06/22/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
New Haven, CT – A man claiming to be a son of prominent Catholic Priest Father Marcial Maciel filed a lawsuit in Connecticut on Monday, June 21, 2010, claiming Maciel not only abused seminarians under his control, but also abused his own children, as reported by ABC News.
An interview with the plaintiff, Raul Gonzalez, was broadcast on ABC News Nightline on Monday evening. Gonzalez, 30, claims that he thought his father worked for an international oil company or the CIA as a child. He did not become aware of his position with the Catholic church until he saw Maciel’s picture in a 1997 magazine article detailing accusations of sexual abuse.
Gonzales recalled the conversation between his parents when she saw the article; “My mom said, ‘Is that you?’ and my dad said, ‘No, it’s not me’ and my mom said, ‘Yeah, it’s you.’”
The Legion of Christ has already confirmed that Father Maciel fathered at least one child as a priest.
The lawsuit alleges the Vatican ignored reports of sexual abuse by Father Maciel since the 1950s and up until he was forced out of the Legion in 2006. The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith decided not to put Maciel on trial for his offenses due to his age. Instead they ordered him to a “life of prayer and penitence.”
The lawsuit also claims that the Vatican, its officials and the presiding Pope from the 1950s until 2002 “engaged in a conspiracy to conceal their knowledge of Maciel’s serial delicts, including the repeated sexual abuse of children.”
The counts even include accusations of addiction to pain killers, claiming that Maciel was once hospitalized for morphine-based Dolantin addiction.
During the Nightline interview, Gonzales explained that Maciel had a relationship with his mother, then 20, when he was 60. Gonzalez’ mother, Blanca Gutierrez Lara was from Mexico.
Gonzales stated that he and his mother lived in comfort in Cuernavaca, Mexico with money secretly provided by Father Maciel. He also claims Maciel had a second mistress in Spain, with whom he had a daughter.
Maciel is also believed to have a third family in Switzerland.
Gonzalez claims Maciel began abusing him when he was 10-years-old. Maciel also allegedly abused Gonzalez’ half-brother, Omar, according to the interview. Gonzalez claims the abuse lasted for nearly a decade.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages, punitive damages and all appropriate relief.
The attached summons was provided by ABC News.
Phone: (866) 598-1315