Monday, February 9, 2009

Maciel in the Mexican Media

Last week, I posted a bit from a Mexican media source about Fr. Maciel; this source, I was told by readers who can read Spanish, is not a trusted media source, but is more like a "National Enquirer" paper.

Over the weekend, though, it seems as though some more mainstream Spanish media sources have picked up the Maciel story, with Spanish-language newspapers, blogs, and editorials being written.

Even in Google translator, these are interesting to read. Several make the point that people within the Legion had to be aware of Fr. Maciel's lifestyle, and that his co-conspirators and enablers could very well still be entrenched within the Legion; this is, naturally, aside from rumors about the mother's age at the time of conception which have so far remained unfounded rumor the point of greatest concern among observers of the Legion.

This article refers to the Ex LC, Life-after-RC and American Papist blogs, and their role in helping to spread the information:

Esa fachada de santa infalibilidad se desmoronó cuando los blogs Ex LC Blog, Life alter LC y American Papist destaparon el lunes 2 de febrero que “hoy, el P. Scott Reilly, LC, director territorial de Atlanta, Georgia, le anunció a quienes trabajan en esa dirección territorial de la Legión de Cristo que Marcial Maciel tuvo una amante, procreó con ella al menos un hijo y vivió una doble vida”. La noticia fue prontamente recogida por los principales diarios del mundo.

Lo cierto es que, de acuerdo al New York Times y a testigos presenciales que pidieron el anonimato, Corcuera y otros altos líderes de la Orden tenían ya semanas de acercarse a sus seguidores más fieles para informarles del hecho. Pero no hay indicio de que pensaran hacerlo público o, cuando menos, no pronto.

I find it interesting that the Mexican media seems to be picking up steam on the Maciel story at a time when the American media seems to have let it die down. Granted, there aren't any new revelations or new circumstances which warrant any further hard news stories; but as the Mexican press seems to be pointing out, there are still a whole lot of unanswered--and very pertinent--questions. Among these seem to me to be the following:

1. Within the Legion, who knew about Fr. Maciel's double life?

2. What exactly did they know, and for how long did they know it?

3. What, if anything, did they do to aid or facilitate this life (e.g., turning a blind eye to accounting irregularites that would naturally follow the disappearance of large sums of cash being used by Fr. Maciel to support his lifestyle, etc.)?

4. How many of these people are still living, still working within the Legion, and still involved in any way with the handling of the dissemination of this information?

Without honest answers to at least these four questions--and there are others, of course--it seems to me that the Legion can't even pretend to be "healing," "moving forward," and so on. It is one thing to take down the pictures of Fr. Maciel at one of the Legion's facilities in Rome, as one of the Mexican media sources reports is being done; it's another altogether to continue to permit those who did know--and surely at least a few did--what was going on to remain blameless, and even, perhaps, in current positions of authority within the Legion.


Beth said...

How about an answer to this question: How old was his mistress when she gave birth to his daughter? Surely they know the answer to this and who she is. By not stating it it leads me to believe that she was underage and not only was this behavior not appropriate for a priest, it was a crime.

Red Cardigan said...

Excellent question, Beth.

The Legion keeps saying that we have to respect the women's privacy (mother and daughter). Nobody's asking for a name and a phone number, but like you said, there's a big difference (legally and morally) between entering a sinful relationship with an adult woman who gives consent to the sin, and abusing an underage girl. Since the question has been raised, it ought to be answered.

Anonymous said...

I read that the daughter wants to sell her story. That's why the Legion came out with the story, to lessen the "shock."