The Holy Founder

The Holy Founder
St. Ignatius of Loyola

Welcome the "Reforming the Jesuits" blog.

This blog has the objective of reforming the Jesuits. The logic is first to show that the Jesuits need to be reformed and second to consider the means needed to achieve that end.

Why should non-Jesuits be concerned about reforming the order?
The Jesuit order like any religious order has as an end to serve Christ by serving His Church. The members of the Church have the right to control the quality of the service that it is receiving.

The service that the Catholic faithful receive comes from institutional decisions and from individual Jesuits. Many love the traditional Society of Jesus, her saints, her mysticism, and her history but are dismayed by the direction taken by the current management. Many have been served by pious orthodox Jesuits but are scandalized by others. It seems that there is an identity crisis. The very institution does not know what its ends are. While the documents of the order are clear, institutional discipline has broken down, some members are confused and leaders have refused to lead.

What should be done? Some argue that the Society should be suppressed again. That would be a shame. Given that the name of the Society of Jesus in Spanish is La Compañía de Jesús, maybe what should be preferred is a hostile takeover of the Company. That does not seem possible. During the crazy post VCII days some Orthodox Spanish Jesuits advanced the proposal of the establishment of a reformed ordered following the example of the Carmelites and Trapists, others proposed the foundation of "strict observance" provinces.

This blog aims to apply moral pressure advancing arguments for what seems to be a clear truth: the Jesuits need reformed. Then it invites brain storming looking for possible solutions. Ideas are powerful but prayer is more powerful. We invite readers to pray. Invoke the Jesuit saints.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Why do you think the Jesuits need reformed?

Jesuit Superiors & the Renewal of Jesuit Life

The fervour that characterized our beginnings, manifested in Ignatius and in his friends in the Lord, must also be apparent in our present day. Father Nadal, speaking in the name of the first Jesuits, noted that the Society is a light shining forth from Christ. It fills our beings, arouses strong desires and urges us to work for the salvation of all in a mission received from the Vicar of Christ on earth. [Introductory Allocution of Father General Peter Hans Kolvenbach to the Congregation of Procurators, Sept 17, 1999.]

    • Bollard also told interviewers on "60 Minutes" that during his seven years as a Jesuit, at least 12 priests made unwelcome sexual advances and invited him to cruise gay bars. At first, he refrained from reporting the advances, he said, out of fear that he would jeopardize his future with the order. When Bollard did take his complaints to the Jesuit provincial in California, Father John Privett, they were brushed off, he said. He said Privett gave him a coffee cup that bore the words "no whining" and asked him to sign a paper releasing the Jesuits from legal liability. [Pam Schaeffer, in the National Catholic Reporter, December 17, 1999]

Today the Jesuit is a man whose mission is to dedicate himself entirely to the service of faith and the promotion of justice. [General Congregation 32, "Our Mission Today," §41]

    • I feel that hopefully we now have an impetus going in the Congress which will never allow [a pro-life amendment] to become the law of the land. I have regularly received excellent information from your organization and will continue to rely upon you and your associates. [Letter of Father Robert Drinan, S.J., to the president of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, August 5, 1974, cited by Mary Meehan, Our Sunday Visitor, September 8, 1996, p. 9]

In like manner, we are to [call to mind the] sin of one who went to hell because of one mortal sin. Consider also countless others who have been lost for fewer sins than I have committed.... Enter into conversation with Christ our Lord. Recall to memory that of those who are in hell; some came there because they did not believe in the coming of Christ; others, though they believed, because they did not keep the commandments. [St. Ignatius Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, §§52, 71.]

  • On one point, however, I would like to correct the record. When asked what Jesuits have to contribute to Boston College, I replied that Ignatius and the early Jesuits often said that their purpose was "to help souls". Your reporter heard me say, "to help save souls" -- a small but important difference.... The Ignatian impulse is not to save people from their condition but to help them realize what it truly means. [Joseph Appleyard, S.J., rector of the Boston College Jesuit community, letter to the editor of the Boston College Observer, November, 1996.]

In the years after final vows, the ordained Jesuit experiences all the pressures and complexities of priestly ministry in the Society: he will probably be engaged in a ministry which makes constant and exhausting demands on him. [General Congregation 34, "Jesuit Identity and Ministerial Priesthood," §189]

    • Three Jesuit priests were today due to appear in court charged with indecent assaults on former pupils at one of the country's leading Roman Catholic public schools. The offences are alleged to have been carried out at Stonyhurst College and the associated St. Mary's Hall prep school near Clitheroe in Lancashire in the 1970s and 1980s. Father Joseph Dooley, 79, of Green Park, central London, Father Clifford Taunton, 82, of Winckley Square, Preston, Lancashire, and Father George Earle, 73, former provincial superior of the English Jesuits, will appear before magistrates in Blackburn this morning. [Newswire (U.K.) June 25, 1999.]

