Internal church records released Tuesday show that Chicago Jesuits consciously concealed the crimes of convicted sex offender Donald McGuire for more than 40 years as the prominent Roman Catholic priest continued to sexually abuse dozens of children around the globe.
One letter written in 1970 by the Rev. John H. Reinke, then president of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, described McGuire's presence at the school as "positively destructive and corrosive." Instead of insisting he be removed from ministry or sent to treatment, Reinke suggested a transfer to Loyola University.
"This whole situation has been so muddy and troublesome I just wanted to get it out of my mind from time to time," wrote Reinke, who died in 2003. "Anyway, here it is, for the files and the record. … There is little hope of affecting any change. … He cannot be corrected."
The documents contributed to a $19.6 million settlement between the Jesuits and six men from four states announced Tuesday. With an average payout of $3 million per person, the amount per individual is the largest in the history of the U.S. Catholic sexual abuse crisis, the victims' lawyers said. The settlement and the documents add one more chapter to the still unfolding story of sexual abuse in the church.
While the settlement of the lawsuit against the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus doesn't name any priests accused of abusing minors who have not been previously disclosed to the public, it does name a number of Jesuit superiors who...