Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father Marcial Maciel, was my dad, and he sexually abused me, Raul Gonzalez claims in lawsuit

Tuesday, June 22nd 2010, 8:52 AM
Pope John Paul II is seen giving his blessing to Father Marcial Maciel in 2004. Maciel has been accused of sexually abusing children, including his own, in a lawsuit. He died in 2008.
Lepri/AP
Pope John Paul II is seen giving his blessing to Father Marcial Maciel in 2004. Maciel has been accused of sexually abusing children, including his own, in a lawsuit. He died in 2008.
Raul Gonzalez
Mone/AP
Raul Gonzalez
 
He was a celebrated priest, praised by Pope John Paul II.

But Father Marcial Maciel had secrets, which included illegitimate children and sexual abuse, according to a lawsuit filed in Connecticut on Monday.

Raul Gonzalez claims the Vatican protected the man he knew as his father for decades, chiefly because of his efforts with the highly profitable Legion of Christ.

"My dad told my mom that he was a CIA agent," Gonzalez told ABC News' "Nightline." "He always told my mom that he was a really busy man. That he was always flying on his trips because of the business of his company."

It wasn't until he saw Maciel on the cover of a magazine, dressed in priest garb, that he learned the truth.
In the lawsuit, Gonzalez claims he, and other children, were sexually abused by Father Maciel during his time as director of the Legionaries of Christ, a congregation he founded in 1941.

"He is one of the many, many kids, and others abused and deceived by Maciel," says Jeffrey Anderson, Gonzalez's lawyer.

Gonzalez alleges the abuse began when he was 7 years old during a trip to Colombia. He told "Nightline" that his half-brother, Omar, also was abused.

"He told me that his uncle sometimes made him masturbate him and, basically, the idea of my dad was to transmit that idea to me," said Gonzalez, according to ABC News.

Gonzalez described many different kinds of abuse he claims Maciel committed.

"He always told us we had to kiss him because that was how we would learn how to kiss a girl when we grew up," he said.

In the lawsuit, he alleges Father Maciel was protected by the church -- including Pope Paul II -- because of his efforts in raising money, as well as providing gifts and benefits to Vatican officials.

"My dad told my mom that when John Paul II dies, he was going to be in trouble," Gonzalez said.
After the death of Pope Paul II, Maciel was stripped of his authority and the Legion of Christ was taken over by the Vatican. Father Maciel was still a priest when he died in 2008.

The Vatican and the Legion of Christ did not comment on the ABC News report. Gonzalez says he has met with officials several times regarding a settlement, and has demanded $26 million.

msheridan@nydailynews.com; or follow him at Twitter.com/NYDNSheridan


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/06/22/2010-06-22_father_marcial_maciel_my_dad_sexually_abused_me_raul_gonzalez_claims_in_lawsuit.html#ixzz0rcwg0Nr2
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