diumenge, de maig 30, 2010
dimarts, de maig 25, 2010
Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons
Exclusive: Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons
Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state's possession of nuclear weapons.
The "top secret" minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel's defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them "in three sizes". The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret.
The documents, uncovered by an American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, in research for a book on the close relationship between the two countries, provide evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons despite its policy of "ambiguity" in neither confirming nor denying their existence.
The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa's post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky's request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week's nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.
They will also undermine Israel's attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a "responsible" power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted.
A spokeswoman for Peres today said the report was baseless and there were "never any negotiations" between the two countries. She did not comment on the authenticity of the documents.
South African documents show that the apartheid-era military wanted the missiles as a deterrent and for potential strikes against neighbouring states.
The documents show both sides met on 31 March 1975. Polakow-Suransky writes in his book published in the US this week, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's secret alliance with apartheid South Africa. At the talks Israeli officials "formally offered to sell South Africa some of the nuclear-capable Jericho missiles in its arsenal".
Among those attending the meeting was the South African military chief of staff, Lieutenant General RF Armstrong. He immediately drew up a memo in which he laid out the benefits of South Africa obtaining the Jericho missiles but only if they were fitted with nuclear weapons.
The memo, marked "top secret" and dated the same day as the meeting with the Israelis, has previously been revealed but its context was not fully understood because it was not known to be directly linked to the Israeli offer on the same day and that it was the basis for a direct request to Israel. In it, Armstrong writes: "In considering the merits of a weapon system such as the one being offered, certain assumptions have been made: a) That the missiles will be armed with nuclear warheads manufactured in RSA (Republic of South Africa) or acquired elsewhere."
But South Africa was years from being able to build atomic weapons. A little more than two months later, on 4 June, Peres and Botha met in Zurich. By then the Jericho project had the codename Chalet.
The top secret minutes of the meeting record that: "Minister Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet subject to the correct payload being available." The document then records: "Minister Peres said the correct payload was available in three sizes. Minister Botha expressed his appreciation and said that he would ask for advice." The "three sizes" are believed to refer to the conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons.
The use of a euphemism, the "correct payload", reflects Israeli sensitivity over the nuclear issue and would not have been used had it been referring to conventional weapons. It can also only have meant nuclear warheads as Armstrong's memorandum makes clear South Africa was interested in the Jericho missiles solely as a means of delivering nuclear weapons.
In addition, the only payload the South Africans would have needed to obtain from Israel was nuclear. The South Africans were capable of putting together other warheads.
Botha did not go ahead with the deal in part because of the cost. In addition, any deal would have to have had final approval by Israel's prime minister and it is uncertain it would have been forthcoming.
South Africa eventually built its own nuclear bombs, albeit possibly with Israeli assistance. But the collaboration on military technology only grew over the following years. South Africa also provided much of the yellowcake uranium that Israel required to develop its weapons.
The documents confirm accounts by a former South African naval commander, Dieter Gerhardt – jailed in 1983 for spying for the Soviet Union. After his release with the collapse of apartheid, Gerhardt said there was an agreement between Israel and South Africa called Chalet which involved an offer by the Jewish state to arm eight Jericho missiles with "special warheads". Gerhardt said these were atomic bombs. But until now there has been no documentary evidence of the offer.
Some weeks before Peres made his offer of nuclear warheads to Botha, the two defence ministers signed a covert agreement governing the military alliance known as Secment. It was so secret that it included a denial of its own existence: "It is hereby expressly agreed that the very existence of this agreement... shall be secret and shall not be disclosed by either party".
The agreement also said that neither party could unilaterally renounce it.
The existence of Israel's nuclear weapons programme was revealed by Mordechai Vanunu to the Sunday Times in 1986. He provided photographs taken inside the Dimona nuclear site and gave detailed descriptions of the processes involved in producing part of the nuclear material but provided no written documentation.
Documents seized by Iranian students from the US embassy in Tehran after the 1979 revolution revealed the Shah expressed an interest to Israel in developing nuclear arms. But the South African documents offer confirmation Israel was in a position to arm Jericho missiles with nuclear warheads.
