The National Catholic Reporter has a story today about the son of Legion of Christ founder, the late Marciel Maciel Degollado suing the Legion of Christ, saying that Maciel had promised him $6 Million dollars. The details of his abuse are harrowing and the arrogance of Maciel is astounding.
He recalls his father meeting him at the airport in Rome with a blue Mercedes, taking him to an apartment where “my dad told me these are your aunts and this is your sister.” This was Normita, a little over a year old at the time, and her mother Norma Hilda Banos, Maciel’s second common-law wife, whom he had met in Acapulco several years before, according to the publication El Mundo in Madrid. Maciel set up his partial, extended family for a month in Rome. A woman whose name Gonzalez can’t remember assisted “Aunt Norma” with little Normita.
We went to the Vatican,” he recalls. “We were in a small chapel and Pope John Paul II was offering Mass there.”
Maciel arranged for Legion supporters to attend private Masses in the Apostolic Palace by virtue of financial gifts he and the Legion steered to then-Msgr Stanislaw Dziwisz, John Paul II’s close assistant. [NCR, April 12]. He has since become a cardinal in Cracow.
Gonzalez does not recall receiving communion from the pope. He says that John Paul shook hands with the visitors. He does not recall where his father was during the Mass. “I was with Norma, the mom, and my little sister, Normita,” he says. “I kissed [John Paul’s] ring.”
But the person who took the photograph of young Raul and Normita, holding hands with a Swiss Guard — was almost certainly Maciel. Raul retains possession of the photos. The man wanting to leave no visible trace with his Cuernavaca family took photos that mattered to him personally.
Gonzalez did not question Norma’s relationship with his father; in the naiveté of a complex childhood he accepted things as they were.
The “family” traveled tout ensemble to Sorrento, Capri and Naples on a sunny holiday. In Rome, he said, “during the days [Maciel] left and then he came home at night,” presumably after tending to his duties at the Legion complex.
The boy returned to Mexico after a month. Over the years his father would call long distance and speak to the boys. “He always told us, ‘Don’t forget to go to Mass’…’Be good boys.’ And to be honest, I appreciate those advices…[like] ‘Don’t lie.’ That’s the good thing he left us.”
Not long after Raul’s 10th birthday Maciel arranged for him to live with a family in Dublin, attend private school and learn English. This was in 1990 when, he said, the severe suffering began.
That takes some hootspa! You somehow get your “secret family” to have mass with the Pope. I’m sure that John Paul II didn’t know who these people were and that he arranged to have lots of people meet the Pope with his connections but this story really makes me angry.
Read the rest of this horrible story here.