It goes without saying how easy it is to spark controversies when religious leaders and sex scandals are linked. This time, it is prominent Catholic priest with the Legion of Christ, Thomas Williams that got involved in a pretty damaging scandal.
Only three years have passed since the Legion of Christ was ravaged by a pedophile scandal. It was at that time when a founder of the order was hit with charges of pedophilia and fathering three children doing that time. Now, Legion of Christ’ Thomas Williams got involved in a similar scandal, as he admits to have fathered a child.
You might remember Thomas Williams from his media appearances on CBS, NBC and even ABC News two years ago. Back then, the Vatican was denouncing Mexican priest and founder of the order Marcial Maciel for committing “objectively immoral acts”, “true crimes” and having a “life without scruples or authentic religious sentiment”.
Now, priest Thomas Williams slipped into the same scandal. He made a public statement about his sexual relationship with a woman and fathering a child. “I’m truly sorry to everyone who is hurt by this revelation” said Williams as he added he will take a year’s leave to think about his “commitments as a priest”.
Meanwhile, the order keeps quiet. Legion spokesman Jim Fair explained none of his superiors knew about Williams’ child and added that “the decision was taken not to provide additional detail on this”.
But on the Spanish website of the Legion of Christ facts look a bit different. “The director general and his council are deeply sorry for not having acted earlier and more firmly and they assume responsibility and ask pardon for not having done everything possible to limit the scandal”.
The fact is that there were suspicions regarding priest Thomas Williams. In fact, the first time allegations were recorded against the priest it was the Spanish Association for Help for Those Affected by the LC that got the notice.
Legion of Christ critics say that the Thomas Williams case is proof the order is not going through any kind of reform. The concern is that priests continue to be abusive and that the order does nothing to change that, putting at risk innocent victims.