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Priest Who Led Legion Of Christ Through Abuse Turmoil, Father Alvaro Corcuera, Dies At 56

Legionarios de Cristo

 (Legionarios de Cristo)

Father Alvaro Corcuera, who led the Legion of Christ religious order through the turmoil surrounding revelations that its founder was a pedophile and fraud, has died. He was 56.

The Legion said Corcuera, who stepped down as superior in 2012 because of a brain tumor, died Monday afternoon in Mexico City. 

Corcuera took over as superior in 2005, a year after the Vatican opened a secret sex abuse investigation into the Legion's founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel. Even though the Vatican found Maciel guilty in 2006 and Legion officials opened their own internal investigation, Corcuera and the rest of the Legion leadership continued to publicly defend him as a saint until admitting to his double life in 2009.

The Legion of Christ, founded in Mexico in 1941, is a Roman Catholic congregation made up of priests and seminarians studying for the priesthood. It is affiliated with the apostolic movement Regnum Christi which includes lay persons and diocesan priests.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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