers emotional shame, blame, guilt, and worthlessness unto the victimized child/youth who can then spiral into emotional Self-loathing. Self-loathing can manifest into Self-harming behaviors such as Self cutting, drug and alcohol misuse, criminal activity, “sex” trade activities, or suicidality as ways of coping with their over-whelming suffering.
Persons who are in positions of power can also use “blame-the-victim” tactics, as Cardinal Law did when he claimed Gregory Ford and his family were, in part, responsible for Gregory’s alleged abuse by Shanley. Such blame-the-victim statements, although an attempt to protect the establishment, do provide support to the perpetrator, and do harm the victim.

Pedophiles demonstrate an inability to empathize with their child/youth victim and will objectify their child/youth victim by referring to them as an “it”. Pedophiles treat the child/youth victim as a non-person, an object, or a possession. As a possession the pedophile can feel justified in doing whatever they please to satisfy their cruel “pleasures”. They can use and abuse their child/youth victim in whatever manner feels pleasurable because their distorted thinking supports their beliefs that their pedophilic acts are not harmful or hurtful for the child/youth. They may even believe that the pain is “good” for the child/youth “its makes you stronger than the outsiders.”[3] These very egocentric and arrogant views and the oppressive views of children/youth are also rooted, in our opinion, in a historical and on-going social devaluation and hatred of children/youth. We have coined the word “childogny” to name this systemic hatred and devaluation. Childogny negates the child/youth as a person with human rights and responsibilities.

Demanding unquestionable loyalty and obedience:
Rigid rules such as “obey your elders” or fostering within children/youth the belief that authority figures are not to be questioned the priest’s, teacher’s, or Scout leader’s opinion is absolute can make children/youth unquestionably compliant and vulnerable to the manipulation of abusers. Creating an environment in the church or school system, for instance, where hierarchy dominates by maintaining unquestionable power and control, where positional authority is blindly obeyed and demanding of blind loyalty and obedience from others from the status quo parishioners or the students, for example can facilitate the pedophile’s ability to hide their pedophilic behavior. The secret of systemic pedophilia, such as has occurred in the Church, becomes well protected when unquestionable loyalty and obedience are viewed as virtues.

Abusing positional power:

Professional roles are accompanied by positional power. A pedophilic priest, nurse, doctor, or teacher for instance, can misuse their positional power as a tool to oppress and manipulate their child/youth victim. For instance, society and structures like the church have acted to believe and support the priest with his positional power versus the powerless child/youth!
Adulthood in itself brings positional power to the adult-child relationship. Adults are larger in size than young children, adults have developmental maturity and life experiences which children/youth do not have, and an adult’s positional power implies a trust and a dependency upon which the child/youth ought to be able to rely. When the pedophile uses the adult-child relationship to disguise their pedophilic plans, the pedophile is able to manipulate, intimidate, and “set-up” their child/youth victim. Should the child/youth try to tell of their abuse the pedophile’s positional power can easily override the child/youth victim’s voice, or the child/youth is very frequently not believed, or the child/youth’s parent(s) may even punish their child/youth for saying such “untruths” about a priest, for instance. Abusive pedophilic adult power comes disguised in many forms such as the family friend, a friendly neighbor, or the school volunteer.

The long term, short term, and crisis planning of pedophiles:
Pedophiles have many layers of intentional behavior as they deliberately set out to hunt their child/youth victims. Hunting tactics includes long term, short term, and crisis planning. For example:
Long term planning includes making career choices that will give the pedophile access to children/youth, for instance, becoming a priest, a pediatrician or pediatric nurse, a dentist, child care worker, teacher, or baby-sitter, etc. To reduce the possibility of discovery pedophiles may be selective of where they perpetrate. For example, a dentist will plan it so their child/youth victim’s appointment will be the last appointment in the day when staff has gone home and privacy is assured. Other perpetrators plan pedophilic acts during vacation or traveling to foreign countries where they are unknown and child exploitation laws are lax, as in Thailand.
Short term planning includes living in locations frequented by children/youth, such as near a school, a school bus stop, or a playground. It can mean moving to job areas that have little or no screening or reporting policies mandating the reporting of suspicions of child/youth abuse to the police. For instance, lack of mandatory reporting of allegations of child/youth abuse to the police has been the norm in the Roman Catholic Church. Short term planning for a priest may mean choosing to gain the blind trust of parent(s) who are devout and trusting Catholics before perpetrating sexualized violence against their children/youth; for others it may mean becoming a youth group leader, working with street youth, or becoming a scout leader or volunteer. Working with marginalized and vulnerable children/youth of single parent families, immigrant children/youth, or children/youth living in poverty also enables pedophiles to plan how to gain access to potential child/youth victims. Communicating with other pedophiles about “good” places or “how-to” gain access to children/youth by sharing Internet victim recruitment techniques is another way pedophiles gain knowledge about hunting for child/youth victims.
Crisis planning comes into effect when the pedophile feels their exposure is imminent. Crisis interventions can include moving or transferring suddenly, for instance, transferring to another diocese, or moving to another community or country, or to another job. It can mean disappearing quietly by claiming health concerns as the reason for leaving a position or community, disappearing by going on a sudden holiday, or by requesting an accelerated retirement.

Resisting accountability:
Pedophiles commonly fail to take either responsibility for their actions or hold them-Selves
accountable, instead the perpetrator uses deceitfulness, chronic lies, half-truths, excuses, and denial to discredit the child/youth victim who is trying to tell and be heard. Additionally, pedophiles may claim the child/youth victim misinterpreted the events, is exaggerating, is telling lies, or is confused about cultural behaviors. Combined with the reality child/youth are very frequently not believed and that the pedophile’s excuses are most often believed, the child/youth victim can become and feel entrapped silenced! By using these tactics a pedophile can build a “box of entrapment around the child/youth victim.”
One example of how “cultural differences” was brought into a discussion by an alleged pedophilic priest is when, “Berthold [a priest] acknowledged … that he had kissed Sellars [alleged victim] … on the cheeks not on the lips. Having studied in France between 1969 and 1971, Berthold said he had become accustomed to kissing people on the cheeks.”[4] Cultural differences ought never be considered an excuse for violating a child/youth’s boundaries nor is it an excuse for abusive and intrusive behavior.

Making excuses for one’s pedophilic behavior is another tactic perpetrators use. When Shanley, a priest, was arrested he made the statement that he was raped in the seminary. This statement is paramount to providing him-Self with an excuse it happened to me so I am not responsible for what I did for his alleged behavior of abusing children.

Persons in positions of power can also act in ways that are supportive of pedophiles, excusing the pedophile of their accountability for their sexualized violence. For instance, during the first weeks of the pedophilic scandal in the Roman Catholic church in Boston, Cardinal Law constantly asked for prayers for the priests accused of inflicting the abuse, he failed to mention the suffering of the victims until the public outcry became so loud he “chose” to speak of the suffering of the victims.
Associating with good people and good causes:
By surrounding themselves with good people pedophiles can hide their harmful and cruel intentions. They become even more invisible as they use the good intentions of others as a cover or join good causes such as groups that are for the protection of children/youth become a Block Parent or Big Brother for instance. Who would suspect a pedophile would join a good cause? This manipulative technique of using and fooling bystanders make it harder for bystanders to believe child/youth victims when they disclose their abuse.
Building community trust a goal for pedophilic hunters:
Pedophiles with positional power, teachers, priests, doctors, or nurses, for instance, can and do use positional power not only to build trust within adult-child relationships, they use positional power to build trust within their relationships with the parents of their potential child/youth victims, and with other adults within the community. By gaining the trust of adults and the trust of the community, the pedophile has unquestionable access to child/youth victims because the pedophile is perceived as a dedicated community worker. Trustworthiness camouflages their true goal of “hunting” for child/youth victims. The pedophile’s activities remains invisible and above suspicion. Pedophiles can and do develop such a “good person persona” they are often the last person to be suspected of abusing children/youth. Their ability to create an ideal image and their skill at leading a double life is crucial for a pedophile to succeed at their goal of hunting children/youth for their cruel pleasure of sexualized abuse or sexualized ritual abuse-torture of their child/youth victim.

Creating “specialness”:
The child/youth is often told by the pedophile, “you are special”. This statement is commonly reinforced when the child/youth’s parent(s), for example, also perceive or feel privileged that their child/youth is being treated with specialness that their child/youth is the “the chosen one” chosen or “blessed” to be befriended by a priest or a person with positional power, importance, and authority. Placing unquestionable value and importance on positional power can condition the child/youth to believe and feel important and special simply by their association with a person with positional power, for instance, feeling special because they are in an adult-child relationship with a priest, a teacher, or Cub leader. Specialness relationships can create opportunities for the pedophile to manipulate the child/youth victim and when significant others such as parents place a value on such specialness relationships this value can act as parental pressure that can lock the child/youth into not telling about their abuse. Healthy relationships not specialness relationships are safe relationships!
Abusive priestly-child/youth relationships which allowed priest to capitalize on their position of specialness and blessedness has a historical legacy, as shared by Will R. Bird in his writings of being a World War soldier in France. He told the story of the day he and other soldiers were sitting in a café and how he never forgot the people’s blind acceptance of the “priest’s rule”, which the waitress explained when:

Two of the soldiers whistled sharply and waved at the pretty girl walking by
and were told, “You waste your time …that is the priest’s girl … She is
his girl, she sleep with him. It is a great honour for her. And she has been
with him since January … He change every two or three months for a new one.”[5]

Emotional abuse fear, terror, or horror:
By inflicting emotional fear, terror, or horror unto the child/youth victim the pedophile destabilizes and confuses the child/youth. Confusion interferes with their ability to clearly understand what the pedophile is doing to them. Their thoughts and emotions become chaotic. The combined impact of these high intensity and over-whelming emotions of fear, terror, and horror, and the confusion and chaos all interfere with the child/youth’s ability to make sense of the abusive adult-child/youth relationship. Confusion and chaos make it easier for the pedophile to convince the child/youth victim that the sexual abuse is normal behavior, that it is for their own good, and that it will help them learn about sexuality and sex. All forms of emotional abuse can create confusion for child/youth victims and if the abuse is on going, each specific time and each specific ordeal can become blurred the ordeals of repetitive victimization are fused together the traumatization, the suffering, accumulative.

Spiritual abuse:
Priests bring a unique religious-based spiritual component to an adult-child/youth relationship. To intentionally abuse their religious positional power and trust, to intentionally use their priesthood as a tool to help them commit pedophilic acts adds a uniquely shocking religious-based spiritual violation to the child/youth’s victimization and suffering. Furthermore, to use religious beliefs and practices, such as the taking of communion, as other tools useful in the commission of their acts of abuse adds another depth of violation. Religious-based spiritual abuse can cause on-going confusion, depressiveness, and a loss of religious-based spiritual faith that can last a lifetime.

Priesthood plus religious beliefs and practices can be made deviant and used as tools for pedophilic abuse, which allegedly happened when Martin Elli alleged that when he was being driven home from a Washington field trip by a priest and the priest urged Martin ” . . . to give him oral sex, blessing it as a way to receive Holy Communion.”[6] Compounding oral rape by using deviant religious practices is the very literal act of using “priestly” acts for spiritual consumption via “seminal communion”.[7] Using oral rape as a form of communion causes spiritual distortion and confusion for the child/youth victim who perceives they ought to believe in and obey the priest without question because the priest is next to god and all knowing. Spiritual confusion makes the child/youth even more vulnerable because spiritual abuse also attacks the fundamental developmental question of, “Who am I?” Am I a good person or a bad person? This is a question with an immense spiritual domain.
From our experience, the use of some form of deviant religious beliefs and practices in combination with sexualized violence is a common technique used by some pedophiles, whomever they may be pedophilic priest or a perpetrator of ritual abuse-torture who uses some form of christian-satanic, christian-luceriferin, or jewish-satanic beliefs and practices. Deviant religious beliefs and practices are used to enforce a sense of spiritual consumption unto a child/youth victim. Spiritual abuse, “being one with god or one with satan”, can make the child/youth feel totally and spiritually consumed by the perpetrator, giving the pedophile even greater power and control over their child/youth victim.

Sexuality and spirituality are intimately connected. Sexualized violence committed by a priest, minister, or rabbi, in their professional and spiritual role, adds a very deep and spiritually abusive component to the pedophile’s behavior and to their victim’s traumatization. Our experiences suggest the child/youth victim may have grave difficulty disclosing their abuse because they do not want to violate their spiritual relationship with god or satan or with god’s or satan’s representative the pedophile whom they perceive as having next to godly or satanic power. To tell on the perpetrator may also leave the child/youth victim feeling as if they are hurting their own spirituality because they may perceive their spirituality as being connected to their “spiritual” perpetrator. Thus, when increased Self-blaming occurs so too may be the risks for suicidality for the child/youth victim.
Absorption and consumption of the child/youth victim:
Perpetrators who attempt to absorb and control their child/youth victim’s spirituality may also attempt to consume and control their child/youth victim’s sense-of-Self or identity. Exerting powerful influences over their child/youth victim in an effort to mold their child/youth victim’s religious spiritual beliefs, for instance, can lead a chil/youth to have a sense of oneness with the perpetrator. A perpetrator may express this connection of “oneness” as “you belong to me, you are mine”. The pedophilic perpetrator consumes the child/youth victim and the pedophile will not differentiate between their harmful and abusive needs and desires and the human rights of the child/youth not to be hurt and abused. For example, in man-boy “sex”, the pedophile will profess that their sexualized pleasure is also pleasurable or “good” for the child/youth victim.

