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70 never released documents reveal extent of cover-up from 1960’s through 2007

3/28/2011 6:00:00 PM


News Release

March 27, 2011


Appalling Jesuit Cover-up


70 never released documents reveal extent of

cover-up from 1960’s through 2007


Top Jesuit officials endangered children for over 4 decades

and refused to cooperate with authorities in criminal investigation 



(Chicago) New information to be filed in Cook County Circuit on Monday by attorneys for three men who were repeatedly sexually abused by Chicago-based Jesuit priest Donald McGuire, will document a four decade cover-up by top Jesuit officials of the priest’s sexual rampage.


The documents are contained in a motion to seek punitive damages in the lawsuit the attorneys have filed against the Jesuit’s Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus on behalf of the three men.


Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul, Minnesota-based clergy abuse attorney, who along with Chicago attorney Marc Pearlman represents the Plaintiffs, said justification for punitive damages in the case is based on Jesuits officials having been aware of McGuire’s sexual predatory behavior over a 40 year period but still allowed him to have free reign with access to children. 


“This is an appalling demonstration of top Jesuit officials choosing to endanger the children and protect themselves.  These documents show that as recently as 2008, and for more than 46 years, Jesuit officials on three continents had at least 28 reports of suspicious behavior by McGuire. This is so current and comparable to the recent revelations of the Philadelphia Grand Jury that we are reminded once again that little has changed.  I am as scared as I am sad that, because of the choices made by top Jesuit officials so many children remained at grave risk,” Anderson said.


McGuire was ordained in 1961 and at one time assigned to the prestigious Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.  However, over the next 40 years he spent much of his time as a priest moving between Europe and the United States conducting “retreats.”   As early as 1962 the Jesuits learned that McGuire was suspected of having “much relations” with young boys.



Co-counsel Pearlman said many details in the motion for punitive damages bolster the claim that the Jesuit had “total disregard” for the safety of children.  “From 1962-2007, the Jesuits received over 30 discrete opportunities to protect children.  What these Jesuits officials did is just unconscionable. This goes beyond careless; this is so immorally self- serving that it’s almost impossible to comprehend.” 


Since 2007, attorneys for the Plaintiffs in this case have filed five separate lawsuits on behalf of six different victims against McGuire and the Jesuits in Cook County Circuit Court.  Three of the victims have settled their cases and therefore this motion is on behalf of the remaining three survivors.  Two other McGuire victims filed lawsuits in 2003 which have been settled.


McGuire, who was indicted for his crimes in Wisconsin, Illinois and Arizona, is currently serving a 25 year sentence in federal prison.


A complete timeline of Donald McGuire’s history follows this release.




Contact:               Jeff Anderson  Office/651.227.9990  Mobile/612.817.8665

                                Marc J. Pearlman  Office/ 312.261.4554


Note:                    Copy of the motion for punitive damages can be found in the “Documents” section of                                       


                                The Jesuits and Donald McGuire SJ/A Management History is available at:







1949                                       Donald McGuire joins the Society of Jesus.


1961                                       Donald McGuire is ordained and assigned to Loyola Academy, Wilmette,

                                                IL.  The Jesuits send McGuire to Europe.


Feb 5, 1962                         A letter is sent from Munich, Germany indicating that McGuire engaged in very suspicious behavior with minor boys.  (See Exhibit 2).


Dec. 2, 1964                        A letter from the Austrian Jesuits to the Chicago Provincial indicates that McGuire had “much relations” with several young boys. McGuire travels extensively to Ireland with one boy causing police to investigate his actions.  (See Exhibit 3).  


1966                                       McGuire begins abusing Vic Bender, which included sexual, physical and

mental abuse.  The abuse continues almost daily for two years while Vic bender lives in McGuire’s room at Loyola Academy (which is not a boarding school for students).


1969                                       McGuire begins abusing a 15 year old boy at Loyola Academy (John Doe 84), who “runs away” and tells a Chicago Archdiocese priest  Fr. Charles Schlax about the abuse.  Fr. Schlax calls Loyola Academy and speaks with Fr. John Reinke, who is not surprised, and instead comments “we thought something was wrong.”  (See Exhibit 7).


11/29/1969                         Fr. Schlax sends a letter to Fr. Reinke outlining his concerns about McGuire’s

                                                perversion and the seriousness of the situation.  (See Exhibit 8).


1/16/1970                            McGuire’s teaching duties at Loyola Academy are suddenly terminated in the middle of the academic year.  The Jesuits arrange McGuire’s departure to seem perfectly normal, and explain it in terms of a “sabbatical.”  (See Exhibits 9, 10, and 11).


1/21/1970                            Fr. Reinke provides the Jesuit provincial with a detailed account of the numerous issues with McGuire including having young males sleep in his room.  (See Exhibit 5).