Such men should be appointed superiors who enjoy a good reputation and authority among their subjects. [Complementary Norms, 340]

    • He loved the Society of Jesus and the major mileposts of his life he said were his entrance day, first vows, ordination and final vows.... In September 1990 he was diagnosed as HIV positive. He lived with the news of that ticking bomb and even accepted being superior and acting pastor at the Gesu parish in Miami for the final two active years of his life. [obituary of Father George P. Casey, S.J. in the Wisconsin Province News, September-October 1994.]

We do not publish this decree because we judge that infidelity in chastity is widespread within the Society of Jesus. On the contrary, we are convinced that, despite the challenges and testings of these years, fidelity in chastity characterizes the life of the Society today as it has characterized it in the past. [General Congregation 34, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," §228]

    • Five women held a news conference April 20 to say their uncle, Jesuit Father William J. Walsh, sexually abused them hundreds of times when they were children.... The women, all daughters of Walsh's sister, now range in age from 44 to 54. Most said the abuse began when they were 5 or 6 and continued until they were about 11, 12 or 13. The sisters said each had grown up thinking she alone was abused. [unsigned National Catholic Reporter story, May 1, 1998]

It would be unreasonable for traveling Jesuits to expect local people to view their conduct as it would be understood in their own native land. [General Congregation 34, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," §255]

    • In this letter, Father Walsh revealed his perverted thoughts about a 3-year old, blind Chinese girl living in a Chinese orphanage. Father Walsh spoke of his attraction to her and his sexual thoughts as he watched her being bathed. [Walsh niece Susan Lansdale Peters, quoted by CNN, April 28, 1998]

Respect for the dignity of the human person created in the Image of God underlies the growing international consciousness of the full range of human rights. [General Congregation 34, "Our Mission and Justice," §55]

    • Joan Lowney put her arm around her husband, Bill, and squeezed his shoulder as they listened to Father [Donald] Monan [S.J.] talk about her daughter and her dreams. "It would be hard to think of Shannon knowingly doing wrong to another person," said Father Monan. "This was a young woman whose talents opened avenues in many directions but whose search for meaning in her life always led in the same direction: It was almost as though her own self-worth depended upon responding to what she saw as the needs of those most deprived in society. The engaging smile and spontaneous compassion and intense attention to those in need are suddenly over." [Boston College Magazine, Winter, 1995, on a Boston College alumna shot to death while working in an abortion clinic.]

And touching our Society, be it known that we have made a league -- all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude most overreach all the practices of England -- cheerfully to the carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while he have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments, or consumed with your prisons. [Saint Edmund Campion, S.J., final address to the Privy Council, 1581]

    • Catholics on the religious right/left/middle wish to be accepted by our church hierarchy and affirmed for who we are -- no less Christ's beloved than our heterosexual sisters and brothers who practice contraception and family planning in spite of the official line.... We members of Dignity have joyfully affirmed our Catholicism (Roman- and Anglo-) for over 27 years. We know that silence can kill us. To retreat silently behind our parish ghetto walls is deadly. Our lovers are our catechumenate sponsors; our priests celebrate the Eucharist and work to build a community that is not afraid of being asked. [Letter to the editor of America, May 2, 1998, by Jim Maier, Maryland Province master of novices 1977-83.]

The Society expects from every Jesuit not only fidelity to his vows but the normal public signs of this fidelity. Jesuits should embody in their ministry and in their lives an unequivocal "professional" conduct (modestia) that manifests their commitments as priests and as religious. Their manner of proceeding -- both as a community and as individuals -- ought to preclude any ambiguity about their lives, enabling those to whom they minister to rely instinctively upon their disinterestedness and fidelity. [General Congregation 34, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," 187]

    • From auctioning a suckling pig dinner while dressed as Miss Piggy to lighting Easter fire from a trail of gunpowder, Father Peter Davis lived and ministered with passion, humor and drama. On Dec. 28, he died at a Portland, Ore., hospice of AIDS. He was 43. He loved being a Jesuit and a priest. "I absolutely love it," he told a radio talk show host. "I do it easily. I do it naturally." [obituary by Brad Reynolds, S.J., in the National Jesuit News, April 1990]

As servants of the Gospel, we are channels of the creative Spirit working in and through our persons to build the body of Christ. [Introductory Allocution of Father General to the Congregation of Procurators, Sept 17, 1999]

