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More woe for Legion of Christ as women quit en masse

The embattled order of the Legionaries of Christ has been hit by yet another crisis.

  • Vatican City
  • February 16, 2012
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The female branch of the scandal-plagued Legionaries of Christ religious order was in turmoil Tuesday following the resignation of its leader and the decision of some 30 members to split from the movement.

Malen Oriol announced in a letter Sunday that she had asked to resign as the assistant to the general director of the Legion, which Pope Benedict XVI took over in 2010 after the order revealed its late founder had sexually molested seminarians and fathered three children.

In her role, Oriol had headed the Legion’s branch of consecrated women, some 600 women who live like nuns working in Legion schools, recruiting and fundraising.

Oriol also revealed that a group of consecrated women had decided to leave the movement and live out their vocations under the authority of local bishops — a blow to the Legion that suggests that groups of reformers are now stepping outside the movement because their superiors are refusing to change.

A Vatican investigation in 2010 determined that the Legion’s founder, Rev. Marciel Maciel, was a fraud and discovered serious spiritual and psychological abuses within the Legion and its consecrated branch.

Benedict named a trusted Vatican official, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, to run the Legion and oversee a process of reform and purification to rid it of the abuses. But De Paolis has faced criticism that he is moving too slowly, that the Legion’s problematic culture hasn’t changed, and that the same superiors who covered up Maciel’s crimes remain in positions of authority.

Full Story: Scandal-hit Legion of Christ's female branch in turmoil as director resigns, group splits off

Source: Washington Post
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