Father Maciel was one of the most notorious influential pedophiles in the Catholic hierarchy — he led an order, the Legion of Christ, which seems to have consisted of likely catamites for his pleasures. Predatory sexual habits don’t seem to be his only legacy, though: follow the money.
Maciel left a trail of wreckage among his followers. Moreover, in a gilded irony for Benedict — who prosecuted him despite pressure from Maciel’s chief supporter, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state from 1990 to 2006 — Maciel left an ecclesiastical empire with which the church must now contend. The Italian newsweekly L’espresso estimates the Legion’s assets at 25 billion euros, with a $650 million annual budget, according to The Wall Street Journal .The order numbered 700 priests and 1,300 seminarians in 2008. On March 15 of this year, five bishops, called visitators, from as many countries, delivered their reports to the pope after a seven-month investigation. A final report is expected by the end of April.
Read the whole article. The twisted sexual politics of Catholicism are just a small part of the corrupt whole: the accounts of the kickbacks and bribes — $5000 here, $10000 there, all adding up to a giant pot of cash — make the organization sound like just a gilded Mafia.
For some reason, this video came to mind after reading it.