By Tenan - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Legionaries of Christ Centre in Rome. By Tenan – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Maciel, The Legionaries of Christ, and Patterns of Scandal in New Ecclesial Movements


Defrocked priest Fr. Marcial Maciel. Photo by DominikHoffmann – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

As readers of The Mystery of Things know, I have had a longtime interest in the dangers and effects of “cult”-like groups, especially within my own religious tradition. When the news broke in 2009 about the so-called “secret life” of Father Marciel Maciel, founder of The Legionaries of Christ and its lay adjunct, Regnum Christi, as well as some of the alleged abuses within the two groups, I began writing a series of blogs which were soon published on Catholic Exchange in four installments: