The Legion of Christ, also referred to as the Legionaries of Christ, is a congregation of Roman Catholic priests founded in 1941 by Fr. Marcial Marciel Degollado. Fr. Degollado died yesterday.
Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado was born in Cotija de la Paz, Mexico on March 10, 1920.
Catholic News Agency: Legionaries of Christ founder passes away
Father Álvaro Corcuera, General Director of the Legionaries of Christ, announced today that their Founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, has died in the United States at the age 87 from natural causes. In the official statement, Fr. Corcuera announced "the departure of their beloved founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado to heaven on January 30,” as well as the Legionaries “deep gratitude to all those who wish to unite in prayer for the eternal repose of his soul".
By the will of Father Maciel, the funeral will be celebrated privately, "in an atmosphere of prayer and simplicity in his hometown, Cotija, in the state of Michoacán, Mexico."
From The Associated Press: Religious Order Leader Maciel Dies
The Rev. Marcial Maciel, a Mexican priest who founded the Legionaries of Christ religious order and was disciplined by Pope Benedict XVI after sex abuse allegations, has died in the United States, his order said Thursday. He was 87.
Maciel died Wednesday of natural causes, the conservative religious order said on its Web site. It did not say exactly where he died.
Since the 1970s, Marcial Maciel had been accused of having repeatedly sexually abused other congregation members, including young children. Maciel's accusers include a priest, a guidance counselor, a professor, an engineer, a lawyer, and a former priest who became a university professor. The men, seven Mexicans and two Spaniards, described themselves as former members of a favored group, known as the "apostolic schoolboys." The abuse allegedly occurred over three decades beginning in the 1940s in Spain and Italy, where boys and young men were taken for schooling. The abuse, they said, involved some 30 boys and young men and extended over at least three decades.
Of the nine men making the accusations, one subsequently retracted his story, claiming it had been a fabrication intended to damage the Legion. The other eight continue to maintain these allegations. Fr. Maciel and the Legion consistently denied the allegations. (See: Founders)
Whatever you may feel about Fr. Marcial Marciel Degollado, please remember him and the Legion of Christ in your prayers.