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"We failed to listen to those who came forward and to meet their courage in dealing with Donald McGuire as we should have" ~Rev. Timothy Kesicki

In a record-setting settlement, the Jesuit's must pay $19.6 million dollars to six male victims, abused by pedophile priest Donald McGuire.  And make no mistake, not one, not two, not three, but MANY church leaders were aware...but did nothing.

"Jesuits made choices time and time again that demonstrated willful indifference," said Jeff Anderson, the plaintiffs' attorney. "Not one Jesuit official has yet to be prosecuted for their complicity in these crimes."


Internal church records released Tuesday show that Chicago Jesuits consciously concealed the crimes of convicted sex offender Donald McGuire for more than 40 years as the prominent Roman Catholic priest continued to sexually abuse dozens of children around the globe.

One letter written in 1970 by the Rev. John H. Reinke, then president of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, described McGuire's presence at the school as "positively destructive and corrosive." Instead of insisting he be removed from ministry or sent to treatment, Reinke suggested a transfer to Loyola University.

To date, lawyers have identified 28 men who have alleged abuse by McGuire from the 1960s until 2004. Eight have filed lawsuits.

Willful Recidivism

Even after being accused, tried and convicted in 2006 (sentence postponed awaiting appeal), McGuire continued abusing children

After a second victim from Loyola Academy came forward, Cook County authorities directed the two men to Wisconsin, where they said McGuire molested them during trips to the resort area near Lake Geneva between 1966 and 1968. Unlike Illinois' statute of limitations, Wisconsin's didn't preclude criminal prosecution.

McGuire was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to seven years behind bars and 20 years of probation. Though the prison sentence was postponed pending his appeal, McGuire was jailed three times for violating his probation. Before Wisconsin authorities could have his probation revoked, federal authorities charged McGuire in 2007 with traveling internationally to engage in sexual misconduct with a minor.

Many knew, but did nothing

Well, almost nothing.  They did, as in the Jerry Sandusky case, warn the pedophile:

In 1995, the Rev. Francis Daly, then acting provincial, wrote to McGuire after a mother copied his superiors on a memo telling him to stay away from her son. Daly could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

"Let us hope that no more alleged incidents come to light," Daly wrote. "You must understand the complaints raised in these situations are serious. There must be no more. I am calling you to a prudence greater than that which you have shown in recent years."

Rev Daly wasn't the only one who knew:

February 1991 - Rev. Robert Wild Memo concerned about a boy who traveled and slept in the same room with McGuire

April 1993 - Rev. Joe Fessio Memo concerned about McGuire taking several boys to Russia "one of whom he was taking showers with and reading hard pornography."  In this case, Rev. Fessio contacted the boy's father and "asked him to keep this quiet until he could represent this to McGuire's provincial."

1995 - Noted above, Rev. Daly warns...the pedophile, McGuire

October 2000 letter from parent - "[Our son] cried as he told us 'he couldn't take it anymore!' He stated that Father was overwhelming him with pornographic pictures and talking to him about sexual matters at every waking moment."

Originally posted to TreeClimbers on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It is only in silence the pedophiles exist... (18+ / 0-)

    please let us stop protecting the pedophiles.  

    Children cannot protect themselves.  It is our duty, as adults, to keep them safe.  

    "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

    by Roxine on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:40:28 AM PDT

    •  No victim of abuse, whatever his/her age (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dretutz, Massconfusion

      can engage in effective self-defense. That's because the abuser aims to injure and, to the extent that self-defense risks additional injury, the victim becomes the abuser's tool.
      When death is the potential outcome, then self-defense risking injury makes sense as a lesser evil. Which suggests, at least to my way of thinking, that abuse is itself not a lesser evil, but a greater evil, if only because it is intentional. Abuse is never accidental. And yet, the law classifies assaults as simple, aggravated and felonious and simple assault isn't even considered a crime, unless witnessed by an officer of the law.
      We wouldn't have to be specifying all the kinds of abuse (child, sexual, spouse, elder, handicap) as exceptions to the rule, if abuse weren't considered a normal response to any breach of obedience. If authority weren't considered entitled to punish, we'd make more progress towards a respect for human rights. Of course, to do that, we'd have to surrender the preconceived notion of original sin.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:36:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's shocking that these people are still (10+ / 0-)

    in business.

