“Memories fade but the scars still linger”, is a verse from “Memories Fade” by Tears for Fears. Those lyrics would surely apply to the Legionaries of Christ (LOC) and its controversial founder.
The late Rev. Marciel Maciel founded the LOC in Mexico in 1941 and he used his links to the country's elite in order to build the LOC into “one of the most influential organizations in the Roman Catholic Church.” The conservative priest constantly denied rumors of personal improprieties while the LOC’s clout grew within the global Catholic Church movement.
The precarious house of cards that Maciel erected throughout his life came crashing down after his death in 2008. Allegations that he fathered multiple children were true according to LOC officials last March. "We express our sorrow and grief to each and every person damaged by our founder's actions," said a statement from sixteen LOC leaders that also admitted that they helped cover-up sexual abuse committed by Maciel.
The LOC has tried to overcome the terrible stigma left behind by Maciel’s callous actions. The Vatican authority appointed to run the LOC, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, announced several reforms to the sect including expanding the powers of the group’s general counsel. De Paolis last Friday also appointed members of a commission that will revise the LOC’s constitution.
Earlier today the LOC took several steps in trying to airbrush Maciel from its history:
The conservative order says photographs showing the late Rev. Marciel Maciel alone or with the pope must be removed from its installations…Aside from deeply damaging the LOC, Maciel’s legacy has shined a negative light on the Vatican that helped cover-up his wrongdoings.
The Legion also announced on its website Monday that it was prohibiting the celebration of Maciel's birthday. It also banned the sale of Maciel's writings inside Legion centers.
Online Sources- Los Angeles Times, The Latin Americanist, BusinessWeek, CNN, MSNBC, AP