US Jesuits Publishing Lists of Members Credibly Accused of Abuse

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  December 13, 2018   

Two US provinces have published their lists so far; two more coming soon

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Amid the latest wave of Catholic clerical sex abuse scandals in the United States, the Jesuits are publishing lists of accused priests.

On Dec. 7, two of the Jesuits' U.S. provinces put out official lists of members of the order who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

The West Province, which encompasses 10 of the country's western-most states, released a list of 111 Jesuit priests, brothers and men in formation who were credibly accused of sexually abusing minors and vulnerable adults. The province was created as a merger in 2017 of two provinces; the list includes men from those two previous provinces dating back to 1950.

The Jesuits' Central and Southern Province put out a list of 42 Jesuits with ties to the province who have been credibly accused of sex abuse. This province covers 13 states, as well as the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and the Central American country of Belize. Four of those accused are still alive and still members of the order, but the province says they all have been removed from public ministry and placed in supervised living.


Many of the Jesuits on these lists have been teachers at the order's famous high schools and universities. Some of the accused men have been on staff at schools in foreign countries as well as the United States.

The Midwest Province plans to come out with a similar list on Monday, Dec. 17.

The Society of Jesus currently has five provinces in the United States. But two of them, the Maryland Province and the Northeast Province, are in the process of merging. The two merging provinces plan to release a list of credibly accused members later this month. Maryland Province spokesman Michael Gabriele told the Associated Press that "accountability and transparency are of the utmost importance" to the two provinces.

Provinces are publishing these lists in the wake of the "summer of shame" for the Catholic Church in the United States. During the summer, credible allegations of homosexual assault against then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick became public. The former archbishop of Washington, D.C. was pressured to resign from the College of Cardinals in July. Then in August, the Pennsylvania grand jury report came out, containing allegations of sexual abuse of minors against 301 priest and religious across six of Pennsylvania's eight Catholic dioceses.

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In recent years, some faithful Catholics have grown suspicious of the Society of Jesus due to the rampant theological errors that seem to dominate many Jesuit institutions. Prominent Jesuits like Fr. Gregory Boyle have been known to reject Church teaching on marriage, sexuality and a host of other subjects. Generally speaking, the order has the reputation of being one of the most left-leaning, dissident and pro-LGBT segments of American Catholicism.

There is allegedly a strong gay subculture within the ranks of the Society of Jesus.

In February 2015, The Daily Beast published a piece by Benjamin Brenkert, an openly gay man who once spent some 10 years in formation for the priesthood with the Jesuits.

Brenkert claimed he and other gay men in the Jesuits would hit on each other, date, kiss, fondle, hook up and so on.

He said he eventually left the Society of Jesus because he felt it was hypocritical for gay Jesuits to violate their vows of chastity in their private life while giving the public appearance of being loyal to the Catholic Church.

His rejection of Catholic beliefs on homosexuality, Brenkert wrote, played an important part of his decision to leave both the Society of Jesus and the Catholic Church. He entered the Episcopal Church instead.

 

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