Thursday, March 31, 2011

Marquette Statement on SNAP Protest/Wild Sex Abuse Scandal

We broke the story locally (it was first published in the New York Times), and it has taken some time for it to get some traction.

But the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests had a press conference yesterday, and called for an apology from Fr. Wild.

Here is their press release:
Marquette University President Fr. Robert Wild left nation’s most prominent priest pedophile in ministry

As Jesuit provincial between 1985 to 1991, Wild concealed Fr. Donald McGuire’s criminal history, left him unsupervised

McGuire, prosecuted in Wisconsin and now in Federal prison, went on to molest children for another decade

Group again urging Jesuits officials to “come clean” about their child molesting clerics

WHAT

At a sidewalk news conference survivors of childhood sexual abuse by clergy will release and discuss new secret church documents that show that Fr. Robert Wild, President of Marquette University, concealed the crimes of Fr. Donald McGuire during his tenure as Provincial of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). After remarks survivors will attempt to hand deliver a letter to Fr. Robert Wild urging him to:
--publically apologize to victims of pedophile priest Fr. Donald McGuire and their families for his failure to remove McGuire from the priesthood, report McGuire to the police, and alert the public of McGuire’s criminal history against children,

--provide to the Marquette community, to Catholics and the public, a detailed account of his involvement, and those of his colleagues in the Chicago Province, in the decades long cover up of Fr. Donald McGuire’s sexually abusive history and the withholding of key documents to law enforcement officials during McGuire’s 2006 Wisconsin prosecution,

--Join victim/survivors and insist that Jesuit officials immediately create a public registry of all Jesuits in the Wisconsin, Chicago and other provinces who have substantiated reports of sexual abuse of children.
WHO

3-4 members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims, including the group’s longtime Midwest Director.

WHERE

Outside the entrance of Zilber Hall, Marquette University, 1250 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee

WHEN

Wednesday, March 30, 11:30 a.m.

DOCUMENTS

The complete Jesuit and court documents, along with victim testimony, will be posted on the Boston based online research archive, BishopAccoutability.org at this link: Jesuits and Donald McGuire SJ A Management History

WHY

A new child sex abuse lawsuit filed in Chicago yesterday containing hundreds of never before seen church documents and depositions of top Jesuit officials, including current Marquette University President Fr. Robert Wild, show a pattern and practice of four decades of cover up by the Jesuit order concerning one of the nation’s most infamous pedophile priests.

The Jesuits are the largest Catholic religious order in the world, their high schools and universities some of the most elite educational institutions in the United States.

The priest whose child sex crimes Wild is shown to have concealed in the new documents is Fr. Donald McGuire, one of the most infamous priest sex offenders in US history. According to the documents, McGuire, now age 80, was known by Jesuit officials to have sexually assaulted children or been engaged in sexual misconduct for almost four decades. During this time, McGuire skyrocketed to fame as a spiritual advisor to Mother Theresa and the nuns of her international religious order.

In 2006, McGuire was found guilty of multiple counts of child sex assault in Walworth County, Wisconsin. In 2009 he was convicted on federal charges in Illinois for taking children across state and international boundaries to sexually assault them. Today McGuire is serving a 25 year sentence.

Wild, currently the President of Marquette University, served as the head of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits from 1985 to 1991, during which time he assumed responsibility for McGuire and other Jesuit sex offenders.

When Wild assumed responsibility for McGuire in 1985, the Jesuits had already documented numerous reports of sexually assaulting children and sexual misconduct by McGuire spanning nearly 20 years. Not only had McGuire been secretly fired from two posts, including Loyola Preparatory Academy in Chicago, when Wild became his direct supervisor, McGuire had just been banned permanently from working or living in the archdiocese of Los Angeles and returned to Chicago.

While under Wild’s supervision, McGuire continued his prolific criminal assaults of children, unabated, recruiting victims from devout Catholic families from Illinois and around the United States. McGuire, a leading Jesuit retreat master, frequently used the Catholic confessional practice to commit his crimes, and his connection with Mother Theresa to gain the trust and confidence of scores of devout and unsuspecting parents and youngsters.

Wild assigned McGuire to Canisius House, a Jesuit community in Evanston Illinois in 1987, despite his sexual abuse history, where McGuire launched his worldwide retreat ministry, traveling the world unsupervised, often accompanied by children.

In 1991 Wild received a report from Brother Ricardo Palacio, a retreat director in California, who was alarmed that McGuire was conducting a youth retreat at his center and concerned about inappropriate behavior with a youngster. Wild, according to the testimony under oath by Palacio, informed Palacio by phone that the Jesuits had previous reports on McGuire’s sexual misconduct with children.

Despite Palacio’s testimony, Wild said in a 2009 deposition that there were no documents concerning McGuire in his Jesuit file and that he created his own “confidential” file for McGuire in 1991. Court documents support Palacio’s and not Wild’s claim.

This is not the first time Jesuit officials may have mislead the courts about abuse documents in McGuire’s file. During McGuire’s Wisconsin prosecution in 2006, Jesuit attorneys wrote Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss that “we have very little with respect to Father McGuire, failing to mention any of the thousands of pages of documents that the Jesuits possessed directly related to allegations reported against McGuire over a period of 40 years.

Although Wild suggested to McGuire he stop traveling with children for “his prudent protection,” a suggestion McGuire obviously ignored, at no time did Wild report McGuire to police, warn parents or families of McGuire’s history, conduct or order a Jesuit investigation into McGuire’s behavior. As a result, McGuire went on to sexually assault more children for at least another decade.

SNAP official last week in Milwaukee released documents showing that another Jesuit priest with a prior history of sexual misconduct, Fr. Perry Robinson, had only last month been secretly removed from ministry. The group, which charge the Jesuits with an “appalling lack of transparency and accountability” concerning sex offenders like Robinson and McGuire, will be calling on Wild directly to join them in urging a “new era” of openness and public safety” by immediately publishing a registry of all known Jesuit sex offenders. The Jesuits have released no information concerning the number, identities, or current and past assignment histories of clerics who have assaulted children.

Wild will be retiring as Marquette’s President later this year.
Marquette has responded with this statement:
Statement re: SNAP news conference

Today’s news conference by SNAP is the subject of ongoing litigation involving the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus. These events took place prior to Father Wild’s 15-year tenure as Marquette University’s president. Any inquiries regarding this litigation should be directed to Jeremy Langford, Communications Director for the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, at 773-975-6363.

As a Catholic and Jesuit university, Marquette University fully supports the protection of any victims of sexual abuse. Next week, the Marquette University Law School’s Restorative Justice Institute annual conference is on the topic of “International Dialogue on the Clergy Sexual Abuse Scandal,” which will include discussions with both church officials and victims. For more information on the conference, please visit go.mu.edu/RJIconference.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr. Perry Robinson was a teacher at Marquette High school in the 1970's. I was a MUHS student at that time. If my memory is correct, Fr. Perry was also a student counselor in addition to being a teacher. In 1975 Marquette had close to 44 Jesuits at the high school in assorted assignments. 43 left me with the impression they were straight.
Who is the jerk who transferred Fr. Perry in 1988! WTF were they thinking! Good God!

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marquette Law School might not have been the best place to hosts this event...
Given that Robert Wild let Donald McGuire's defense team use the Moot Court facilities to do his mock trial less than 5 years ago, knowing that he was guilty. I hope Wild donated any money the school got for that to victims, if he even charged him.

11:55 AM  

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