Church to overhaul Legionaries order, Conn. lawmakers pull statute-of-limitations bill

May 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

also Rescuing girls from sex slavery

Catholic Church to overhaul disgraced Legionaries order 05/02/2010 VATICAN CITY—The Roman Catholic Church will overhaul the ultra-conservative Legion of Christ whose late founder Marcial Maciel was disgraced after abuse scandals, the Vatican said Saturday. 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. Pope Benedict XVI will name an interim leader within weeks, said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, in a major shakeup at a time when the Church faces intense pressure to crack down on abusers and their protectors in the hierarchy….

The Mexican-born Maciel, who died in the United States in January 2008 aged 87, was accused of molesting eight seminarians and secretly fathering children. The Vatican said that many members of the order had been unaware of Maciel’s misconduct as he “created around him a defence mechanism that shielded him for a long time”….

Maciel founded the Legion of Christ in 1941 and ran it with an iron fist, requiring a vow of secrecy and barring any criticism of the order’s superiors including himself. Before Maciel’s fall from grace, he and his order enjoyed the adulation of Benedict’s predecessor John Paul II. Just weeks before the Polish pope died in 2005 he hailed Maciel’s and the Legionaries’ work throughout the world as the Church battled tough competition from evangelical groups, notably in its Latin American stronghold….

Maciel’s “very serious and objectively immoral actions confirmed by incontestable testimonies … show a life without scruples nor authentic religious sentiments,” the Vatican said. Last month in Mexico the order asked for forgiveness from two brothers claiming to be Maciel’s sons who said he had abused them. Last year the order confirmed a report in The New York Times that Maciel had also secretly fathered a daughter.

Conn. lawmakers pull statute-of-limitations bill HARTFORD By SUSAN HAIGH Associated Press 4/30/10
Lawmakers on Friday pulled a bill that would have extended the statute of limitations for lawsuits involving sexual abuse, saying they didn’t believe they had enough votes to pass the measure this legislative session.

Disappointed proponents said they would revive the issue next year. They also suggested that some kind of resolution could likely be reached in the coming months regarding victims of the late Dr. George Reardon, a former St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center physician who is believed to have victimized hundreds of children beginning in the 1950s. Some of his victims have been limited in pursuing lawsuits against the Hartford Archdiocese, the hospital or others because of the state’s statute of limitations, which gives childhood sex abuse victims until age 48 to file lawsuits….

Michael Culhane, executive director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference, called the bill “horrendous” and said he was pleased it was withdrawn. Earlier this month, Roman Catholic bishops warned of potentially disastrous financial fallout….Scores of people claim Reardon molested them in his office at the hospital and took inappropriate photographs as part of a bogus “growth study.” Reardon resigned from the hospital in 1993 amid the molestation accusations but never faced criminal charges. He died in 1998. The owner of his former home in West Hartford discovered more than 50,000 photo slides and more than 100 movie reels of child pornography in a hidden storage space while renovating the house in May 2007. Authorities said evidence links the images to Reardon.

Rescuing girls from sex slavery By Ebonne Ruffins, CNN April 30, 2010 Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN) ….By raiding brothels, patrolling the India-Nepal border and providing safe shelter and support services, Koirala and Maiti Nepal have helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 Nepali women and girls since 1993. According to the U.S. State Department, some 10,000 to 15,000 women and girls from Nepal are trafficked to India and then sexually exploited each year.

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