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Missouri Jesuits’ Supervision of Abusive Priests

May 3, 2009

The adequacy of supervision given to abusive Jesuits in the Missouri province has been questioned before, even in recent years after the church supposedly made changes. Here is an excerpt from an article in a Denver paper about a Missouri province Jesuit abuser living in a Jesuit retirement home in a residential neighborhood. This serious issue came up after a courageous survivor of clergy sexual abuse, Kevin O’Connor, traveled to Denver to see what was going on and confront the Jesuit who abused him, and alerted neighbors who had not been informed. Note the part that is emphasized, which is quite relevant now. In the case of the abuser I’ve told the Missouri Jesuits about, there has been ZERO response to evidence of supervision failures.

From the Denver Post:

Barbara Dorris, national outreach coordinator with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, criticized the decision to put Campbell in a home in a residential neighborhood. She questioned whether he was being supervised as closely as he should be.

“A pedophile molests until the day he dies,” she said.

Steele said that as far as he knows, Campbell is not allowed to leave the home by himself and probably does not leave much at all. Steele said Campbell is elderly but has no health problems.

“I am satisfied that the supervision is enough,” Steele said. “I pray that I’m not proven wrong, but I believe the fact we have not had even the hint of allegation of anyone in Denver tends to support our belief that supervision has been adequate.”

Some neighbors who were home when O’Connor distributed his pamphlets Sunday said they were shocked to learn of the accusations.

“It upsets me very much,” said Jan Peterson, who lives next door. “I’m afraid for my grandchildren. I’m afraid for all the kids who come up and down this street. They should not have put him here.”

Steele said that Jesuit officials would take seriously any neighbors’ concerns.

“We hope he will be able to continue to live there,” Steele said. “But it may not be possible.”

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