1976                                       McGuire receives permission from the Chicago Provincial to teach at

                                                the University of San Francisco.


1980                                       McGuire is removed from the University of San Francisco and its Jesuit community.


3/30/1981                            Fr. Wood from the California Province of Jesuits writes Fr. Kline to clarify that McGuire was not on leave or sabbatical from University of San Francisco, but was considered gone for good and could only return if he underwent “serious psychological evaluation and therapy.”  (See Exhibit 12). 


5/1981                                  In spite of McGuire’s bizarre personality and lifestyle issues, the Jesuit Vice Provincial of California writes to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of San Francisco asking him to rehire McGuire. 


5/8/1981                              The Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences refuses to recommend this request, and the Vice President of the College refuses to approve the request due to McGuire’s highly questionable acts in regard to use of funds, entering into contractual commitments, and interactions with a student.  (See Exhibit 13).


7/1984                                  The Jesuits assign McGuire to work at Santa Fe Communications in Southern California.


1984                                       While in California, McGuire abuses John Doe 129, beginning when he is 6 years old and ending in 1997 when John Doe 129 turns 19 years old.


11/1984                                The Jesuits dismiss McGuire from the California assignment after the Bishop of Los Angeles permanently terminates his faculties, demanding that McGuire leave the diocese of Los Angeles by 1/1/1985.  (See Exhibits 15 and 16).


1985                                       McGuire returns to Chicago.


1987                                       The Jesuits assign McGuire to the Jesuit Community at Canisius House in Evanston, IL


1988                                       Left unsupervised by the Jesuits on his retreat ministry, McGuire abuses John Doe 117 while conducting retreats in Phoenix.  The abuse continues until 1994.


1990                                       McGuire begins abusing 15 year old John Doe 130, one of his “assistants.”


2/1991                                  The Chicago Province is contacted by Br. Ricardo Palacio, Director of the Christian Brother Retreat House in St. Helena, CA, indicating that McGuire has been traveling with a 16-17 year old boy from Alaska, that the boy has not slept in separate room from McGuire, and that the boy has been seen with his hair askew and shirt untucked with McGuire laying on the bed.  A call was made to the boy’s mother, who indicated her son had changed in some way.  The Jesuits conduct no investigation.  (See Exhibit 17).


2/1991                                  The Jesuits impose the first set of “guidelines.” McGuire is not to travel with anyone under the age of 18, and is to refrain from having any contact the 16-17 year old boy from Alaska without at least one of his parents being present.  (See Exhibit 20).


4/26/1993                            Fran Daly, Socius of Chicago Province, learns that McGuire was on a trip to Russia accompanied by a 16 year old boy with whom McGuire was taking showers, reading hard pornography, and masturbating.  (See Exhibit 23).


4/27/1993                            The attorney for the family of the 16 year old boy, contacts the Jesuits to report that McGuire would purchase explicit pornography, that McGuire and the young boy would look at it together, that McGuire and the boy roomed together, that they would take showers together, that the boy would wash McGuire’s body and give McGuire massages, that they would be naked in the room together, and that the boy would masturbate in front of McGuire.  (See Exhibit 24).


4/30/1993                            The Jesuits are informed that McGuire may be travelling with a 15 year old boy who was close to McGuire (John Doe 130) and that the boy may accompany McGuire to a scheduled retreat in Phoenix.  The Jesuits do not investigate.  (See Exhibit 27).


4/30/1993                            At a meeting with Jesuit superiors, McGuire admits that traveling with 16 year old boy to Russia was a violation of the Guidelines imposed on him, and arrangements are made for him to go to St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland for an “evaluation.” 


5/1993                                  Despite knowing that McGuire violated his guidelines, and that 15 year old John Doe might be travelling with McGuire, the Jesuits give McGuire permission to conduct the retreat in Phoenix the week before he was to be admitted to St. Luke’s for his evaluation.  (See Exhibit 26).


5/1993                                  McGuire abuses another boy, 13 year old John Doe 117, who was attending the retreat in Phoenix with his family.  (See Exhibit 28).


5/9/1993                              McGuire goes to St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland for an evaluation.


5/11/1993                            The father of the 16 year old boy who traveled to Russia with McGuire asks the Jesuits to reach out to McGuire’s “other victims,” including John Doe 130, McGuire’s “other boy assistant of several years.”  (See Exhibit 37).


6/1993                                  McGuire checks into St. John Vianney Hospital in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, which specializes in behavioral issues including sexual disorders.  McGuire is diagnosed with a sexual behavior disorder and treated for approximately 6 months.


