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Legion of Christ Priest Admits to Fathering a Child

Father Thomas Williams have been relieved of his public duties

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Legion of Christ, a Catholic order founded in 1941 by Marcial Maciel, appears to be headed towards even more controversy this week after one of its most prominent priests admitted to fathering a child. However, Father Thomas Williams didn’t come clean about the allegations until after the Associated Press questioned the Legion about several potentially scandalous claims made by a former activist seeking reform in the Legion contacted the Vatican.

The order apparently knew about Williams’ transgression, though they failed to act on the information. Instead, they let the priest continue speaking to folks about ethics and morality, though the Legion has since apologized for not doing anything about the situation. In fact, Williams has already been pulled from his duties, which included acting as a public spokesman for the order. In addition to these obligations, he also penned the tome “Knowing Right From Wrong: A Christian Guide to Conscience”. Practicing what he preaches obviously isn’t much of a priority in his world.

“I am truly sorry to everyone who is hurt by this revelation,” Williams expressed in a statement.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time the Legion of Christ has come face-to-face with sexual controversy. The order’s founder, Marcial Maciel, was accused of fathering three children and sexual abuse in 1997. However, it took the Vatican almost nine years to do anything about it. Although Maciel died in 2008, the Legion didn’t share his crimes with the rest of the world until 2009.

Their problems don’t end there. Just last week, the Legion admitted that eight of its priests were being investigated for sexually abusing several children. What’s more, Williams has also been accused of having sexual relationships with female students during his time in Rome.

Father Luis Garza, one of the Legion’s top officials, issued a statement after Williams’ revealed his secrets. “In the wake of all we have been through as a movement in the past several years, it won’t surprise me if you are disappointed angry or feel your trust shaken once again.”

Legion of Christ Priest Admits to Fathering a Child
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  • Peter Ludwig

    Nothing like giving Christ a “bad” name. Well at least the father was forgiven and hopefully left young boys alone.

    • http://none Sunny

      I am confused. It is alright to have same sex marriages which is an abomination, but wrong to father a child?

      • JJ

        When you’re a priest who is supposed to stay celibate and devote your life to Christ, yes.

      • Jack

        I was raised Catholic. Sure glad I grow up.

      • Nic

        nah..they are trying to live a perfect life, which will never happen.

  • http://yahoo.com linjaynes

    As a Catholic & one raised in Parochial Schools many years ago ,I certainly realize that Sexual repression leads to the abuse of others. There is NO excuse for what abuse has happened over the centuries regarding Alter Boys. The stupidity of the Mother Church holding on to required celibacy is idiotic & inhumane to ask of those who were called to serve God . Celibacy & not being able to marry & have a family if your called is archaic @ the very least. Priests & Sister’s should be allowed to do both & not have to be denied as a servant of Christ simply because they wish to have a loving relationship with another Human Being. A Pope’s Wife died in childbirth eons ago & ever since celibacy has been the law of the Church. may we one day have a pope who has the courage to overturn this preposterous edit.

    • JJ

      Thank you! Someone else who agrees that the Church needs to let these priests and nuns marry.

      • joni

        No where in the scriptures does it says that they can’t be married. This is a man made rule–not a decree from God. There wouldn’t be such a shortage of priests if they would reverse this policy.

    • J

      You are an idiot. I am a catholic also & the product of 22 years of catholic education. I disagree with celibacy, too, BUT,Celibacy does NOT lead to sexual abuse. Sexual abuse leads to sexual abuse. As a registered nurse & a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with over 300 children, teens & adults who have been sexually abused I can tell you that every child who has been sexually abused does not always end up sexually abusing others but a percentage of (mostly) male sex abuse victims do end up being Pedophiles & predators of young children. Letting priest marry will not stop sexual abuse of children by priests who are pedophiles. And, NO, gay priests like gay men do not sexually abuse boys because gay adult males are sexually attracted by genetics to ADULT males. Pedophiles are the only ones sexually attracted to children. Sexual repression does not lead to abuse or sex abuse of others.

      • http://none omegaman

        Amen!

      • jill johnson

        Definitely agree…. a pedophile seeks preisthood, doesn’t become that because of celibacy. A pedophile will do whatever it takes to make kids accessible. Being a priest is their cover.

        Also agree, nowhere in the Bible does it say that someone can’t serve God in the capacity of pastorship and be married. Look at Song of Solomon…. that is an intimate love story, and Solomon was one of the wisest folks in the Bible.