    • The appellant [Father Neal Destefano, S.J.] was tried by general court-martial composed of a military judge. Pursuant to his pleas, he was convicted of offenses that may be summarized as follows: fraternizing with enlisted men; making a false official statement; two assaults by serving alcoholic beverages mixed with grain alcohol without the knowledge of the victims; three offenses of conduct unbecoming an officer (by luring enlisted men to his hotel room for indecent acts, taking a picture of an enlisted man in his underwear, and masturbating in the presence of enlisted men); two assimilative crime violations of Alaska law by serving alcohol to underage enlisted men; and, one indecent assault (by hugging, kissing, and fondling the genital area of an enlisted man). [decision of Navy/Marine Court of Criminal Appeals (WL 935030) in re: United States v. Neal J. Destefano, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy; December 15, 1995]

Obedience is to be offered by all promptly, cheerfully, and in a supernatural spirit, as to Christ.... Our holy Father Saint Ignatius desired that we should all excel in the virtue of obedience. Accordingly, with all our force and energy we should strive to obey, first, the Sovereign Pontiff, and then the superiors of the Society, not only in matters of obligation, but also in others, even at the mere hint of the superior's will, apart from any express command. [General Congregation 31, "The Life of Obedience," §277f.]

    • I think at some point it will certainly be possible for women's ordination to take place in the Catholic Church, but one thing is certain: it won't be while this present Pope is alive. [Father Frank Case, S.J., General Assistant of the Society of Jesus, quoted by Victoria Streatfeild, The European, October 7-13, 1994.]

In the light of our tradition, we can say that no ministry which prepares the way for the Kingdom or which helps to arouse faith in the Gospel is outside the scope of Jesuit priests. In recent years we have come to recognize that it is for the priest, as sign and minister of the Lord's active presence, to be present in or to collaborate with all human efforts which help in establishing the Kingdom. [General Congregation 34, "Jesuit Identity and the Ministerial Priesthood," §172]

    • [Father Angel Mariano, S.J.] was arrested about midnight Sept. 21, 1998, in Campbell, Calif., near San Jose when a police officer caught him in a sex act with a 17-year-old student in a parked car. According to police reports, Mariano arranged to meet two teenagers by posing as a 25-year-old woman on an Internet chat room. He wore lipstick and rouge when he met the boys.... Mariano was removed without any explanation. Asked why parishioners at Holy Trinity were not made aware of the reasons for Mariano's departure, [Provincial Father Tom] Smolich said: "Why should they? This is an Internet cruising thing. This is anonymous sex. This doesn't involve people at the parish. It wasn't a priest thing. He wasn't dressed in a collar." [Glenn Bunting, "Lawsuit Ends Silence on Abuse at Jesuit Retreat," Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2002]

[The Jesuit] is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive especially for the defense and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine. [from the bull Exposcit debitum of Pope Julius III, July 21, 1550]

    • Father Smith (not his real name) is a Jesuit priest working in a Philadelphia parish in one of the older parts of the city. He is a closeted gay priest and does not want his name used.... "In my worst moments," he said, "I fear I will have been a collaborator in supporting an institution that oppresses gay people...." He said he became a Jesuit after falling in love with an older, 40-year old Jesuit priest. Smith was 20 then and studying at St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia. "As a Catholic priest, I know there would be no church without gay people.... I assume priests are gay until proven otherwise." [Bill Kenkelen, "For Philly's Gay Priests, Life in the Shadows", National Catholic Reporter Oct 5, 1990; 26:43 pp. 5-7]

Since Vatican Council II, at the request of the Church itself, consecrated life has not ceased being in motion. Still today, even under the pen of certain of our confreres, publications are not lacking which describe our deeds, and especially our misdeeds, in this time of permanent upheaval, showing a certain nostalgia for the times of stability, when the orientation of a religious institute seemed more sure of itself. [Final Allocution of Father General to the Congregation of Procurators, Sept 23, 1999.]

    • Leo Plowden McLaughlin, a one-time Jesuit priest who spent four heady years as an innovative president of Fordham University in the 1960s, died on Thursday at an infirmary on the Fordham campus in the Bronx.... "New ideas," he once said. "That's all that counts in today's world, new ideas -- and so few people have them." Dr. McLaughlin, who had regularly made headlines during his tenure at Fordham, made them again in September 1975 when, at the age of 61, he announced that the previous June he had married Sari Gombos, a 26-year old writer he had met at a Fordham dinner party several years earlier. [New York Times obituary, April 11, 1997]

The mission of the Society derives from our continuing experience of the Crucified and Risen Christ who invites us to join him in preparing the world to become the completed Kingdom of God. The focus of Christ's mission is the prophetic proclamation of the Gospel that challenges people in the name of the Kingdom of his Father; we are to preach that Kingdom in poverty. [General Congregation 34, "Servants of Christ's Mission," §31]

    • In Chicago, her usual escort is a Jesuit priest, whom she calls Father Costello. "Particularly at a formal affair, you don't want to go alone," she says. He's much younger than I, and he's very, very handsome. He's great fun. He's an excellent dancer." [Megan Rosenfeld article on Eppie Lederer (Ann Landers) in the Washington Post, Sept 22, 1996.]

