McGuire: Jesuits ‘can’t abandon me’

Posted by Grant Gallicho

The convicted sexual abuser Rev. Donald McGuire plans to fight the Jesuits’ decision to dismiss him from the order. No surprise there. “They can’t abandon me,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. Sure they can. The conviction isn’t going to help his cause when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reviews his case. Note McGuire’s narcissism. “I’m losing friends because people don’t know my side of the story.” Well, no. He had his day in court. He lost.

There is of course a legitimate question about how the church ought to handle convicted or admitted abuser-priests. If the perp is a serial abuser, laicizing him and cutting him loose could put the public at risk. But what is the church to do with a man like McGuire who has been convicted in Wisconsin of molesting two boys, who has been accused of abuse for years, who is now up on federal charges for allegedly traveling internationally to have sex with a minor, who has defied the orders of his Jesuit superiors regarding his contact with minors, and who refuses to admit the abuse of which he has been convicted?

In the Sun-Times article, Fr. Ken Lasch points out that if McGuire isn’t laicized, he could approach “a bishop somewhere around the world who didn’t check him out, [and] he could end up functioning again [as a priest].” Given McGuire’s extensive contacts around the globe (“friends all over the world,” he calls them), that’s not outside the realm of possibility. McGuire says, “I will always be a priest. They can’t take that away from me.”

I suspect they will.