Legion of Christ accused abuser removed from priesthood

MEXICO CITY (AP) - The Catholic Church has removed Mexican Fernando Martínez from the priesthood after considering him guilty of various sexual abuse crimes against minors, the Legion of Christ religious order said Monday.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith decided that Martínez could not continue his priestly duties, but allowed him to remain as a member of the Legion of Christ and the church, a decision that upset his victims.

One of them, Ana Lucía Salazar, who had reported being raped by the priest when she was 8 years old, commented with irony on Twitter.

"The Pope decided that the gentleman continue in the church ranks after raping children," Salazar wrote Monday. "There's zero tolerance." The punishment comes nearly three decades after the abuses were reported to Martínez's superiors in the 1990s.

The Legion was founded in Mexico in 1941 by Marcial Maciel. Reports of abuses by its members have been emerging for decades. In 2010, after Maciel's death, the Vatican instituted a reform process following an investigation that showed its founder had created a system of power based on sexual abuse, silence, deception and obedience that allowed him to lead a double life "devoid of any scruples and authentic sense of religion."

In December, the Legion made public a report that identified 33 priests and 71 seminarians who sexually abused minors during the past 80 years. A third of those cited, including Martínez, were also victims of Maciel.

In November, the Legion released a document about Martínez that spoke of abuses that began in 1969 in Mexico City and continued through the 1990s. Cases have been reported publicly as recently as last year and include abuse of girls between the ages of 6 and 8 at the Instituto Cumbres in Cancun. Salazar was one of those cases.

A persistent complaint of the victims of clerical abuse has been the lack of criminal sanctions against the abusers and those who covered up the abuse. Pope Francis has insisted that the church will not tolerate such conduct.

Martínez is currently in Rome and until now had been allowed to continue in the priesthood though not performing duties in public.

The Legion's announcement comes a week before its leadership holds its general meeting.


More Related News

#WeAreTired: Nigerian women speak out over wave of violence
#WeAreTired: Nigerian women speak out over wave of violence
  • World
  • 2020-06-04 23:25:48Z

Thousands sign a petition and use the hashtag WeAreTired to protest against recent rapes and killings.

Brooklyn bishop accused by second man of sex abuse
Brooklyn bishop accused by second man of sex abuse
  • World
  • 2020-06-04 05:07:10Z

The Roman Catholic bishop of Brooklyn, already under a church investigation for alleged sex abuse, has been accused by a second man of abuse in the 1970s, when the bishop was a parish priest in New Jersey. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio "repeatedly sexually abused" Samier Tadros starting when he was about 6 years old, according to a March 9 letter that Tadros' lawyer sent to the attorney representing the Archdiocese of Newark. Joseph Hayden, DiMarzio's attorney, said in an email to the AP, "We have uncovered conclusive evidence of Bishop DiMarzio's innocence."

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America