Sunday, May 30, 2010

We Are Heartbroken

A former president of Loyola Academy was removed from active ministry after he admitted having an "inappropriate relationship" with a student during his tenure at the Wilmette school, religious and school officials said Monday. The Rev. Larry Reuter was president of the Jesuit school from 1975 until 1990. He was Loyola Academy's longest-serving president. 
He reportedly admitted a relationship with an 18-year-old student, though religious officials declined to specify when the incident occurred. Officials said the student had turned 18 when the relationship began. 
 Loyola was an all-male high school until fall 1994, when the institution went coed. No other information was available about the student.
"We are heartbroken by this violation of trust by a former member of our community," Loyola Academy's president, the Rev. Patrick McGrath, said in a statement released Monday. 
The decision to remove Reuter from active ministry effective March 15 was made by the Chicago and Detroit provinces of the Society of Jesus, the organization that oversees Jesuits in the region.

Link (here) to the full Chicago Tribune article 
Photo is Fr. Larry Reuter, S.J. (here)

The a written and video report of a second "Problem" (here)

 The second accuser of Fr. Larry Reuter SJ was interviewed by WGN-TV, not on camera and with voice disguised.  Forty years old and married with two children, the man says the abuse started in the late 80s, when he was a Loyola Academy junior.  He sought and got guidance from Reuter, he says, and appreciated it.  But matters between them took a turn for the worse. Reuter “started feeling comfortable giving me a hug, supporting me as a friend,” he said. “All of a sudden (the hug) became a k..ss on the lips.”
Link (here) to the blog entitled Blithe Spirit


The story gets more complicated this story provided by an unrelated abuse victim from L.A.

This site City of Angels action 2010 also has a copy of a page appearing to be from Jesuit files on Donald McGuire SJ, the convicted abuser now in federal prison.  These are “Minutes of the Chicago Province Consultors Meeting, June 12–14, 2007,” at which McGuire’s fate as a Jesuit was decided, namely to recommend his dismissal from the Jesuits and the priesthood “on grounds of s.exual misconduct.” Among the three “consultors” (advisors to the provincial superior) was “Fr. Lawrence Reuter, S.J.,” who is noted as absent on the third day of the meeting, June 14.  This is clearly the Larry Reuter recently suspended after admitting abuse in a case settled years earlier. Hat Tip to Blithe Spirit (here)

Loyola Academy alum James Young Wagner ‘76 has started a new blog devoted to the coverage of this issue, his blog is entitled The Mess At Loyola Academy
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Blogger Note: I encourage readers to read the comments section, an important and candid discussion is taking place.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good and Holy Jesuits.
Please fix this problem.

kate said...

As everybody knows, Jesuits can be so different from each other.

In this case, a later provincial, new in the job, found that an abusive Jesuit who was still in ministry should be removed.

In my case, featured in the NY Times last week, later Jesuit provincials (Missouri) totally messed up, putting an abusive Jesuit BACK in ministry AND violating a legal contract that the first Missouri Jesuit provincial had bound the province to already, including his successors.

Jesuits are so varied. Some are honest. Some lie. Some are good communicators. Some hide. Some deal with people honestly and fairly. Some look for all the excuses they can find. Some want to help. Some want you to go away. Some admit mistakes. Some never will.

Anonymous said...

Glaringly absent is identification of the sex of the victim...Ad nauseam we read of theses stories. I am convinced that the evil to which these priests fall prey is the result of the death of their spiritual life. Yet nowhere is this mentioned in the saga of evil to which we are daily subjected...

I hope that you are persevering, Kate. I will remember you in my prayers tonight. Be well and trust in His Mercy...

Maria said...

Kate--Sorry.Above comment was mine.
Maria

Jean-Francois Thomas s.j said...

The word sorry is not enough to express what I feel, as a Jesuit, when I read the terrible story of Kate, or the psychological abuse (in Jesuit formation)of Robert... For sure, there is a daily fight between good and evil for every human being, but an institution like the Society of Jesus could have avoided so many failures, sins and crimes in its ranks.Fidelity seems to be a reality of the past or an ideal never real. All Jesuits must take the cross and repent for their own weaknesses and for the ones of their fellow Jesuits. There is no escape if we really want purification. May the Lord bless and console all our victims.

Joseph Fromm said...

I am speechless.

Jean-Francois Thomas s.j said...

Dear Mr. Carter, yes indeed it is difficult today for a Jesuit to be so called "conservative" (meaning in fact just faithful to the Church teaching). I entered the novitiate in the 80's and the problem was widespread. Good you were able to go through and that you did not lose hope and faith, now happily married and serving, loving the Church in another way.But for many years , the same Jesuits who have been ruining many vocations are also the ones who are now involved in many cases of sexual abuses, since all the different kinds of abuse are connected together. Hedonism is too often the center of religious life and personnal sacrifice is put aside. The lack of deep spiritual and sacramental life is at the root of our failures and sins as Jesuits.
Go on with the good life. Be blessed.