Planning the selection of their child/youth victim:
Pedophiles often and intentionally choose their victims according to their personal preferences, by specific age groups, by gender, or by specific physical attributes, for example:
By age:

infants and toddlers – victims who cannot talk can not tell and are too small to resist the abuse thus the pedophile feels safe and at low risk of being discovered;
birth-6 yr olds – growth and developmentally it is easier to distort a child’s sense of reality at this young age. These are the years when the child is developing their relationship with Self and a pedophilic adult, a person in a position of trust and on whom the child depends, such as a teacher, priest, or parent, can easily distort the child’s relationship with Self by normalizing sexualized abuse. An example of this would be a baby sitter, priest, or doctor who tells the child that he/she is touching the child’s genital as a way to teach the child about sexuality because, “You will be a woman one day so you will know what to do.” Because the child depends on these adult persons and has been taught to trust them the child ignores their own discomforting thoughts and feelings, even though the touch does not feel right, believing that these adults know best. The pedophile has succeeded in distorting the child’s relationship with Self, has succeeded in teaching the child to listen to the pedophile versus listening to them-Self. The child has been made vulnerable and is at risk for experiencing on-going abuse. Part of the solution lies in teaching children to listen to there own emotional feelings and thoughts, to develop their Voice, to tell when they feel unsafe, and for adults to listen;
3-12 yr olds – pedophiles may prefer this aged child’s prepubescent body shape, their lack of body hair, or small and developing breasts;
14-18 adolescents – pedophiles may select this age group because it is easier to blame the youth, stating the youth is responsible and was consenting to the “sexualized” acts;
18 yrs old and over – provides safety in the “so-called” consensual agreement, making it easier for the pedophile to totally hold the victim responsible for the perpetrator’s behavior despite the differential in power and position between the adult and youth within the youth-adult relationship; and/or

By specific gender preferences:
Some pedophiles prefer boys, some girls; some will abuse both genders depending on opportunity and accessibility of their potential child/youth victim.

By specific physical attributes:
A pedophile may choose their potential victim based on physical attributes, for instance, they may prefer a red-haired child/youth or a dark-skinned child/youth. Another example described to us by an adult, who had been forced as a child into the “off-street” sexualized exploitation “trade”, involved children being was made to hide behind a curtain then forced to poke their hands out from behind the curtain so the pedophile could examine the children’s hands. The children were made to believe that they were chosen as a victim because the pedophile liked their hands.[8]

Pedophiles may let their child/youth victims go stop using and abusing them if the risk for discovery is too great, if the child/youth is at a point of disclosing the abuse, or when the child/youth’s development makes them “unattractive” to the pedophile. Pedophilic parent(s) may deprive their child/youth of food in an attempt to keep their child/youth’s body underdeveloped to insure their on-going pedophilic pleasures or to insure their child/youth remains “marketable” for the pedophilic pornography and “sex” trade.

Sexualized multi-perpetrator group processes:
Pedophilic activity can extend beyond the single perpetrator-victim relationship to involve a pedophilic group process that can include more than one child/youth victim. The presence of multi-perpetrators forces the child/youth victims into compliance simply because they are outnumbered. Multi-perpetrator group processes also offers the pedophiles more opportunities to manipulate their power and control, it increases the child/youth’s victimization and sense of guilt, and pushes them into believing they are a “bad person” to be involved in such horrible acts with many pedophiles.
If the group process involves more than one child/youth victim the pedophiles can manipulate some vulnerable child/youth victim’s needs for love and acknowledgement so the child/youth will attempt to be good, be perfect, to please their perpetrator, and to make their perpetrator happy in an effort to gain “specialness” over the other child/youth victims. The pedophile then manipulates this need to gain specialness by pitting one child/youth against another. Such manipulation ignites a sense of distorted jealousy and competitiveness between child/youth victims as they struggle to maintain their position of specialness within their relationship with their perpetrator in the hopes a specialness position will offer protection from other pedophiles, for example. Perpetrators use such manipulation to entrap the child/youth victim into silence.

Multi-pedophile groups can force or manipulate a child victim to victimize another child, for instance, “if you smear fecas on Margaret then you will not have to eat the fecas.”[9] Perpetrators use this technique to burden the “victimizing” child/youth with horrendous blame, shame, and guilt because the child/youth is forced to perceive it was their fault, that they caused harm to another child/youth, and that they must be a very bad person. Perpetrators know these “no-win” over-whelming ordeals are a method of gaining protection for them-Selves because the child/youth victims are so burdened with guilt, blame, and shame that it can lock them into silence and secrecy forever. To reinforce the child victim’s silence perpetrator’s state, “no one will ever believe you if you tell!”

Family/group pedophilic rapes also means the children/youth are exposed to, are witness to, the sexualized violence inflicted unto other children as well as to the sexualized adult behaviors. These images, sounds, smells, tastes, and physical and emotional feelings compound the severity of the child’s victimizing and traumatizing ordeals. Other horrific acts such as bestiality cause further traumatization.
“Luring-in” techniques and patterns:
Pedophiles have and do use repetitive patterns and tactics to lure in their selected and potential child/youth victims, such as:

Building trust into their relationship with their potential victim by, for example:

Inserting them-Self into the child/youth’s everyday life activities,
Using non-intrusive touch to manipulate their potential child/youth victim into becoming comfortable with touching,
Gradually changing the touch into sexualized touch which will progress to pedophilic assault, and/or,
Telling the child/youth they are “special”

Isolating the child/youth, for instance, by:

Taking the child/youth places alone on trips, camping, to ball games for example at first for fun, then for pedophilic assault,
Using treats as a repetitive engagement pattern which makes the relationship appear normal, for instance, every Sunday the pedophile takes the child for an ice cream cone but the reality is once in the car the child is entrapped and victimized by the pedophilic hunter, and/or
Telling the child that “This is our special secret and you must never tell anyone.”

Acting in a role of educator by telling the child/youth that their role is to teach the child/youth about sex, which leads to pedophilic sexualized abuse, and/or,

Using familiarity, for instance,
By sneaking up on a child/youth victim in a place the child/youth perceives as non-threatening the pedophilic priest who uses the confessional, the rectory, or the basement of the church as a site for perpetration, or who invades the child/youth’s home, the child/youth’s bedroom, the child/youth’s own bed, or
Using a place that was geographically made familiar to the child/youth and that was previously made familiar in fun, such as a familiar hotel room, a previous summer trip to a cottage, a boating trip, or a youth camping trip, which suddenly turns into a site for pedophilic entrapment and sexualized violence.

Turning familiar places into sites for pedophilic entrapment and sexualized violence can cause instant and over-whelming emotional chaos and disorientation for the child/youth victim, which, in turn, increases the child/youth victim’s vulnerability. With control of the environment the pedophile can exert added power and control over the child/youth victim. Operating in familiar sites can also provide safety and security for the perpetrator, reducing the possibility they will be caught. On the other hand, to operate in a familiar site such as in the child/youth victim’s home, where there is a risk of being caught, adds a perverse thrill to the pedophile’s hunting and their pleasures of sexualized violence.
Bietighofer, a former pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut, used some of the above techniques in his alleged sexualized abuse of boys. “He would allegedly pull young boys out of classes at Blessed Sacrament and take them to his rectory office or bedroom, where he would engage them in conversations about girls or relationships, and then pull down their pants and fondle them.”[10]

Entrapment occurs whenever a pedophile abuses their adult position within the adult-child/youth relationship; however, when a pedophile takes the child/youth victim to a strange place the pedophile gains even more control over the child/youth victim because the child/youth victim is outside of their comfort and safety zone. Isolated from sources of help, the entrapped child/youth is forced to connect and dependent on their pedophilic perpetrator for their survival. Feeling entrapped in a life-threatening ordeal that increases the child/youth victim’s emotion fearfulness, terrorization, and horrification. Confused, the child/youth can experience a sense of captivity, powerlessness, and hopelessness and is over-whelmed. For some pedophiles seeing terror in the eyes of their captive child/youth victim “turns them on” so they will intentionally exert whatever forces are needed to fulfill their needs and desires to experience this specific thrill and pleasure.

Drugging their child/youth victims intentionally, using alcohol for example, decreases their child/youth victim’s resistance and increases their vulnerability to victimization. This technique of drugging can entrap the child/youth victim into Self-blame “I shouldn’t have drank, it’s my fault I got abused.” By creating a situation that shifts blame unto their child/youth victim affords the pedophile additional safety and security that their child/youth victim will not tell.

Using peer pressure to enforce silence and secrecy can occur when a perpetrator engages at least several child/youth victims in sexualized violence at one time. Should such a situation occur the victimized children/youth are confronted with not only telling on the perpetrator but also disclosing another child/youth’s secret telling on their peer(s). Perpetrators know that children/youth seldom want to tell on their peer(s) especially if they believe their pee(s) will be hurt. Using peer pressure to maintain a child/youth victim’s secrecy and silence is another technique some perpetrators can and do use to protect them-Selves from being exposed.

Threats and intimidation are behaviors pedophiles may resort to when the risk of detection goes up. For instance, the pedophilic perpetrator might:
Make threatening statements like, “I will kill you if you tell”; “I’ll kill your parent(s), sibling(s), pet(s)”, or “I’ll hurt your friend”,
Force their child victim to kill to drown[11] their own pet,
Increase the degree of sexualized and physical violence they inflict unto their child/youth victim, at the same time telling the child/youth victim that it is all their fault, that the perpetrator has to hurt them because they were bad for trying to tell,
Force their child/youth victim to victimize another child/youth then tell the child/youth victim that they are abusers, and/or,
Use emotional blackmail to silence the child/youth victim by telling the child/youth victim that if they tell their parent(s) about the abuse it would hurt their parent(s) or cause their family to break up and that it would be the child/youth victim’s entire fault.

Acts used for punishment:
Pedophiles use punishment techniques on vulnerable children/youth in an attempt to control their child/youth victim, to keep their pedophilic victim(s) entrapped, and/or to derive perverse pleasure watching how punishment causes the child/youth to suffer. Punishment acts are:
withholding acts, for instance, the perpetrator will withhold treats, gifts, a trip, or a touch, for instance in a public setting the perpetrator will hug everyone but their child/youth victim, to relay a threatening message to the child/youth victim. For the child/youth victim who believes they need to keep their family safe these messages attack the child/youth victims already damaged relationship with their-Self. Withholding is a blame-shifting tactic which can send a message to the child/youth victim that they have done something wrong and sends the message that they have made the perpetrator angry and are at risk of being further harmed and abused.
taking back or destroying prized possessions such as toys or awards are acts which allow the perpetrator to deliver a message to the child/youth victim that they are unworthy of having possessions and for some unknown reason they are bad or did something wrong, Taking away possessions fosters within the child/youth victim a sense of mistrust, isolation, and aloneness because it becomes too emotionally hurtful, too risky for them to allow them-Self to feel attached to a toy or to any adult, including their parents. Breaking a child/youth’s ability to feel emotional attachment for anything or any person is an enormous life-threatening feeling that can lead to all-encompassing isolation, aloneness, suffering, and Self-harming behaviors.
shunning occurs when perpetrators use the “silent treatment”, that is, they will speak to everyone but the child/youth victim whom they will ignore. An example might be that a priest will speak to three altar boys in the group, ignoring the fourth altar boy the child/youth victim. Shunning can leave the child victim feeling invisible, like a discarded object, and worthless as a person. If such “priestly” shunning behaviors are observed, for instance, within adult-child relationships it ought to be considered an indicator that something is wrong, parent(s) need to ask questions, and the possibility of child/youth abuse needs to be addressed.