Israel pressured the present South African government not to declassify documents obtained by Polakow-Suransky. "The Israeli defence ministry tried to block my access to the Secment agreement on the grounds it was sensitive material, especially the signature and the date," he said. "The South Africans didn't seem to care; they blacked out a few lines and handed it over to me. The ANC government is not so worried about protecting the dirty laundry of the apartheid regime's old allies."
dissabte, de maig 08, 2010
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: 'Why are Muslims so hypersensitive?'
She says Islam is backward and the Qur'an is terrible. But Ayaan Hirsi Ali – whose provocative new book is extracted here – is not about to let a fatwa intimidate her. She talks to Emma Brockes
The Guardian, Saturday 8 May 2010
Even with death threats,' says Ayaan Hirsi Ali, 'I can publish, I can travel and I can live the life that I want.' To see the full photograph by Chris Buck, click on the detail above.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali enters an apartment in New York followed by a bodyguard. The 40-year-old, who for the last six years has been unable to turn up at a venue without it being checked by security, is a writer, polemicist and critic of Islam. She is also a Somali immigrant, an ex-Muslim, a survivor of child genital mutilation, an exile many times over, a former Dutch MP, a black woman whose language would not, in places, look amiss in a BNP pamphlet, a remarked-upon beauty and a lady-in-peril, identities that lend her as a figurehead to disparate causes and bring on confusion in the people she meets.
"I'm a serious person," she says, frowning, as the photographer suggests various fashion poses, but she is also quietly, almost coyly glamorous, moving around with fawn-like grace. It's a combination that works particularly well on male polemicists of the muscular left, who can't do enough to defend her: her gentle charm, her small wrists, her big eyes – oh, and her brave commitment to Enlightenment values – in the face of all that extremism.
It was after fleeing an arranged marriage and settling as an asylum-seeker in Holland that Hirsi Ali converted from Islam to atheism with the kind of zeal that usually powers journeys going the other way. She can, she has said, make statements that a white person simply could not: on the "dangers" posed to the west not just by radical, but by regular Islam; on the "backward" nature of the religion; on how "terrible" the Qur'an is; and, in the most startling argument of her new book, Nomad (a follow-up to her bestselling memoir Infidel), how Muslims would do well to learn from Christianity. She is aware of the liberal twitching she causes – what if accusing her of racism is in itself racist? What if her experience trumps all other arguments? In 2004, after her friend Theo Van Gogh, the Dutch journalist with whom she made a film about women and Islam, was murdered, she was put under 24-hour security. (In the US it is paid for by private donors; when she returns to Europe, where she is still a Dutch citizen, she is protected by the state.) Two years later she left Holland following a controversy around her citizenship and for the last three years she has worked in Washington for the American Enterprise Institute, a rightwing thinktank, contributing papers on how the failures of multiculturalism have allowed for the rise of Islamic extremism in the west.
The accusation that most irritates her – that the events of her life have left her "traumatised" and an easy pawn for rightwing politicians – is, as she says, a sexist presumption. And yet the suspicion remains: that those convictions one arrives at – and fights hardest for – via fraught personal experience are emotional, not rational, and as such beyond reach of most useful debate.
"I'm not being rightwing," she says. "The people who believe themselves to be on the left, and who defend the agents of Islam in the name of tolerance and culture, are being rightwing. Not just rightwing. Extreme rightwing. I don't understand how you can be so upset about the Christian right and just ignore the Islamic right. I'm talking about equality." (She is seeing the rightwing historian Niall Ferguson, who, she wrote recently in a Dutch magazine, she is "enormously in love with", but won't comment on it today, nor smile at the suggestion that in most people's minds this will instantly reposition her on the political scale.)
The impetus to write Nomad came in 2008, when she visited her dying father at a hospital in London and saw her family for the first time in years. The reunion was short and inadequate, and brought about "the horrible feelings that come with death; lots of things that I regret". Primarily that she hadn't spoken to him sooner, but also that in what she saw as his internal fight between western and Islamic principles – he believed in educating his daughter, but forced her into a marriage and disowned her when she ran away – the latter won.
