Mexico: Church Internal Report Reveals Priests Abused 175 Children, Mostly Minor Boys

Mexico: Church Internal Report Reveals Priests Abused 175 Children, Mostly Minor Boys A protester holds up a sign in reference to the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church as Pope Francis travels. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

According to an internal report published on 21 December, in Mexico, an ultra-conservative Mexican branch of the Roman Catholic Church, known as the Legionaries of Christ, sexually assaulted at least 175 children by priests , reports cna.

The worst perpetrator of this crime was the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Marcial Maciel, who abused as many as 60 children.

The document says, a total of 33 priests or deacons acknowledged to have committed sexual assaults against minors since 1941.

The investigation into this cycle of sexual assault on minors spans from the founding of this catholic sect in 1941 until 16 December, 2019. The commission to investigate crimes of sexual abuse against children was created in June by the director general of the group, Eduardo Robles-Gil.

"The vast majority of the victims were adolescent boys between 11 and 16 years old," the statement said, published on ceroabusos.org, which is supported by the Legionaries of Christ.

The report also says 18 of the 33 individuals who committed abuses are still part of the organisation, but they have now been removed tasks connected to the “public or minors.”

The sad aspect of one of the finding are that, fourteen of the 33 men who had systematically abused children for decades were themselves been victims of the Legionaries, which the report said, “existence of chains of abuse where a victim of a Legionnaire, over time, becomes in turn an aggressor".

"There are probably more cases of abuse than those in the report and the statistics will have to be updated regularly," it added.

According to ceroabusos.org a process of "reparation and reconciliation" with 45 victims is taking place, while acknowledging that it has yet to extend it to the others.

Marcial Maciel Degollado who founded the Legionaries of Christ was for years accused of assaulting children when he was a catholic priest. However he never faced any punishment or was defrocked by the vatican, instead Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 ordered him to retire to a life of prayer and penitence.

Maciel never faced his accusers and died in 2008 of natural causes.

Earlier, in a bid to improve transparency and enhance co-operation with civil authorities, Pope Francis recently declared that “the rule of ‘pontifical secrecy’ no longer applies to the sexual abuse of minors.