Legion of Christ goes to war

world | Sep 06, 2007 | By Martin Barillas

A former Roman Catholic priest, John Paul Lennon of Virginia, is accused by a powerful Catholic group of distributing stolen property and propagating “malicious disinformation” about the Legion of Christ, an order of priests founded by the controversial Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado of Mexico. Under an order from the Alexandria Virginia Circuit court, Lennon has been ordered to return any property claimed by the Legion of Christ, including documents, computer discs and CDs, by September 14. Some of the documents include letters written by Rev. Maciel Degollado himself.


The complaint was filed August 2 and identifies the Legion of Christ of having been founded in 1941 as “a missionary congregation of Catholic priests committed to love Christ…” that relies on “proprietary materials, including letters and other documents compiled by Legion members intended only for internal dissemination.” Allegedly stolen, certain documents and materials, the summons charges, are in the possession of Lennon. The Legion of Christ is also suing the ReGAIN website, of which Lennon is president. Lennon and ReGain now have counsel and are soliciting donations for their legal defense. The suit also demands that Lennon reveal the identities of certain of his collaborators.



According to the Washington Post, Lennon responded to the summons and the recent court order and said of the Legion “They’re also trying to scare anybody else who would dare to share these documents with the public,” … “It’s the Alexandria witch hunt instead of the Salem witch hunt. It’s like a 21st-century Inquisition.” As for the Legion of Christ, the Washington Post quoted an LC spokesman as saying that the Legion merely wants to stop the use of the allegedly purloined documents by Lennon and his supporters.



Lennon left the Legion some 20 years ago and now works as a family therapist in Arlington, Virginia. He runs a website owned by the non-profit ReGAIN Inc. that has published numerous accounts of sexual abuse and depravity by Rev. Maciel Degollado and companions. Having long found a protector in the deceased pope John Paul II, Maciel now lives in retirement in the small Mexican town of Cotija having been disciplined by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 and prohibited from celebrating Mass or speaking in public. Allegations of sexual abuse by Maciel Degollado surfaced in the 1990s during the pontificate of John Paul II, but sanctions had to wait until the popular pontiff’s successor.





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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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