Punishment acts are used to exert power and control over child/youth victims, to force them into silence and compliance. These acts intensify the child/youth victim’s sense of emotional fear and terror and can push them into Self-harming behaviors in an attempt to cope with their over-whelming suffering.
Acts which can totally assault the child/youth’s senses:
“Party time” events which involve combining many of a child/youth’s favorite activities such as eating out and “special” treats with a fun-filled outing, a week-end adventure where they are bombarded with constant noise, such as loud music, and with invitations to try drugs and alcohol come together to create an environment filled with over-stimulation. Pedophiles intentionally use such events to manipulate the child/youth victim into a position of increased vulnerability, decreasing the child/youth victim’s ability to resist abuse. For instance, an intoxicated youth may not be able to resist being forced into the same bed with their “trusted” friend the priest, the teacher, or the mother of a friend.
Pedophiles manipulate and over-stimulate the child/youth’s physical body senses via masturbation, with vibrators, and/or with the infliction of pain on the genitals. If the child/youth victim has an erection or feels vaginal reactions this causes confusion and can distort the child/youth’s understanding of their body’s biological responses. Pedophiles can then manipulate the child/youth into believing their biological/physical responses are an indication that they are enjoying the sexualized assault. If the child/youth victim tries to control their biological responses by willing their body not to respond and their body “did not listen” the child/youth victim commonly feels “betrayed by my body” and may develop Self-hatred hatred of their body. The pedophile has successfully tricked the child/youth into blaming them-Self, into blaming their bodies for betraying them, and into hatred of their bodies. Self-hatred, body hatred, can lead to Self-harming habits such as Self-cutting, distorted body image, and eating problems as a way of coping. Child/youth victims may even disconnect or dissociate from their body, that is, they no longer feel their body.

Withholding food or water from the child/youth victim, keeping the child/youth victim up all night, depriving them of sleep, or withholding access to bathroom facilities are acts of deprivation pedophiles use to manipulate and control the child/youth victim into a sense of helplessness, powerlessness, weakness, fear and terror. The extensiveness of the deprivation, for example if the pedophile forces the child/youth victim to urinate or poop their pants, also affects the degree of degradation, humiliation, and de-personalization the child/youth victim suffers and increases the child/youth victim’s sense of powerlessness and maximizes the perpetrators control over the child victim.

desensitization techniques
By gradually intruding and invading on a potential child/youth victim’s personal space and boundaries the perpetrator aims to condition the potential child/youth victim to disregard or to mistrust their own intuitiveness, to disregard that they are feeling uncomfortable and unsafe. These desensitization tactics is how the perpetrator begins to take control of the child/youth. For example:
By using physical touching and non-touching, non-invasive then invasive touching, engaging with and withdrawing from the child/youth victim, the perpetrator sends mixed messages to the child/youth victim who then begins to doubt him/her-Self. Self-doubt makes the child/youth vulnerable to the pedophile’s control.
Using mixed messages about touching enables the pedophile to manipulate the child/youth to disregard intrusions on their personal space. The child/youth victim may even begin to believe that they have no right to say “No” when their physical boundaries are violated so they may not be able to develop healthy boundaries about their body and personal space. These limitations can make them vulnerable to re-victimization because their abilities to read intrusive and abusive cues have been distorted by the pedophile.
Acts intended to cause degradation, humiliation, and de-personalization:
Pedophiles may engage in acts of degradation and humiliation to shatter the child/youth’s sense of Self-respect, their spirituality, and ultimately their relationship with/to their-Self. This can leave the child/youth victim feeling disconnected, disassociative and feeling like a non-person. Examples are:
Perpetrators never call the child/youth victim by name, or will refer to the child/youth victim as an “it”, a nothing, as an effective way to totally objectify, de-personalize, and degrade the child/youth victim,
Perpetrators force the child/youth victim to be naked and exposed, they then laugh at the child/youth victim which causes the child/youth victim extensive emotional feelings of humiliation and degradation,
Perpetrators may opt to smear body fluids, for example, urine, semen, vaginal blood, or stool on the child/youth’s body which causes degradation, humiliation, and de-personalization and can leave the child victim with an on-going sense of feeling physically dirty. Dirtiness sensations can linger for a long time triggering the child/youth victim into a need for excessive bathing and scrubbing in an attempt to remove their sense of dirtiness. Such violations can leave an imprint of smells in the child/youth’s memory which re-occur as sensory smelly flashbacks,
Perpetrators can force child/youth victims into bestiality that leaves a child/youth victim de-personalized and can confuse the child/youth’s sense of identity. The child/youth may harbor beliefs and feelings that they are a dog, for example, and the child/youth may even fear that they will have “doggie babies”, or
Perpetrators can forced child/youth victims to watch them-Self in an mirror experiencing sexualized assaults which is degrading, humiliating, de-personalizing, and spiritually shattering to the point of causing the child/youth victim to disconnect or dissociate from his/her-Self.

Acts which manipulate language:
Pedophiles can use a child/youth’s still developing knowledge and language to manipulate and distort the child/youth’s understanding of what is happening to them, or to trick the child/youth victim to believe they are not being abused by telling the child/youth victim the sexualized violence is normal. For example, the pedophilic priest may tell a ten-year-old child victim that the sexualized abuse is how they will learn about sex. If the child victim does not have healthy knowledge nor the words to describe their experiences they may misunderstand what really happened to them for years. Part of the solution lies in teaching children healthy sexuality.
The power of words, for instance, the title of priest as “father” can be twisted to make the child/youth victim believe the priest is like a father. “Father” can be stretched to daddy. For example, Christopher J. Sellars, alleged that in 1995 Father Berthold at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton Mass., “kissed him on the lips and said: “You can call me ‘Daddy, and I’ll call you ‘my little boy.”[12]
To distort the harmful reality of sexualized violence pedophiles and society-in-general frequently use phrases which minimize and distort the reality of all forms of violence against children and youth. For instance,

“diddling” is a phrase commonly used to minimize finger raping,
a child who is taught to use the word “monster” to replace penis so that if the child victim states, “a monster attacks me at night” a bystander may assume this means the child victim is having monster nightmares and the pedophile’s activities go “unseen”,
the child victim who is taught to “suck on the lollipop” is a statement used to hide the pedophile’s activity of oral rape. Should the child victim make this statement publicly chances are bystanders would assume the child victim was referring to a sucker and not a penis,
“doing them” or “poking them” or “having their way” minimizes anal or vaginal rape; or,
“I’m doing this because I love you” or “it’s for your own good” replaces “I’m raping you.”

All of these distorted phrases aid the pedophile to successfully hide their activities by manipulating the child/youth’s language. Such phrases totally devalue the suffering of child/youth victims who have been or who are experiencing sexualized violence. As well, social phrases that distort the reality of child/youth abuse contributes to the devaluation of children/youth as persons and fosters an on-going acceptance of a culture of violence against children/youth childogny.
Combining the role of priest with the distortion and manipulation of language is another technique that hides the intentional behavior of a pedophilic priest. For example, it was reported that Geoghan told children’s parents he was going into their children’s rooms at night to “to bless them” when, in fact, he was using his “priestly” role to gain access to his child victims so he could fondle them under their blankets in a totally dark room. Victims said they were terrified in their own bed.
Pedophiles who use their counselor or confident role to inform a child/youth victim that the child/youth victim can trust them and tell them anything is a statement that the pedophile can easily use to manipulate any discussion into the area of sex. Using a discussion about sex as a door into initiating sexualized abuse the pedophilic professional can confuse the child/youth into believing the discussion and the sexualized abuse is about sexuality education. For example, a pedophilic teacher who was showing a street-proofing film to his students in his darkened classroom forced his eight-year-old child victim to sit on his lap. While watching the film the child victim was forced to fondle his teacher.[13]

Exploitation via the ploy of work and/or roles:
A pedophile priest can gain access to children/youth victims by engaging them to do work, for instance having the child/youth run errands or do maintenance and yard work at the rectory or on church grounds. Pedophilic priests have used the church practice of engaging.
Pedophilic women and men also gain access to children/youth when they volunteer to be baby-sitters, to work as nannies, or seek out employment that gives them access to children and youth.
A pedophile that buys a new truck may entice a child to go for a thrilling drive in the new truck to help run errands. Once in the truck the child/youth becomes captive and easily victimized a scenario, which happened to a friend’s child.

Behavioral techniques that are used to distort, to cover-up, or escape truth and responsibility:
Lying, withholding information, deceitfulness, half-truths, saying, “I cannot remember or
recall”, or “I don’t know” ought to be considered standard behaviors of the pedophile,
Not putting information in writing so there are no records that can incriminate the pedophile is another tactic if you have concerns put it in writing and keep a copy,
Not responding to letters saying nothing or saying “no comment” are common techniques used in the hope that the complainer will go away,
Pedophilic priests can use the power of the church for support, for defense, or to hide,
knowing that the church officials can transfer them, say they are looking into the matter, or do nothing because the power of the church has been omnipotent,
Perpetrators know that when they put the responsibility for seeking justice onto victims the possibility is their victims will run out of stamina, support, or might walk away the perpetrator is free,
To shed responsibility and to gather pity perpetrators use excuses such as, they are too
old to stand trial, are suffering from poor health, are having financial difficulties, are having alcohol or drug problems, or that they themselves were abused as children or adolescents, all in the hope people will feel sorry for them and they will evade responsibility for their actions and escape punishment,
Using non-verbal communication, for instance, by shedding crocodile tears an effective ploy in evading responsibility, perpetrators hope to manipulate and pull people in both bystanders and victims to have pity for them, to feel sorry for them, or to believe the pedophile is sorry for the sexualized violence they inflicted,
Pedophiles can and do manipulate their verbal tones, for example, speak in a quiet, soothing, or small voice, a technique that disarms the child/youth victim making them vulnerable to pedophilic sexualized violence,
Perpetrators can use intimidating voice tones to distract or to make bystanders or parent(s) feel threatened causing them to withdraw from challenging the perpetrator,
Discrediting victims or portraying helpful bystanders as confused, crazy, incompetent,
unreliable, lying, or blowing things out of proportion are also ways the perpetrator deflects attention away from them-Self and their crimes,
Perpetrators may decide to use violence to silence their child/youth victim, using weapons
such as, guns, knives, everyday items, for instance broom handles to penetrate body orifices, belts for whipping, or bathtubs for submerging the child/youth victim’s face into and threatening to drown the child/youth victim if they tell. Even the pedophile’s adult body size can be life threatening,
Perpetrators can infantalize their child/youth using verbal and emotional abuse, by telling the child/youth that they are “good for nothing”, that they do not do not know how-to do anything right, that they are stupid, dumb, trash tactics aimed at diminishing the child/youth’s sense of capability and empowerment, which leaves the child/youth victim feeling vulnerable and feeling emotionally dependent on their perpetrator,
Perpetrators can network around the country and around the world enabling them to
move/transfer quickly when the risk of detection increases. Staying in like-minded company increases their accessibility to child/youth victims and increases their protective cover,
Perpetrators may admit that they have abused children/youth once they are outside the reach of the statute of limitations knowing they can never be convicted. For priest pedophiles they know the church may have to pay legal fees in the event of a civil suit or make financial settlements in order to prevent a church scandal, and/or,
When perpetrators know the evidence is stacked against them they may plead guilty in
court in hopes of receiving a reduced sentence.

There are many dimensions of pedophilia ranging from child pornography, “sex trade”, fondling, rape, and penetration with objects, torture, to ritual abuse-torture. To prevent and reduce pedophile access and abuse of children and youths we suggest these interventions:

Lobby to have the statute of limitations removed from the criminal code to allow adult victims to press charges against older pedophiles, which can deter their behavior, adult victims can/may sustain the rigors of the justice system better than children.
Teaching children/youth about a healthy relationship with Self, learning about personhood, equality, gender equality, and healthy sexuality. Sexuality should not be compartmentalized separately from relationships. Jeanne developed a mini healthy sexuality curriculum which was taught pupils in grades 3-5 which addresses the reality relationships exist along a continuum which can be healthy, or unhealthy, or illegal, or be an evil-based relationship (pedophiles which derive inhumane and cruel pleasure from the torture or ritual abuse-torture of the child). Children’s evaluations showed that they were surprised when they realized they have a relationship with their-Self. In our opinion, sexuality ought to be taught in connection with the concept that children/youth have a relationship with/to Self as well as with/to others.
Teaching children, youth, and adults about the actions of pedophiles – talk, talk, and talk.
Talking about and naming the reality and solutions to stop pedophile behavior has to be done “on the streets”. More need for talking, talking, talking.
Educate ourselves so we can listen to child/youth victims and adult survivors of pedophile violence, so the victim feels they need not be silent, that they will be understood. Listening heals not only the victimized person but, in our opinion, heals a society and its culture to move to stop violence against children/youth.
Develop an international registry of pedophiles in concert with developing international laws against pedophilia so pedophiles cannot move unto new victims by nation hopping.
Develop and use effective screening tools for all persons working with children/youth to prevent pedophiles from gaining access to children/youth.
Develop mandatory reporting legislation for all citizens in society (already law in Canada). And legal requirements ought to override other structural complaint reporting processes, whether they are professional and self-governing bodies, professional associations, or church processes that adhere to Cannon Law versus civil law. Be ready to hold citizens/professionals legally accountable, a position that seems to be developing in Canada given the number of inquiries investigating cases where departments failed to protect the child/youth from harm.
Open and transparent policies with clear reporting to the police guidelines regarding alleged pedophile behavior. Secretive in-house investigations are a definite no no! Cover-ups are very easy under closed systems/departments.
Boards have to have open honest annual minutes. Documentation ought to include information about any actions that were taken to deal with risks to the safety of children/youth or other vulnerable populations, i.e., investigation of complaints such as pedophile allegations. While reports need to be respectful of confidentiality and privacy and not give specific details that would compromise a criminal investigation, reports must not be part of cover-ups, silencing the issues, or making the issues and the risks invisible.
Abuse and non-political torture of children/youth must be viewed as a human rights violation under the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child. The U.S. has not fully ratified this Convention.
Staub, E. (1989). The Roots of Evil (pp. 13-34). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Conversation Linda had with a Criminal Justice system worker who had been in conversation with a priest jailed for his pedophilic crimes, September 2002.
Sara speaking to us during our kitchen table research project and discussing her experiences of ritual abuse-torture.
Kurkjian, S. (2002, May 15). The Boston Globe.
Bird, W. R. (1968). Ghosts Have Warm Hand (p. 57). Toronto: Clarke, Irwin.
Johanna McGary, J. (2002, April 1). Can the Church be saved? Time, p. 17.
Seminal is used here to refer, in a general sense, to all ejaculatory fluids.
Sara, a participatant in our “kitchen table” research project, told us of this, her experience.
Carrie’s description of her childhood experiences of ritual abuse-torture, told to us during our “kitchen table” research project.
Kranish, M. & Carroll, M. (2002, May 17). The Boston Globe.
Carrie told us that her father forced her to drown her pet cat and threatened that he would drown her if she ever told her mother about the ritual abuse-torture ordeals.
Kurkjain, S. (2002, May 15). The Boston Globe.
Makin, K. (1994, November 26). The man who loved children. The Globe and Mail.

