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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims blast Catholic university officials for sex crime cover-up

New evidence shows officials knew priest was predator for 50 years

Former USF teacher/spiritual director was fired for "highly questionable acts"

Yet they allowed him to take students & kids on cross-country trips and retreats

Documents show that Pope Benedict’s US publisher kept silent about abuse for years

What: Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will blast local Catholic officials for ignoring, concealing and minimizing the crimes of Fr. Donald McGuire, a high profile former Jesuit and USF college professor who was Mother Teresa’s spiritual advisor. McGuire is in prison for sexually abusing youngsters. The group will also explain:

-- Pages of shocking evidence released this week that show how McGuire’s crimes were hidden,
-- How a close friend of the Pope’s (who’s also an ex-USF professor) knew about McGuire's crimes, and
-- How McGuire was fired from USF for "highly questionable acts," including having boys spend the night in his room and buying pornography

The victims will also call on university officials to:
--- Publicly chastise and punish employees who hid McGuire’s misdeeds, and
--- Reach out to alumni and community members who may have been abused by McGuire.

When: Friday, April 1, at 1:30 pm

Where: In front of St. Ignatius Church, University of San Francisco, (corner of Parker & Fulton), San Francisco

Who: A man whose sons were abused by McGuire, along with three-five men and women and their supporters who are members of SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAPNetwork.org), the largest and oldest international support group for men and women abused in religious organizations

Why: McGuire has been called the most prominent US priest to have ever been criminally convicted for molesting kids. Although he was fired from the University of San Francisco, school and church officials kept quiet and kept publicly praising McGuire priest for more than 20 years.

That’s according to 180 pages of long secret church records filed this week in a Chicago court. (Seventy pages of which had never been publicly disclosed before). The documents provide a rare ‘inside’ look at how the world’s largest Catholic religious order, the Jesuits, deal with child sex crimes and cover ups.

McGuire worked at USF from 1976 to 1981 where he taught within the St. Ignatius Institute, a conservative liberal arts program run by Fr. Joseph Fessio. Fessio is the US publisher for all of Pope Benedict’s writing (including Benedict's latest book, Light of the World). According to court and public documents, Fessio knew about McGuire's crimes, but never told law enforcement.

The newly disclosed records show that the Jesuits let McGuire keep working as a priest for 35 years after they first received allegations of abuse against him in the 1960s. All of the files are posted here: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/docs/jesuits/McGuire_Donald/Punitive_Damages_Motion/.

SNAP fears there may be McGuire victims among USF alumni and former staff. During McGuire’s time there, he was a spiritual advisor to teens, took students and high school kids on weekend retreats, and had local boys accompany him on trips across the country.

The father of two McGuire victims says that McGuire used his fame and globe-trotting lifestyle to gain access to children. He's now devoted himself to speaking out against McGuire and the men - including USF officials and Fessio - who knowingly allowed McGuire to abuse for more than 50 years.

McGuire is serving a 25-year sentence on several counts of child sex abuse. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/us/29jesuit.html

Contact:
Joelle Casteix 949-322-7434, Melanie Sakoda 925-708-6175, Terry McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org 508-479-9304


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org