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Catholic order admits offshore holdings in tax havens

Published:Wednesday | November 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Pope Francis addresses a delegation of Pacific leaders in the Clementine Hall, at the Vatican.

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

In a statement on 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 multimillion-dollar holdings, long the source of speculation, were revealed in the Paradise Papers leak.

- AP