Departure of the Founder of News Agency Zenit

Source: FSSPX News

The director of the Catholic agency Zenit, the Spaniard Jesús Colina, was asked to leave the news agency he founded 14 years ago. Interviewed by I. MEDIA on September 30th, the journalist mentioned a “lack of mutual trust” and a “lack of financial transparency” by the Legionaries of Christ, sponsors of Zenit.

In a letter to the editor of Zenit, Jesús Colina was very critical of how the movement has obscured the actions of Father Maciel (see DICI No. 214),even though he himself had published a book of interviews in 2003—My Life is Christ—with the founder of the Legionaries.“The manner in which the congregation gave  us information, concealing material facts, made it such that on many occasions we could not completely fulfill our duty to inform in accordance with the vision of the Pope and the Holy See,” he said. He also deplores the “lack of credibility” in the countries where the congregation is present—Latin America and the United States—after the scandals were revealed in 2009.

In his letter, the journalist explains that from that year, he had asked for more “transparency” regarding the bank accounts of Zenit vis-à-vis those of the Legionnaires “in order to prevent future scandals that could be attributed to the Legionaries of Christ and harm Zenit.” However, he reveals that “the exact opposite happened. Bank accounts were combined under the signature of Father Garza, the Vicar General at that time. This broken promise shook the confidence of the editor during the preparation for the donation campaign of 2011, which took place under deplorable conditions.”

According to information gathered by the agency I. MEDIA, nearly 80% of Zenit journalists are about to leave the company. In a statement released on October 10th, the six editors-in-chief have expressed their intention to resign and regretted “the decision of the congregation to emphasize the institutional dependence of the agency in relation to the congregation.” The signatories wrote, “the initial project had no plans to serve a particular congregation, but to serve  the whole Church.” They went on to state that they “could not betray the spirit in which they had worked all these years.”

Broadcast in seven languages and 460,000 subscribers strong worldwide, employing 50 staff, including about thirty journalists,  Zenit is a financial windfall for the Legionaries. The agency regularly engages in donation campaigns by email or through its website. It claims to have received $ 1.58 million in donation drives during 2009. The sum of $1.9 million was noted in its 2010 budget. (Sources: apic/imedia/Cross/cns- DICI No. 243 of 10/28/11)