The Norman Transcript

February 17, 2013

Relatives worried about Catholic widow

By Michelle R. Smith and Nicole Winfield
The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Newly released court documents show how a disgraced Roman Catholic religious order, the Legion of Christ, prevented an elderly widow from visits with her family. A lawyer suing the order says the move was designed ensure the order was the beneficiary of her $60 million fortune.

The Legion argues that widow Gabrielle Mee, who lived in one of its Rhode Island facilities, was not controlled or coerced.

The documents are among thousands of pages unsealed Friday.

They include testimony from a friend who says she was cut off from visiting Mee after she requested a $5,000 charitable donation. Mee’s grand-niece said Mee wanted to visit her sister in California but was denied.

The Legion was taken over by the Vatican in 2010. Its founder molested seminarians and fathered three children.

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