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Jesuits Accused in Lawsuit of Ignoring Abuse


April 08, 2011

In a Chicago lawsuit, victims of sexual abuse by priests accused Jesuit leaders of ignoring or keeping secret numerous and detailed reports about a prominent priest who abused teenage boys for decades. Lawyers said that recently released church documents demonstrated “a reckless disregard for the safety of others in the face of repeated reports of sexual misconduct” on the part of Chicago Jesuit leaders.
“The former priest, Donald J. McGuire, now 80, was convicted on several counts of sex abuse in state and federal courts in 2006 and 2008, and is serving a 25-year federal sentence.”

The lawsuit argues that McGuire’s superiors turned “a blind eye to his criminal actions,” and says there is evidence of a “long trail of credible warnings about the priest’s behavior and ineffective responses by church officials.” The priest was even given directives that were never enforced.

“In depositions and settlement meetings over the last three years, senior Jesuit officials have said that until recent years they had not heard firm-enough evidence of sexual abuse to justify stronger action against Father McGuire.” But that is apparently not true. The motion “charges that the church misled prosecutors in 2006, with its lawyers claiming that they had little information about the priest — despite the lengthy record of complaints.”

McGuire was barred by some Jesuit schools in the 1960s and 1970s for suspicious behavior, including having students share his bedroom.

For about two decades, starting in the early 1980s, [McGuire] was a spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa, who put him in charge of retreats for the nuns in her worldwide order, Missionaries of Charity. He would travel several times each year to India, Russia, throughout the U.S., and other countries, leading retreats. In these travels he took a teenage boy as an “assistant,” saying he “needed help administering his diabetes treatment.” He would abuse them according to the lawsuit.

While teaching at Loyola Academy, a high school in Wilmette, Ill., in the 1960s, “two boys stayed with him in his room for about two years each, where he constantly abused them,” according to his 2006 trial.

McGuire had psychiatric treatment. But in 1991, McGuire travelled with a teenage boy from Alaska and shared a bed with him. His mother said that “her son has in some way changed.”

He was given “guidelines” by his Jesuit superior, to not travel on overnight trips with any boys or girls under 18. But McGuire “was left to police himself.” He was given other restrictions multiple times, but they were never enforced.

After all that, in 1998 the Chicago provincial wrote a letter of “good standing” for Father McGuire to allow him to minister in a diocese, stating that “there is nothing to our knowledge in his background which would restrict any ministry with minors.”
“McGuire was formally removed from the priesthood in February 2008 after a conviction in Wisconsin and after a federal indictment had been issued in Illinois.” Of course the removal should have happened long before it became public. The new documents and the subsequent lawsuit reveal that Jesuit leaders knew for decades that the priest was involved in molesting boys.

The Jesuits are the world’s largest Roman Catholic religious order.

The Bible says, that the corrupt woman (church) is “arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Revelation 17:4, 5