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Three Former Loyola Jesuits Identified with Sexual Abuse Allegations

Courtesy of Thshriver | Wikimedia CommonsThree former Loyola priests were included in a list of Jesuits in the Midwest with established sexual abuse allegations.

Three former Loyola University priests were included in a list of Jesuits with “established” allegations of sexual abuse of a minor since 1955.  

The list, released by the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus on Monday, includes 65 Jesuits who’ve worked in the Midwest and have at least one established allegation — meaning there’s “reasonable certainty” to believe the allegation — against them, which was either reported while they were alive or revealed after their death. The list doesn’t include allegations that haven’t yet been fully investigated.

Two priests on the list — Father John J. Powell and Father Donald J. McGuire — served at Loyola University, and five of the priests served at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, according to the report. Both Powell and McGuire, who was a graduate student at Loyola University according to a Jesuit spokesman, have multiple allegations against them.

Father M. Lawrence Reuter, who worked at Loyola University for more than 10 years, is also included in the report, but his abuse reportedly occurred at Loyola Academy before his time at the university.

McGuire was stationed at Loyola University and Loyola Academy, along with four other Illinois locations where he allegedly abused minors, according to the list. He died in federal prison in January 2017, according to the list. McGuire’s incidents reportedly happened over the span of more than 50 years, from 1954 to 2005.

Powell, who also worked in North Aurora during an incident, died in 2009. All of his reported abuses allegedly occurred in the 1960s.

Of the 65 Jesuits listed, 11 allegedly abused minors in Chicago. Six priests allegedly abused minors at St. Ignatius College Prep, a high school near the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Loyola University President Jo Ann Rooney released a statement in response to the release of the list and said she personally struggled with understanding the extent of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. In the statement, she affirmed the safety of Loyola students, faculty and staff is her highest priority. The statement also stressed the university wasn’t aware of the allegations while the priests were at Loyola.

“Trust has been shattered,” the statement said. “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 statement also included resources for victims of sexual violence, including the school’s anonymous reporting system, EthicsLine, and the Loyola Wellness Center.

Loyola’s Campus Ministry responded to this fall’s Grand Jury report of widespread sexual abuse within the Pennsylvania clergy. The department held panels and listening sessions following the report and created a webpage providing resources for action against abuse.

Campus Ministry Director Lisa Reiter said Loyola University students are being challenged with understanding clergy abuse as adults, because they were young when the first reports of a widespread scandal in the Catholic Church was uncovered by the Boston Globe in 2002.

“They’re looking at this as mature young adult Catholics, and so they have lots of questions,” she said. “So, part of what we wanted to provide is some of the historical perspective that some of us have been living with through this as a part of our Church.” 

Reiter said the most jarring part of clergy abuse is the tendency for bishops and other church officials to cover it up, but she said the release of the report is a sign that the Jesuits are trying to be transparent and hold themselves to a higher standard. She also said the involvement of law enforcement and conducting of investigations shows they’re taking the allegations seriously.

“I think we’re having an honest conversation about ‘yes, there are Jesuits who have credible allegations,” Reiter said.

Correction: This article previously named a priest as Father Daniel McGuire. His name is actually Father Donald McGuire, and the story has been updated accordingly. This article has also been updated to clarify that McGuire didn’t work at Loyola University, but studied there as a graduate student.

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