The long history of sexual abuse by priests and their concealment and protection by the Chicago-Detroit Providence of Jesuits continues to unfold. Through the 1950’s and 1970’s, St. Ignatius High School, a Jesuit Preparatory School in Cleveland, Ohio, was a safe haven for priests perpetrating sexual violence against children. To date, more than 33 survivors have come forward with complaints of sexual abuse or improprieties that occurred while they attended the institution.
The number of accused perpetrators operating under the ecclesiastical cover of St. Ignatius High School now stands at 6. While three priests are dead, three other accused abusers (a priest, an ex-priest, and a lay teacher) are still alive. True to their historical practice, neither the Jesuits nor the school administration have released the names of the abusers to the public. This continued concealment and protection follows the arrest of Father Richard James Kurtz who abused a boy 10 years ago in Colorado. Yesterday, we blogged about how the Jesuits allowed Kurtz access to youth despite their claim that they restricted his ministry. When will church and school leaders realize that in order to adequately protect children from future abuse the perpetrators must be identified in addition to the requisite acknowledgement of past abuse?