    And, for an organization that is bible-based, etc etc can so blatantly get around court orders, etc, to continue to carry on.

    And on a personal level, per another extant diary here at DailyKos, appear to want to compete with the Mormons for my soul after I die.  Although that is more amusing than anything, it is irksome.

  •  I wish I could be shocked by this. (6+ / 0-)

    I do, however, remain horrified. Nothing these people do surprises me anymore. It's still unfathomable that this reprehensible behavior is not only covered up and hidden but that it's essentially justified, almost as a perk of the job.  And then people can remain faithful to this religion whose leaders have betrayed children in the worst way for hundreds of years -- how?

    Is basic human decency too much to ask?  Apparently.

    Remember. Bring them home. ● And he reminds me that we are playing a long game here … and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once -- Michelle Obama.

    by edsbrooklyn on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:04:28 AM PDT

  •  You've Got a Blatant Error in Your Headline. (5+ / 0-)

    It's almost inconceivable that the number "40" is large enough.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:08:52 AM PDT

  •  The cash settlements (8+ / 0-)

    make me feel sick.

    I'm imagining the millions of people who tithe to the church-- and this is how their money is being spent-- paying off victims. Here's my money, go rape someone with it ...

    Kinda makes me want to ram my head through a wall.

    Saving the elusive werelynx though swag.

    by Marko the Werelynx on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:14:55 AM PDT

  •  It wasn't the Catholic Church. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, Hammerhand, Catte Nappe, Dretutz

    What you've got in your title is a "false attribution of agency." This is a logical fallacy. Why is it important? Because when we attribute agency or action to inanimate entities, which (by definition) can't act, we let the real actors or agents off the hook. In this case, the agents of inappropriate action and inaction (negligence) were individual members of the Jesuit hierarchy. In other words, they were men who had been designated as leaders and were considered responsible for the behavior of subordinates and who didn't carry out their obligations.
    To what extent the false attribution of agency contributes to the public's failure to understand who's falling down on the job is unknown. But, failing to point out the derelicts can't help inform the public what they need to be looking for.

    That authority comes with obligations seems to be often overlooked. Perhaps that's because the people who seek out authoritarian positions are actually looking to escape or evade obligations. If so, then all sorts of hierarchical positions are likely being wrongly filled. It's not just a problem for establishments of religion, nor is it solely associated with organizations which abjure sexual relations. Authoritarians who exact obedience from subordinates are detrimental wherever they operate. Because exacting obedience is inherently abusive and abuse gets passed from victim to victim, unless there is a forceful intervention to call a halt.
    When authority stands silent in the face of abuse, it becomes complicit.
    That's what the judgements rendered in these lawsuits affirm. It's what lawsuits on behalf of the victims in Guantanamo should affirm.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:23:36 AM PDT

    •  It WAS the Catholic Church (4+ / 0-)

      the cover-up went to the very highest levels.

      Which, it would seem, are beyond the reach of law enforcement so this is who gets prosecuted (and rightly so!  my point is just that that's not enough).

      •  The Catholic church is an artificial body, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hammerhand, Bronx59

        made up of people who are organized to distribute responsibility for their behavior and error. It is a bit ironic that humans, who glory in their claim to free will, consistently go to great lengths to deny individual culpability for mistake and error. I suspect pride makes them do it. But, whatever the genesis of this behavior, we do not have to accept their efforts to hide behind their artificial creation.

        That higher-ups covered up mis-deeds is not a peculiar problem. We see evidence of it in all organizations which exact obedience from subordinates. They rely on forgiving error as a tool to subordinate. It's a process akin to the Mafia practice of having a new recruit commit a ruthless crime whose exposure can be held over his head in case he ever gets out of line.

        Manipulating people seems to come naturally to people whose practical talents are few to non-existent.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:55:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Meh, if corporations can be people, (4+ / 0-)

          so can churches . .. .

          In any event, sure, if individual people are worthy of prosecution, they absolutely should be prosecuted.

          But that approach smacks of the proverbial "few bad apples" dodge - in this case the entire organization is rotten to the core and needs to be held accountable.

