< html > The Associated Press
 LATEST NEWS
 Top Stories
 U.S.
  Severe Weather
  Bird Flu
 World
  Castro
  Mideast Crisis
  Iraq
 Business
 Personal Finance
 Technology
 Sports
  Sports Columns
  NASCAR
  Baseball
  College Hoops
  NBA
  NHL
  Tennis
  Golf
 Entertainment
 Health
 Science
 Politics
 Washington
 Offbeat
 Podcasts
 Blogs
 Weather
 Raw News
 NEWS SEARCH
 
 Archive Search
 SPECIAL SECTIONS
 Multimedia Gallery
 AP Video Network
 Today
 in History
 Corrections
Apr 13, 6:15 PM EDT

Legion vows to respond to victims' request for compensation


AP Photo
AP Photo/Plinio Lepri

Multimedia
Pope Benedict XVI Celebrates Mass in New York
Pope Benedict XVI makes first trip to the U.S.
Documents
Maps of the pope's route in Washington, D.C.
Latest News
Pope to focus on fate of Christians in Middle East on July 7

Pope says "two Koreas" summit good chance for dialogue

AP Interview: Chile abuse whistleblower from pariah to VIP

Pope offers gelato to Rome's neediest to mark feast day

Pope ordains 16 priests, tells them always 'be merciful'

Multimedia
Mass. Catholics hold vigil in endangered churches
Convent shuts after helping generations 'overcome'
Inside a Voodoo Gede ceremony
Religion News
Michigan candidate criticized over anti-Muslim remarks

LGBT advocates express opposition to Kansas adoption bill

Mormon church kicks out man who supervised young women

Texas church shooter had told judge he wouldn't hurt again

Man charged with toppling Jewish cemetery headstones in 2017

Pope to focus on fate of Christians in Middle East on July 7

Pope says "two Koreas" summit good chance for dialogue

Los Angeles firm fined over lead-tainted jewelry

Judge tosses lawsuit by Utah imam involving no-fly listing

Gunmen kill 15 at Nigeria church, including 2 priests

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Legion of Christ religious order said Friday it will try to respond to requests for compensation from former seminarians who were sexually abused by its founder and then discredited for having publicly denounced him.

Eight victims of the Rev. Marcial Maciel petitioned the Legion's recently concluded leadership meeting seeking public recognition of their status as "historic" victims of both Maciel and the order, which mounted a prolonged campaign to defame them after they went public with their allegations in 1997. Some of the men are experiencing financial and medical hardships as they age.

In a statement Friday responding to a request from The Associated Press, the Legion said its leaders "will try to get in touch personally with each of those who had signed the letter and respond to their requests."

The statement repeated the Legion's 2014 official apology to victims and its "commitment to continue seeking reconciliation."

The Mexico-based order was once one of the fastest-growing congregations in the church but it suffered a credibility crisis starting in 2009 following revelations that Maciel sexually abused his seminarians, fathered three children and created a cult-like order to hide his double life.

The Vatican knew of allegations against Maciel since the 1950s, but only took action against him in 2006, sentencing him to a lifetime of penance and prayer for unspecified crimes. He died in 2008.

In the letter, dated March 26, the victims asked that a compensation commission be reopened to consider their cases. For a variety of reasons, the eight men never approached the original commission, and they lamented that the commission never contacted them.

The men, all Mexican citizens, had lodged the original official church complaint against Maciel in 1998 that led to his canonical sentence and the eventual revelations of his crimes. They asked that they be publicly recognized as having served the church and the Legion in their long struggle to reveal the truth.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.