Anonymous said...

i knew fr. reuter when i first moved to chicago back in the early 80's. my own jesuit background from cincinnati st. xavier was deep, with 2 uncles in the society as well.
my faith is not shaken, nor is my affection for the jesuits i have known so well over the years.
however, we must take our medicine and shut up. no mea culpa's, no hand wringing, no salvation through novena. in my life, i had known several jesuits who were obviously effeminate, but never heard of any impropriety, ever. i had, though, know of homosexuality/pedophelia in camp counselors and athletic coaches. that said...you can call it a lie and you can call it a damn lie, but it's the same thing. only difference is, obviously, jesuits take vows which transcend contracts signed by coaches and counselors.
i am so disappointed. i have worn my jesuit upbringing on my sleeve my whole life, with fierce pride. it has defined me in my life, and has defined my family for more than 100 years. i am glad my parents and 2 jesuit uncles are not alive to see this.

Anonymous said...

Why did Reuter have so much power at the Jesuit Provincial's office even after he admitted to sex abuse in 1990? Why was he part of the Jesuit team to investigate "Miconduct" cases and decide the fate of other pedophile priests? Isn't that like 'the pot calling the kettle black?'

Anonymous said...

I just learned of this case from my parents. Having moved to the North Shore in 1978, I spent my senior year at Loyola Academy. As president of LA, Larry Reuter was instrumental in making me feel like I belonged: he introduced me to group of students who lived close to my new house, with whom I quickly became good friends. He encouraged me to help with the school play. I feel lucky to have eanded up--in this year where I was the new guy--in a school where he was in charge.

None of this excuses what appears to have happened in these accusations. But it is possible for a man to have done many good things and, regrettably, a few bad ones.

Jim Bowman said...

An image to explain it might be Jekyll and Hyde.

Anonymous said...

"But it is possible for a man to have done many good things and, regrettably, a few bad ones."
As for John Paul II and his Maciel, card Groer, and so on cover up.

Michaelis Archangelis said...

Fr. Larry Reuter was obviously gay. I went to Loyola Academy in the mid to late 80s and I saw him slap a student on the ass and I don't think it was a football thing.
He did play favorites and to me seemed very phony and fake.

Loyola Academy had an obvious homosexual subculture among the faculty (not many students that I knew). One teacher said that "anal sex was very violent and very fun" and spoke openly about his homosexual experiences--I can name the name if it is allowable here.

Another teacher who at the Student Council Barbecue at the house of the Headmaster said that he was afraid to take an AIDS test.
The rumor was he died of AIDS and a couple of teachers had obituaries in the alumni newsletter that died relatively young from undisclosed causes, complications, and pneumonia.

One other teacher that I did not have (and he was a nice man) interviewed a friend of mine for a Spanish teacher job and that friend told me that this teacher than went off in the same place they met with his obvious boyfriend.

Loyola Academy certainly did psychological abuse and excluded kids and used psychology as a weapon and a way to descredit the kids who spoke out about certain abuses.

Loyola Academy HS was not even Catholic. The Religous Ed/ Theology program was quasi Catholic with a combination of Marxism and pop-psychology. They threw in some of the big names in Greek philosophy but the textbook for the Senior Honors Theology was the Catholicism book by McBrien from Notre Dame. They loved the Sandinistas and thought that the Sandinistas were bringing the "Kingdom of God on earth"
One religion teacher told me that there was no bodily resurrection. Another told me there was not a physical virginity. They quoted Schibellenx and Kung as authorities and made fun of Pope John Paul II as some Polish redneck--that Pope John Paul II was from a parochial perspective and was too traditional. There were no miracles or anything supernatural or Our Lady of Fatima or the Rosary and Church History was an admission that the Catholic Church did all these awful things (some of which are true) No mystery or mysticism. The Mass was a joke with clowns and absurd skits and ad libbing dialogue---my Methodist and Lutheran friends had more reverent liturgies that were more "Catholic". The Bible was made fun of---on the First day of School one teacher (the head of the department threw the Bible in the Garbage and burned the American flag) Marx and Freud were lionized. We read atheistic tomes.

Joseph Fromm said...

Thank you all for your comments.

Anonymous said...

I have known Fr. Reuter in recent years and the caricature presented here by some does not ring true. He has admitted his sin in a very public way--before any of us condemn him in the ways done here, we might first confess our own most sinful moments and agree to have our lives reduced to those. He who is without sin...

Anonymous said...

Such a double standard. If a priest admits his sin "in a very public way" then all should be forgiven, the rest of us be damned! When my son and I attended his "progress" meeting at his Jesuit high school the campus minister made it a point to ask "you do know not to interpret the bible literally don't you? The Bible is indeed a joke. I would like to see our young Catholic men steered towards the Catholic schools instead of the Jesuit high schools but "the facilities are better", the accolades at graduation are so impressive and this Jesuit high school posts on their web site the large quantity of lawyers it produces, God knows the Jesuits needs the lawyers!

kate said...

