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POPE APPOINTS ACCUSED PRIEST FATHER'S ORDER DENIES MOLESTATION ALLEGATIONS: 

Date:10/24/97
Paper:THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Section:NEWS
Edition:HOME FINAL
Page:33A
Length:23
Byline:Brooks Egerton
Credit:Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
Art:PHOTO(S): (File photo) The Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the sponsor of
an Irving Catholic school, shown with Pope John Paul II, is accused of
molesting boys in his international religious order.

Pope John Paul II has appointed the sponsor of an Irving Catholic school to
a major Vatican assembly, despite allegations that the priest molested boys
in his international religious order.

Scholars, supporters and critics alike view the appointment of the Rev.
Marcial Maciel Degollado as the pope's response to the accusations, which
were based largely on sworn statements and first reported in a Connecticut
daily newspaper in February.

"The Vatican is saying, `Stop the nonsense,' " said Dr. Janet Smith, a
University of Dallas professor whom the Vatican named a consultor to the
Pontifical Council for the Family. "Why would they stand behind this man
unless they were absolutely certain the charges were bogus?"

Neither the pope nor Father Maciel has responded directly to the
allegations. Father Maciel 's order, the Legionaries of Christ, has denied
them and called the accusers liars with "personal vendettas against him."

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