For several decades, the Jesuit order used Gonzaga University’s campus to provide housing for priests who had been dismissed from actively serving in the priesthood. According to a report recently published by the Center for Investigative Reporting and republished by the Associated Press, the reason for the removal of these priests was often traced back to allegations of sexual abuse.
The report states that the Jesuit order’s Oregon Province sent at least 20 Jesuit priests who had been accused of sexual misconduct to the university, in most cases during the same time they were active in the order’s missions in isolated Alaska villages populated by indigenous people as well as Indian reservations located in the northwestern U.S.
These priests were housed in a building located on the campus which is referred to as the “Cardinal Bea House,” situated on the Gonzaga campus but belonging to the Jesuit order itself instead of the university.
It is noted in the report that one of the most infamous abusers who came to live on campus had a strong supporter – one who is currently vice president of Gonzaga, Father Frank Case, who was then the head of the Jesuits’ Oregon Province. In 1989, Case penned a glowing letter of recommendation for the abuser priest’s appointment to a hospital chaplaincy position, mentioning that the priest happened to be in “very good standing” with the order, regardless of the fact that the priest had already been discharged from his position in Alaska due to accusations of sexual abuse.
Located in Spokane, Washington, Gonzaga was founded by the Jesuit order in 1887. Quite the liberal school, Gonzaga recently blocked a suggested speaking opportunity for the conservative and pro-life Jewish commentator Ben Shapiro, asserting its consideration for the safety of “vulnerable members of our community who may be targeted for discrimination, ridicule, or harassment by others” as a result of Shapiro’s visit.
The Jesuit order, whose full name is the “Society of Jesus,” was well-known for its defense of Catholic orthodoxy, and its priests were held to high standards as missionaries and educators. In the last 60 years, though, the order has adopted a far-left political and social outlook opposed to Catholic teaching. It is now well-known for priests who blatantly attack Catholic sexual morality and advocate a redefinition of the Catholic faith along ideological lines. Its membership is in sharp decline; in Europe and the USA it has only half the membership it did decades ago in 1988.
Alleged abusers supposedly had access to students, regardless of supposed efforts to hinder it
While the order says it took steps to stop the priests from committing further acts of abuse while staying on the Gonzaga campus, it has declined to disclose any details of those steps to the public, the authors of the report state. In addition, they offer evidence that the priests had access to students on campus.
The 20 priests who were housed made up only a fraction of the total number of priests accused of sexual abuse in the Oregon Province, which reportedly totaled 92, a number far greater than in any other province of the Jesuit order.
The Jesuits maintain that they cleared out all abusive priests from the Cardinal Bea House by 2016, relocating them to the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. Even that action, though, has ended in a lawsuit after a particular Jesuit who had been an abuse victim and was living at the Sacred Heart Center was not allowed to transfer to another establishment once he became aware that the abusers would be living there. In response, he took his own life.
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Source: Christian Headlines