The pope's envoy running the troubled Legion of Christ has ended his three-year reform effort, declaring the order "cured and cleaned" but acknowledging it bears the guilt of its pedophile founder and those who delayed admitting his crimes.

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis celebrated his final Mass as papal delegate on Tuesday and was sent off with a round of applause from a congregation eager to take back the autonomy that was wrested away from it by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

Benedict intervened after a Vatican investigation determined that the Legion had been infected by the influence of its founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, who sexually abused his seminarians, fathered at least three children and built a cult-like system of power based on silence, deceit and obedience.