After interviewing 360 Legionaries, reading and reviewing numerous testimonies, and after meeting with Cardinals Tarcisio Bertone, William Levada and Franc Rode, the prelate said that now “the Pope has five extensive reports to read, listen to and manage,” along with the team “he deems fit to put together.”
The Mexican prelate added that the five bishop visitors focused heavily on the person of Fr. Maciel during the investigation. Noting that the founder was a very troubled individual who caused “much” harm, Bishop Watty said that the apostolic visitors discovered in their findings “a very immoral person, who was not in accord with the Gospel, not even human dignity.”
“There’s nothing else we can say,” the bishop said. “The rest must be left to those who can study his personality, but that is how it looks – that he affected the work he had begun. The positive aspects of his personality had an impact but so did the negative ones, and that is what the Church is concerned about right now.”
Bishop Watty said it was necessary to reach out to the victims of Maciel’s abuse, both inside and outside of the Legion.“This was how we felt, and the Pope was in agreement, as he has been courageously doing. In the name of the Church we must reach out to them.”
Regarding the leadership of the congregation, Bishop Watty asserted that the “entire structure of authority within the Congregation of the Legionaries needs to be rebuilt and made to be more in accord with way authority works in the Church, that is to say, more evangelical.” He also said in his comments that the Legion’s formation program also needs to be reviewed and revised.