Jeanne Sarson, RN, BScN, MEd.
Linda MacDonald, RN, BN, MEd.
Copyright © 2002

Revised November 4, 2002

Bishop Charles Scicluna, Former Vatican Chief Prosecutor of Clerical Sexual Abuse Named as One of Top Ten People of 2012

“There is one of the key assistants to Cardinal Ratzinger from his years at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a man who, under the Pope’s orders, has courageously toiled to “purify the Churchâ€� by investigating cases of priestly sexual abuse. This courageous man is Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta.â€� (from The Moynihan Report – Inside the Vatican Magazine)

Each year, Inside the Vatican Magazine chooses 10 people whom they believe are examples of great courage, fidelity to the Church and heroic Christian charity.

One of those honored by being chosen as among the top ten people of the year for 2012 was Bishop Charles Scicluna. He was formerly the Vatican’s chief prosecutor of clerical sexual abuse and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Malta and Titular Bishop of San Leone on October 6, 2012. In 2005, (then) Cardinal Ratzinger sent Scicluna to Mexico and New York to collect testimony against the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Fr Marcial Maciel, amid allegations of abuse.

Bishop Scicluna was named in this year’s selections, together with Pope Benedict XVI.

The following is quoted with permission from Inside the Vatican Magazine:

“Bishop Charles Scicluna

His friends and family speak of his warmth, his hard work and dedication to justice, his sense of humor and of the safety they felt while in his presence. His colleagues and mentors note that he is someone who knows how to be around others and to respect all people. Almost everyone speaks of him with love and admiration for his courage, loyalty, faithfulness and hard work. He is the newly-ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Malta, His Excellency Charles J. Scicluna, 53, one of the key figures in the past decade in the Church’s effort — called for so strongly by Pope Benedict XVI — of self-purification.

Scicluna marked the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood in July 2011, and celebrated his tenth year as Promoter of Justice in the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in October 2012. He then returned to his native Malta to be ordained to the episcopate on November 24.

In the days immediately following his ordination, though he has now left Rome and his Vatican post, he was assigned to be a judge in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; he will now act as advisor and sit with the two dozen cardinals and bishops who judge the abuse cases that come before the CDF, his old office.

His parents, Emanuel and Maria Carmela (née Falzon) lived to celebrate the ordination to the episcopate of the eldest of their four children.

Charles Jude Scicluna was born in Toronto, Canada, on May 15, 1959. The following year the Scicluna family moved to Malta, where he attended school and grew up, surrounded by a large extended family.

Scicluna attended Saint Edward’s College in Cottonera, Malta, and he entered the law course at the University of Malta in 1976; he graduated as a Doctor of Laws in 1984. After completing his seminary studies and earning a licentiate in pastoral theology, he was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood by the Archbishop of Malta, Monsignor Joseph Mercieca, on July 11, 1986. Scicluna was sent to study canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and obtained his doctorate in canon law with a specialization in jurisprudence in 1991, when he returned to Malta. In 1995 he was called to the Vatican to work on the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura as Substitute Promoter of Justice.

In 1996, he was appointed postulator for the cause of beatification and canonization of St. George Preca, popularly known as the “Second Apostle of Maltaâ€� after St. Paul. (In Maltese he is known as Dun Ġorġ Preca. He lived from 1880 to 1962, founded the Society of Christian Doctrine, a group of lay catechists, and was canonized by Pope Benedict on June 3, 2007.)
Scicluna is best known to the world’s media for his work in prosecuting the most serious crimes committed by priests. Quietly doing the work of a dozen individuals, he oversaw the cases leading to the removal of hundreds of pederast priests, including the late Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

In addition to the ongoing pastoral responsibilities he has had since his ordination as a priest in 1986, he has lectured, written, taught, and faithfully served the Church he loves.
He also served as defender of the bond and promoter of justice at the Metropolitan Court of Malta and professor of pastoral theology and canon law and vice-rector of the major seminary of the archdiocese there.

In 2010, Scicluna drafted the universal norms which extended the Church’s statutes of limitations on reporting cases as well as extended the list of ecclesial crimes to include the possession of child pornography, among other things.

Also in 2010, he presided at a prayer service of reparation for priests in St. Peter’s Basilica, where he courageously stated the harsh truth regarding those who have misused the priesthood: “How many are the sins in the Church for arrogance, for insatiable ambition, the tyranny and injustice of those who take advantage of ministry to advance their careers, to show off, for futile and miserable reasons of vanity!�

Intense and focused attention was as much his signature characteristic as his loyalty to his friends and unswerving adherence to Church law.

His colleagues at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith came in force to his ordination in Malta on November 24. Monsignor John Kennedy was one of those. He had worked with Monsignor Scicluna for ten years and remarked, “He would give you his complete attention and focus irrespective of the mountains of papers in front of him or the issues he was dealing with from all over the world… He gave 100 percent to everybody, on every occasion, on every day.�
And mountains of papers were his unenviable challenge every day of the ten years that he acted as Promoter of Justice, a post which had been in existence but was not functional until he was given the appointment in 2002.

On one occasion in 2006, when he was already inundated with global cases of sexual abuse, a courier from America handed him several hundred pages of testimonials; he accepted the heavy satchel with grace and humor, requesting of those who had created the dossier to be patient and “save the trees� for awhile so that he could attend carefully to what had just been given to him.
A note of congratulations to Scicluna from Paul Lennon, founder of the Regain Network and a former priest with the Legionaries of Christ, said: “I wish you peace and fortitude as you assume your new post. I will never forget the kind and respectful, while firm and professional, way you treated me… in New York in April 2005. You are in my prayers.�

Scicluna replied immediately: “Dear Paul, Let us walk humbly with the Lord who has His own plans for each one of us and will never fail to hear the cry of those who suffer. I am very happy to be back with my people, and I have promised them to lay down my life for them. I know that is what Our Lord expects of a shepherd of souls… Every bishop is called to share the concerns of the Holy Father for victims of injustice and abuse. Indeed the episcopacy is a sacramental title for such concern and cooperation. I have now moved from [headquarters] to the front line. The war against sin and crime indeed continues. Non praevalebunt.�

Before addressing a Vatican-planned conference on abuse entitled “To¬wards Heal¬ing and Renewal� held in February 2012 at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Scicluna again asked for prayers from his friends, one of whom sent the message that he should remember the hymn of St. Patrick’s Breastplate; Scicluna wrote back, “Thanks for that inspired prayer.� The following day, February 8, he shocked the 140 representatives from the world’s bishops’ conferences and the 30 from religious orders when he compared the ecclesiastical cover-up of sexual abuse to the Mafia’s code of silence, omertà . Such a word had never been used in such a setting.
He continued: “The teaching of Blessed John Paul II that truth is at the basis of justice explains why a deadly culture of silence or ‘omertà ’ is in itself wrong and unjust.� He added, “Other enemies of the truth are the deliberate denial of known facts and the misplaced concern that the good name of the institution should somehow enjoy absolute priority to the detriment of disclosure.�

Everyone who has accepted the hand of Truth has enemies. Those who do not love Scicluna may be among those whom he was rebuking in his “Words of Fire� interview on August 23, 2010, with FOX news reporter, Greg Burke, now the Vatican’s communications consultant. Scicluna, referring to Jesus Christ, said: “He had words of fire against people who would scandalize the young. And if we stick to His words and are loyal to His teaching, we are on very good ground; we are not alone. [In abuse] there is a sacred trust which has been violated. The priest is ordained to be an icon, an image, a living image of Jesus Christ. He is another Christ at the altar, when he preaches. Now, when he abuses, he shatters that icon. The image for which he has been ordained is not there. It becomes a mockery of his vocation. It is a great tragedy for the individual, for the victim, for the Church. And we have to face Truth, even if it is not nice. Truth will set us free. There is no other way out of this situation except facing the truth of the matter.�

Scicluna looks to St. George Preca, Malta’s first saint, as his guide for priestly humility and holiness. Paul Cardona, who also studied the life of St. George Preca, claims that the Maltese saint is a model for Scicluna. “Like [St. George], he (Scicluna) listens to everyone, and does not make any distinction between role, age or status,� Cardona said. “Without wanting to, you just have to love him.� Cardona added that Scicluna could be described in the same way that St. George Preca spoke of St. Paul: small in stature but big in spirit.

Indeed, even the official mandate from the Holy See, which was read aloud in the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Valletta, Malta, on the day of Monsignor Scicluna’s ordination to the episcopate, opened with an unmistakable note of sincere affection amidst the official language: “Benedict Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God, to Our beloved Son, Charles Jude Scicluna… who, endowed as you are with the requisite gifts of mind and heart and being an expert, among others, in things ecclesial, as we know so well, have worked in a laudable way in the Apostolic See of Peter on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith… Make sure, beloved Son, that, following the example of holiness of St. Paul and St. George Preca…you may be able to be a worthy Servant of Christ who is ‘Faithful and True’� (Rev. 19:11).

We honor Bishop Scicluna and remember his good work as he continues “Fidelis et Verax� — the words of his episcopal motto — “Faithful and True.� —Inside the Vatican Staff�

ReGAIN Comment:

According to Wikipedia: Click Here
“When he was presiding over a 2010 prayer service of reparation in St Peter’s Basilica, Scicluna asked “How many are the sins in the church for arrogance, for insatiable ambition, the tyranny and injustice of those who take advantage of ministry to advance their careers, to show off, for reasons of futile and miserable reasons of vanity! “Accepting the kingdom of God like a child is to accept with a pure heart, with docility, abandonment, confidence, enthusiasm, and hope,â€� he said. “All this reminds us of the child. All this makes the child precious in God’s eyes, and in the eyes of a true disciple of Jesus.â€�

Addressing a Vatican-planned conference on abuse held in February 2012 at the Pontifical Gregorian University, he used the word “omertà � – in rapping “a deadly culture of silence� on abuse that, beyond being obstructing the truth, “is in itself wrong and unjust.� “Other enemies of the truth,� he added, “are the deliberate denial of known facts and the misplaced concern that the good name of the institution should somehow enjoy absolute priority to the detriment of disclosure.�

On 1 December 2012 Bishop Scicluna was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for a five year renewable term by Pope Benedict.

ReGAIN editors were pleased to see that Bishop Scicluna has been recognized and honored by The Vatican Insider Magazine for his courage, dedication to the Church and for his willingness to take on such a challenging and demanding role and to speak so openly and honestly in spite of powerful opposition.

Fr. Maciel Is Disciplined by the Holy See: What Will the Legionaries Do Now?

By Dale Vree

Dale Vree is Editor of New Oxford Review.

Fr. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, is probably the most prominent priest to be disciplined by the Catholic Church for homosexual predation, that is, pederasty. Former Legionary Juan Vaca sent the first petition to the Holy See in 1976. He identified himself and 20 others as victims of Maciel’s homosexual activity. It took 30 years for the case to be resolved. The case was reopened in 2004 by Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Ratzinger sent Msgr. Charles Scicluna to investigate the matter. According to John L. Allen Jr., the ace Vatican correspondent, Msgr. Scicluna gave the number of accusers as “more than 20, but less than 100” (, May 18, 2006).

The official communiqué for the CDF on May 19, 2006, said in part: “Beginning in 1998, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith received accusations, already partly made public, against Fr. Marcial Maciel…for crimes that fall under the exclusive competence of the congregation…. After having attentively studied the results of the investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith…decided — bearing in mind Fr. Maciel’s advanced age and his delicate health — to forgo a canonical hearing and to invite the father to a reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry. The Holy Father approved these decisions.”