      • Mark

        I dont care what your credentials are…indeed, I share many of the same as you, and one you dont have. To call someone an idiot for making a conclusion that sexual repression can cause one to be an abuser is a horrid and some would call a very telling miss. There is in most psychological texts concerning sexual predation a very clear and marked link between the two. Chant whatever ideological mumbo-jumbo you want, but the link is indeed there. A sexually repressed youth, going to adulthood, will find an avenue for release. Any faith that denies the flesh or insticts will eventually fail for those very reasons. This is a continuing example of it. Shame on you for calling someone and idiot for knowing the difference and maybe you might want to take a harder look at the signatures on any degrees you claim to have…might be signed by Mickey Mouse.

      • Jeff D

        You are one the few people who realize this. Being a priest does not make you a pedophile, but if you are a pedophile it is usually to your benefit to be a priest. You have a certain respectability and access to young people. One of the major problems the church has is not identifying those priests who are pedophiles and then keeping them away from young people.

    • http://Yahoo Booshkee

      The reason for the celibacy is that the Apostles left everything behind to follow Jesus. They were chosen by him and were to focus their lives on furthering the church. They were to remain celibate so that there were no distractions. Paul and Jesus did regard celibacy as a higher spiritual state than marriage, as shown by most of the verses in the bible cited. The issue then becomes why are some people called to be celibate virgins and others aren’t.

      • pam

        There’s no question of “why”. That is God’s will. That’s part of the mystery.

      • Mike

        Where do you find that written in scripture? Jesus never said anything about celibacy. Peter had children and a wife. Read 1 Co 7. 1-9…it says “if” and “not a command”. It also says it is better to marry. Read 1 Tim 3.1-4 and see that it talks about either diakonos (deacons) or any church overseer about being faithful to his wife and manage his family. I was born into a Catholic home and I see how much doctrine they changed things. They require celibacy so the church doesn’t have to pay for divorce. The scripture is very clear about not praying in repitition but I used to pray the rosary 3 times a day every day the same prayers. If you use the bible plus, you are doomed. The doctrines of men are always in error, the scripture is very clear to all.

        • http://deleted Mike

          I jumped around quite a bit there, trying to say too much at once…sorry. Do not trust anything anyone says, search the scriptures. You will find nothing in there that says you can not be married. It was in regards if you have that spiritual gift. Let us stop defending bad doctrine and wrong teaching. If this guy did something wrong, I would say he should repent…he took an oath, it is an oath that should not be taken, but he can repent. By the way, what do you think happens to these priests when they are celibate, and they are in that confessional chamber and sinners are way too explicit on their sexual sins with them. That’s a time bomb. Oh just another tangent…only God can forgive sins, not man…that too is in scripture and for priests to forgive sins by some mistranslation is ridiculous.

        • Bren

          The ultimate reason that priests can not be married goes way back friend, and it does not have to do with paying for divorce. This proceeds that event, but continues to uphold your train of thought on the money. Priests can not have heirs. With NO heirs, then any wealth obtained goes back into the church. Do you realize the “wealth” that has amassed? I will leave you with that one to ponder over for a little bit. Truly a heavy duty concept once you see the entire gravity of it. Much Peace, Love, and Light~~~Always

        • http://hotmail.com Pats

          sorry Mike – yes the bible does say it better to marry – it goes on to say “than to burn in hell”. In other words if you can remain single do so but its better to marry than burrn in hell!

          • http://deleted Mike

            1 Co 7.9 (end of the passage)
            NIV: burn with passion
            NLT: burn with lust
            ESV: burn with passion
            NASB: burn with passion
            other translations just say “than to burn”…if you take the context and spirit of the text, it is the same type of language as in Romans 1.27. There are no mysteries of the text…if you do not have the gift of being single, you should get married so you do not burn with lust…I take it that means one will probably try to stay single that shouldn’t be, have sex out of wedlock or any other types of sex that will not bring glory to God. If you look at it like this…if someone does not have the gift of being single makes a vow of celibacy and becomes a priest, you have people like us making comments like all of us are doing. There is no place in scripture prohibiting anyone from being married…unless there are obvious reasons (example..marrying a married woman, incest, etc)

    • Stephen

      So what you are saying is…..that priests should be able to marry so they will not molest little boys. Great. Please
      don’t tell my wife that the only thing keeping me from being
      an abuser is that I am married and not celibate. Boy, am I
      glad I got married! I could’ve been one of those guys!!!!

  • carol h.

    This priest at least did what he did with a grown woman. This might be why the church is so angry. They hold women to be lower than men. So his sin is worse than if he had diddled boys. Evidently since the church believes in no contraception, this priest did not know the rhythm method. A condom for him or birth control for her. I guess they can’t read either. Or they feel like the pope does, that god will provide and no one need worry. If it is a girl child, she will not be of real importance in the scheme of things.