Her critique of Islam as a "moral framework not compatible with the modern westernised way of living" is rooted in a critique of her family, her father's unbending will and particularly her mother, a woman who she says was pulled apart by the contradictions of maintaining her faith in a modern society and an identity crisis from which Hirsi Ali herself suffered. (She speaks six languages – English, Somali, Arabic, Swahili, Amharic and Dutch.) The phrasing she uses is startlingly direct. When she writes that "violence is an integral part" of Islamic social discipline, or says in our interview that "Muhammad's example is terrible, don't follow it", it is deliberately, almost narcissistically provocative, the result, one imagines, of a siege mentality and the defensive self-assurance that goes with it. To Hirsi Ali, the act of speaking out, of saying what no one else will say, seems at this stage to be almost a pathology; to override all other considerations.
The subtitle of Nomad is "A personal journey through the clash of civilisations". I ask if she understands why Muslims going about their business are incredibly hurt by these kinds of statements. "But if you compare the reaction of Christians to what is written about Christianity – Richard Dawkins, who's a supporter, says religion is a form of madness – whereby Christians just shrug their shoulders and don't respond. If you compare the way Muslims take offence at perceived insults that are not insults, but are just a critical way of looking at their religion, then I start to ask myself, why are Muslims so hypersensitive to criticism and why don't they do anything with it except to respond by denying it or playing the victim? And I've come to the conclusion it's because of the gradual indoctrination – from parents, teachers – that everything in the Qur'an is true; Muhammad is infallible, you have to follow his example and defend Islam at all times, at all costs. Instead of going along as most people are doing now and saying, OK, let's refrain from criticising Islam, let's refrain from calling Islamic terrorism Islamic, I think we should do the opposite."
When people throw out accusations of racism, she says, they forget that Islam is not a race but a religion; one chooses to follow it. But after 7/7, the racist on the street who's about to beat up a foreign-looking guy doesn't stop to ask him if he believes in Muhammad.
"There is racism that will fall under freedom of expression and there is racism that incites violence or is violent, and those [violent] people have to meet with the law, just like the radical Muslims do. But to say that we are simply not going to talk about Islam – which inspires in today's world the greatest possible danger to world peace – because a few people here and there get offended, I think is the wrong approach.
"The burden of proof now is on the Muslims; if the theology they subscribe to requires you to perform jihad, I think we should engage them by saying, 'Hey, we want to talk about this with you'; that's not to insult you. It is right there in the Qur'an, it is right there in the Hadith, it's been put into practice and it is being preached. And the people who are preaching it are taking advantage of the full array of freedoms that a liberal democratic society has. And we are not going to shut up and call it something else just because you are saying you are offended. I don't even believe they are offended. You should be more offended for the victims of 7/7, [who died] in the name of religion, than by a cartoon that is drawn of Muhammad."
In the new book, Hirsi Ali proposes an "enlightenment project" in which "critical thinking" be introduced to her former faith through various mediums, one of which, she suggests, is the Christian church. "That's probably going to be the most controversial," she says, smiling. I'll say. Even if it didn't ignore the baggage of 1,000 years of history – the Crusades, anyone? Colonialism? – what is an atheist doing promoting Christianity?
Hirsi Ali laughs. She decided to promote Christianity, she says, because of letters she received after Infidel was published, from Muslims who were sympathetic to her cause but were reluctant to abandon their faith altogether. "Some say, 'Oh, I have also become an atheist and I'm happy to have shed that cruel nonsense off.' But then some say, 'I don't want to become an atheist.' " Hirsi Ali dismisses the kind of Christians who picket abortion clinics as fringe elements within a faith that, generally, "talks about a concept of God that is different from the Muslim [concept], where you are required to submit your will completely and conform to what is in the Qur'an. I talk about a Christianity that is enlightened enough to separate spirituality from the rest of life. Not just church and state, but knowledge and church. Religious groups not telling you what you can and can't do, but religion becoming an inside thing. It's very hard for me to describe a thing that I don't have – that kind of spirituality."
