The Fall of the Legion of Christ in Connecticut: Another Lawsuit Goes Forward

 
Father Marcial Maciel Degollado being blessed by Pope John Paul II.

Father Marcial Maciel Degollado being blessed by Pope John Paul II.

AP Photo/Plinio Lepri, File

According to an Associated Press story published online by the New Haven Register, a federal magistrate judge in Rhode Island has recommended that a late Yale University professor’s family be allowed to sue a disgraced Roman Catholic order, the secretive Legion of Christ, over a more than $1 million bequest.

The retired professor, James Boa-Teh Chu, died in 2009, the AP story says, and his son Paul Chu says his father was coerced, defrauded and deceived into signing over many of his assets to the Legion of Christ. "The lawsuit filed in Providence federal court says he was led to believe the Legion’s founder was saintly, even as the Vatican was investigating serious sexual abuse allegations against him," the story says.

The Vatican took over the order, based in Chesire, Conn., in 2010.

The legal action is not alone, with other lawsuits coming from a different type of victims of Marcial Maciel Degollado—known to his followers and victims simply as Father Maciel—the charismatic and powerful founder of the Legion of Christ.

"For many of these men—former novitiates and seminarians, among others who spent years under Rev. Maciel’s spell—the apologies have come a half-century too late, with little to no compensation for the abuses they suffered and no end to the suffering," says our July 2013 story on the fall of Legion of Christ.

"This summer in Superior Court in New Haven, two victims—Jose Raul Gonzalez Lara, 33, and his stepbrother, Omar, 37—are continuing to seek recompense for the sins of the father. Literally: Raul is the illegitimate son of Maciel, who Raul claims repeatedly abused both boys while he led an international religious order, lived out of wedlock with one woman and fathered a daughter with a second, and was a morphine addict—yet won both protection from the Vatican and praise from the late Pope John Paul II, who called him “an efficacious leader of youth."

Read the full Connecticut Magazine Legion of Christ story.

The Fall of the Legion of Christ in Connecticut: Another Lawsuit Goes Forward

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