Here is a real scandal, in the old scandalize-the-faithful sense.
The Vatican cautiously acknowledged today long-standing allegations of sexual abuse by the founder of prominent Catholic community, asking him to give up his public ministry in favor of a quiet life of "prayer and penitence."
The announcement marked the first public action by Pope Benedict XVI on the sensitive issue of sexual abuse in the church. And it came against a priest with a particularly high profile: the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, 86, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, one of the fastest growing Catholic communities, praised often by Pope John Paul II.
Capping a decade-long on-again, off-again investigation of accusations of sexual abuse, the Vatican has asked Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, to observe a series of restrictions on his ministry.
In effect, Vatican sources told NCR this week, the action amounts to a finding that at least some of the accusations against the charismatic 86-year-old Mexican priest are well-founded.