Friday, March 30, 2012

Accusations made by Maciel's victims are unfair, says Vatican spokesman

In a press conference, Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi responded to criticisms against Benedict XVI for his failure to meet with some individuals who were abused by the founder of the Legion of Christ.

“It is unfair to speak of Benedict XVI as a Pope who acted against the truth and against transparency.” 

In a press briefing in the Mexican city of León , Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, responded to criticisms over Benedict XVI's failure - during the current trip - to meet with abuse victims that suffered at the hands of Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legion of Christ. 

Maciel Degollado was suspended “a divinis” by Pope Benedict XVI himself, in light of the paedophilia accusations and the double life he led, fathering children from a number of different women.

Speaking about the Pope's meetings with paedophilia victims on other occasions, Fr. Lombardi recalled that such meetings had taken place in other Countries “at the request of bishops, there had been preparation ahead of them and they had taken place as part of a dialogue process and assistance programme in which the Church was involved. In any case, such meetings did take place on some of Benedict XVI's visits but not on others, in France and Portugal for instance.”

According to Lombardi, Maciel's victims had shown a certain “aggressiveness” in the manner in which they had requested the meeting. 

“And also a kind of ambiguity - he stressed - : they said they wanted to meet the Pope but they did not want to listen to the full extent of what he had to say.”

The director of the Vatican Press Office firmly rejected accusations that Ratzinger had been aware of Maciel's misdeeds since 1998. This is also true for John Paul II - he added -. 

He did not know about Maciel's dark side, his double life. A solemn declaration was made regarding this, during his beatification process.” 

“The two Popes – he concluded – have always promoted truth and transparency with regards to this issue.”

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