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Chicago Archdiocese: Guidelines to Protect Children
Alleged Victim Talks about Abuse

By Kevin Roy
ABC 7 [Chicago IL]
September 17, 2003

Chicago's Roman Catholic leaders announced new guidelines to stop the sexual abuse of children. The move comes as another victim of abuse by a priest shares his story.

The Archdiocese of Chicago's comprehensive initiative is called the "Covenant to Protect Children." The person appointed to head up the new Office For The Protection Of Children is Jan Slattery, who spent the last seven years at the archdiocese as director of the ministry of higher education

Slattery outlined the five new guidelines:

• a standardized code of conduct.

• an integration of the "covenant to protect children" into parish life.

• informational brochures.

• background checks on all employees and all volunteers who work with children.

• and an extensive training program:

"It is our stance that adults will be trained to protect children. They will be trained to recognize child abuse and they will be trained in ways to prevent child abuse. Children should not have to be responsible for protecting themselves against this abuse," said Jan Slattery, Office for the Protection Of Children

The archdiocese says some training is now underway and that they hope to train more than 25,000 staff and volunteers by the end of May next year.

Cardinal Franci George could not make an appearance at today's announcement because of a scheduling conflict, but he's said to be in full support of the program.

Alleged victim of abuse comes forward 30 years later

The alleged victim says he lived with a shameful secret for 34 years, but fears his silence may have resulted in other children being victimized. Now, for the first time, he is speaking out.

"He would hit me, slap me, whatever he needed to get what he wanted," said John Doe 84.

The victim did not want to be identified.

What father Donald McGuire wanted -- his accuser says -- was sex. It was 1968 and '69 at Loyola Academy in Wilmette.

As a counselor, Father McGuire was assigned to the freshman boy to help him with his grades. Before long, John Doe 84, as he wishes to be identified, says he was living with McGuire at the school and sleeping in his bed. They were together nearly 24-hours a day and the sexual abuse was constant.

Father Donald McGuire

"Let's say it was in the hundreds, high hundreds, it was on a nightly basis," said John Doe.

He finally told a priest about the abuse and was transferred the next day to St. Ignatius High School. Father McGuire was allowed to stay on at Loyola Academy.

Today, the 49-year-old man lives in Arizona and has been married for 20 years. He has filed the first sexual abuse lawsuit against a Roman Catholic priest of Chicago's Jesuit Order. Why did it take until now?

"I just took this and I buried this in the deepest darkest place, but it in that box and locked it away and never looked at it again," said John Doe.

Until recently, when nightmares and memories were haunting him. John Doe says he went on the internet to see if Father McGuire was still around.

"And what I came across was probably the most frightening thing I've seen in 35 years," said John Doe. "I found pictures of him surrounding himself with little kids, little boys."

No one with the Jesuit Order would comment on camera today but the assistant to the president at Loyola Academy has doubts about the story. Father John Foley says back then, the Jesuit quarters were very cramped.

"I would find it kind of difficult that someone could be taken into a bedroom with other people not knowing about it."

That is the point John Doe said he is trying to make-that many other people did know about it, but chose to cover it up.

Father McGuire has been removed from the active ministry while the case is pending. John Doe says his goal is to make that status permanent. His attorney says he has received many calls and there may be many more victims.

 
 

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