Rev. Schaeffer Steps down from Boston College Board Amid Criticism of His Role in Sex Abuse Case
By Michael Rezendes
April 19, 2012
The Rev. Bradley M. Schaeffer stepped down from his post on the Boston College board of trustees on Thursday in the wake of intense criticism of the role he played in supervising a former Jesuit priest who allegedly molested dozens of children over 40 years.
The Globe reported on Sunday that Schaeffer had failed to stop Donald J. McGuire from sexually abusing boys while Schaeffer was his supervisor as the leader of the Jesuit province in Chicago in the 1990s. Despite several complaints about McGuire’s behavior with boys in the early 1990s, Schaeffer allowed McGuire to continue his ministry.
Today, amid a review of Schaeffer’s conduct by the executive committee of the Boston College board, Schaeffer delivered a brief letter to the board chairman announcing he would step down.
“As all in our community know, Boston College is a wonderful, caring institution of higher education,” wrote Schaeffer, whose term as trustee was scheduled to end in June. “I do not want to harm it or be a distraction. Therefore, I am ending my service as a trustee today.”
Schaeffer’s resignation came the same day that the Boston College newspaper called for him to step down and a day after a group of faculty members met with BC president William P. Leahy to make a similar argument. Advocates for sex abuse victims held a small protest against Schaeffer at Boston College today.
Schaeffer, 62, stepped down from his Chicago post in 1997 and now runs a training center for Jesuit priests in training on the Boston College campus. He has expressed “deep regret” for failing to stop McGuire, who is now in prison after state and federal convictions for child sexual abuse.
Michael Rezendes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org