I read your review of the film, "The Da Vinci Code," and I am in complete agreement. However, I was struck by your comment in which, on the one hand, regarding Fr. Marcial Maciel, you refer to him as "a good, upright and loyal man." On the other hand, you suggest to your readers that they "always seek to discover the truth because only through truth are they made free and happy."
In the same spirit of love for the truth which you recommend, I wish to inform you that I was a priest of the Legionaries of Christ. In the twenty years devoted to work and study when I belonged to the Legion, I obtained a degree in philosophy and a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University and was Prefect of Studies at the Legionaries of Christ College of Higher Studies in Rome.
Now in the spirit of helping you also to find the truth, I want you to know that at a young age I was a victim of outright sexual abuse, perpetrated in a deceitful and premeditated way, by Fr. Maciel. For this reason and in spite of having been ordained a priest in Rome by then Pope Paul VI [From Gonzalez-Parga's statement above in an interview with this writer: "I was ordained a priest in July 1966 by Pope Paul VI in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome."], I felt compelled to abandon the Legion and the priesthood, taking with me all the moral and psychological damage that you might imagine. For many years I have lived with illness, have been in danger of losing my life, and have experienced continual depression as a result of the abuse committed against my person by Fr. Maciel. Even now I am suffering from the consequences.
But this is only my story. What about the 100 or more cases reported under sworn oath to the Holy See? I have since forgiven Fr. Maciel and I hope that God enlightens him and helps him to acknowledge the grave sin he has committed against those who were his victims and their families, against society and against those Legionaries of Christ who remain members in good faith of the congregation.
I am addressing you publicly because I am faced with such deceit, falsehood and lies, and because it pains me to know that there are so many people who refuse to accept the truth and still others who "impede truth through injustice." For some reason they have a need not to want to "search for" the truth or to even "see it." Otherwise, they would realize that, if Pope Benedict XVI felt obliged for reasons of conscience to take such drastic action against Fr. Maciel by retiring him from all public practice of his priestly ministry, it is because there was sufficient evidence for him to do so — in spite of the dishonor such an act could bring to the Catholic Church, to the person of Pope John Paul II and to his own person, and in spite of the damage this could cause not only to the credibility of the Legionaries of Christ and to the Regnum Christi Movement, but also to the economic, political and social advantages these institutions bring to the Vatican and the Holy See.
It is the opinion of many thinking people that the slight punishment imposed on Fr. Maciel by the pope is the result of a conflict of interests arising out of the above-mentioned advantages the Legion provides to the Vatican and to the papacy. Therefore, instead of trying him for atrocious sexual crimes and abuse of power committed against young candidates for the priesthood, they have hidden him from public view so that he may live in comfortable opulence, attended by his unconditionally loyal servants from the Legion. He does so in light of the pope's recommendation that he use his time for prayer and penitence. Fr. Maciel will need prayer and penitence because God cannot be mocked. What he needs is courage, honesty and genuine repentance in order to publicly ask for forgiveness from those he has wronged, since this is the only way to vindicate himself and his congregation, and, by so doing, compensate his victims in some slight way.
Seek the truth yourself, Father Oriol, as you advise others to do, for it is truth that will make you free and happy, as you have said. Stop participating in works of darkness, believing perhaps in good faith that you are a bearer of truth and light.
"But whose shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18, 6.
Please feel free to contact me regarding any clarification.