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Catholic Order Admits Offshore Holdings in Tax Havens

  • Associated Press

FILE - Prelates arrive for a mass celebrated by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis in the Legion of Christ main headquarters, the Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, in Rome, Feb. 25, 2014.

The scandal-marred Legion of Christ Roman Catholic religious order has admitted it had offshore companies in Caribbean tax havens, but says none was used for illegal activities.

In a statement Tuesday, the Legion sought to blame its offshore corporate strategy squarely on the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, the order's Mexican founder who sexually abused his seminarians and fathered three children, all while cultivating a cult of personality around himself that extended to the highest echelons of the Vatican.

The Legion said it closed and liquidated all offshore corporations, and currently doesn't have any money deposited offshore, after the Vatican took over the Legion once Maciel's double life was exposed. He died in 2008.

The Legion's multi-million dollar holdings, long the source of speculation, were revealed in the Paradise Papers leak.

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