The 11-minute film Hirsi Ali made with Theo Van Gogh, broadcaster and provocateur who publicly referred to Muslims as "goat-fuckers", was intended to symbolise what they saw as misogyny within Islam. In it, a half-naked woman is depicted with lash marks on her back while a voiceover reads passages from the Qur'an; elsewhere, Qur'anic excerpts relating to the submission of women are projected on to a woman's naked back. As Ian Buruma reported in his excellent book Murder In Amsterdam, when a Dutch news programme aired Submission to Muslim women in a shelter for victims of domestic violence, they were by and large appalled. These were the very people Hirsi Ali was trying to help; but her style, and her choice of cohort, offended them. Three months after the film aired on Dutch TV, Van Gogh was murdered in the street by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan who pinned a note to his chest, calling for holy war and naming Hirsi Ali as a target.
At the time, she was an MP in the Dutch parliament, an extraordinary ascent given that 12 years earlier she had entered the country with barely a suitcase. In 1992, Hirsi Ali was en route from Kenya to Canada to begin married life with a man for whom she had no respect. During a stopover in Germany, she gathered her courage and, on the advice of a relative with knowledge of the asylum system, took a train to Holland. (Her first choice was Britain, but she was told crossing the Channel would be too difficult.) Holland, she was assured, had one of the most liberal asylum policies in Europe. So began a decade during which she rose from a minimum wage job, to a degree in political science from the University of Leiden and up through the Dutch political establishment.
The uncompromising tone of Submission was inspired, in part, by Hirsi Ali's experiences in those early years as an interpreter for social services, hearing stories that took her back to her childhood. Her father was a political opponent of the Somali president Siad Barre. When she was two, he was jailed, forcing the family to flee, first to Saudi Arabia, then Ethiopia, then Kenya. Although there is in Hirsi Ali an almost aristocratic bearing, it was not an easy upbringing; she was beaten by a religious teacher until a rib broke; was, at her grandmother's insistence and in her father's absence, subjected to genital mutilation; and in later years would watch as her sister crumbled into mental illness after a secret abortion – all acts that she believed to be sanctioned by her faith and which, as she started work in Holland, she believed the Dutch authorities wilfully ignored. When Muslim women in the Hague were found to have high instances of vitamin D deficiency, health workers put it down to poverty and not, as Hirsi Ali says came out in the interviews, to the fact they were deprived of sunlight because they didn't have permission to leave the house until their husbands came home at night. She calls this "the twist and turn to avoid Islam". When she had a platform to speak, she resolved, she would not pussyfoot around in the same manner.
And she didn't. After gaining a masters degree, writing a series of pieces in the Dutch press and eventually standing for parliament, Hirsi Ali allied herself with the most unlikely and controversial figures in Dutch politics. As well as Van Gogh, she spoke admiringly of Pim Fortuyn, the Dutch anti-immigration politician who was himself murdered by an animal rights activist. At the end of Nomad, she paints a cosy picture of hanging out in New York with Oriana Fallaci, the late Italian journalist whose post-9/11 polemic, The Rage And The Pride, invokes a seething Muslim mass trying to get into Europe and is described even by Christopher Hitchens, a supporter of Hirsi Ali's, as "a primer in how not to write about Islam". Hirsi Ali says she met Fallaci socially and they didn't talk about Islam – they talked about babies. But to refer to Fallaci so warmly, given her reputation, is of course loaded.
"First of all," she says, "I don't feel that there is guilt by association. And I don't think that human beings are perfect. If Oriana Fallaci wrote – and I have to confess she gave me her books in Italian and I don't read Italian – but if she made these remarks that Christopher says cross the line, it still doesn't mean that she was wrong in her analysis of Islam. OK, she did make mistakes, but she is more of an ally than an enemy." She continues: "If I say, OK, from now I am only going to associate with people who I agree with 100%, that's a very small group of people."