Rob,

I appreciate your comments and thank you for telling your story here. I know many more stories of abuse at Loyola. Obviously, because I was abused on Loyola's Rome campus by a Jesuit on Loyola's Chicago faculty, I might pay more attention to Loyola stories. But it's also true that there seem to be many more abuse stories about Loyola Jesuits. I have only heard more about Jesuits in Alaska.

Thank you again.

-Kate

kate said...

Rob,

I spend some time in a very rural place with no reliable internet -- and a habit of leaving my laptop home forgetting I might drive near a library......

After my last comment, I drove away..... and thought of more to say......

I'm not surprised that you and I are alums of the College of the Holy Cross, and that we are speaking in straightforward, honest and respectful ways about the truth of our experiences, even the experiences that are difficult to speak about.

I graduated in '84, six years before you. I bet we had some of the same professors. I'd name the professors, but I also know the time spent in late conversations with classmates mattered as much.

And it does not surprise me..... that the person who knew something was wrong after I was sexually assaulted in Rome was a Holy Cross classmate. "What happened to you in Rome?", she asked. "You are different. What's wrong? What happened to you?"

I found a library to tell you that.

I know the road isn't easy, but I wish you all the best. Thanks for speaking up.

Kate '84

P.S. I have heard so many bad stories about Loyola Chicago.

Rogan said...

I am a Loyola Academy grad. My thoughts:

http://timrogan.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I remember old Larry very well, but not fondly. Let me share a little story about Larry. A friend of mine had a younger brother who was involved in an after school drinking party. My friend was not from a particularly wealthy or high-profile family, unlike the other students involved in this little incident. When the time came to find a scapegoat, Larry very handily threw my friend’s brother under the bus, even though the party had taken place at the Winnetka home of one of the very wealthy students. Larry loved good looking, rich jocks. He had absolutely no time for anyone else. “Men for Others” indeed! (A Jesuit motto in case you are not familiar with that phrase.) He was, and is, a pathetic sycophant and hypocrite, and a disgrace not only to the Jesuit order, but to priests everywhere. Even more appalling however, is the blind eye that the Jesuits turned to this behavior. I graduated from LA about 40 years ago. My brothers attended LA, as did my father and my uncle. Thank God my dad and his brother are deceased, or this would probably have killed them.

How it could have taken 40 years for this mans true nature to be revealed, when I knew it way back then, is mystifying.

carlos said...

hey rob... i dunno if u still remember me. but i remember u coz u were d one who called my attention to see my first snow in chicago--dec 8, 1994 at the lewis-bremner jesuit community. u were d scholastic who prayed devotedly with d aroma of incense. i didn't know why u had left since i left that community for hyde park before u left d society. anyway, just trying to touch base and to tell u that i'm with u and i pray for larry. i always thought that u were d perfect candidate for d priesthood..anyway i am happy that ur jesuit training did not go to waste despite all the bad that happened in ur life.

Anonymous said...

May God bless all who have suffered. May God bless Fr. Reuter, a man who has known me for over 43 years (I'm 48 years old). Always kind, known to be a loyal friend, having accomplished much good in service for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls, Fr. Reuter acted on temptation, causing pain to others and to himself. I know of only one Man who never sinned, and He came to Earth, taught, suffered, died, and rose from the dead because even men dedicated to service like Fr. Reuter (as with all other people) need Jesus' sacrifice to be saved from weakness and sinfullness. Glory to God in the highest. My prayers are with all who are affected by the pain caused by sin- including those who commit the sin.

Anonymous said...

I was educated by the jesuits for five years. I was never molested or treated poorly. I believe the jesuits should not be judged by the few that committed these sins.

My heart hurts for those who have been hurt from men I once respected. Had I known any of my classmates were being abused I would have stopped it quick. I am sorry I did not notice the abuse. I respect the victoms that have stepped up to warn others. I respect those who have suffered in silence because I understand your pain.

Charlie G Loyola Academy Class of 1978

Jim Rome said...

I have to respectfuly disagree about blame in these cases. How can someone who is 18 years old be "assaulted" by gay clergy's unwanted advances over the course of months or years and not call it consensual? That's absurd. Most boys know what their orientation is by the time they're 13, and by the time they're 18, they know darn well what they want.

And Larry Reuter isn't Rasputin. He was a cross between Dr. Bombay and Paul Lynde. You could push him over with a feather. He couldn't assault anyone.

Honestly, if you're married with kids and you're still talking about how in high school a male clergyman hit on you multiple times, and you had consensual sex with them multiple times, then the words "multiple times" should probably ring a bell in your head: you have bigger orientation issues than you're letting on. So these sexual advances aren't as unwelcome as these "victims" would have us believe. Especially ones who are 18, well beyond the age of innocence.

Face it. It's these "victims'" own self-loathing that's making that gay contact from years past an issue now. And based on the hateful comments on this board, it's no wonder men are having issues supressing their own orientation which led to these incidents in the first place.