Denver Newsroom, Oct 4, 2022 / 17:20 pm (CNA).

The Legionaries of Christ announced Monday the conclusion of a judicial process in the Ordinary Court of Milan involving three priests and two other persons in Italy.

In a statement posted on their website Oct. 3, the Legionaries reported that the ruling says, “All the defendants have been fully acquitted of the crime of attempted extortion because such an attempt did not exist,”and that “the judge will announce the reasons for her decision within 90 days.”

The statement explains that the accusations were made in 2013, “in the context of the relationship with a family that had reported abuse by Vladimir Reséndiz Gutiérrez.”

Reséndiz is a Mexican national and former Legionary of Christ priest. In 2011 he was accused of committing sexual abuse between 2006 and 2008 in the congregation’s minor seminary in Gozzano, in Italy’s Novara Province.

In March 2011, while working in Venezuela, he was removed from ministry after admitting he had abused a minor there.

In April 2013 he was dismissed from the clerical state.

In a civil proceeding that ended in 2020, Reséndiz was sentenced to seven years in prison and to pay various compensation.

“The Congregation asks forgiveness of those who suffered any abuse and for all the pain that was caused, knowing that this request for forgiveness will never be enough to heal the deep wounds caused,” the Legionaries said.

The Legionaries of Christ is a Catholic religious congregation comprised of priests and candidates for the priesthood.

The order was founded on Jan. 3, 1941 in Mexico City by the late Marcial Maciel, a priest who sexually abused at least 60 minors.

The Catholic congregation and its Regnum Christi lay movement went through a process of renewal and purification with the accompaniment of the Vatican, represented by the late Cardinal Velasio de Paolis.

This renewal led to the creation of the Regnum Christi Federation, which includes the Legionaries of Christ, the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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