Legionaries of Christ priest admits he fathered child

May 16, 2012 at 9:15 AM
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ROME, May 16 (UPI) -- A Catholic priest who has appeared on U.S. television as a Vatican analyst has admitted fathering a child out of wedlock.

The Rev. Thomas Williams, a member of the troubled Legionaries of Christ, said he is taking a leave of absence to reflect on his commitments as a priest, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Williams, who has been stationed in Rome, has appeared on U.S. television news programs and was interviewed by ABC in 2010 about the order after the late founder of Legionaries of Christ Marcial Maciel was denounced by the Vatican for sexual improprieties.

Williams, a native of Michigan, announced his intention to go on leave after an activist contacted the Vatican with allegations Williams had fathered a child.

"A number of years ago I had a relationship with a woman and fathered her child," he said in a statement. "I am deeply sorry for this grave transgression and have tried to make amends. ... I am truly sorry to everyone who is hurt by this revelation, and I ask for your prayers as I seek guidance on how to make up for my errors."

The activist also alleged Williams had relationships with female students while teaching at a university in Rome.

The National Catholic Reporter said seven other priests connected to the Legion are being investigated for the alleged abuse of minors, ABC News said.

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