5/10/1993                            The Jesuits are again specifically asked by the father of the 16 year old boy who traveled to Russia with McGuire if they are doing anything to check on John Doe 130.  (See Exhibit 38).  The Jesuits do nothing.


7/3/1993                              The attorney for the family of the 16 year old boy who traveled to Russia with McGuire asks yet again for the Jesuits to provide pastoral assistance to “other potential victims,” specifically John Doe 130.  (See Exhibit 39).  The Jesuits do nothing.


7/13/1993                            Fr. Daly makes a note in the Jesuit files of all of the warnings that the Jesuits have received regarding John Doe 130.  However, the Jesuits continue to ignore these warnings and never contact John Doe 130 or his mother.  Fr. Daly later feebly attempts to explain the Jesuits’ non-action away by testifying that it was “the parent’s or victim’s responsibility to come forward.”  (See Exhibits 4 and 40).


1/28/ 1994                           McGuire is released from residential treatment at St. John Vianney and returns to  Chicago.  Fr. Schaeffer issues another set of guidelines to McGuire to, among other things, not have any unsupervised conduct with minors.  (See Exhibits 34 and 35).  McGuire refuses to participate in the after care program recommended by St. John’s.


6/1994                                  The Jesuits receive yet another call about McGuire’s abuse of another boy when McGuire was at Loyola Academy during the 1960’s.  (See Exhibit 36).  The Jesuits do nothing.


2/17/1995                            Jesuit Fr. Daly issues a third set of guidelines to McGuire to not travel with anyone overnight under the age of 21, and to exercise “extreme caution” to avoid situations where he would be behind closed doors with anyone under the age of 21.  (See Exhibit 44).  As in the past, McGuire is left to self monitor.


1995-1998                            The Jesuits permit McGuire to continue maintaining an active retreat schedule and to travel the world with young male personal assistants.


1998                                       Despite numerous complaints regarding inappropriate conduct with minors, residential treatment for a sexual disorder and three sets of guidelines restricting McGuire’s travel/activities  with minors,  Provincial Baumann inexplicably signs a letter of good standing for McGuire which states that “there is nothing to our knowledge in [McGuire’s] background which would cause us to restrict any ministry with minors.”  (See Exhibit 46).


Summer 1999                    John Doe 116 shows up at the Canisius House in Evanston to work with McGuire.  Over the next 5 years, he is abused sexually, physically and mentally almost daily, and in several different states and countries.


Early 2000                            McGuire seeks another letter of good standing from the Jesuits so he can minister in Las Vegas.  Fr. McGurn writes to Fr. Baumann indicating that given the way the letter was worded Fr. Baumann cannot sign it.  McGurn summarizes McGuire’s “history of inappropriate incidents with male adolescents” and the records in McGuire’s file that go back to 1991, but “refer to a history of incidents in the years prior to that.”  (See Exhibit 48).     


6/1/2000                              The Jesuits are notified by Fr. Naucke, the Socius of the California Jesuit Province, that McGuire may be the legal guardian of 14 year old John Doe 116, and that they were going to be living together.  (See Exhibit 49).  At that time, John Doe 116 is basically living at Canisius House when he is not at school.  The Jesuits do not investigate other than to ask McGuire several months later whether he is the legal guardian which McGuire denies.  The Jesuits consider McGuire assuming a legal obligation to be a “serious situation,” but remarkably claim that they were not concerned about whether John Doe 116 was spending time alone with and being abused by McGuire.  (See Exhibit 30).  At the time, John Doe was being abused by McGuire on an almost daily basis.


8/12/2000                            McGuire signs as legal guardian of John Doe 116 on St. Lawrence Seminary student documents.  (See Exhibit 50).


9/25/2000 and

10/25/2000                         The Jesuits receive notice from two more families regarding suspicious behavior by McGuire with their sons, including looking at pornography, massages, and that one of his “aides” sleeps in the same bed as him.  (See Exhibits 51 and 52).


10/2000                                Fr. McGurn questions McGuire about being the guardian for John Doe 116.  McGuire denies the allegation and the Jesuits take McGuire at his word, performing no further investigation.


12/13/2000                         Fr. McGurn drafts a detailed memorandum to the Jesuit Provincial recounting McGuire’s history and that the Jesuits concluded in 1993 that McGuire “does have a sexuality problem and he even admitted to that.”  (See Exhibit 53).


12/2000                                Fr. McGurn while speaking to McGuire about the new September and October 2000 reports, learns that McGuire is traveling to India accompanied by yet another young assistant.  Fr. McGurn asks McGuire whether the assistant is over 21, but does not get a clear answer.  Remarkably, Fr. McGurn simply drops the matter. (See Exhibit 30).


