Follow the Paper Trail: Who Knew the Secrets of Pedophile Priest Donald McGuire?

Categories: Crime, Law & Order
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In this week's cover story, SF Weekly takes a look at the voluminous paper trail left behind by Donald McGuire, the defrocked Jesuit priest who is currently serving a 25-year federal prison sentence for transporting minors across state lines to sexually abuse them.

Since he was a member of the Society of Jesus, complaints about McGuire and the subsequent reactions from his colleagues and superiors were documented in great detail. (Founded by the former soldier Ignatius of Loyola in 1534, the Jesuit order prizes order, obedience, and detailed record-keeping.) Hundreds of pages of documents released as part of an ongoing lawsuit against the order show show who knew, and when, about abuse allegations against McGuire.

If you'd like to take a look at many of the original source documents that informed our story, you can view them here, here, and here. Also, here is a legal motion by plaintiffs against the Jesuits that sums up the order's history of managing McGuire over his nearly five decades as an ordained priest. (These documents have been redacted to protect the identities of his victims.)

For those who want a thumbnail on this, here's our short list of some of the priests who were made aware of McGuire's abuse of boys. Among them is John Hardon, a deceased Jesuit who is now formally being considered for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church, and San Francisco priest Joseph Fessio, editor of Ignatius Press, the primary English-language publisher of the works of Pope Benedict XVI.

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StevenStreets
StevenStreets

I know a priest from an excommunicated Boston Catholic monastic order. He's still a priest of his own self made church. Who had a bad habit of crossing boundary's with young girls. When I heard of one instance after he had kicked me to the curb for objecting,  I went straight to the police. I also confronted him at his church. He grabbed his thick walking staff and charged down the center aisle as I stood before the sanctuary (Orthodox ) like a batter charging the mound with bat in hand, He tried to kill me but only broke my knee and ripped out a handful of hair. Then told the police I had assaulted him. The police can do nothing without the kids testimony. Hes been awarded an Honor from Columbus City council for his work with children so they weren't interested in what I had to say either. I had been his cantor and he regarded the sex abuse scandal as "an attack on the priesthood". Pure sacerdotal narcisism.Look him up and confirm the story. He calls himself Bishop Cassian of his own self created Church. It looks Orthodox, It smells Orthodox, It sounds Orthodox. But no one but ordained Orthodox males are allowed to cross the line known as the Iconostasis where he was seen with the little Girl in his bedroom. He claims he was showing her his family Photos. It was reported to me by a distraught  eyewitness who once attended church there. His real name was Kenneth Lewis and claimed to be a former radiological officer in the Navy. The police did make him move his bed out of the church and read him the riot act but that was all they could do. His Church is called St.Sophia Cathedral at 1493 Indianola Ave, in Columbus Ohio. Last i heard he had appointed himself ArchBishop and wore a bigger hat. This is another front on church sex abuse, the plethora of Orthodox cults that mainstream orthodoxy has nothing to do with. Like the dissident Catholic Churches who will not give up the Latin Mass and are not part of the main Catholic church, therefore separate from all the recent reforms to protect kids. This man Lewis holds those church reforms to protect kids in utter contempt. I saw him once put his hand on a girls shoulder while getting her a teddy bear out of the free store and when I asked if he thought that was wise, he lied to my face right there saying "I'm not aware i ever touched her at all". Very disturing answer. Anyone that unaware ( which I dont believe) of what his hands are doing around kids should not be around them at all. I Iove the Orthodox church and bought into his schtick and became cantor. It took less than 4 months to discover what he was really all about. If he dont like my eyewitness testimony he can come after me again. I have another knee thats never been wounded. I saw him grind his boot into the compound fractured ankle of a thief I was restraining caught in church. Holy Torture.

e_dog
e_dog

And to think that we largely can thank California's Catholic leadership for Proposition 8, passed on the claim that marriage between same-sex couples would harm children.

Priests have not cornered the market on child abuse, but several in the church clearly made an industry out of abuse and cover-up.

TJS
TJS

I hope McGuire didn't go to Southdown in Canada for treatment - that place is a joke - my brother-in-law has been sent there twice and is still a practicing priest.

mference
mference

I wrote this essay years ago, every time there's a new scandal I just change the names to fit the new diocese, town or country. Things have changed very little when it comes to holding dysfunctional sex freaks and child terrorists and those who cover up for their crimes. Cut and paste, make a copy feel free to insert the appropriate bishop, cardinal or poe.

