Sexual abuse scandal in the Society of Jesus

The Society of Jesus has had different episodes of Catholic sex abuse cases in various jurisdictions.

Abuse in the United StatesEdit

Diocese of ChicagoEdit

Internal church records released in 2013 indicate that the Jesuits of the Archdiocese of Chicago willfully concealed sex crimes committed by Jesuit priest Donald McGuire for more than four decades. A letter written in 1970 by John Reinke, the president of Loyola Academy where McGuire worked, admitted that McGuire's presence at Loyola was "positively destructive and corrosive", but suggested transferring him to Loyola University instead of sending him to treatment or turning him over to the legal system.[1] McGuire was finally tried for his crimes and found guilty of molesting two teenage students in Wisconsin in 2006.[2] McGuire was sentenced to seven years in prison for this, and was later tried and found guilty for another act of abuse in 2009. This time, he was sentenced to 25 years, making it likely that he would die in prison.[3] McGuire died in a federal prison in 2017.[4]


Robert Goldberg, one of McGuire's victims who was instrumental in his conviction,[4] filed a lawsuit against both the Midwest Jesuit Province and the main Society of Jesus office in Rome in 2019.[4]

Diocese of FairbanksEdit

In February 2008, the diocese of Fairbanks announced plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, claiming inability to pay the 140 plaintiffs who filed claims against the diocese for alleged sexual abuse by priests or church workers dating from the 1950s to the early 1980s. The Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, was named as a co-defendant in the case, and settled for $50 million.[5] The Diocese, which reports an operating budget of approximately $6 million, claims one of the diocese's insurance carriers failed to "participate meaningfully".[6][7][8][9]

Diocese of PortlandEdit

The lawsuits in the Fairbanks diocese have also affected the Jesuit community in the diocese of Portland, given that the Western Province of the American Jesuits is located in the State of Oregon.[10][11] In February 2009, the Province of Oregon became the first Jesuit order to file for bankruptcy.[12] In March 2011, the Oregon Jesuit Province agreed to pay nearly 500 victims of sex abuse $166.1 million.[13] As party of the bankruptcy agreement, the Oregon Jesuit Province also disclosed the list of Jesuit clergy who were accused of committing sex abuse.[14]

Diocese of BostonEdit

In 2002, criminal charges were brought against five Roman Catholic priests in the Boston area of the United States, John Geoghan, Paul Desilets,[15] Paul Shanley, Robert V. Gale and Jesuit priest James Talbot, which ultimately resulted in the conviction and sentencing of each to prison.[16]

Diocese of St PetersburgEdit

In 1985, Jesuit priest Norman J. Rogge pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a boy in 1984 and received a one-year prison sentence.[17] He previously pleaded guilty to another charge of sex abuse against a minor in 1967 and received a sentence of three years probation and forced psychiatric therapy.[17]

Diocese of New OrleansEdit

By 2019, sex abuse lawsuits which were filed against at least two former Jesuits who were accused of committing sex abuse at Jesuit high schools were settled.[17]

Cheverus High SchoolEdit

In 1998, nine male alumni claimed that they had been molested while attending the Jesuit school Cheverus. Two former faculty members, Jesuit priest and teacher James Talbot and teacher and coach Charles Malia,[18] were accused. The school, located in Portland, Maine, confirmed the abuse and apologized to the victims. The victims also accused both Cheverus High School and the Portland Diocese of hiding information, and that they had previously known about the abuse. Settlements to victims have reached a cumulative seven figures, with ongoing counseling additional. Talbot, who was the former chair of the English Department, and Malia, the former head of the Track Team, have admitted they are guilty. Both teachers lost their jobs at Cheverus in 1998.[18] Before public accusations surfaced that he committed sex abuse at Boston College High School, James Talbot had been accused of molesting a student at Cheverus.[19] On September 24, 2018, Talbot pled guilty to the sex abuse charges in Maine and immediately began serving two concurrent three-year prison sentences.[20][21]

List of Accused Clergy in Northeast United StatesEdit

On January 15, 2018, the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus released a list Tuesday of 50 priests under its jurisdiction who had been "credibly accused" of sexual misconduct with minors[22] The list includes priests who served in Jesuit high schools and colleges throughout New England, New York and northern New Jersey.[22] However, the list only includes ordained Jesuits and does not include some accused people who were affiliated with the Jesuits.[22] Seven on the list taught at Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine.[22] All but 15 of the Roman Catholic priests on the list are dead, and all of the alleged abuse took place before 1997.[22]