The Legionaries and Regnum Christi (the Legion’s lay affiliate) followed with an official statement on May 19, which said in part: “Facing the accusations made against him [Maciel], he declared his innocence and, following the example of Jesus Christ, decided not to defend himself in any way.”

The Church certainly does allow for self-defense, so it’s obvious that Maciel could not defend himself. And if Maciel was “following the example of Jesus Christ,” who were the villains? The Sanhedrin, the Pharisees? In this melodrama, the villains can only be the Holy See.

Moreover, Jesus was not accused of sexually violating innocent boys. If Maciel really wanted to follow Jesus, he would do as Jesus says: “Whoever causes one of the little ones who believes in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea” (Mk. 9:42). Oh no, not that!

As for “following the example of Jesus Christ,” and deciding “not to defend himself in any way”: When the Hartford Courant in 1997 accused Maciel of molesting boys, Maciel’s lawyers threatened legal action against the newspaper. Was this following the example of Jesus Christ? It’s so obvious that Maciel could not defend himself against the Holy See.

The Legionaries’ statement also said that this is “a new cross that God, the Father of Mercy, has allowed him [Maciel] to suffer and that will obtain many graces for the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement.” Fr. Owen Kearns, a Legionary priest and Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the National Catholic Register (controlled by the Legionaries), said in an Editorial in the Register (May 28-June 3): “We are not afraid of this cross — on the contrary, we are honored by it.” Oh, really? Kearns has been the point man defending Maciel against charges of pederasty.

Kearns continues: “If you pray for the Legionaries, don’t pray that this cup be taken away, pray that we be worthy of drinking it to the dregs.” This is a play on the words of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane: “O My Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Mt. 26:39; also Mk. 14:36 and Lk. 22:42).

Does Maciel consider himself to be a messianic figure? Certainly his followers do. Maciel even surpasses Christ when Kearns says, “Don’t pray that this cup be taken away” (Jesus says, “if it is possible let this cup pass from Me”), and Kearns says, “pray that we be worthy of drinking it to the dregs” (whereas Jesus says, “not as I will, but as You will”). Is Maciel greater than Christ?

Neither the Legionaries’ statement nor Kearns’s Editorial contained a hint of mea culpa. The Legionaries and Regnum Christi have been called cults, and their response would certainly indicate that. Only a zombie would believe what the Legionaries’ statement and Kearns’s Editorial say. The Legionaries and Regnum Christi were founded on a lie, a monumental lie. Of course, we would assume that most Legionaries and Regnum Christi members are not zombies. They were duped and betrayed, and we must feel compassion for them.

Because of Maciel’s “advanced age [86] and delicate health” (which is common for elderly clerical sex abusers), he was not subjected to a canonical trial. He was lucky to get off so easily, considering the dastardly crimes he committed. It was a settlement out of court, something like a plea-bargain. If it had gone to a canonical trial, Maciel would likely have been defrocked.

All this talk about Maciel’s “cross” and his “cup” is just hocus-pocus. Jesus was crucified; Maciel was not. Jesus was innocent; Maciel is not.

The communiqué from the CDF also said: “Independently of the person of the Founder, the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and of the Association Regnum Christi is gratefully recognized” (italics added). This would indicate that the Holy See wants the Legionaries and Regnum Christi to separate themselves from Maciel. However, the Legionaries’ statement said: “The Legionaries of Christ and the members of Regnum Christi, following the example of Fr. Maciel and united to him…” (italics added). There will be no “independence” from Maciel. The Legionaries and Regnum Christi are Fr. Maciel; they consider him a “living saint.” Go to the Legion centers and you’ll find a picture of Maciel next to a picture of Christ. Maciel is highly charismatic, and, from several accounts, is thought to be a megalomaniac.

In Kearns’s Editorial he says: “The Legionaries will…accompany their founder [Maciel] in his new stage of his life…. We love and trust Pope Benedict. We do not question his decision or his wisdom.” But Kearns says Maciel will be “vindicated,” and refers to Maciel’s “cross.” So obviously Kearns does question Pope Benedict’s wisdom. The Legionaries’ statement also said that they “accept and will accept always the directives of the Holy See with profound spirit of obedience and faith”; but they also say Maciel is “innocent.” The Legionaries cannot make a martyr of Maciel and then give fidelity to the Holy See with “faith.” You can see why the Legionaries are known for their Machiavellian stratagems. But it’s an outright contradiction. No doubt some of the Legionaries and Regnum Christi members will fall for this.

By the way, after Kearns’s Editorial on Maciel — this being the biggest story affecting the Legion-controlled Register — there were no letters to the Editor, pro or con, in the Register. Hush, hush!

It’s clear that the Legionaries are still loyal to Maciel. This is flat-out defiance. The Holy See will quietly have to get rid of the leaders of the Legionaries. This is the Holy See’s test. Moreover, it’s hard to imagine that the culture of cronyism and dishonesty does not extend to other leaders of the Legionaries as well.

The best friends of the Legionaries in the U.S. were the neoconservatives. The usual neocon suspects rallied to Maciel’s defense against the pederasty charges. They included Deal Hudson, William Donohue, Richard John Neuhaus, and Mary Ann Glendon. More oblique were George Weigel and William Bennett. Boy, do these neocons have egg on their faces.

The accusers of Maciel were vilified and scorned. For example, in First Things (March 2002), Neuhaus called the accusations — and therefore the accusers — just about everything in the book: “slanderous attacks,” “malicious gossip,” “vicious gossip,” “repugnant,” “muck,” “false and malicious” (twice), “detraction,” “slander,” “calumny,” and “odious.” Of the neocons (as far as we know) only Neuhaus was still defending Maciel after the Vatican communiqué (on the First Things website, May 19, and on The New York Times website, May 19). Neuhaus went to great lengths to defend Maciel, and he must realize that much of his credibility is on the line. Yes, it’s hard to admit when one is wrong. But, Fr. Neuhaus, you were wrong.

Lo and behold, Fr. Neuhaus did admit he was wrong — for all intents and purposes — in First Things (Aug./Sept.). Well, good for him.

The Church owes the accusers a debt of gratitude and appreciation: Maciel has ruined or distorted the lives of many boys. Maciel has in effect been found guilty, and justice has been done (and so has mercy).

As you know, the NOR has told you what’s wrong with Maciel and the Legionaries for years, and we’ve gotten many cancelations and nonrenewals because of it. (We’ve also printed many letters defending Maciel and the Legionaries — it’s tempting to reveal all their names, but we won’t.) Yes, the truth can sometimes be hard to take. But you can trust us to tell the unpleasant truths and inconvenient facts. We can’t think of any other orthodox Catholic periodical that told you the truth about Maciel — that is, before the Holy See’s communiqué.

We know all about the unreliable, unprincipled, or unscrupulous people on the other side. In addition to that, we tell you about those on our side. As our Lord said, there will be false messiahs and false prophets who will perform deeds so great as to deceive the elect (to paraphrase Mt. 24:24). Surely, you don’t want to be deceived.

We again plead with you for your support. The NOR is not a knee-jerk, ideological magazine, and that’s why we are not funded by knee-jerk, ideological foundations. If you want a Pavlovian magazine, the NOR is not for you. But if you are an intelligent person, you want the uncompromised truth, and that’s what we give you at the NOR.

We are funded by our subscribers. As you know, as of last September, we’ve been trying to raise $176,000 (so far we have reached $111,145). Much of what we’re asking for is for our reconstructed website (where you can subscribe or renew — or make a donation — by credit card). At present our website is a huge financial drain. We hope that in time it will pay for itself. At our website, you will find our Archives, our Ad Gallery, NOR Dossiers, our En Español section, the NOR Gear Shoppe, our New Oxford News Link, and the current issue. Some are free and some you have to pay for. For an additional $10 annual fee above the print subscription price, you get everything. (That access, however, may only be ordered online with a credit card; we do not accept online-access orders at the office.) Our Forum is up and running, so online subscribers can post their comments relating to what they’ve read in the magazine and at our website.

Why is the website so important? Because young people spend enormous amounts of time on the Internet, and it goes without saying that young people are the future of orthodox Catholicism and the NOR. Do something for our young people! Do something for yourself.

So please do help us achieve our modest fundraising goal by sending your donation to: New Oxford Review, 1069 Kains Ave., Berkeley CA 94706. The New Oxford Review is a nonprofit entity and has 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service. Donations are therefore tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Checks are to be made out to New Oxford Review. Credit card donations can also be made at our website.

Legion’s news traced to Vatican ally



In a potentially significant twist to the case involving the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, NCR has learned that the office that recently released a statement saying there is no case against Fr. Marcial Maciel regarding sex abuse accusations is not the office with responsibility for making that judgment.

On May 20, the Legionaries of Christ issued a news release stating that the “Holy See” had informed them that “at this time there is no canonical process underway regarding our founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, LC, nor will one be initiated.” Subsequently, the Catholic News Service and other press agencies quoted the Vatican Press Office as confirming the statement.

That news startled some observers, since an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican agency charged in 2001 by Pope John Paul II with responsibility for reviewing cases of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, traveled in early April to New York and Mexico City to collect testimony from alleged victims. Those efforts by Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the promoter of justice within the congregation, suggested that a preliminary investigation was underway.

Most observers assumed that the new communication to the Legionaries must have come from that congregation, the office once headed by Pope Benedict XVI.

In fact, however, the communication came from the Secretariat of State, the department that handles papal diplomacy and acts as a coordinator for the work of other Vatican agencies. It came in the form of a fax, which was unsigned but bore a seal from the Secretariat of State indicating official status. Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s secretary of state, is a longtime supporter of Maciel and the Legionaries of Christ.

What this means is that the statement did not come from the Vatican agency that ultimately has responsibility for deciding Maciel’s fate. Officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have refused to make any comment on the recent news reports, but a senior Vatican official told NCR May 25 that the congregation has made “no statement” on the Maciel case, even to the Secretariat of State.

The official stressed this does not mean that there eventually will be a canonical case against Maciel, merely that the agency charged with making that decision has not yet communicated its intentions. Given the preeminence of the Secretariat of State within the Vatican, at a minimum these recent developments suggest there are grave doubts within the Holy See about proceeding.

Asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Legionaries of Christ in New York said that he did not believe the distinction of which office issued the statement ultimately made any difference.

“We believe the Holy See is speaking with a unified voice on this issue,” Jay Dunlap, the Legionaries’ communications director for North America, told NCR May 25. “The way in which it was communicated was intended to make that clear.”

In terms of what force the communication enjoys, the precise wording of the communication from the Secretariat of State is important. In Italian, it went as follows: “Non vi è nessun procedimento canonico in corso né è previsto per il futuro nei confronti di P. Maciel.” Literally translated, it reads: “There is no canonical procedure in course nor is one foreseen for the future with regard to Fr. Maciel.”

The communication thus did not say categorically “nor will one be initiated,” but that one “is not foreseen for the future.” The formula “is not foreseen” is sometimes used in Vatican argot for a development that is not officially in the works, but that is not completely outside the range of possibility. When papal trips are first rumored, for example, spokespersons sometimes say they are “not foreseen,” only to have them eventually materialize.

The official who spoke to NCR stressed again that this does not mean there will be a procedure, only that such a procedure cannot be definitively ruled out until a statement is issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In 2000, Sodano went to the Regina Apostolorum, the Roman university sponsored by the Legionaries, to inaugurate a new facility. In 2003, he made another visit to the university, at which time he praised Maciel.

“Dear Father, I’ve seen the great work that you do,” Sodano said to Maciel while embracing him. “You’re always young, always strong,” Sodano said.

Maciel in turn thanked Sodano for his support, recalling his 2000 visit, which is marked by a plaque at the Regina Apostolorum.

“Three years later, you accepted our invitation with fraternal charity to return, and I’m very grateful,” Maciel said. “You have always encouraged this university in its birth and growth.”

The charges of sexual abuse against Maciel first surfaced in 1997, when eight former members brought a canonical complaint related to incidents that allegedly took place decades before. Maciel and the Legionaries have strenuously denied the charges.

“We hold no grudge against those who accuse us,” the May 20 statement from the Legionaries said with regard to the accusers. “Rather, we keep them in our prayers while expressing our humblest gratitude to the countless people of goodwill who in these circumstances have reiterated to us their support and esteem.”

John L. Allen Jr. is NCR Rome correspondent. His e-mail address is

To Pope Benedict XVI: This Church is all of us.

To Pope Benedict XVI: This Church is all of us.
By Ruth Bertels

Somehow, it seems to me that Pope Benedict XVI is already into the second act of his papacy. The first weeks were simply a flash-back to the days before and during Pope John Paul II’s final illness.

The then Cardinal Ratzinger delivered a Good Friday homily guaranteed to make everyone in the Vatican sit up and take notice of the dire straits in which the Church found herself. Not just anyone is asked to give the Good Friday homily. It is a distinct honor, and, therefore, carries a good deal of weight. Ratzinger was up to the challenge. Or was he?

