Legionaires of Christ’s List of Clergy with Substantiated Sex Abuse Claim Includes Former Miami Clergyman

| Dec 22, 2019 | Catholic Church

The Legionaires of Christ has published a list of its clergyman who have had substantiated sexual abuse allegations lodged against them.  The list include Father Benjamin Cielply, who was formerly serving in the Archdiocese of Miami.   Investigators concluded that “there is a high probability that he sexually abused a minor in 2016 during his probationary period in the Archdiocese of Miami.” Cieply was removed from ministry on account this sexual abuse claim.

Father Benjamin Cieply, LC, was ordained to priesthood with the religious congregation Legionaries of Christ on December 20, 2008.  In 2015, he left the Dallas, Texas, Legionaries of Christ community to seek out incardination to the Archdiocese of Miami after a gradual process of discernment.  In late 2016, an incident of sexual abuse in Florida involving a minor was reported and Child Protective Services was notified. Child Protective Services determined that the allegations could not be substantiated.  The Archdiocese of Miami was informed. They began their internal review and a decision was made, based on the findings, to remove Fr. Benjamin Cieply from ministry. Cieply was sent back to the Legionaries of Christ and has not been exercising ministry.

Fr. Benjamin Cieply was asked by the Legionairies to participate in the investigation of this claim in January of 2017 and then again in February of 2018. Fr. Benjamin Cieply affirmed his innocence and declined to participate in the investigation on both occasions.   The Review Board convened on June 27, 2018. After careful consideration based on the information provided in the report, the Review Board concluded that there is a high probability that sexual abuse had occurred and recommended that Fr. Benjamin Cieply should not return to ministry. The Territorial Director of the Legionaries of Christ decided to act in accordance with their recommendation. Fr. Benjamin Cieply will not be returning to ministry.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergt.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy now have legal options to recover damages.  Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.