Friday, June 24, 2011

Chicago Province Jesuits Under Severe Legal Scrutiny

Former Provincial Fr. Robert Wild, S.J.
An Illinois judge sharply criticized the Jesuit order in a ruling issued yesterday for not taking adequate steps to rein in defrocked priest and twice-convicted child molester Donald McGuire, asserting that McGuire was preying on teenage boys "right under the noses" of his superiors and that rules established to protect minors from him were "a sham."

The ruling allows punitive damages to be levied against the Jesuits if they lose a lawsuit over McGuire's four-decade career as a predator priest that is now pending in Cook County Circuit Court. The lawsuit names as a defendant the Chicago Province of the Jesuits, where McGuire was technically based. McGuire -- an eminent Jesuit who served as spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa -- taught at the University of San Francisco in the 1970s and 1980s, and ministered to Bay Area families extensively throughout the 1990s.

"The court accepts that the Jesuits are a religious order with a rich history of service to the faithful," Judge Jeffrey Lawrence wrote. 
"However, the leaders of the Chicago Province fell far short of this ideal. Plaintiffs have amply demonstrated a reasonable likelihood of proving facts at trial which would support an award of punitive damages."  
The lawsuit is being brought by several victims of McGuire, including one of two boys from Walnut Creek he allegedly molested. The Jesuits had argued that punitive damages should not be permitted in the suit because McGuire's bosses had no way of controlling him and the wayward priest flaunted his order's vows of obedience. But Lawrence, 
noting that the Jesuits received nine "credible" complaints against the priest over 33 years, 
rejected that argument. 
He stated that rules the Jesuits issued forbidding McGuire from ministering to minors were never enforced. "The guidelines they set for him were a sham," 
 he wrote in his ruling. Moreover, Lawrence noted, the Jesuits proactively lied to other church officials about McGuire's troubled past.
Link (here) to read the full article at the San Francisco Weekly.
Link (here) to read an extensive explanation of the sad saga at The Bishop Accountability website


Stephen J. Haessler said...

This is awful. Awful. More prayer and more fasting. Lord have mercy.

Anonymous said...

Would that the practice of sodomy in the "Society of Jesus" might finally bankrupt them.