Jesuit Officials Turn A Blind Eye On A Known Sexual Offender

Former priest Donald J. McGuire is currently serving a 25-year federal sentence after being convicted on several accounts of sexual abuse between 2006 and 2008. However, Jesuit leaders in Chicago are under increased pressure for alleged accounts of sexual abuse that McGuire may have committed over the past 4 decades.

The current case filed against the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus was brought forth by six men who claim they fell victim to McGuire’s sexually abusive tendencies. While 3 of the men have since settled their cases with the Jesuits, 3 remain in hot pursuit of the church. Not only do these three men seek reparations for the alleged sexual abuse, but they are asking for additional punitive damages because the church demonstrated “a reckless disregard for the safety of others in the face of repeated reports of sexual misconduct”.

Shedding light on the situation are 65 recently obtained official church documents that date back to the 1960’s. The documents explain, in detail, accounts of McGuire’s deliberate neglect to acknowledge admonitions to stop traveling with the young boys. The documents also suggest that church officials turned a blind eye to McGuire’s abusive tendencies while demonstrating a reckless disregard for the safety of the victims.

The motion filed on Monday in the Cook County Circuit Court claims that senior Jesuit officials deliberately misled prosecutors in 2006 when they claimed that they had not heard strong enough evidence of sexual abuse to justify more strict actions against McGuire.

However, in 1969 one of the victims, who was then only 15, ran away from school and described the abuse he had received from McGuire to his parish priest, who informed the Jesuit president of the academy. The school responded by removing Father McGuire, but, according to the recently obtained official church documents, publicly described his departure as a “sabbatical.”

These recent documents not only acknowledge Father McGuire’s sexually abusive tendencies, but suggest the church knew about them and did nothing to protect others from future incidents.

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