Midwest Jesuits Release Names of those with Established Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors Since 1955
December 18, 2018
Dear Loyola Community,
Today, the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus released the names of Jesuits with established allegations of sexual abuse of minors since 1955. An established allegation is based on the facts and circumstances where there is a reasonable certainty that the accusation is true and that the sexual abuse of a minor has occurred. This list includes one with an established allegation while he was at Loyola University Chicago and others who were assigned to Jesuit communities connected to the University. From what we have ascertained from our records and to the best of our knowledge, Loyola was not aware of any allegations while any of these men were part of our community.
At Loyola we have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment, abuse, and misconduct. Such behavior is not limited to clergy but applies to anyone and everyone who abuses positions of power to take advantage of or abuse vulnerable individuals. We take very seriously any reports alleging harassment, abuse, or misconduct and adhere to protocols and procedures that ensure we can respond and investigate swiftly, notify the appropriate authorities, and support and care for the survivors.
During his address to an assembly of educators in Bilbao, Spain, Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, repeatedly and fervently called upon – demanded – that Jesuit universities work for reconciliation and peace and anticipate the needs of the future. He challenged all of us to go to places that are not easy to reach and which others have avoided.
However, before you can work towards reconciliation, you need to acknowledge the failings and wrongdoing and be motivated to corrective action. Like many of us, I have struggled greatly with the topic of clergy abuse and the actions, cover-up, and betrayal by so many in leadership positions throughout the Catholic Church. Trust has been shattered. Lives have been irreparably harmed. Now is the time to confront the issue and find a way forward with compassion and a commitment to do better, to be better.
The safety, security, and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty is our highest priority. We are committed to fostering a supportive community where all members feel safe and respected. Students seeking resources related to sexual misconduct or other acts of violence can contact the Wellness Center at 773.508.2530 or visit the Community Coalition on Gender-Based Violence website. Faculty and staff in need of resources are encouraged to utilize the University’s Employee Assistance Program.
If you have been abused by an adult while at Loyola University Chicago, no matter when the incident occurred, we strongly urge you to file a report. In an effort to make notifications easy and straightforward, all Loyola reports can be made via the EthicsLine Reporting Hotline website or by calling 855.603.6988. Any reports of misconduct involving minors will be reported to law enforcement authorities as required by law. If the abuse involved a Jesuit, we also urge you to contact Marjorie O'Dea, the Midwest Province's director of the Office of Safe Environment, at 773.975.6876 or UMISafeMinistry@jesuits.org.
There are no words or statements compassionate enough to support the survivors of clergy abuse. Nor are there words strong enough to condemn the actions of those abusers or the leadership that failed to take action to protect children and adults from such reprehensible acts and abuse of power. Our concerns and prayers are with the survivors and hope they find peace and reconciliation.
Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD