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MEXICO CITY, Dec 22 — Marcial Maciel, the Mexican founder of the ultra-conservative Legionaries of Christ, abused at least 60 minors, according to a new report published yesterday by the Roman Catholic group.
Maciel was punished by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 when he ordered Maciel to retire to a life of prayer and penitence after years of allegations that he had sexually abused boys and young men.
He died two years later at the age of 87 without ever facing his accusers.
The report lists 175 instances of child abuse over the past eight decades, implicating 33 priests.
“Of the 33 priests, six died without being tried, one was convicted and another one – already removed from clerical status – is currently on trial,” the report concludes.
The report did not say what became of the other 25 priests.
While the report does not detail when the abuse took place, several men have in the past publicly accused Maciel of molesting them while they were in a seminary from the 1940s to the 1960s.
Before he died, Maciel forcefully denied the charges against him, and many of them came too late for prosecutors to pursue a criminal case.
“I never engaged in the sort of repulsive behaviour these men accuse me of,” he said in 2002.
Maciel, born in a small town in the central Mexican state of Michoacan, came from a distinguished Catholic family with two great-uncles who were Mexican Bishops.
“There has been progress on an institutional path of reparation and reconciliation” for 45 victims of abuse, the report states, without going into further detail.
“There is still a great need to continue facilitating this path for others,” it adds. — Reuters
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