AP Exclusive: Victims seek compensation in abuse reckoning

Eight victims of the Catholic Church's most notorious pedophile are pressing the Legion of Christ religious order to compensate them for the sexual abuse they suffered and the psychological harm they say resulted from the order's prolonged campaign to discredit them.

The men sent a letter to the recently concluded meeting of the Legion's leadership seeking public recognition of their status as victims of the Rev. Marcial Maciel and the order.

The letter, obtained by The Associated Press, is emblematic of the reckoning clergy abuse victims increasingly are demanding for the damage inflicted on them by church leaders after they reported their alleged abuse. Pope Francis recently acknowledged making "grave errors" and apologized to victims in Chile.

There was no immediate comment Thursday from the Legion.