From Catholic News Agency:
The blog “Exlcblog” claimed that Fr. Scott Reilly, the Legionaries of Christ Territorial Director in Atlanta, Georgia announced to those in the Territorial Direction that Fr. Maciel had a mistress, fathered a child, and lived a double life. The blog claimed that the Legionaries of Christ is therefore renouncing Father Maciel as their spiritual father.
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."
The American Papist sums up some of the allegations, which include the charge (now admitted fact?) that Fr. Maciel had fathered a child twenty-some years ago. Several other allegations have existed for quite some time; it's not clear if those have been addressed or will soon be addressed.
Amy Welborn comments:
We should note, in retelling this story, that the charges against Maciel apparently had no traction at the Vatican, for whatever reason, until Benedict XVI became Pope. In May, 2006, Maciel was ordered to retire to a life of prayer and penance. Here is the text of the communique, which was intermidably parsed here and other places, but whose meaning is hard to escape.
There are, indeed, good people associated with LC and RC - many of us reading this blog know them. They need our prayers and great strength - the strength that any and all of us need when we have been deceived in the name of God.
Tom Hoopes, editor of National Catholic Register (which is owned by the Legionaries of Christ), left this comment on Welborn's post:
All I want to say is, I’m sorry.
I want to say it here, because I defended Fr. Maciel here, and I need to be on the record regarding that defense:
I’m sorry, to the victims, who were victims twice, the second time by calumny. I’m sorry, to the Church, which has been damaged. I’m sorry, to those I’ve misled.
I did it unwittingly, but this isn’t a time for excuses.
The Church gave me great, great good in Regnum Christi.
The Church did bring justice, and did penalize this man.
Thank God for the Church.
I seek repentance and forgiveness, and I leave it at that.
A few days ago Patrick Madrid indicated that "some shocking, saddening news about a prominent figure in the Church will soon become publically known." Madrid (who I worked for as editor of Envoy magazine from 2002-04) has now posted a long piece about the news:
Again, we must keep this unfolding situation clearly in perspective and not sucumb to the various myopic temptations that beckon: at one end, to shrug and simply ignore it as a non-issue, and at the other end, to join in a gleeful feeding-frenzy of morose delectation. Already, on the blogs, one can see people falling into both camps.
Considering the painful and dark nature of all of this, combined with the many years of tension, suspicion, and conflict it has involved, some emotional and angry reactions are understandable. Sin, of course, is never a reason for rejoicing, nor should the sins of anyone be used for sensational or revengeful ends. But Fair's comment, "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," is troubling since these sins of Fr. Maciel—specifically those involving sexual immorality—have deeply wounded Catholics, the Church and many outside of the Church. Such scandal is not just a private matter; it demands a more adequate response.