2/13/2001                            The Jesuits issue, and McGuire signs, a fourth set of guidelines directing McGuire, among other things, to not travel or spend the night with anyone under the age of 30, to not have an assistant in his travels unless approved by his Superior, and to undergo more psychiatric treatment.  (See Exhibit 58).


2001                                       McGuire begins abusing 13 year old John Doe 118 (the younger brother of John Doe 117) under the guise of spiritual counseling during his visits to Arizona. The abuse continues until 2002.


7/2001                                  Provincial Baumann receives a letter from a Jesuit official advising him that the youth who had previously traveled to India with McGuire in December 2000 was still traveling with McGuire as his assistant.  The letter explains McGuire’s relationship with the boy as “homoerotically-tinged and inappropriately dependent.”  (See Exhibit 59).  Having this young assistant directly violates the guidelines issued to McGuire, but the Jesuits do nothing.


July 2002                              The Jesuits learn that McGuire has scheduled a special retreat for minor children in California.  (See Exhibit 60).  McGuire denies this and the Jesuits accept him at his word.


July 2002                              The Jesuits receive word from the California Province that McGuire is still traveling with high school boys, in this case John Doe 116.  In a memo about the phone call it says “[F]or what it is worth, I pass along the following communication”. , (See Exhibits 61 and 62). 


August 7, 2002                   Letter from Jesuits detailing history and status of McGuire which admits that McGuire has not been “well-monitored.”  Letter indicates that Jesuits want to prepare a “canonical warning” to McGuire, but don’t want to have to communicate with the Archdiocese of Chicago about McGuire’s situation because he might lose his faculties i.e., ability to perform public misistry.   (See Exhibit 63).


December 1, 2002            McGuire receives canonical warning, which limits McGuire’s mission to provide ministry to communities of women within the geographic boundaries of the Archdiocese of Chicago.  (See Exhibit 64).


June 26, 2002                     Fr. McGurn informs the Archdiocese of Chicago that the Jesuits cannot issue a letter of good standing for McGuire.  (See Exhibit 65).


July 2, 2003                         The Archdiocese of Chicago suspends McGuire’s faculties. McGuire remains in good standing with the Jesuits.  (See Exhibit 66).


June/July 2003                  The Jesuits inform McGuire’s local superior that the Chicago Archdiocese has suspended his faculties.  Fr. McGurn characterizes this action as “most regrettable” and “extremely unfortunate.”  McGuire is reassigned to the Woodlawn Jesuit Community near the University of Chicago.  (See Exhibit 67).


August 2003                       The first of several civil lawsuits is filed against McGuire and Jesuits.


Late 2003                             The authorities in Walworth County, Wisconsin begin a criminal investigation of Vic Bender’s and John Doe 84’s claims of abuse by McGuire while travelling in Wisconsin.


April 2004                            Jesuit officials help McGuire avoid being interviewed by an investigator from the Walworth County Sheriff’s department, including Fr. Gschwend and/or the Jesuits’ legal counsel calling McGuire to warn him that an officer was waiting for him and to not return home.  The Jesuit priest who answered the door and spoke to the officer wrote a memo of his reflection which stated that he felt like they were abetting McGuire and helping him hide from a legitimate police investigation.  (See Exhibit 69). 


1/6/2006                              A Jesuit attorney writes to Wisconsin District Attorney Phil Koss to say “As I indicated to you over the telephone, we have very little with respect to Father McGuire.”  The letter then purports to describe what is in McGuire’s file, but fails to mention any of the thousands of pages of documents that the Jesuits possessed directly related to allegations reported against McGuire over a period of 40 years.  (See Exhibit 71).  The Jesuits engage in a pattern of obstruction and misrepresentations to the Wisconsin authorities through McGuire’s criminal trial. 


February 2006                   McGuire is convicted in Wisconsin on five counts of sexual assault of a minor.  Throughout the entire criminal trial, Jesuit leadership permits McGuire to wear his clerical collar in a clear violation of the Dallas Charter, which set the standards within the Church for priests accused of sexual abuse with minors.


2007                                       John Doe 116 reports his abuse to state and federal authorities.


June 2007                            Sixteen months after the Wisconsin jury convicts McGuire, and 45 years after the Jesuits receive the first notice of McGuire’s deviant behavior, the Jesuits dismiss McGuire as a Jesuit on grounds of sexual misconduct.


November 2, 2007           McGuire is indicted in Federal court in Chicago for the abuse of John Doe 116.


February 2008                   McGuire is formally defrocked and permanently removed from all clerical functions by Rome.


April 2008                            McGuire is indicted in Arizona for molesting John Doe 117 and John Doe 118.


October 24, 2008              McGuire is convicted in Federal court in Chicago of engaging in sexual acts with John Doe 116 while traveling abroad between 2000-2002.


February 2009                   McGuire is sentenced to 25 years in prison.