She reserves her greatest disapproval not for writers such as Fallaci, but for intellectuals who she says have failed utterly in their responsibility towards non-white women. The decadence of western feminism is where Hirsi Ali is perhaps strongest. In the book, she attacks Germaine Greer for arguing that female genital mutilation needs to be considered "in context", as part of a "cultural identity" that western women don't understand. Greer, from the quotes Hirsi Ali cites, seems to be arguing merely that female circumcision is at the extreme end of a scale that starts with women wearing high heels for men's delectation – not condoning the former, but condemning the latter as part of a continuum. Hirsi Ali finds this inadequate; a strange, tangential take on the subject. Why, she asks, are voices such as Greer's not speaking out against the subjugation of women in the Muslim world? She calls for a new feminism, "that is going to focus on issues faced by non-western women, because they are the biggest issues. To own your own sexuality, as an adult woman; to choose your own lifestyle; to have access to education [when] what we see in the Muslim world is girls being pulled out of school and married off before they've completed their education. These things, I think, are more basic than the stuff that current feminists are concerning themselves with – like shattering the glass ceiling or finding a balance between work and home life. There was a long article in the New York Times that went on and on about who [in a couple] would load and unload the dishwasher. If you have a career and you're so intelligent, you can work that out. You don't have to have a manifesto. There is feminism that has evolved to a kind of luxury."
On that trip back to London to see her father for the last time, Hirsi Ali visited a cousin on a council estate in east London and saw, with horror, the life she might have led: "on welfare," she says, with hauteur, a virtual "prisoner", in need of her husband's permission to leave the house and then only if encased in a "black shroud". She says: "And I realised, oh my goodness, if I had done what my father wanted me to do in 1992, I would be leading a comparable life, but instead of Tower Hamlets, in Toronto." It is not a portrait she says her cousin would recognise. As far as the cousin is aware, she has made the right choices. How then does Hirsi Ali resolve the Enlightenment paradox of advocating freedom, then turning to other people and saying, I know what's best for you? "But it's not I know what is best for you. Classic liberalism was about the individual; [I am talking about] a denial of rights to an individual within a community: a girl's genitals were being cut; a girl was being denied education, forced into marriage; a gay guy has to hide from his parents that he's gay otherwise they're going to do something to him. That is what liberalism was all about. It is offensive to me if a group of people deny rights to an individual human being in the name of their religion – and they want the rest of us to leave them alone? No way."
Has she been radicalised by her experiences? How can she live with death threats and not, at some level, lose perspective? If she did not have a point, Hirsi Ali says, "there would be no angry Muslims plotting to kill me… people would just be shrugging their shoulders." In any case, she says, living in Washington with security is still better than living as a woman in Saudi Arabia without it. "Even with protection, even with death threats, I can publish, I can travel and I can live the life that I want, and not the one my parents want, or some imam somewhere thinks I should live."
She is not interested in going back into politics and believes she has more influence on the outside. She is sceptical of Obama, who, she thinks, in his speech to the Muslim world in Egypt last year was optimistic to the point of delusion. She says: "The idea that if people are just friendly and demonstrate they want peace, that will be answered with good will – that is really naive. If you have organisations in the US that are lobbying him and Congress to allow sharia, then being nice to them is not enough." In terms of British politics, she is more impressed with Labour than the Conservatives, for their suggested ban on the group Islam4UK. The Archbishop of Canterbury may be surprised to know she considers him an "appeaser" of Islam for considering limited introduction of sharia law.
The book ends with a letter to her unborn, and as yet unconceived, daughter. Hirsi Ali draws a line from her grandmother, a nomad who followed the tribal religious code, to her mother, caught between tribalism and modernity, to what she hopes would be her daughter's uncomplicated relationship with the west. "She would," she says, "not have to deal with the identity crisis that I and my mother had to deal with."