War Tactics Should Be Applied to Abusers and the Lying Schmucks That Offered ProtectionBy Mike Ference412-233-5491mike@ferencemarketing.com Every day brings new evidence that we no longer live in a civilized and principled society. The worst part, it usually concerns another case of sexual misconduct involving a Catholic priest, young children and a church hierarchy that helped to cover up the case.  The recently unveiled case of John Wellinger, a former Catholic priest in the Pittsburgh Diocese, suggests that a regime change is the only solution in the Catholic Church. In 1990, I started my own investigation of Wellinger, just months after his alleged abuse of an 11-year-old altar boy at Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin, PA and five years before Bishop Donald Wuerl got wind of it. I eventually took my evidence to the PA State Police, who agreed that an investigation was warranted. They notified the West Mifflin police, or at least I was told that — and soon thereafter Fr. Wellinger was transferred. Coincidence? I wouldn’t bet the farm. How is it that a nobody such as myself can manage to unearth information about a suspected abusive priest 14 years before the Pittsburgh Diocese announces that a crime has been committed in the Pittsburgh Catholic.  To be sure, media pressure and public outrage have inspired displays of contrition from members of the church hierarchy. But as more and more cases of abuse — and cover-up — come to light, one begins to wonder whether such displays should be considered any more trustworthy than those of, say, Saddam Hussein.  So — what is to be done? Given the level of wreckage and anguish caused in the lives of so many people, it seems appropriate to look to the war on terror for a model strategy.  A first prong of attack might involve a Special Forces unit made up of highly skilled and trained military personnel capable of tracking down and obtaining confessions from any priest accused of acts of sexual abuse against children. If rights are violated, if military personnel sometimes go a little too far, so be it. The Catholic Church had ample opportunity to fess up and repent. Those incapable of civilized behavior shouldn’t expect the rights and privileges of civilization.  A deck of cards can be created to help identify hard-to-find priests as well as the disgraceful church leaders who permitted, and in essence, condoned the sexual abuse of young children. Photos of the most deviant and reprehensible church officials accompanied by a list of their offenses will encourage us all to do our patriotic duty in helping the authorities track down suspected priest-terrorists or at least be able to identify the culprits as they come and go freely because their sins where covered up and the time to criminally prosecute has expired. Another option would be to divide the nation into territories. A color-code warning system would be established, alerting parents about abusive priests being transferred into their respective regions. Depending on the designated color for a particular region, parents would know whether their children should serve at Mass, go on field trips, or even attend Catholic school that day.  To aid this unique war on terror, a pool of money should be collected, not involuntarily from taxpayers, but voluntarily from those decent human beings who believe crimes committed against our children are sins that God takes very seriously. Some of the funds raised could then be turned into outrageously tempting reward sums for information leading to the capture of our targeted criminals. Once the rogue clerics have been imprisoned and forced to talk, I recommend that their confessions be given to someone like Steven Spielberg or George Romero. Hollywood writers and producers could create a blockbuster movie like Roots or Schindler’s List to serve as a bitter reminder that these crimes should never again be permitted to occur. Tom Savini could be hired to recreate the horror on the faces of child actors chosen to play parts. Proceeds from the movie could go to victims of abuse and their families. And no matter how old the crime, compensation would be available. There should be no statute of limitations when the rights of children have been violated by those who lived much of their adult lives perched on a pedestal heightened by the trust of innocent and vulnerable believers. In fact, I would extend compensation to the second and perhaps even third generation of sufferers. It would certainly include siblings denied the experience of growing up with a brother or sister untraumatized by such abuse. And since crimes of abuse tend to echo, it would extend to the victims of the victims as well. If all else fails, is it any less rational to declare war on the Catholic Church as part of a war on child abuse than it was to declare war on Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al-Qaeda and apparently had no weapons of mass destruction) as part of a war on terror? How many innocent children have been verifiably lost to this menace — and how many more will be lost if we don’t make a preemptive strike? As horrific as sexual abuse by priests may be, the perpetrators might merit a more forgiving place if only their superiors had the courage to do the right thing. For a few, counseling and close supervision might have been enough to prevent future abuses. Others clearly required something more intensive — a mental hospital or a prison. But repeated abuse, as well as willfully hiding the crimes and the criminals — as far as I can see, this brings us much closer to the realm of mortal sin. And the sinners include not just the church hierarchy, but also attorneys who ill-advised parents not to buck the system and take on the Catholic Church, or may even have provided inside information to thwart legitimate cases against the church, law enforcement officials who may have thought it best to warn church officials of pending investigations, and janitors, housekeepers, teachers, and employees of the Catholic Church who kept silent because of concerns about a paycheck, a 401K, a pension, or a fear of standing up to church authorities. God has a place for everyone — and if you abuse children or protect the abusers of children, we can only hope that your place is called hell.    

Ross
Ross

Suppress the Jesuits.

Rob04
Rob04

With a Jesuit made U.S. House of Representatives chaplain today, hopefully every time a Jesuit sex abuse article breaks it will get more attention such as the above article on the Jesuit Order.

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