Amy Welborn's take;
I may add more as things continue to unfold, especially if there are more official Legion statements made public.
Let me start by saying that I have long believed there are very serious problems with the Legion and many of its apostolates. I have a family member who was briefly involved with the Legion, and in addition have heard from many others who have experienced problems with Legion-led ministries or groups. One of the most frequent, and disturbing, aspects of Legion spirituality was their tendency to elevate Fr. Maciel to a state of near-sainthood during his life; even after his discipline, many in the Legion saw him as a suffering Christ-figure, unjustly accused by his enemies, instead of a person who may have had some very serious sinful behavior in his life.
Some of the writers of the posts linked to above have expressed their personal belief that the Legion will have to formally repudiate Fr. Maciel at this point in order to continue as an order; one can certainly have a flawed founder, and not all religious orders were founded by canonized saints, but a founder who has been guilty of egregiously sinful conduct without ever admitting to it and openly repenting (indeed, while insisting until his death that he was innocent) is not really an advantage for an order. That's why it saddened me (though, alas, it didn't surprise me) to read this from the CNA article linked to above and here:
Nobody is disputing that God works through flawed human beings; but having an unrepentant (at least, publicly) sinner for one's founder could be a liability; and clinging to that founder in the face of such terrible evidence of his sinful way of life could open the call for the order to be suppressed altogether, something I think the Legion ought to consider.
CNA contacted Legionaries of Christ spokesman Jim Fair, but received no specific confirmation of any allegations.
“We’ve learned some things about our founder’s life that are surprising and difficult to understand,” Fair told CNA on Tuesday.
“We can confirm that there are aspects of his life that weren’t appropriate for a Catholic priest.
“Obviously he had human feelings but it remains true that through him we received our charism, which has been approved by the Church.
“Our commitment remains and we‘re going to go forward and love Christ and serve the Church,” he remarked.
Asked to verify the specific allegations, Fair replied:
“Fr. Maciel died over a year ago and obviously whatever has happened is between him and God and God’s judgment and mercy, so we’re going to let him take care of that.”
CNA asked Fair to verify whether the Legionaries of Christ were distributing information on the allegations through their regional directors.
“We communicate internally, but I can’t make any comment beyond that,” Fair replied.
“I know that there have been rumors about are we somehow denouncing him. Obviously we are not. Fr. Maciel was and always will be the father of the legion.
“One of the mysteries of our faith is that God sometimes works through flawed human beings.”
And the language employed by spokesman Jim Fair, that there were "aspects of his (Maciel's) life that weren’t appropriate for a Catholic priest..." and that God "works through flawed human beings..." could be more minimizing of the serious nature of the present allegations. We're not talking about some minor financial irregularity or some similar offense: Maciel is reported to have fathered at least one child, who is now in her early twenties--an indication that Maciel's sexually sinful behavior was continuing even in the somewhat recent past, long after the time period during which the original sexual abuse allegations, involving seminarians, were made.
Quite frankly, it seems as though there were aspects of Fr. Maciel's life that weren't appropriate for a serious Christian, let alone a practicing Catholic, let alone a Catholic priest who stood at the head of a growing religious order. The Legion needs to confront this with honesty and integrity, sooner rather than later, instead of minimizing the situation and pretending that they can keep their pictures of "Nuestro Padre" in their seminaries and continue their habit of treating Fr. Maciel's letters and writings as key spiritual formation documents. It cannot be done.
Admitting that the man who founded their religious order was a man who apparently did not live up to the vow of chastity he had taken as a priest is going to be a hard thing for those in the Legion who nearly idolize the man. But we are not to have idols; the Christian response to the Maciel situation is to pray for the man's eternal soul while refusing to pay any more false homage to him, to see him as an admirable character worthy of emulation, or otherwise to elevate the comfortable myths above the stunning and ugly reality. It's time for the Legion to take steps to separate their order from the memory of "Our Founder" who is still lionized all over their website (though silence is kept about the order he received to do penance at the end of his life). The Legion will survive without Fr. Maciel's memory--but they will not survive, if they cling to their practice of considering him a saint.