Vincenzo PintoVISITATION ORDERED. Pope Benedict XVI arrives for his general audience at the Vatican April 1, 2009. The day before, the Holy Father ordered an apostolic visitation of the Legion of Christ after allegations that founder Father Marcial Maciel secretly fathered a child as well as abused seminarians. Three years earlier, Benedict ordered Father Maciel to ‘a reserved life of penitence and prayer.’ Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images
While debate continues about whether he should have done even more as pope to address this scourge, knowledgeable observers agree he initiated a decisive change in how the Church deals with the issue.