Disgraced Catholic order gets new chief
The Roman Catholic Church will overhaul the ultra-conservative Legion of Christ, whose late founder Marcial Maciel was disgraced after abuse scandals. Maciel’s “conduct … had consequences in the life and the structure of the Legion that are so serious as to require a journey of profound restructuring,” a statement said over the weekend. The Pope would name an interim leader within weeks, said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, in a major shake-up at a time when the church faces intense pressure to crack down on abusers and their protectors in the hierarchy. “The Pope is taking this case very seriously,” Father Lombardi said. The church “has the firm resolve to accompany and help (the order) on the way to the purification it needs,” the statement added. The Mexican-born Maciel, who died in the US in January 2008, aged 87, was accused of molesting eight seminarians and secretly fathering children.