“Today, we would like to issue that apology as we express our solidarity with these persons.”
Highlighting that Fr. Maciel is no longer a “model” for the congregation, nor are his writings “a guide for the spiritual life,” the new director observed that “a religious congregation and its essential features do not have their origin in the person of the founder.”
“They are a gift of God that the Church accepts and approves and that afterwards live in the institute and in its members,” he stated.
In their formal apology to the victims of Fr. Maciel’s actions, the Legionaries acknowledged “with sadness the initial incapability of believing the testimonies of the persons who had been victims of Fr. Maciel, the long institutional silence and, later on, the hesitations and errors of judgment when setting out to inform the members of the congregation and others.”
“We apologize for these shortcomings, which have increased the suffering and confusion of many,” Fr. Eduardo stated on behalf of the congregation, also expressing his “sadness” that the “brothers, religious and priests” who have left are no longer with them.
“We would like to apologize and reiterate our desire to reconcile with all those who in one way or another were hurt by the sad events of these years and our shortcomings.”
The press release also included the financial findings of the commission that was assigned to investigate the Legionaries, and which found that there were no traces of “embezzlements of money or other irregularities in the fiscal actions that were reviewed.”
In consideration of “all these issues,” Fr. Eduardo underlined that the congregation’s journey to an “authentic and profound renewal,” which is confirmed by Pope Francis, “has advanced, but has not yet ended.”
“The events of these years will mark the identity and the life of our Congregation,” he said, adding that “when seen in light of Providence, we can accept, confront and transform them into a stepping stone towards a new stage in our history.”
Fr. Eduardo was born in Mexico City in 1952, and after receiving a degree in industrial engineering, he became a consecrated member of Regnum Christi in 1975. He made his perpetual profession in 1981, and was ordained a Priest in 1983.
In 2011, Fr. Eduardo was appointed Card. Velasio De Paolis to be a member of the Outreach Commission for the Legionaries, and he has been the territorial director of Mexico since Aug. 1, 2013.
Among the other six new council members for the Legionaries are Fr. Juan José Arrieta, LC. as Vicar General, and Frs. Sylvester Heereman, LC., Jesús Villagrasa, LC., Juan Sabadell, LC., as General Councilors.
Others include Fr. José Gerardo Cárdenas, LC., as General Administrator, and Fr. Clemens Gutberlet, LC., as General Procurator.
Praying to Our Lady of Sorrows, who was “a witness of the redemptive power of Christ that conquers evil and sin,” Fr. Eduardo stated that “to her, our Mother, we entrust our future with great confidence.”