Over at Life After RC, Giselle posts a poignant reminder that this scandal is not about Fr. Maciel or the movement he founded. This scandal, and the strong emotions it fuels among ordinary people, is about Fr. Maciel’s victims. Especially since they were thrice-victimized: First through the sexual abuse they reportedly suffered. Second through the unjust persecution and tarnishing of their good name when they came forward with serious and substantial allegations. And third, through the Legion’s failure to apologize publicly to them when strong evidence of Fr. Maciel’s “double life” emerged in the media.
Which is why Giselle’s point is one we cannot forget. As new evidence surfaces about Fr. Maciel’s sexual exploits with young women, let us remember that Nuestro Padre’s first alleged victims were the young men who entrusted their spiritual formation to his care:
Rome/February 28, 1997
Mr. Clifford L. Teutsch
The Hartford Courant
285 Broad Street
Hartford, CT 06115
Dear Mr. Teutsch,
Regarding the accusations made against me in the Hartford Courant of Sunday, February 23, I wish to state that in all cases they are defamations and falsities with no foundation whatsoever, since during the years these men were in the Legion never in any way did I commit those acts with them, nor did I make any such advances to them nor was the suggestion of such acts ever mentioned.
During the time that these men were in the Legion of Christ and even after they had left, I spared no sacrifice to help them as much as I could-as I have always done with every person the Lord has put under my care. I do not know what has led them to make these totally false accusations 20, 30 and 40 years after leaving the congregation. I am all the more surprised since I still have letters from some of them well into the 1970s in which they express their gratitude and our mutual friendship.
Despite the moral suffering that this has caused me I bear no ill will toward them. Rather I offer my pain and prayers for each one of them, in hope that they will recover their peace of soul and remove from their hearts whatever resentment has moved them to make these false accusations.
Yours respectfully in Christ,
Marcial Maciel, L.C.