Hirsi Ali misses Dutch bread and cheese; but when she lands at JFK, these days, she thinks, "home". And Africa? She smiles. "I don't have much in me left for Somalia, because the country is so broken, it's not realistic to daydream about it." There is one thing, she says, that annoys her about the way her former faith is depicted. "There is this tendency to think that if you are a Muslim woman you are not strong." She repositions. "They," she says firmly, "are strong women."
• Nomad: A Personal Journey Through The Clash Of Civilisations, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is published by Simon & Schuster at £12.99. To order a copy for £9.99 (including UK mainland p&p), go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop.
dilluns, de maig 03, 2010
Cuando los dinosaurios mudaban las plumas
Dos fósiles hallados en China muestran los cambios en aquellos animales durante el desarrollo juvenil
EL PAÍS - Madrid - 03/05/2010
Las plumas de la cola y las alas del ejemplar más joven de Similicaudipeteryx son de tipo cinta, mientras que en el ejemplar más maduro son similares a las plumas de ave actuales. Además, las plumas de las alas son más pequeñas que las de la cola en el joven, mientras que en el mayor, esa diferencia es poco significativa.
"Los descubrimientos recientes de los dinosaurios con plumas han mejorado mucho nuestra comprensión del origen y la evolución temprana de las plumas, pero hay poca información acerca del desarrollo ontogenético de las antiguos animales con plumas", afirman Xing Xu (Academia China de ciencias) y sus colegas. A la vista de los dos nuevos ejemplares, los científicos sugieren que había mucha más diversidad de desarrollo entre aquello animales con plumas remotos que entre las aves modernas y que algunos rasgos se han perdido en la evolución.
diumenge, de maig 02, 2010
dissabte, de maig 01, 2010
El Vaticano asegura que el fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo "tuvo una vida sin escrúpulos"
Los cinco obispos encargados de una investigación sobre Marcial Maciel y la orden que fundó se reúnen con el Papa
EFE - Ciudad del Vaticano - 01/05/2010
Los cinco prelados han mantenido una reunión de dos días con el papa Benedicto XVI y con el cardenal Tarcisio Bertone para informarles de sus indagaciones sobre el fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, culpable de abusos sexuales de menores seminaristas y de llevar una doble vida con al menos dos mujeres, de las que tuvo tres hijos. La investigación ha tomado ocho meses y les ha llevado a visitar hasta 120 comunidades en todo el mundo.
"Supo crearse coartadas"
"Tal vida no la conocía gran parte de los legionarios, sobre todo por el sistema de relaciones construido por Maciel, que supo crearse coartadas, obtener confianza, confidencia y silencio sobre circunstancias y reforzar su propio rol de fundador carismático", señala el comunicado difundido por el Vaticano. Además, agrega, los que dudaban de su comportamiento "crearon un mecanismo de defensa en torno a él que lo mantuvo durante tiempo inatacable, convirtiendo en misión difícil el conocimiento de su vida verdadera".
"Por tanto -continúa- el descubrimiento y el conocimiento de la verdad sobre el fundador han provocado en los miembros de la Legión sorpresa, desconcierto y profundo dolor, evidenciado por los visitadores [los investigadores]". Refiere que, como resultado de la Visita Apostólica (investigación) de los cinco obispos, surge la necesidad de redefinir el carisma de la Congregación de los Legionarios de Cristo y se exige un camino de profunda revisión.
Benedicto XVI, que ayer se reunió por sorpresa con los obispos, además de agradecer su labor, se ha reservado la modalidad de nombrar "un delegado papal y una Comisión para el estudio de las Constituciones [de la orden]", con lo que el Pontífice asume las riendas de la renovación de la congregación, precisa la nota.
La orden está presente en una treintena de países, cuenta con 800 sacerdotes, 2.500 seminaristas, 65.000 miembros laicos del movimiento Regnum Christi, 158 escuelas y 18 universidades. La orden ganó un enorme poder durante el papado de Juan Pablo II, periodo en el que Maciel llegó a repartir sobres llenos de dinero para mantener su influencia entre la curia vaticana , según se revelaba recientemente en un artículo publicado por el National Catholic Reporter.
