Monday, November 29, 1999

Pope meets with head of scandal-tainted Legion

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The pope on Friday met with the head of the Legionaries of Christ pending an expected papal announcement about who will take charge of the conservative order scarred by revelations that its founder sexually abused seminarians and fathered at least one child.The Legionaries said that, during the private audience, its director general, the Rev. Alvaro Corcuera Martinez del Rio, thanked Pope Benedict XVI for his "fatherly care" and assured him of the "unconditional loyalty" of the Legionaries and its lay movement Regnum Christi.The Vatican announced May 1 that the pope had decided to appoint a delegate to take charge of the order after an eight-month investigation showed that the Legionaries needed to be profoundly re-evaluated and purified to survive, given the enormous influence the late founder had on it.The Holy See said the founder, the Rev. Marciel Maciel, had committed grave and "objectively immoral actions" that constituted true crimes in some cases and showed a "life devoid of scruples and authentic religious meaning."

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