An elderly man claims that the Legionaries of Christ, also known as Regnum Christi, “exerted undue influence” and “pressured” him to surrender both his home and large amounts of cash.

In a letter first published by CultNews John T. Walsh Jr. explains, “the fraudulent and unlawful practices utilized by the Legion of Christ in soliciting donations.”

In 2003 Mr. Walsh was 78 and recently widowed when he was influenced by Legionaries of Christ seminarians and a “fundraiser” to make large donations to the organization.

The widower says he was “pressured” and eventually “quitclaimed [his] home to the Legion.”

Walsh also describes a process of isolation that prevented him from seeking financial advice from family and friends. He was instead “represented by counsel hand-picked by the Legion.”

The 80-year-old also claims that the Legionaries made misrepresentations about his property taxes.

“I will, in the very near future, no longer have the means to support myself,” he says.

Controversy is nothing new for the Legionaries of Christ whose founder Father Marcial Maciel Degollado has been repeatedly charged with sexual abuse.

Just this month the Vatican officially announced its decision to reopen an investigation of the powerful Mexican priest’s conduct reported New York’s Journal News.

John T. Walsh Jr. has sent his letter regarding charges against the Legionaries for financial misconduct to every Catholic bishop in the United States.

Meanwhile one bishop last month has already barred the group from his diocese.

Before Christmas Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of St. Paul-Minneapolis told his flock that the Legionaries of Christ are “not to be active in any way in the archdiocese” reported Catholic News Service.

Bishop Fynn’s concern seems reasonable given John Walsh’s stated experience.

Mr. Walsh who was once secure and independent now faces financial uncertainty at the end of his life.

What the widower was led to believe was an act of faithful charity, can now be seen as the byproduct of “undue influence” by a specious organization engaged in questionable fund-raising practices.

The Legionaries of Christ has 600 priests and 2,500 seminarians worldwide. There are 75 priests from the group within the United States and its US headquarters is in Orange, Connecticut.


no comment untill now

Sorry, comments closed.