La investigación, ordenada por Benedicto XVI en marzo de 2009, tres años después de que castigara a Maciel por abusos sexuales durante décadas contra seminaristas y le exigiera que renunciara "a todo ministerio público" de su actividad sacerdotal, también ha revisado el estado financiero de la congregación y otros asuntos de interés. Entre estos últimos se encontraba el de saber si respetan la supresión decidida por el Papa en 2008 del conocido como "cuarto voto", que era secreto y fue impuesto por Maciel para obligar a sus sacerdotes, bajo pena de excomunión, a no criticar y no denunciar a sus superiores, ni a aspirar a cargos. Aunque fue suprimido, muchos legionarios, según fuentes vaticanas, lo mantienen .
El pasado 26 de marzo, los Legionarios reconocieron que Maciel abusó sexualmente de seminaristas menores , tuvo "otros graves comportamientos" (consumo de drogas) y varios hijos, por lo que pidieron perdón a las víctimas y renegaron del sacerdote mexicano, al no considerarlo ya modelo de vida cristiana. El Papa quiere asegurarse ahora, según la nota difundida hoy, de que los legionarios y los miembros laicos "no serán dejados solos: la Iglesia tiene la firme voluntad de acompañarlos y ayudarlos en el camino de la purificación que les espera".
Maciel, culpable de pederastia: VaticanoEl Papa Benedicto XVI alista el nombramiento de un delegado y la creación de una comisión para reformar a los Legionarios de Cristo, cuyo fundador abusó sexualmente de niños y tuvo tres hijos.
CIUDAD DEL VATICANO Sábado 01 de mayo de 2010
La investigación sobre los Legionarios de Cristo revela que "los gravísimos y objetivamente comportamientos inmorales" del padre Marcial Maciel Degollado, fundador de la congregación, fueron "confirmados por testimonios incontrovertibles", informó este sábado el Vaticano.
En un comunicado, la Santa Sede denunció a Maciel por crear un ''sistema de poder'' basado en el silencio y la obediencia que le permitió llevar una doble vida ''desprovista de escrúpulos y sentimiento religioso auténtico'' y abusar de niños durante décadas sin el menor freno.
El Vaticano aseguró a los miembros actuales de los Legionarios que les ayudará a ''purificar'' aquello que queda de bueno en la orden.
El Papa nombrará un delegado y creará una comisión para reformar la congregación, cuyo fundador abusó sexualmente de niños y tuvo tres hijos.
La Santa Sede emitió el comunicado después de la reunión de Benedicto XVI con la comisión de cinco obispos que investigaron a los Legionarios para determinar su futuro.
La comisión visitó más de 120 comunidades legionarias para entrevistarse con sacerdotes y religiosos, y el viernes presentó su informe en una reunión a la que asistió inesperadamente el pontífice.
Durante la visita apostólica, de julio de 2009 a marzo de 2010, los prelados inspeccionaron escuelas, casas religiosas, noviciados y centros pastorales de los Legionarios de Cristo.
La auditoría fue ordenada por Benedicto debido a los escándalos en los que se ha visto involucrado Maciel.
La comisión estuvo integrada por los obispos Ricardo Watty Urquidi, de Tepic, México; Charles Joseph Chaput, de Denver, Estados Unidos; Giuseppe Versaldi, de Alessandria, Italia; Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, de Concepción, Chile; y Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, de Bilbao, España.
La presencia del Papa en la reunión del viernes fue una muestra más de que asume personalmente la responsabilidad de la investigación. En esta semana se reunió con obispos alemanes para analizar la renuncia de un prelado abusivo, y el lunes próximo obispos belgas discutirán la renuncia de su colega más antiguo, quien confesó que había abusado de un niño.
El fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo murió en 2008 apartado del ejercicio de la vida religiosa. El 19 de mayo de 2006, Benedicto XVI le había ordenado que se abstuviera de ejercer el sacerdocio públicamente y llevara una vida de oración y penitencia.