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.”