    The Legion of Christ was of course meant to give certain priests more power within the church. Wheels within wheels. This church is so corrupt it defies surprise at anything done within it’s narrow understanding. Like all religion it is a cult. You leave you’re reason at the door when you dip into the holy water.

  • dallas

    what do you expect from a cult? all religions are cults by definition and they follow and believe fiction bs

  • Marilyn Escobar

    How much of our tax money does this evil “church” steal from us? We must stop our government from giving our hard-earned tax money to the perverse catholic abomination.

  • pam

    Priests and nuns “marry” the church. They are supposed to remain celibate because they have devoted their lives to God and the church. Having a wife (or husband) and children would be a distraction from God and their duties/calling. It’s the whole thing about not being able to serve two masters.

    • Elias

      The Bible does not state that priests and nuns marry the church, it says that Jesus Christ marries the church (Ephesians 5:32)so that is not a Biblical idea. And, it says that a bishop “must be blameless, the HUSBAND of one wife…” (1 Timothy 3:2). And the children and wife instead of being a distraction the Bible says that it will show the bishop (and elders,deacons) HOW to govern the church, “for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church?” (1 Tim 3:5). There isn’t ONE Biblical command to remain celibate in the Bible. At the most, Paul RECOMMENDS singleness but “if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than burn” (1 Cor 3:9). Finally, Jesus was not talking about the family as a “master” he was referring to the deceiftulness of riches, “ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). Its sad how the Bible has been warped by these false teachings. The results are PLAIN for ALL to see.

      • http://deleted Mike

        Elias, thank you for quoting scripture. Pam, if you are going to paraphrase scripture, please do not take it out of context. Elias is right, serving two masters was about God and money. If we do not say what the bible says, we can make it say anything we want. This IS the problem. This IS the reason this article is here in the first place. If you add to what the scripture says like these bologna rules about priests and celibacy you get these exact problems. If anyone takes away from the words of scripture (paraphrasing) or adds to or changes the meaning, you get mans meaning and the entire structure falls.

  • http://deleted Mike

    Matthew 8.14-15…Peter clearly has a mother-in-law…meaning he was married. It wasn’t until somewhere around 1100 AD that the church started to recognize celibacy as somehow being good. In 1563, the Council of Treant reaffirmed this…but in 1951 Pope Pius XII married a Lutheran pastor ordained as a catholic priest. Here you go…let’s see how much they obey the scripture…Catholic catechism 841 specifically states “The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” Scripture however if you read Acts 4.12, you will find out how that is absolute error on the part of the Catholic church to basic Christianity. Do not trust the words and rules of man, trust the scripture.

  • http://deleted Mike

    In the time of Christ, the pharisees would wear priestly garb with long robes and tassles and do ceremonial washings. They would do long repititious prayers in the marketplace. I grew up a Catholic. I saw the same apostasy in Catholocism as in Judaism. The higher up you go, the pointier the hat, the bigger the robe. You can burn all the incense you want…a thousand pounds, be blessed with holy water (if there is such a thing), be baptized as an infant (which does nothing…you can not be saved by an operation…i.e. circumcision or a ceremony of baptism), go to seminary, eat food only from Christian manufacturers and you will still have the problem of sin. As long as we have the skin suit on, we are rotten sinners. None of the externals matter. The pharisees would try to “box in” the law so no one would break it. It’s the same with the priests. That’s a rule of man to make them celibate. The celibacy in and of itself is not evil but that can really put the temptation out of epic control. If a woman were walking down the street in a really crumby part of a city wearing very revealing clothing late at night, it does not say “please attack me” but it is really putting that as a temptation to the truly ungodly and probably more than they can resist…Romans 1.24 and following should suffice as a reminder of who is in the world. If the church would just stick to the scripture and not put their own little boxes around the scripture to protect it, they might do well. As it is, the level of apostasy is amazing.

  • http://Facebook JAlien

    Celibacy is a 12th century dogmatic doctrine by Rome; meaning that it;s
    man-made to their thinking. Nothing in the New Testament mentions
    anything about celibacy. People: It’s a figment made up by the old senile
    men in the Vatican at that time

  • Irma Thatcher

    I feel that if a priest is going to preach or qive advice on marriage counseling then they should be married so they really know and feel what is like have an obligation to a family. St. Peter and other apostles were married and they preached and served the Lord.

  • Nic

    You know…NO ONE IS GOING TO BE PERFECT..wish the guys realized that.
    Thats how I became skeptic..but then i found a better way to worship Christ- biblically. Darn..

  • Ang

    A celibate priesthood is stupid!! Period!! Allow priests to marry and there will be no issue with them fathering children, unless they father one with someone other than their wife of course.

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