Few are called to the life of a Jesuit, but for the man who is called, chastity only makes sense as a means to greater love, to a more authentic apostolic charity. [General Congregation 34, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," 236]

    • Bart [Lynch] was four, he remembers, when Father [Jerold Lindner, S.J.] assaulted him in the course of a CFM camping trip. "Violence is the key issue, even more important than the sexual abuse. I literally feared for my life. Whispering in my ear, Father Jerry said, 'You want to live, don't you. Don't tell anyone, or I'll kill you.'" This was after Father Jerry had sodomized the four-year old. "I remember blood in my pants and Father Jerry burying them in the woods".... But before the formal charges were laid, the Jesuits were made aware of the accusations against Father Jerry made by the two Lynch brothers. In May of 1997, so Father Jerry has testified, he met with the Father Provincial, John Privett and also with Father Sonny Manuel, another senior Jesuit. According to testimony, Manuel said it was okay for Father Jerry to continue teaching at Loyola High, but that he couldn't lead youth groups to Europe because the agency running the trips would have to be informed of the lawsuit. [Michael Meadows, "The Case of Father Jerry," Counterpunch 1999:]

Each Jesuit enriches the Society's mission and contributes to what Saint Paul calls "the priestly service of the Gospel of God." [General Congregation 34, "Jesuit Identity and Ministerial Priesthood," §163]

    • "As a Jesuit, I cannot feel anything but pride and gratitude for a meteor that burned itself out in the service of others," Kinerk said. "On May 10, 1999, God took the gift back. Thom is with God. As Jesuits, we rejoice. He has done what God sent him to do." [Judy L. Thomas, "Vibrant leader kept AIDS secret", Kansas City Star, January 31, 2000, quoting former Missouri provincial Ed Kinerk, S.J., on Father Thom Savage, S.J., the first U.S. university president to die of AIDS]

In Jesus Christ, we can accept the magnitude of this challenge: to work at the integration of faith and justice, to strive to understand how the Gospel is to be inculturated, to embark with new zeal on the task of interreligious dialogue, to continue to join our professional and pastoral skills to the Ignatian way of proceeding. The Crucified Jesus reminds us that in weakness and vulnerability God's love can shine forth mightily. [General Congregation 34, "United with Christ on Mission," §7]

    • Two mentally disabled men who live and work at a Jesuit retreat were sexually abused by members of the clergy for at least five years, according to court records and interviews.... Connor and Burke, both 80, are among four Jesuits named as defendants in a lawsuit charging that the mentally impaired men were subjected to repeated acts of sodomy, molestation and false imprisonment at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center.... In addition to Connor, three other Jesuits who are registered sex offenders also lived at Sacred Heart in Los Gatos. [Glenn Bunting, "Lawsuit Ends Silence on Abuse at Jesuit Retreat", Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2002]

No community life is possible, however, and no renewal can be truly fruitful unless each Jesuit "keep before his eyes God, and the nature of this Institute which he has embraced and which is, so to speak, a pathway to God." His vocation summons each Jesuit to find privileged time and space to pray with Christ, as friend to friend, learning from this encounter how to be a servant of his mission. [General Congregation 34, "United with Christ on Mission," §11]

    • "I was sitting in my room and was getting ready to go down to community prayer," said Father Joe Costa, superior at Los Gatos. "That's when everything started falling. It was kind of grim. We had to skip community prayer. Everyone had to have a good strong Scotch. That's what they needed most at that time." [Ed DeBerri, S.J., "Big shake leaves veterans talking, rookies nervous", National Jesuit News, December 1989, p. 1]

The task for the Jesuit priest, in the midst of these multiple demands, is to continue a life of faith and a generous and humble service of Christ. Even if he is not primarily involved in direct pastoral service of others, it will help him to keep his priestly identity alive if he is able to minister regularly to a sacramental community; lay people, especially the poor, build the personal faith of those who serve them. [General Congregation 34, "Jesuit Identity and Ministerial Priesthood", §190]

