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North America - Mexico - Christianity - Catholic

Criminal Charges in Mexican Clergy Sex Abuse Case
(AP, June 2, 2010)

Mexico City, Mexico - A legislator with Mexico's main leftist party has filed a criminal complaint against a conservative Roman Catholic religious order that acknowledged its recently deceased founder fathered at least one child and sexually abused seminarians.

Leticia Quezada Contreras wants Mexican prosecutors to investigate allegations of a cover-up of sexual abuse by the Rev. Marcial Maciel, a Mexican priest who established the Legion of Christ and built the order into a wealthy power in the church.

Legion officials denied any wrongdoing but said they would cooperate with Mexican authorities if needed.

The Vatican recently completed an international investigation of the Legion and said it would appoint a commissioner to oversee the group. In announcing the takeover, the Vatican excoriated Maciel for creating a "system of power" built on silence, deceit and obedience that enabled him to lead a double life "devoid of any scruples and authentic sense of religion" and allowed him to abuse young boys unchecked.

The Legion of Christ operates grade-schools and seminaries in Mexico, Rome, the United States and elsewhere.