Priest Relieved of His Duties
Alleged Abuse | Listed As 'Absent with Permission' by Jesuits

By Susan Hogan/Albach
Chicago Sun-Times
October 11, 2007,CST-NWS-priest11.article

The Chicago Jesuits list the Rev. Bernard Knoth, once a star in Catholic education, as "absent with permission."

He's been working in the secular business world in Sarasota, Fla., since the Jesuits ruled four years ago that a child abuse accusation was "credible."

Knoth, 58, works for Global Recruiters Network, which isn't a Jesuit company. His corporate bio reads, "After leaving Loyola in 2003, Bernie decided on a career change."

As if he had a choice.

The Jesuits forced the Chicago native to resign as president of Loyola University in New Orleans. He had formerly worked at schools in Chicago, Indianapolis and Washington, D.C.

Knoth denies the abuse, which the Jesuits said happened in 1986. He remains a priest and a Jesuit, though barred from public ministry or wearing priest's garb.

When asked by the Chicago Sun-Times this week whether he'll remain a priest, Knoth was noncomittal.

"We've talked about it," he said.

The Jesuits said Wednesday that Knoth is living on his own, but wouldn't discuss the terms of his leave or whether he's being monitored.

"For the Jesuits to allow a known child molester to live without any kind of monitoring or treatment sets up children for abuse," said Barbara Blaine of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The Jesuits removed two other prominent priests from active ministry in 2003:

The Rev. John Powell, accused by at least four women of abusing them as teens, lives in Jesuit retirement home in Michigan.

The Rev. Donald McGuire, convicted last year in Wisconsin of molesting two boys in the 1960s, lives in a private southwest suburban Oak Lawn residence while appealing his case. A new accuser says he was molested as a teen from 1999-2003.

After a Sun-Times story last month, the Jesuits ordered McGuire to stop wearing his clerical collar.


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