Father Marcial Maciel, the Mexican founder of the Legionaries of Christ Catholic religious order, abused at least 60 boys, according to a report by the group.
The Legionaries of Christ also admitted that 33 priests and 71 seminarians studying for the priesthood had sexually abused minors.
The report covered the entire lifespan of the order, starting from 1941 to 2019 in “an additional attempt (by the Legionaries) to confront their history”.
It said that more than 175 minors had been abused by members of the Roman Catholic group since it was founded.
“The vast majority of the victims were boys between the ages of 11 and 16,” the report said. It indicated that 111 of the 175 victims — more than 63 percent — “were either victims of Father Maciel or were victims of his victims.”
The order has ordained 1,353 priests since it was formed with 367 having either left or died.
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Maciel, who died in 2008, was perhaps the Roman Catholic Church’s most notorious pedophile, even abusing children he had fathered secretly with at least two women while living a double life and being feted by the Vatican and Church conservatives.
“(Abuse) was linked to the abuse of power and conscience on the part of some who took advantage of their posts to abuse,” the report said.