Priest Booted from Ministry for "Inappropriate Relationship"

Chicago Breaking News
May 3, 2010

A former president of Loyola Academy was removed from active ministry after he admitted having an "inappropriate relationship" with a student during his tenure at the Wilmette school, religious and school officials said today.

The Rev. Larry Reuter was president of the Jesuit school from 1975 until 1990. He was Loyola Academy's longest-serving president.

He reportedly admitted a relationship with an 18-year-old student, though religious officials declined to specify when the incident occurred. Officials said the student had turned 18 when the relationship began. Loyola was an all-male high school until fall 1994, when the institution went coed. No other information was available about the student.

"We are heartbroken by this violation of trust by a former member of our community," Loyola Academy's president, the Rev. Patrick McGrath, said in a statement released Monday.

The decision to remove Reuter from active ministry effective March 15 was made by the Chicago and Detroit provinces of the Society of Jesus, the organization that oversees Jesuits in the region.

In a statement, the Rev. Timothy Kesicki, provincial of the local province, said the incident came to his attention when he took the helm of the religious organization in 2008 and began a new review of personnel files intended to address any inappropriate and unethical conduct.

Jesuit officials had previously reached a settlement and "sought reconciliation" with the former student, the statement said. Reuter, though, had been permitted to continue his ministry, a province spokesman said. Kesicki took a different course of action and recommended the priest's removal from active ministry.

Details of the settlement will not be disclosed. It was reached in the 1990s.

Kesicki said they have gotten no other complaints of misconduct that involve Reuter.

In addition to his time at Loyola Academy, Reuter worked at Loyola University Chicago from 1990 until 2002 and Loyola University Medical Center from 2002 until he was removed from active ministry. He also led services at Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park.

The church's pastor declined to comment.


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