List of Accused Clergy in Central and Southern United StatesEdit

On December 7, 2018, the USA Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus released a list of 42 priests under its jurisdiction who had allegations of sex abuse.[23][24][25] The list also includes those from predecessor organizations such as the New Orleans Province, the Missouri Province, and the Independent Region of Puerto Rico of the Society of Jesus.[23][24][25] Those with credible allegations are either deceased or no longer in active ministry,[23][24] while 4 who had less credible allegations are still active in the province.[23][24]

List of Accused Clergy in Western United StatesEdit

On December 7, 2018, the USA West Province released a list of Jesuit clergy who had been accused of committing sex abuse while working for areas in the province.[14] Reports of abuse are dated as early as 1950,[14] While the Province of the present-day was formed in 2017.[14] the list includes reported abuse in the former California and the former Oregon Provinces, against whom a credible claim of sexual abuse of a minor (under the age of 18) or a vulnerable adult has been made.[14] The former Oregon Province was also required to release the list of accused clergy as party of its bankruptcy settlement.[14]

List of Accused Clergy in Midwest United StatesEdit

On December 17, 2018, the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus released a list of Jesuits who had been accused of molesting children while working for areas in the province.[26] Listed reports of abuse go as early as 1955.[27] The present-day Province was formed in 2017 as a merger between the Chicago, Chicago-Detroit, Detroit, and Wisconsin provinces.[26]

List of Accused Clergy in Maryland ProvinceEdit

On December 17, 2018, The USA Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus released the names of Jesuits who had been accused of molesting children while working for the Province.[28][29][30][31] The list goes as far back as 1950 at earliest.[32] The Province stretches from the state of Georgia to the areas just below the state of New York .[33]

Abuse in GermanyEdit

Canisius-Kolleg BerlinEdit

In 2004 and 2005 two former students of the school told the headmaster of this Jesuit school that they had been sexually abused by two of their former teachers. In December 2009 and January 2010 two other boys contacted the headmaster and claimed the same about the same teachers. The headmaster decided to write a letter to all former students in which he stated that he was deeply sorry for what happened. After receiving the letter several others of the former students contacted the headmaster and said that they too had been abused. In January 2010, the headmaster wrote a personal letter of apology to all pupils at the school.[34]

The names of the former students claiming to be sexually abused have been withheld from the public, but the public was told that many of them were notable scientists or held political or economic positions of power. It was also revealed that some of the alumni who had been abused decided to send their children to the Canisius-Kolleg.[35] One of the teachers has spoken out and said the allegations made against him were true, because he really had abused boys. The teachers might not be sued for what they did, because it seems that in most cases the statute of limitations has passed, but the abused boys wanted them to apologize.[36] Apologies and financial compensations were issued to the victims.[37]

An investigative report detailing allegations of substantial abuse was released in 2010.[38]

Jesuit College of Sankt BlasienEdit

In 2010, Padre Wolfgang S. admitted to several acts of sexual abuse of minors during his years as a teacher in Sankt Blasius from 1982 to 1984. Prior to that he had taught in another Jesuit college in Berlin (Canisius-Kolleg) where he had also molested children. The order in 2010 concedes that upon discovery, his superiors did provide help for him to emigrate to South America. Other cases of sexual abuse of minors in the Jesuit order have also been reported lately and are being investigated. As of February 2010, it seems that all cases have become time-barred.[39]

Abuse in Latin AmericaEdit

Affair in ChileEdit

Rev. Stefan Dartmann disclosed that the same abusive teacher in Germany had been guilty of similar crimes in Jesuit schools in Chile and Spain.[40]

In August 2019, revelations surfaced that Jesuit Father Renato Poblete, who died in 2010, had sexually abused 18 adult women and four underage female minors.[41] He also impregnated at least one of these women and forced her to have an abortion.[41] One of the minors he abused was only three years old and a daughter of one of his adult victims as well.[41]

