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Legion of Christ lawsuit: Judge gives to go-ahead for lawsuit to move forward

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A federal magistrate judge in Rhode Island has recommended that an issue known as the Legion of Christ lawsuit should be allowed to go forward. The Associated Press reported on Jan. 22, 2014, that the judge suggests the family of a late Yale University professor should have the allowance to sue the Roman Catholic order, the Legion of Christ, over more than a $1 million bequest.

James Boa-Teh Chu was retired and living in East Providence, Rhode Island, when he passed away back in 2009. Paul Chu, the professor's son, filed a lawsuit in 2012 that says his father was defrauded, coerced, and deceived into signing the majority of his assets over to the Legion of Christ.

Chu says that members of the order convinced his father that the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion, was a saint.

This whole incident with James Boa-Teh Chu happened during a time when the Legion of Christ as dealing with allegations against Rev. Maciel, some of which involved sex abuse.

In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI ordered a whole reform of the Legion after the Vatican took it over.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan said that Chu has standing in the situation and recommends that the Legion of Christ lawsuit be allowed to continue and go forward. He has not said that Chu's lawsuit has merit, but it does have standing.

U.S. District Judge Ronal Lagueux has final say on the whole lawsuit. Both sides will be allowed to file their objections with him before a final decision has been made.

"After Dr. Chu's death, Paul found documents evidencing that the Legion was fostering this image of Father Maciel in Dr. Chu's mind at the same time that it was aware of the facts being uncovered by the Vatican's investigation," Sullivan wrote.

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