The Legion of Christ religious order says the Vatican is investigating seven of its priests for alleged sexual abuse of minors, and another two for other alleged crimes.
The investigations mark the first known Vatican investigation against Legion priests for alleged sexual assault following a scandal involving the Legion's founder, who sexually abused his seminarians for years and fathered three children with two different women.
In a statement Friday to The Associated Press, the Legion confirmed it had referred seven cases of alleged abuse to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Two other priests were also referred for alleged sacramental violations, believed to involve using spiritual direction to have inappropriate relations with women.
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