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Legion of Christ cites misconduct by founder

The Catholic order of priests is not specific about the behavior of Marcial Maciel, who was disciplined by the Vatican before he died.

February 05, 2009|Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — A staunchly conservative religious order said Wednesday that its founder had committed misconduct.

Legion of Christ founder Marcial Maciel was a Mexican priest who was disciplined by the Vatican several years ago after allegations by former seminarians of sexual abuse.

In a report on its website, the National Catholic Reporter cited four unidentified former Legionaries or supporters of the order in the United States and Mexico as saying that the order had recently told current members and supporters privately that Maciel "apparently" fathered a child out of wedlock.

Chicago-based Legion of Christ spokesman Jim Fair declined to comment on specific allegations but said the order had learned of "surprising" things. Maciel died last year at age 87.

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