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They Minimize What Happened.

May 14, 2009

Because I keep records and because I have a big attic, one key aspect of this experience that I can document very well is how, over time, the Jesuits minimized what I endured when I was sexually abused.

Here’s what the Jesuit perp said to me, calling me out of the blue, when I was in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, two years after he abused me:

“You will never know all the terrible things I did to you.” He told me he was evil and I was good, and evil always attacks good. He told me never to try to forgive him, because I will never know what he did to me.

(He drugged and sexually assaulted me on a weekend retreat when I was on a study abroad program in Rome.)

After that call, I spent three days sitting in a chair, not eating, not talking, not doing anything, and then life went on……


I figured out the Jesuits, circa 2009.

In five years, they will say the Jesuit perp just patted me on the head and I over-reacted.

What’s sad and disappointing, looking at all these records, over more than twenty years, is Jesuits have the ability to “get it” if they want to try.

It looks like it matters who your people are. Are you living with the perp and like him? Or were you one of the Jesuits who accompanied the victim on this long road? Or, like Frank Reale and Phil Steele, you didn’t know either of us?

Who are your people? A question for the Missouri province, as leadership changes and changes again in a few months, six years after I was found credible, and they made the perp come home.

Something tells me we’ll be doing this again.

And it is so not fair.

Can’t the Jesuits make him their gardener, their driver for infirm Jesuits, their janitor? I will hold them accountable and it should not have to be my job.


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