The Legionaries of Christ have initiated a number of reforms since publicly acknowledging that founder Father Marcial Maciel Degollado fathered a child, the order said in a letter to members of the its lay association, Regnum Christi.
The order's Father Scott Reilly, territorial director of Atlanta and Father Julio Marti, territorial director of New York expressed regret for the victims of their founder's sexual misconduct and announced the recent steps, Catholic News Agency reported.
"As priests," Reilly and Marti write, "our hearts go out to all those who have been harmed or scandalised" by the actions of Father Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ who passed away in 2008.
"To all we extend a special apology on behalf of the Legion and our General Director, Father Alvaro Corcuera, who has, in fact, begun to reach out personally and in private to those he knows may have suffered most, offering his heartfelt apology and consolation, and will continue to do so."
In reaction to recent reports that six more people in Mexico are claiming to be children of Fr Maciel, the letter acknowledges "more recently, there have been allegations of other relationships and other children," but it also says that "given the partial nature of the information available and the impossibility to evaluate immediately and in a definitive manner these complex allegations, the Legion of Christ cannot, at this time, make a statement regarding them."
Revealing that many Regnum Christi members "have rightly asked if the Legion has made or will make changes in its life," the letter responds, "Yes...we have, we are and we will," before listing some of the policies recently implemented.
Measures include a full review of internal rules and policies, training of all those who deal with minors, on site visits to ensure compliance, the set up of an external review board so that in the event of sex abuse allegations "outside eyes" can weigh the evidence and make recommendations for action.
Legion of Christ leaders express regret, take steps following Maciel revelations (Catholic News Agency)
Legionaries' letter to lay members details reforms order has made (NZ Catholic)
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