A Vatican homily is meant, not only for the Curia and the members of the hierarchy present, it circles the globe in minutes, leaving either chaos or the peace of Christ in its wake.

Chances are, Ratzinger’s words did more than astonish his listeners; they may well have caused deep-seated sadness in the hearts and minds of ordinary Catholics on Main Street, Anywhere-in-the-World. Jason Berry reported the harsh judgment in the New York Times:

How much filth there is in the church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to God.

Later, he compared the Church to a boat about to sink, taking in water on every side.

Here, Ratzinger appears distraught over the scandals that have rocked the Church, though one cannot help but wonder why, since they have been in the Vatican files since 1993, but dismissed by him as a planned campaign by the news media to discredit the church.

Somehow, Ratzinger appears to have forgotten that this is a mighty big Church of ours, a holy Church, a Church of sinners, yes, but, also, of millions of everyday saints, whose names will never guarantee them a Mercedes limo if invited to Rome, nor dining in the finest restaurants, nor a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI.

Yet, it is these people who staff the soup kitchens, keep vigil for the dying, do the volunteer work that keeps parishes going year-round, support the Vatican, and lift the spirits of their fellow pilgrims by their courage and humility, patience and perseverance. They give us joy in the morning and peace at even-tide. They are the Church.

What might be upsetting the new pope, Berry tells us, is the case he recently reopened against Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, a powerful Mexican priest who founded his own order and lives in the seminary in Rome.

Berry goes on to say that in 1998, when Ratzinger was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a legal tribunal of the congregation accepted a case by nine seminarians who accused Father Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, of sexual assault, an allegation that first surfaced in the 1960’s. (Please refer to the articles in the Archives: Vows of Silence.)

In 1999, Ratzinger told a Mexican bishop that it was not “prudent” to proceed against a man who had helped the church by attracting young men to the priesthood.

However, since Ratzinger reopened the case, Berry asks, “Why?” Was it because he thought that he might be pope one day, and wouldn’t want the case clouding his standing before the world?

Since the Vatican is an independent country, it may be easy for those living and working there to be lulled into a false sense of security, far from the eyes and questions of the ordinary folks in ordinary little and big towns. How else can one explain the congratulatory, lengthy letter sent by Pope John Paul II to Marcial Maciel on the anniversary of his ordination, November 24, 2004?
Here is a brief quote from it:

Your 69 years of priestly life, Reverend Father, have been characterized by significant spiritual and missionary fecundity with different apostolic works and activities, such as the Regnum Christi Movement …

I cannot, of course, forget the service that you have rendered in these years to the Holy See, which has made use – on several occasions and in different ways – of your generous and competent collaboration, whether on the occasion of some of my apostolic trips, or in the activity of organizations of the Roman Curia.

Personally, it is impossible for me to doubt that Ratzinger cleared this letter, especially considering the poor health of the pope at the time. What was Ratzinger thinking? Didn’t he understand that the message would see the light of day and cause scandal upon scandal? Because he is so brilliant, does he consider the little people so ignorant they would not be repulsed at the sight of a founder of a religious order, accused of molesting nine seminarians, receiving accolades from the Holy Father?

I’m sorry. I just don’t understand this.

A number of times, the pope has said he would favor a smaller Church, implying one where the faithful were unquestioningly faithful. The problem is that this is not his Church; it is Christ’s Church, and the Church is all of us. Jesus told his apostles to feed his lambs and sheep. Not only the ones who stay quietly on the hillside, but those who wander off, especially those who wander off, and must be rescued by an alert, caring shepherd.

Some have said we must be willing to give Pope Benedict XVI a chance. That we are most willing to do. But in turn, we ask him to give us a chance, a chance to find peace and respect and love within the Church that belongs to all of us. Amen.

Sexual Abuse Allegations Against a Top Catholic Re-examined

An investigation into the sexual abuse allegations against a high-ranking priest of the Roman Catholic Church has been reopened, seven years after the formal complaint was first filed with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, according to people familiar with the case.

Ratzinger’s office ordered the case against the Rev. Marcial Maciel reopened in December, around the time there was growing speculation Ratzinger was a leading candidate to be the next pope. In fact, a Vatican investigator began taking sworn statements from the alleged victims just two weeks ago in New York, the day Pope John Paul II died, according to sources close to the case.

The men who brought the allegations against Maciel had thought their case was dead, having heard nothing but silence in the seven years since they brought the allegations to the attention of Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

“They knelt and kissed his ring, filing these charges in his tribunal, and after that it was simply stuffed, it was shelved,” said Jason Berry, co-author with Gerald Renner of a book on the case, “Vows of Silence.”

“This pope is at a crossroads. He has to resolve the Maciel case or it will stalk him like a shadow in the sun.”

The charges against Maciel, the founder of a well-connected and well-financed order called the Legion of Christ, a conservative sect of the Catholic Church, date back to the 1950s. Eight men allege that Maciel sexually abused them as young seminarians in Rome, something Maciel has always strongly denied.

Unspoken Truths?

Juan Vaca, now a college professor in New York, told ABC News in 2002 that he reluctantly brought the charges as a way to get over the trauma he says he suffered.

“I was the one who called them from their bedrooms to go to see Maciel,” he said. “In some instances, two were together with him, myself and another one.”

The men making the allegations have been told they cannot talk about the case now that it has been reopened.

Maciel, now 84, resigned as head of the legion in January. But as recently as late last year, he was praised by Pope John Paul II for his “intense, generous and fruitful priestly ministry” during the 60th anniversary celebration of Maciel’s ordination.

Ratzinger repeatedly refused to discuss what happened to the Maciel case, and when ABC News attempted to ask him about the allegations outside the Vatican three years ago, he became upset and slapped the hand of the ABC News correspondent on scene.

“You come to me when the moment is given,” Ratzinger said. “Not yet.”

‘Temptation Is Natural, Even for the Priest’

As head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger was put in charge of dealing with the church’s worldwide sexual abuse scandal. But he was at first slow to act and downplayed the scandal as part of a campaign to discredit the church.

“In the United States, there is constant news on this topic, but less than 1 percent of priests are guilty of acts of this type,” Ratzinger said in a rare interview in 2002. “The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information nor to the statistical objectivity of the facts. Therefore, one comes to the conclusion that it is intentional, manipulated, that there is a desire to discredit the church.”

Ratzinger was also surprisingly forgiving of priests guilty of sexual abuse.

“Never will it end,” he said. “Temptation is natural, even for the priest. So we have to accept that.”

Berry said that Ratzinger made grave mistakes in his treatment of the Catholic church’s sexual abuse scandal.

“He made a series of terrible blunders in the 1990s and well into 2002,” Berry said. “He made statements that were inaccurate and terribly misleading.”

But some, including Berry, see the reopened Maciel case as a hopeful sign.

“If he removes Maciel, he makes a statement that he is serious about a crackdown on this world abuse scandal,” Berry said of Ratzinger. “If he doesn’t remove Maciel, then the pope himself is part of the problem.”

Rhonda Schwartz, Avni Patel, and Jessica Wang contributed to this report.

Statement on Maciel not issued by agency responsible for sex abuse cases

New Legionaries intrigue:
Statement on Maciel not issued
by agency responsible for sex abuse cases

By John L. Allen, Jr.

In a potentially significant twist to the case involving the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, NCR has learned that the office that recently released a statement saying there is no case against Fr. Marcial Maciel regarding sex abuse accusations is not the office with responsibility for making that judgment.

On May 20, the Legionaries of Christ issued a news release stating that the “Holy See” had informed them that “at this time there is no canonical process underway regarding our Founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, LC, nor will one be initiated.” Subsequently, the Catholic News Service and other press agencies quoted the Vatican Press Office as confirming the statement.

That news startled some observers, since an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican agency charged in 2001 by Pope John Paul II with responsibility for reviewing cases of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, traveled in early April to New York and Mexico City to collect testimony from alleged victims. Those efforts by Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the Promoter of Justice within the congregation, suggested that a preliminary investigation was underway.

Most observers assumed that the new communication to the Legionaries must have come from that congregation, the office once headed by Pope Benedict XVI.

In fact, however, the communication came from the Secretariat of State, the department that handles papal diplomacy and acts as a coordinator for the work of other Vatican agencies. It came in the form of a fax, which was unsigned but bore a seal from the Secretariat of State indicating official status. Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, is a longtime supporter of Maciel and the Legionaries of Christ.

What this means is that the statement did not come from the Vatican agency that ultimately has responsibility for deciding Maciel’s fate. Officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have refused to make any comment on the recent news reports, but a senior Vatican official told NCR May 25 that the congregation has made “no statement” on the Maciel case, even to the Secretariat of State.

The official stressed this does not mean that there eventually will be a canonical case against Maciel, merely that the agency charged with making that decision has not yet communicated its intentions. Given the preeminence of the Secretariat of State within the Vatican, at a minimum these recent developments suggest there are grave doubts within the Holy See about proceeding.

Asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Legionaries of Christ in New York said that he did not believe the distinction of which office issued the statement ultimately made any difference.

“We believe the Holy See is speaking with a unified voice on this issue,” Jay Dunlap, the Legionaries’ Communications Director for North America, told NCR May 25. “The way in which it was communicated was intended to make that clear.”

In terms of what force the communication enjoys, the precise wording of the communication from the Secretariat of State is important. In Italian, it went as follows: “non vi è nessun procedimento canonico in corso né è previsto per il futuro nei confronti di P. Maciel.” Literally translated, it reads: “There is no canonical procedure in course nor is one foreseen for the future with regard to Fr. Maciel.”

The communication thus did not say categorically “nor will one be initiated,” but that one “is not foreseen for the future.” The formula “is not foreseen” is sometimes used in Vatican argot for a development that is not officially in the works, but that is not completely outside the range of possibility. When papal trips are first rumored, for example, spokespersons sometimes say they are “not foreseen,” only to have them eventually materialize.

The official who spoke to NCR stressed again that this does not mean there will be a procedure, only that such a procedure cannot be definitively ruled out until a statement is issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In 2000, Sodano went to the Regina Apostolorum, the Roman university sponsored by the Legionaries, to inaugurate a new facility. In 2003, he made another visit to the university, at which time he praised Maciel.

“Dear father, I’ve seen the great work that you do,” Sodano said to Maciel while embracing him. “You’re always young, always strong,” Sodano said.

Maciel in turn thanked Sodano for his support, recalling his 2000 visit, which is marked by a plaque at the Regina Apostolorum.

“Three years later, you accepted our invitation with fraternal charity to return, and I’m very grateful,” Maciel said. “You have always encouraged this university in its birth and growth.”

The charges of sexual abuse against Maciel first surfaced in 1997, when eight former members brought a canonical complaint related to incidents that allegedly took place decades before. Maciel and the Legionaries have strenuously denied the charges.

“We hold no grudge against those who accuse us,” the May 20 statement from the Legionaries said with regard to the accusers. “Rather, we keep them in our prayers while expressing our humblest gratitude to the countless people of good will who in these circumstances have reiterated to us their support and esteem.”
John L. Allen Jr is NCR Rome correspondent. His e-mail address is

Maciel Praise Provokes Two New Testimonies: Victim And His Wife Speak Out

DOS TESTIMONIOS NUEVOS -Bilingue/Bilingual article


By Ma Esther Zatarain de González & Francisco González Parga


An effort to publicly defend and praise Legion of Christ Founder
Marcial Maciel, discrediting the recent Vatican statement, provokes two new testimonies: the victim’s and his wife’s

Una declaración laudatoria en defensa de Marcial Maciel, y en descrédito del rigor de la sentencia del Vaticano en su contra, provoca la publicación de dos nuevos testimonios de abuso: el de la victima y el de su esposa.

This article contains two letters written in response to an article called DISCOVER THE TRUTH which appeared in the Mexican newspaper “El Mural” towards the end of May, 2006, praising Marcial Maciel as “a good, upright and faithful man.â€� The first letter was written by the spouse of an ex-Legionary sexually abused as a seminarian by Fr. Maciel. The second, written by the victim himself, was published in the daily news paper “EL INFORMADOR” in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. We are including the English version of Legion co-founder Francisco Gonzalez Parga’s letter, already cited in the Wanderer article to include last minute corrections by the author.

Este articulo contiene dos cartas escritas como respuesta a un artículo llamado DESCUBRE LA VERDAD aparecido en EL MURAL a fines de mayo del 2006 donde se alaba a Marcial Maciel como “un hombre bueno, íntegro y fiel�. La primera carta fue escrita por la esposa de un ex-Legionario abusado sexualmente por el Padre Maciel



From July, 1951 [AGED 11] to December, 1970

Tlalpam, MEXICO: July, 1951 to July, 1954
Ontaneda, SPAIN: July, 1954 to July, 1955

2. POSTULANTCY: Summer vacations, 1955

3. NOVITIATE: September, 1955 to September, 1957

4. PREFECT OF POSTULANTS: Summer, 1957; in the same group as Fr. Mariano de Blas, Fr. Blásquez, Bonifacio Padilla and Raúl de Anda.

