A serial child-rapist, cult-leader and secretly married confidant of John Paul II and Benedict XVI is finally disowned by his own cult. John Paul II called this multiple child-rapist "an efficacious guide to youth". Of course, he was never subjected to any criminal sanctions, was protected by Woytila and Ratzinger for years, even as they knew full well what was going on, and the euphemized statement just released is what the Catholic hierarchy believes is contrition. In 2006, the Vatican decided not even to subject him to canonical hearing because of his advanced age. So if you live long enough, and bring enough cash into the church, you can be allowed to molest countless children and your only punishment is an invitation to spend the rest of your life, supported by the church, in "prayer and penance, renouncing to any public ministry”.
The person who approved of this non-punishment is now the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the American Cardinal Levada. Punishing Maciel for decades of child-rape with a paid retirement and invitation to prayer was also approved directly by Pope Benedict XVI.
But it is important to remember that this child-rapist was also defended openly and strongly by several leading American theoconservatives. Richard John Neuhaus wrote he knew Maciel's innocence as a matter of "moral certainty." Even when the Vatican finally asked Maciel to step away from public ministry, Neuhaus commented:
"There is nothing in the Vatican statement that suggests that the word penance is meant as a punitive measure. It wouldn't be the first time that an innocent and indeed holy person was unfairly treated by Church authority."
The other leading American intellectuals who endorsed Maciel on the Legion's own website were George Weigel, Mary Ann Glendon, William J. Bennett and William Donohue. To his credit, Weigel has since reversed himself but, so far as I can find, has never personally apologized or taken responsibility for having backed Maciel to the hilt previously. Let us review the record:
8 March 1997 Father Richard John Neuhaus writes: “One cannot help but be greatly impressed by both the discipline and the joy evinced by so many young men who have followed the vision of Father Maciel in surrendering their lives to Christ and His Church. I confidently pray that your apostolate will survive and flourish long after these terrible attacks have been long forgotten.”
Deal Hudson in Crisis calls on the Courant to “withdraw its false article and apologize to Father Maciel, the Legionaries of Christ, and faithful Roman Catholics.”
30 April William Bennett writes, “The flourishing of the Legionaries is a cause for hope in a time of much darkness. I look forward to continuing my involvement with and support of the Legion of Christ.”
23 May Mary Ann Glendon writes, “The recent revival of long discredited allegations against Father Maciel would come as a surprise were it not for the fact that the U.S. is currently experiencing a resurgence of anti-Catholicism. One would have thought that Father Neuhaus's meticulous analysis of the evidence in First Things had put the matter to rest once and for all. As one who sat near Father Maciel for several weeks during the Synod for America, I simply cannot reconcile those old stories with the man's radiant holiness.”
Neuhaus went so far as to attack the journalists who first broke the story as being bigots:
It is not the kind of stuff you would find in any mainstream media, but then Berry and Renner are not practitioners of what is ordinarily meant by responsible journalism. Berry's business is Catholic scandal and sensationalism. That is what he does. Renner's tour at the Courant was marked by an animus against things Catholic, an animus by no means limited to the Legion…
I can only say why, after a scrupulous examination of the claims and counterclaims, I have arrived at moral certainty that the charges are false and malicious. I cannot know with cognitive certainty what did or did not happen forty, fifty, or sixty years ago. No means are available to reach legal certainty (beyond a reasonable doubt). Moral certainty, on the other hand, is achieved by considering the evidence in light of the Eighth Commandment, 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.' On that basis, I believe the charges against Fr. Maciel and the Legion are false and malicious and should be given no credence whatsoever.
I am unaware of any public accountability for these intellectuals' defense of a figure whose crimes were so great and so clear and so vile that he rightly qualifies as a monstrous hypocrite, child-rapist and cultist. If I had vouched for this man's innocence, I would feel a public responsibility to apologize and explain. If I have missed such a statement from any of the above (Neuhaus, of course, is no longer with us and unable to explain) I'd be grateful if someone forwarded them to me. I have searched Google in vain.
For a brilliant documentary on this pedophile cult protected by John Paul II and Benedict XVI check this out.