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Abysmally Poor Jesuit Supervision of Known Abusers

August 9, 2009

In the news coverage of bishops, you’d think that times have changed and accountability and transparency are the modus operandi of these times.  A known abuser is handled strictly right?  Not with Jesuits.

Here are some “then and now”‘s, to show that nothing has changed.

Now:  In 2009, I contacted the Missouri provincial’s boss, Fr. Nicolas, in Rome, when the provincial lied and said there were no violations of the restrictions on the abuser — which meant the provincial would not address ongoing breaches.   What did Fr. Nicolas do?  Send it back to the lying provincial.

Then: In the 1970’s, the abuser was accused of assaulting a young woman at St. Louis University, and the Missouri provincial who knew this let the abuser leave for the Chicago province when SLU fired him.

Now:  From 2006 through 2009, the Missouri provincial let the abuser break the restrictions which banned teaching in 2003, allowing him to teach at Georgetown and Fordham.

Then:  In the 1980’s, when the abuser was at Loyola University Chicago, he was told he could not close his office door after allegations were made against him.  But they let him go to their campus in Rome, Italy, with no supervision.

Now:  In 2009, the abuser was still on the clergy staff at a parish in Berlin, even though he had been banned from public priestly ministry in 2003 and had no priestly faculties, and his provincial lied about it when confronted with proof.

Then:  In 1982, the Chicago and Missouri Jesuits let the abuser begin parish work in Berlin during school breaks, even though there had been allegations about him.

Now:  In 2009, the Missouri provincial let the abuser give a public prayer before the St. Patrick’s Day parade in St. Louis, even though he was banned from public ministry six years earlier.

Then:  In the 1990’s the New England province of Jesuits helped me, but did not tell the Missouri province about the abuser.

Now:  In 2009, after the president of Fordham told me the abuser would never be allowed back after I told them about the abuser, I told the Missouri provincial what the Fordham president said.   The Missouri provincial allowed the abuser to continue to schedule to return to Fordham.   It took an intervention like you give to alcoholics to stop it.   The president of Fordham had to personally intercede and tell the Missouri provincial to cut it out.

There is just as much lying and lack of accountability in 2009 as there was at any time in the past history of the Jesuits.    Jesuits do not supervise — then lie when there are problems.

I wrote to Fr. Nicolas again.   I’ll let you know what happens — and what doesn’t.

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P.S.   It’s true that the New England provincial did not tell the Missouri provincial in the 90’s, but this is how that played out.  (I forgot until I wrote all this.)

The N.E. provincial called me and wanted to tell the Missouri provincial, but he said he thought about it and realized he could not give the abuser’s name without giving my name too, as the victim.   He wanted to know what I thought about that.   I hesitated.  See, at that time (and it hasn’t much changed), I could not even say that abuser’s name, and there’s no way I could have talked about what happened.  When I hesitated, the provincial spoke up and said he wouldn’t do it.

I wanted to be fair and mention that.  I don’t see any way to let anyone else off the hook, and I tried.

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