5. JUNIORATE: September, 1957 to September, 1959

-PHILOSOPHY: September, 1959 to September, 1962.
-THEOLOGY: Degree, September, 1962 to September, 1965.
Simultaneously Assistant to the Master of Novices in Ireland from 1962 to 1965 while alternating months of work in the novitiate with months of study in Rome.
-DOCTORATE IN THEOLOGY: September, 1965 to September, 1968.
-On July 7, 1966 I was ordained a priest and joined the Vatican as part of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops until June, 1969.
Concurrent with my doctoral studies and work in the Vatican, I served as Prefect of Studies for legionary seminarians: From 1665 to 1966 I was prefect of studies for philosophy and from 1966 to 1969 I was prefect of studies for theology.

7. EXILE IN IRELAND: July, 1969 to December, 1970

8. LEAVING: I escaped from the college in Rome in a taxi on December 29, 1970.


Maria-Esther Zatarain de González, Attorney-at-Law

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, May 28, 2006

To: Fr. Juan Pedro Oriol

Dear Father:

I take the liberty of writing this letter, although I do not know you personally, only because I saw your critique of the film “The Da Vinci Code� in the newspaper. My attention was drawn to the beginning of the article where you dedicate it to “Father Marcial Maciel: a good, upright and faithful man.� This description penetrated to the depths of my heart because you are not portraying this man truthfully. Is he good when he has abused more than 100 adolescent boys, and even children, whom he had recruited to religious life? Upright, when — from what I know of him — he has been living a double life on a permanent basis for decades? Do you believe this after all the aberrant acts of which he is so rightly accused? Faithful? To whom? To the pope who covers for him, to the Legionaries who serve and worship him, or more aptly to himself? But certainly he is neither good, nor upright, nor faithful to God. No! God saw everything he did. God cannot be mocked and God is asking him to account for his crimes. Even Maciel will have to come face to face with Him in a tribunal where neither his age nor his delicate state of health will matter. And probably very soon, precisely because his age.

I say this to you knowing perfectly well what I am talking about, since I am the wife of one of Maciel’s victims. I will briefly tell you what I have experienced as a result of this abuse, of this assassination of a pure soul, who never imagined he would find himself with a sexual pervert, who would brand him for life.

When I met my husband, approximately thirty-three years ago, I began to get to know him, I began to love him. Little by little he told me about his life. He told me in broad terms how, when he was fifteen years old (he is now sixty-five), Fr. Marcial Maciel had abused him in a school the Legionaries ran in Ontaneda, Spain. I understood that he wanted to be sincere and wanted to tell me all about his past so that we could enter into matrimony without any secrets. I already knew that he had been a priest. However, I never imagined the horrible events that drove him to abandon the priesthood, nor the consequences and long term effects they had on his personality. And so, while I certainly was disturbed and it troubled me to find out about this, we continued with our relationship, got married and everything seemed normal. However, he always seemed sad, extremely tired, and became exhausted very easily.

In the first year we were married, he developed a very serious urological condition and was on the verge of death. He spent six months as a patient in a Mexico City hospital with a horrible infection.

When that was over, he remained sad and was sick with other complaints. He suffered from serious insomnia. Entire weeks passed during which he did not sleep. He was in a permanent state of depression. Whenever he heard something regarding Fr. Maciel, he would become very nervous, very angry, lose control. His mouth would go dry, his stomach would hurt and his digestion was affected.

I understood that the illnesses and the depression were a result of the abuse, but he always fought against them and tried to overcome them so he could move on, carrying out his duties at the various jobs he had. For several years he gave courses in human relations. He later opened a consulting firm and taught as a professor at ITESO until — because of his poor health and exhaustion — there came a point were everything came to a halt.

After that I spent several years taking care of all the household expenses, his doctors and his medications. I had to work very hard. In addition to attending to him, caring for him, and cheering him up, I was also studying for my law degree.

On various occasions during this period, when his internal anguish led to anemia as a result of digestive problems, and insomnia, my husband sought treatment from psychologists and alternative medicine. Most of the income we had at that time went to pay the psychologist, who was not in the habit of reducing his fees and was very expensive.

So, Father, you have to realize that for someone who has been through the hell we lived through because of someone else’s fault, it is very hard to remain calm when I hear that this fiend is considered a saint, an irreproachable man, “an example and guide for youth�, or “a good, upright and faithful man.� It is not envy, Father, but rather indignation at seeing Satan’s carefully hatched plan work so well, trapping many innocents in the clutches of the perfectly disguised agent he sent dressed in lamb’s clothing (under the appearance of a saint dressed in a cassock). And it is sad to see that men of good will such as yourself have fallen prey, are unable to see because their eyes are blindfolded, and who nevertheless come to the predator’s defense, thereby becoming his accomplices.

I am an attorney and I know the difference between a witness and a victim. Maciel has simple misled you and all those who defend him into thinking he was a good person. You are, to use a legal term, “hearsay witnesses�. If I were you, Father, I would be careful going about praising this demon cloaked in light who calls truth a lie and lying the truth. If I were you I would investigate, ask, examine, so that when God calls you to render an account, you do not say, “Well, I thought . . . Well, everyone said . . ., They were only sins of youth . . ., Many priests do the same thing and they never did anything for the Church�, etc., etc. All such arguments will be useless before God.

On the other hand I want to tell you that, yes, God is good and, yes, he is faithful, and one day God had mercy on my husband and sent us a holy person who helped us get to know the Word of God, helped us make our peace with God, helped us see Jesus Christ as the only gateway to salvation and liberation. Little by little God himself, like a loving father, began binding my husband’s wounds, began healing his heart. And I can tell you with certainty that my husband has already forgiven Maciel, and even prays for him so that God may have mercy on him and help him seek repentance before it is too late.

Father, I truly wish that God imbues you with a special spirit — a spirit of revelation- that would allow you to know the truth, and that truth might set you free (as Christ said) and make you happy (as you say in your article).

Affectionately yours and with the love that Christ has put in my heart,

María-Esther de González

(Translation by REGAIN staff)


[Carta original]


Lic. Ma. Esther de González.
Guadalajara, Jal., 28 de Mayo del 2006.

Sr. Juan Pedro Oriol
P r e s e n t e

Estimado Padre:

Me permito escribirle esta carta, aunque no lo conozco, solamente porque vi en el periódico una crítica que hace usted a la película “El Código Da Vinci”. Lo que me llamó la atención es al principio del artículo que usted lo dedica al “Padre Marcial Maciel, hombre bueno, íntegro y fiel”. Estos epítetos me calaron en lo más hondo de mi corazón porque no está usted calificando verazmente a ese señor. ¿Es Bueno, cuando abusó de más de 100 muchachos adolescentes y aún niños que él había reclutado para la vida religiosa? ¿Ã�ntegro, cuando, por lo que sé de él, ha estado viviendo una doble vida de forma permanente, por décadas? ¿lo cree usted después de todos esos actos aberrantes de que se le acusa con verdad? ¿Fiel? ¿A quién? ¿al Papa que lo encubre, a los Legionarios que lo sirven y lo idolatran?, o más bien, ¿a sí mismo? Pero ciertamente, ni bueno, ni integro ni fiel para con Dios ¡NO! Dios vio todo lo que él hizo, pero de Dios nadie se burla y Dios ya le está pidiendo cuenta de sus crímenes, pero aún Maciel tendrá que enfrentarse cara a cara con Él en un tribunal donde no se tendrá en cuenta ni su edad, ni su delicado estado de salud. Y, esto, lo más probable es que muy pronto, debido precisamente a su edad.

Le digo todo esto con todo conocimiento de causa, pues yo soy esposa de una de las víctimas de Maciel y brevemente le voy a contar lo que yo viví como fruto de ese abuso, de ese asesinato de un alma limpia que nunca se imaginó encontrarse con un perverso homosexual que lo marcaría para toda su vida.

Cuando yo conocí a mi esposo, hace aproximadamente 33 años, lo empecé a tratar, lo empecé a amar, poco a poco me fue él contando su vida, me dijo a grandes rasgos que cuando él tenía 15 años (ahora tiene 65), el padre Marcial Maciel había abusado de él en un Colegio que tienen los Legionarios en Ontaneda, España.

Entendí que él quería ser sincero conmigo y quería contarme todo su pasado para entrar al matrimonio sin ningún secreto. Yo ya sabía que él había sido sacerdote, sin embargo nunca me imaginé los horribles hechos que lo habían orillado a dejar el sacerdocio, ni las secuelas y consecuencias que habían dejado en su personalidad. Así que, aunque ciertamente me molestó, y me inquietó el conocerlos, seguimos con nuestra relación, nos casamos, y todo parecía normal; sin embargo, lo veía siempre triste, muy cansado, se agotaba con mucha facilidad.

En el primer año de casados, se enfermó gravemente de la uretra y estuvo a punto de morir. Duró 6 meses internado en un hospital de la ciudad de México con una infección tremenda.

Cuando salimos de esa, él seguía triste, enfermo de otras cosas, padecía graves insomnios, semanas enteras no dormía, en una palabra, estaba en depresión permanente, y cuando oía algo sobre el Padre Maciel se ponía muy nervioso, muy alterado, fuera de control, se le sacaba la boca, le dolía el estómago y le afectaba en su proceso de digestión.

Yo entendí que las enfermedades y la depresión venían desde el abuso, pero él siempre luchó y se sobreponía para seguir adelante, cumpliendo con los diversos trabajos que tuvo; durante varios años estuvo dando cursos de relaciones humanas, luego abrió un despacho de consejería y dio clases como profesor en el ITESO, hasta que por su estado de salud y agotamiento, llegó el momento en que no pudo ya trabajar.

Entonces yo tuve que enfrentarme por varios años a todos los gastos de la casa, sus doctores y sus medicinas. Tenía que trabajar muy duro. Pues además de que tenía que atenderlo, cuidarlo y animarlo, estaba estudiando mi licenciatura en derecho.

En varias ocasiones durante ese período, cuando su angustia interior declinaba en anemia, por la falta de digestión y los insomnios, mi marido buscó la ayuda en tratamientos con psicólogos, y en la medicina alternativa. La mayor parte de los ingresos económicos que entonces teníamos, iban para el Psicólogo que habitualmente no hacía reducción en sus tarifas y era muy caro.
Así que, padre, debe darse cuenta de que para quien ha vivido ese infierno que nosotros vivimos, por culpa de otro, es muy difícil mantener la calma al escuchar que a ese otro malvado, lo tienen como un santo, un hombre intachable, “como un ejemplo y guía de la juventud”, o como, “un hombre bueno, integro y fielâ€�. Y no es envidia, padre, es indignación al ver la obra de Satanás tan perfectamente urdida para que muchos inocentes caigan en las garras del agente perfectamente camuflado que él ha enviado, vestido con piel de oveja (con apariencia de santo y con sotana) y es tristeza, al ver como hombres de buena voluntad como Ud. han caído y están incapacitados para ver, pues tienen los ojos vendados, pero aún así se prestan para salir en defensa del depredador, haciéndose sus cómplices.

Yo soy abogada, yo sé lo que es un testigo y una víctima, a usted y a todos los que defienden a Maciel, no les hizo nada mas que engañarlos de que era una buena persona, ustedes son “testigos de oídas”, como se dice en Derecho, pero yo que usted padre, tendría cuidado de andar ponderando a ese demonio que se viste de luz, que llama a la verdad mentira y a la mentira verdad. Yo que usted investigaba, preguntaba, indagaba, no sea que Dios también a usted le pida cuentas y le tenga que responder: “pues yo creía. . . ., pues todo mundo decía. . . . , total, pecados de juventud, a muchos sacerdotes les pasa y ellos no han hecho nada por la Iglesia, etc. etc. Todos esos argumentos no le van a valer ante Dios.

Por otro lado le quiero decir, que Dios sí es bueno y él sí es fiel y un día Dios tuvo misericordia de mi esposo y nos envió una persona santa que nos llevó al conocimiento de la Palabra de Dios, nos llevó a hacer nuestra paz con Dios, nos llevó a ver a Jesucristo como la única puerta para nuestra salvación y nuestra liberación. Poco a poco Dios mismo, como un padre amoroso, fue restaurando las heridas de mi esposo, fue sanando su corazón, y le puedo decir con toda certeza, que ya perdonó a Maciel y hasta ora por él para que Dios tenga misericordia de él y lo ayude a buscar el arrepentimiento antes de que sea demasiado tarde.

Padre, de verdad deseo que Dios ponga en usted un espíritu especial, un espíritu de revelación que le haga conocer la verdad y que esa verdad lo haga libre (como dice Cristo) y feliz (como dice usted en su artículo).

Lo saludo con afecto y con el amor que Cristo ha puesto en mi corazón

Lic. Ma. Esther de González.