          •  An organization is a figment of the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            imagination and cannot be held accountable, unless one considers being told a story by many actors an account. To render an account is to tell a story. Which means that accountability, if it is supposed to mean make up or compensate for an error or injustice, is a crock.
            But then, the organization known as the Roman Catholic Church specializes in cheap forgiveness of sins against other people with the recitation of an "act of contrition" (which is not an act) and a few prayers mumbled by rote.

            Let me confess here and now, just in case anyone cares, that one of the reasons I stopped being a practicing Catholic was because I was tired of making up sins to confess to priests in need of something to forgive. It was a tawdry ritual. Also, I wanted nothing more to do with gossips and hypocrites.

            We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

            by hannah on Thu May 23, 2013 at 06:42:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  "Internal CHURCH records show..." n/t (3+ / 0-)

      "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

      by Roxine on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:34:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It was strictly coincidental that the Jesuits (3+ / 0-)

      are Catholics with the full backing of the Catholic Church when it comes to burying any scandals. In fact, it was coincidental that they were priests at all, I mean, they could have been Boy Scouts of America.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:35:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  An inanimate entity, with legal responsibilities (0+ / 0-)

      It can make contracts, sue and be sued, and own property.

      It is just that they be sued and forced to forfeit some of their property.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:27:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the other part that disgusts me (3+ / 0-)

    is these hypocrites telling all the young adults they are going to hell for premarital sex.

    Not as serious as the abuse but created one hell of a lot of guilt for vast numbers of these victims to work through.

  •  OK, exactly how much more of this (3+ / 0-)

    will the world take before we haul this institution before the World Court for crimes against humanity (all 2000 years of it)????

  •  I'm so sad. Until I read this diary, I thought (4+ / 0-)

    that the Jesuits had escaped the taint of pedophilia. I thought it was mostly parish priests who were the ones abusing children. I was educated by Jesuits. They were awesome. Fr. B had been an army chaplain, and wore combat boots with his soutane. He was afraid of girls, and avoided us like the plague.

    A different Fr. B was our Speech and Debate teacher. I argued FOR abortion (yes, that was the topic that I drew out of the hat) ex tempore in front of the class and the man from the school accreditation board. I won. Even Fr. B. and the man voted for me. Pretty progressive for a private Catholic high school in the late 1970's.

    My heart is heavy with sadness and disgust. Although I left the Church and was received into the Episcopal Church in the early 1990's, the majority of my family is still Catholic.

    "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

    by BadKitties on Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:25:29 AM PDT

    •  My husband went to Loyola New Orleans - (6+ / 0-)

      his uncle was a Jesuit priest, his aunt was a nun.  My oldest son went to catholic private high school.  My youngest son might as well.

      Most of my husband's family are practicing catholics.  

      We are not.  

      My youngest son is currently a cub scout - in fact, we will ALL be attending the campout in about 2 weeks.

      My abuser was my grandfather.

      Pedophilia happens in all walks of life, all organizations, many families.  Pedophiles choose organizations that give them the greatest access to kids with the least presumption of guilt.  Priests, coaches, boy scout leaders, teachers...

      No one can escape the threat of pedophilia - however, we can raise awareness.  By understanding that NO ONE is above reproach - not a priest, not a teacher, not a coach, not a grandfather.  

      If you suspect a child is being abused, the only way to save that child and prevent further abuse is to report it - no matter who it is or what stellar reputation they may have.  

      Pedophiles are typically nice guys, someone you'd invite into your home, someone you'd trust your kids with - they are counting on that.

      "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

      by Roxine on Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:38:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i felt a similar pang (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roxine, BadKitties

      i know several individual Jesuits I deeply respect.  Franciscans too.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:49:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i am sorry this diary had to be written (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the settlement will be helpful in paying for therapy and making life a little easier.

    but there are scars that persist that no amount of money will ease

    that said, it is not breaking news that the Roman Catholic Church consciously concealed sex abuse crimes for decades.  The story broke in Boston about ten years ago.  The Boston Globe won a Pulitzer for it.

    now they are making a movie about the reporters who uncovered the story.  Sort of like how All the President's Men uncovered Watergate, only this time it is Ben Bradlee Jr.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:44:25 AM PDT

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