Jesuit Order Apologizes for Abuse

The Associated Press, carried in Janesville Gazette
February 25, 2006

CHICAGO - A Jesuit order of Roman Catholic priests apologized Friday to two men who were abused by one of its priests four decades ago.

A jury in Wisconsin found retired Chicago-area Rev. Donald McGuire, 75, guilty late Thursday of molesting the two men when they were high school students in 1967 and 1968.

McGuire, a member of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, taught at Loyola Academy in Wilmette from 1966 to 1970, and both of his accusers were students at the Jesuit-run school during that period.

The two, who now live outside Illinois, have said McGuire molested them on the Loyola campus, as well as at a house in Fontana, Wis., during retreats to the Lake Geneva, Wis., resort area north of Chicago.

Only the alleged Wisconsin molestation was considered in the trial before Walworth County Circuit Judge James Carlson. The statute of limitations has expired in Illinois.

The jury deliberated for several hours Thursday before finding McGuire guilty of indecent behavior with a child. His sentencing was set for May 26.

The Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus said Friday it is "deeply grieved" and hopes to meet with the two men.

"The Chicago Province is about serving God's people with dedication, generosity and integrity. It abhors any kind of abuse or misconduct," said the Rev. Edward Schmidt, provincial of the Chicago Province.

The province also said it will resume its internal investigation into McGuire, who was relieved of active priestly duties in June 2003.

McGuire, who lives in a Jesuit retirement home in Chicago, did not take the stand during his weeklong trial.

His defense attorney, Gerald Boyle, tried to depict the accusers during closing arguments Thursday as opportunists who were trying to cash in on a civil lawsuit they have filed against the Chicago Province. McGuire was dropped as a defendant in the civil lawsuit after the criminal charges were filed in Wisconsin.

But in his rebuttal, Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss noted that one of the accusers had informed a parish priest of the alleged molestation as long ago as 1969 or 1970, making conspiracy highly unlikely.

After leaving Loyola Academy, McGuire became a spiritual director for Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity.


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