Telephone number withheld by REGAIN editor



To Fr. Juan Pedro Oriol, LC, &
Jorge Suárez Huizar and Arturo Lucke Gracián, esquires.

I read your review of the film, “The Da Vinci Code,� and I am in complete agreement. However, I was struck by your comment in which, on the one hand, regarding Fr. Marcial Maciel, you refer to him as “a good, upright and loyal man.� On the other hand, you suggest to your readers that they “always seek to discover the truth because only through truth are they made free and happy.�

In the same spirit of love for the truth which you recommend, I wish to inform you that I was a priest of the Legionaries of Christ. In the twenty years devoted to work and study when I belonged to the Legion, I obtained a degree in philosophy and a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University and was Prefect of Studies at the Legionaries of Christ College of Higher Studies in Rome.

Now in the spirit of helping you also to find the truth, I want you to know that at a young age I was a victim of outright sexual abuse, perpetrated in a deceitful and premeditated way, by Fr. Maciel. For this reason and in spite of having been ordained a priest in Rome by then Pope Paul VI [From the author’s soon to be published testimony: “I was ordained a priest in July 1966 by Pope Paul VI in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome.”], I felt compelled to abandon the Legion and the priesthood, taking with me all the moral and psychological damage that you might imagine. For many years I have lived with illness, have been in danger of losing my life, and have experienced continual depression as a result of the abuse committed against my person by Fr. Maciel. Even now I am suffering from the consequences.

But this is only my story. What about the 100 or more cases reported under sworn oath to the Holy See? I have since forgiven Fr. Maciel and I hope that God enlightens him and helps him to acknowledge the grave sin he has committed against those who were his victims and their families, against society and against those Legionaries of Christ who remain members in good faith of the congregation.

I am addressing you publicly because I am outraged by such deceit, falsehood and lies, and because it pains me to know that there are so many people who refuse to accept the truth and still others who “impede truth through injustice.� For some reason they have a need not to want to “search for� the truth or to even “see it.� Otherwise, they would realize that, if Pope Benedict XVI felt obliged for reasons of conscience to take such drastic action against Fr. Maciel by retiring him from all public practice of his priestly ministry, it is because there was sufficient evidence for him to do so — in spite of the dishonor such an act could bring to the Catholic Church, to the person of Pope John Paul II and to his own person, and in spite of the damage this could cause not only to the credibility of the Legionaries of Christ and to the Regnum Christi Movement, but also to the economic, political and social advantages these institutions bring to the Vatican and the Holy See.

It is the opinion of many thinking people that the slight punishment imposed on Fr. Maciel by the pope is the result of a conflict of interests arising out of the above-mentioned advantages the Legion provides to the Vatican and to the papacy. Therefore, instead of trying him for atrocious sexual crimes and abuse of power committed against so many young candidates for the priesthood, they have hidden him from public view so that he may live in comfortable opulence, attended by his unconditionally loyal servants from the Legion. He does so in light of the pope’s recommendation that he use his time for prayer and penitence. Fr. Maciel will need prayer and penitence because God cannot be mocked. What he needs is courage, honesty and genuine repentance in order to publicly ask for forgiveness from those he has wronged, since this is the only way to vindicate himself and his congregation, and, by so doing, compensate his victims in some slight way.

Seek the truth yourself, Father Oriol, as you advise others to do, for it is truth that will make you free and happy, as you have said. Stop being part of the Works of Darkness, believing, perhaps in good faith, that you are a bearer of truth and light.

“But if anyone causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. � —Matthew 18, 6.

Please feel free to contact me regarding any clarification.

Francisco González P.

Former priest of the Legionaries of Christ

Zapopan, Jalisco (Mexico)

[Phone number withheld by REGAIN editor]

(Translation by REGAIN staff)



CARRERA EN LA LEGION: Desde julio del ’51, A LOS ONCE ANYOS, hasta Diciembre del ’70

Tlalpam, MEXICO: Julio 1951 a Julio 1954
Ontaneda, SPAIN: Julio 1954 a julio 1955:

2-POSTULANTADO: Vacaciones de Verano del 1955:

3-NOVICIADO: Septiembre del ’55, a Septiembre del ’57;

4-PREFECTO DE POSTULANTES: Verano del ’57: Grupo del P. Mariano de Blas; P. Blásquez; Bonifacio Padilla; Raúl de Anda,…

5-JUNIORADO: Septiembre 57 a Septiembre del ’59

6- E S T U D I O S
S U P E R I O R E S: R O M E
-FILOSOFIA: Septiembre del ’59 a Septiembre del 62;
-TEOLOGÃ�A: Licenciatura: Septiembre del ’62 a Septiembre del 65.
Simultáneamente Asistente del Maestro de Novicios en Irlanda del 62 al 65; alternando los meses de trabajo en el Noviciado, con los meses de Estudio en Roma.
-DOCTORADO EN TEOLOGÃ�A: Septiembre del 65 a Septiembre del ’68.
-El 7 de Julio del ’66, me ordené de sacerdote y entre al Vaticano, a formar parte de la Sagrada Congregación para las Obispos como escritor de 3er. nivel, hasta junio de 1969.
Simultáneamente a mis estudios de doctorado y trabajo en el Vaticano, desempeñé el cargo de Prefecto de Estudios de los seminaristas legionarios: en el año 1965-66, fuí prefecto de estudios de Filosofía; y del año 1966 al 69, fui prefecto de estudios de Teología;

7-DESTIERRO [EXILE] EN IRLANDA: Julio ’69 a Diciembre del ’70;

8- SALIDA [ESCAPE]: Me escapé del colegio de Roma en un taxi el 29 de Diciembre de 1970.



[The following is the original Spanish version of the letter written by Francisco Gonzalez-Parga to a newspaper in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico]


Al Padre Juan Pedro Oriol, LC., y
Sres. Jorge Suárez Huizar y Arturo Lucke Gracián.

Leí su crítica de la película “El Código Da Vinci�. Estoy de acuerdo en todo, sin embargo me llamó mucho la atención su comentario del Padre Marcial Maciel al que Ud. se refiere diciendo que es “Hombre bueno, íntegro y fiel�. Por otro lado Ud. sugiere a sus lectores que “no dejen de descubrir la verdad, porque solo la verdad nos hace libres y felices�.

Con ese espíritu de amor a la verdad que Ud. sugiere, quiero informarle que yo fui Sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo. Durante los 20 años de trabajo y estudio en que permanecí en la Legión, obtuve Licenciatura en Filosofía y Doctorado en Teología por la Universidad Gregoriana y fui Prefecto de Estudios en el Colegio Máximo de los Legionarios de Cristo, en Roma.

Ahora bien, con el ánimo de ayudarle a Ud. también a encontrar la verdad, quiero que sepa que fui victima a corta edad de abusos sexuales directos, perpetrados con engaños premeditados por el Padre Maciel. Por esa causa y a pesar que fui ordenado Sacerdote en Roma por el entonces Papa Pablo VI, [Editor: Fui ordenado sacerdote en Julio de 1966 por el Papa Paulo VI, en la Basílica de San Pedro en Roma, del Testimonio del autor], me vi impulsado a abandonar la Legión y el Sacerdocio, llevando conmigo todo el daño moral y psicológico que usted se puede imaginar y que sufrí por muchos años al grado de vivir enfermo, con peligro de perder la vida y con depresiones continuas, como consecuencia del abuso cometido contra mi persona por el Padre Maciel y aún en la actualidad sufro las consecuencias.
Pero ese es sólo mi caso, ¿qué hay de los otros cien (100) o más casos reportados bajo juramento por escrito a la Santa Sede? Yo perdoné ya al P. Maciel, y espero que Dios lo ilumine y lo ayude a reconocer su grave pecado cometido contra quienes han sido sus víctimas y sus familias, contra la sociedad y contra los mismos Legionarios de Cristo que de buena fe permanecen en la Congregación.

Y si me dirijo a Ud. públicamente es porque me da en cara tanto engaño, falsedad y mentira y me duele que haya tantas personas que renuncian a conocer la verdad, y otras aún, que “detienen con injusticia la verdad�. Porque se necesita no querer “buscar� la verdad, o incluso no querer “verla� por algún interés creado, para no darse cuenta que si el Papa Benedicto XVI se vio obligado, por razones de conciencia, a tomar una medida drástica contra el P. Maciel y a retirarlo de toda práctica pública del ministerio sacerdotal, es porque constató suficiente evidencia para hacerlo, a pesar de la deshonra a la que exponía con ese acto a la Iglesia Católica, a la persona del Papa Juan Pablo II y a su misma persona, y a pesar del daño que podía causar, tanto a la credibilidad de la congregación de los Legionarios de Cristo y del Movimiento Regnum Christi, como a las ventajas económicas, políticas y sociales que estas instituciones le aportan al Vaticano y a la Santa Sede.
Es de la opinión de mucha gente pensante que el leve castigo otorgado por el Papa al Padre Maciel, se debe al conflicto de intereses, dadas las ventajas mencionadas que representan los Legionarios de Cristo para el Vaticano y para el Papado. Por eso en vez de juzgarlo por los atroces crímenes de homosexualidad y abuso de poder cometidos contra tantos jóvenes candidatos al sacerdocio, simplemente lo escondieron de la vista pública para que viva cómodamente en la opulencia y atendido por servidores incondicionales dentro de la Legión, aunque con la recomendación por parte del Papa para que aproveche su tiempo para orar y hacer penitencia. Lo va a necesitar, porque Dios no puede ser burlado y se necesita valentía, honestidad y un genuino arrepentimiento para pedir perdón públicamente a las personas que ofendió pues es lo único que podría reivindicar al Padre Maciel y a la congregación y así resarcir de alguna manera a sus víctimas.

Busque Ud. la Verdad, Padre, de acuerdo a lo que aconseja, ya que la Verdad lo hará verdaderamente libre y feliz como usted dice. No siga participando en las obras de las tinieblas, pensando quizá de buena fe que es portador de luz y de verdad.
“Y cualquiera que haga tropezar a alguno de estos pequeños que creen en mí, mejor le fuera, que se le atase una piedra de molino al cuello y que se le arrojase en lo profundo del mar� (Mateo 18, 6).

Estoy a sus órdenes para cualquier aclaración.

Francisco González P.

Ex Sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo

Zapopan, Jal.

[Número telefónico no revelado por REGAIN]

Bertone Will Be Named Secretary Of State

here in translation – The item comes from both an online news service called Affari Italiani and from the newspaper Il Giornale


Tarcisio Bertone, Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa, will be Benedict XVI’s new Secretary of State. Sources at the Vatican said this was “90% sure” and that the announcement could be made on June 29, feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

In the intricate course of deciding the successor to Angelo Sodano, who is 3 years overdue for retirement, this is a triumph for the 70-year-old Bertone, who served for years as second in command to Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [and his good friend and next-door neighbor at Piazza della Citta Leonina, 1].

A native of Vercelli (halfway between Milan and Turin), tall and distinguished-looking, Bertone is a canon law expert who is very prepared and equally strict on doctrine, capable of dealing with complex questions in a clear and decisive way.

In short, he is not a diplomat, but will be a good executor of decisions that come from the Papal apartments.

It is well-known that the Pope and Sodano have little love lost between them. Sodano, who was Apostolic Nuncio to Chile in Pinochet’s regime, son of a Christian Democrat who was a member of the Italian Parliament, and who is said to have harbored papal ambitions in the last conclave, was at odds with Ratzinger even during John Paul II’s Papacy.

The German was too strict, the Italian too diplomatic. Among other things, under Papa Wojtyla, Sodano defended Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, who has been accused of sexual offenses and was recently sanctioned by the Vatican without holding a canonical trial because of his age and poor health.

And now, Benedict XVI, after starting to reassign certain prominent personalities from the Curia(like Cardinal Dziwisz, now Archbishop of Cracow, or Cardinal Cresencio Sepe, assigned to Naples), is proceeding with his Curial reform. First, with the men in charge, and next with legislative action that will incorporate pontifical councils with similar functions and thus help reduce administrative personnel at the Vatican.

It is interesting to note that the two top nominations to the Curia – assuming Bertone is confirmed – would both be alumni of the CDF under Ratzinger. Cardinal William Levada, whom the Pope named to be his successor at the CDF, worked with him at the CDF for years in the early 1980s.

In this way, the Pope is reaffirming the key principle in his ‘cleaning up’ of the Church: he needs men who are at the service of the Pope, who follow his line without stepping too much out of line as some did under the previous Pope. Above all, they should know not to speak ahead of the Pope.

And Bertone, who does not take part in talk shows although he has commented on some football games with his beloved Juve, appears to be the right man for the Pope at the Secretariat of State. A man who is sober and moderate, in keeping with the discreet style of this German Pope.

Additional bonus: Many sources say that the present Archbishop of Monreale, Sicily, Mons. Cataldo Naro, is in line to take over as Archbishop of Genoa. Which would put him on tap to become Cardinal at age 55, and a possible new Curial aide in Benedict XVI’s government.