UPDATE: The padre was given four years probation. Which begs the question: Where can he live now that the authorities deduced that the Legion cannot protect children from him? Children and families certainly deserve better, and if Francis is to be taken seriously, he needs to address this appalling outcome.
There has been another case of sexual perverson brought to light in Chile, which we noted here. The sentencing comes this week, but right now, the local assessment of the Legion's environment should give everyone pause when it comes to the success of their reform:
A report from the [Chilean] Police recommends that the priest, John O'Reilly, not be granted probation after having been found guilty of the repeated sexual abuse of a minor. The Technical Counsel of the Center for Reinsertion considered that granting this benefit to the religious would be "dis-favorable" after having interviewed him on two occasions, and after having analyzed his environment.
According to the document, the institution "deems that granting the offender a substitute penalty of probation would not be effective in this case, given the evaluation of the survey of the characteristics cast in this case" according to the Mercurio and reproduced by Soy Chile.
The report states that there "is an absence of effective control of his support network, both in his social circle and in his Congregation."
It states that O'Reilly "holds fast to a certain reasoning that makes a reflective and critical process difficult, regarding conducts and beliefs with respect to the punished offense. Also, strategies of control have not been detected that would limit contact with minors, this being the area where a major marker of risk of occurrence may be found."
Let's think about that. Previously, MM had no constraints because of the system he put in place, a system that combined microscopic control on most of the members with bizarrely lax standards for himself and his hand-picked superiors -- especially known collaborators in the founder's vulgar exploits. While the Legion insists that it currently meets Praesidium standards, and that the perversion was buried with Maciel, it would seem that the environment hasn't changed.
To be clear, such perverse activities are usually carried out in a uber-clever manner -- whether in the Church or in the neighbourhood. This is the nature of the beast, a diabolical brilliance that hides all sorts of evil behaviours, especially addictions (children, alcohol, drugs, etc.) But the fact that the report specifically notes that the Legion environment is incapable of controlling its members is a stinging rebuke to those who say that the reform is complete.
I have no ill will towards Fr O'Reilly. As a mother, I see him as a broken and captive soul -- but that said, he has to be contained for the sake of his soul and the safety of the children in his wake. Prayers for healing for all involved.