Lawsuit against Rome headquartersEdit

On December 31, 2019, it was reported that Robert Goldberg, who was sexually abused by the late Chicago-area Jesuit priest Donald McGuire, was suing both the Midwest Jesuit Province and the main Society of Jesus office in the Vatican.[42]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Brachear, Manya (22 May 2013). "Chicago Jesuits hid sex crimes". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Community Notification Statement - Former Jesuit priest Donald J. McGuire". Diocese of Phoenix. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  3. ^ Schulte, Sarah (11 February 2009). "Former priest sentenced to 25 years". ABC 7 News. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "The Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News and Analysis".
  5. ^ Demer, Lisa (20 Nov 2007). "From 2007: Jesuits settle Alaska abuse claims for $50 million". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Fairbanks Catholic Diocese filing for bankruptcy". WorldNow. 2008-02-15. Archived from the original on 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2008-03-03. More than 150 claims were filed against the church for alleged crimes at the hands of clergy or church workers between the 1950s and 1980s.
  7. ^ United Press International (2008-02-15). "Diocese of Fairbanks plans bankruptcy". ArcaMax. ArcaMax Publishing, Inc. Archived from the original on July 20, 2009. Retrieved 2008-03-03. Robert Hannon, who serves as a special assistant to Bishop Donald Kettler and is the diocesan chancellor, told the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News that officials believe bankruptcy is the fairest way to compensate victims.
  8. ^ Baldino, Megan (2008-02-15). "Diocese of Fairbanks to file for bankruptcy". CNA. Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2008-03-03. The negotiations allegedly failed because one of the diocese's insurance carriers did not "participate meaningfully." ... Robert Hannon, chancellor and special assistant to Bishop Donald Kettler, said bankruptcy would provide a way for church assets to be distributed fairly among abuse victims.
  9. ^ "Diocese hopes to continue operations despite Chapter 11 petition". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06.
  10. ^ "More than 500 abuse victims' claims filed in Jesuits' Oregon Province bankruptcy case". Catholic News Agency.
  11. ^ Jesuits' Oregon province, facing abuse lawsuits, files for bankruptcy at the Library of Congress Web Archives (archived 2009-03-11)
  12. ^ "Jesuits' Oregon Province becomes first order to file for bankruptcy". Catholic News Agency.
  13. ^ Bryan Denson (March 25, 2011). "Northwest Jesuits will pay $166 million to sex abuse victims in bankruptcy settlement". The Oregonian.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "List" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  15. ^ Catholic church: sex abuse scandals at The Canadian Encyclopedia, accessed September 5, 2019
  16. ^ Lambert, Lane. "Defrocked Quincy priest who raped altar boy released from prison". The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA.
  17. ^ a b c "Login".
  18. ^ a b "Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church / Scandal and coverup". The Boston Globe.
  19. ^ "Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church / Scandal and coverup".
  20. ^ Press, Marina Villaneuve / Associated. "Ex-priest with Boston ties sent to prison again for child sexual abuse". The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA.
  21. ^ Writer, Megan GrayStaff (September 24, 2018). "Ex-priest, Cheverus teacher goes to prison for sexually assaulting Freeport boy".
  22. ^ a b c d e "Newly released list of priests accused of sex abuse includes 9 with Maine ties". 15 January 2019.
  23. ^ a b c d "Province Releases Names of Jesuits with Credible Accusations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor".
  24. ^ a b c d "List of Jesuits with Credible Accusations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor".
  25. ^ a b "Accountability" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  26. ^ a b "Midwest Jesuits Release Names of those with Established Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors Since 1955".
  27. ^ "Assignments" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  28. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 July 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ [1][dead link]
  31. ^ [2][dead link]
  32. ^ "Maryland Province Releases Names of Jesuits Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor".
  33. ^ "About Us The Jesuits".
  34. ^ "Abuse tsunami". National Catholic Reporter. March 30, 2010.
  35. ^ Die Zeit: "Canisius Kolleg - 17 Schüler berichten von sexuellem Missbrauch". 29.1.2010
  36. ^ Susanne Vieth-Enthus: "Schüler an Jesuiten-Gymnasium jahrelang missbraucht" 28. January 2010
  37. ^ Borneman, John (2015-03-10). Cruel Attachments: The Ritual Rehab of Child Molesters in Germany. ISBN 9780226233918.
  38. ^ "Report Outlines Abuse Claims at German Jesuit Schools" article by Judy Dempsay in The New York Times May 27, 2010
  39. ^ [3][dead link]
  40. ^ "Jesuit coverup of sex abuse on two continents". Spero News.
  41. ^ a b c Inés San Martín (2019-08-15). "New revelations on sex abuse hit Chilean Church". Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  42. ^ "Lawsuit: Famed Jesuit Abused Boy 1,000 Times Around World".