( Pope John Paul II blesses Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ, during a special audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican November 30, 2004. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

How can an order of priests go on serving the Catholic Church and the faithful after revelations that the man who founded it was a fraud who lived a double life as a pedophile, womanizer and drug addict?

That is the dilemma facing the Legionaries of Christ, as the conservative religious order started a six-week meeting on Wednesday to write a new constitution and chart a future course that would put the stain of scandal behind it.

The order, once a darling of the Vatican because it attracted more people to religious vocations and made sizeable financial donations to the Church, has been in receivership since 2010.

At that point, former Pope Benedict appointed a personal delegate to run it while investigations were carried out and preparations made for upcoming changes.