    • The appeal by maths teacher Chaning-Pearce, 57, was funded by The Society of Jesus, which runs the £12,000-a-year school. Last September at Preston Crown Court, the priest admitted indecently assaulting three boys, aged 15, 13 and 12, but denied four counts of molesting the 16-year-old. The incidents occurred in his study or in a tree-house in the school grounds where boys were allowed to sleep. [Newswire Press Association (U.K.) June 4, 1998]

From experience, the Society has learned that pivotal to its fidelity in chastity has been the strong though humble and simple devotion to the Blessed Virgin that has flourished among us since the time of St. Ignatius. [General Congregation 34, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," §247]

    • Dung. Female genitalia. The Virgin Mary. Each of these images, all by itself, can evoke powerful movements in the spirits of American Catholics. We may not be used to graphic presentations of labia; some may be disturbed by them, but that does not make them obscene.... A woman's genital organs play an important role in the transmission of that same incredible gift. Why not ponder the mystery of life and vitality and procreation represented in the rich mystery of Mary, the mystery of our ground in the fertility of this lovely earth, instead of construing the work as "disgusting"? [Father George Wilson, S.J., on Chris Ofili's "Virgin Mary," National Catholic Reporter, December 10, 1999]

In these years, throughout the Society, we have been purified in the faith by which we live, and have grown in our understanding of our central mission. Our service, especially among the poor, has deepened our life of faith, both individually and as a body: our faith has become more paschal, more compassionate, more tender, more evangelical in its simplicity. [General Congregation 34, "Servants of Christ's Mission", §15]

    • "There had been previous times when [Father Stephen Dawber, S.J.] would say, 'Why don't we just take our clothes off and sit. I won't touch you,'" the man said. "I had managed to sort of say no, but I didn't have the sense to cut the relationship off on those previous occasions. He was someone I admired and trusted and who really took great time and care to talk with me about every aspect of my life." [Sacha Pfeiffer, "BC High suspends priest accused of student molestation", Boston Globe, March 6, 2002]

When [Ignatius] wondered in Barcelona whether he should study and how much, it was a question of whether after his studies he should enter a religious order or go through the world as he was. And when he thought of entering a religious order, then he thought and desired to enter one that was corrupt and unreformed ... to be able to suffer more, and also perhaps thinking that God would help them. [Autobiography of Saint Ignatius Loyola, §71]

    • Best Place To Meet A Mate, Gay: The Jesuit Urban Center, South End. True, many happy couples found their love in the Ralph Lauren paint department of Homo Depot -- er, Home Depot. But Sunday morning Mass at the Jesuit Urban Center spawns more blessed pairings. The Urban Center's liturgy is both classic and contemporary; its mixed congregation is mostly gay; its AIDS and HIV support programs are some of the best in town; and its coffee hour is a great place to get phone numbers. 775 Harrison Avenue, Boston, 617-536-8440 ["The Best of Boston 1999", in Boston Magazine, August, 1999]

We never go into politics, never; politics as such. It is true we try, for instance today, in the whole question of international justice, to help the underdeveloped countries and so forth. We are for truth, for justice. If you call politics this high idea of justice, fine. But if you speak of politics in the sense of parties, or working for governments, we are completely out of this. [Father General Pedro Arrupe, S.J., in a BBC interview by Malcolm Muggeridge, January 25, 1970]

  • The first day of Father Robert Drinan's study group turned out to be a marvelous success, with a full room eagerly anticipating the good Padre's words of wisdom.... Citing a long tradition of separation of Church and State, as well as the original Constitutional prohibition on religious tests for public office, Father Drinan expressed great concern primarily for the fate of non-believers in a society governed by leaders "imposing" their religious beliefs on all. Laws against contraception and prayer in public schools, the attempt to re-criminalize abortion, and laws concerning the rights of homosexuals are examples, some historic and others contemporary, of such imposition.... Father Drinan argued that a philosophy of human rights should replace that public religiosity as our new "non-theological theology." [God and Politics Study Group Synopsis, Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, October 12, 2000]

"I think [former Jesuits] are Jesuits. You don't leave. I really believe that. Ignatius recognized that laymen are the core of the Society. Although it's not necessarily true canonically, I would say they are Jesuits." [Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., quoted in Company Magazine, Fall 2000, p. 22.

    • Father Rusty Smith ('80) was recently appointed Abbot of the Companions of Saint Brigid and Director of the Anglican Spirituality Center of New Mexico. Father Rusty remains involved in social justice, theological respect for diversity and human liberation. He states: "My partner Jody and I just celebrated our 12 year anniversary and we are marking the occasion by building a new house. This the true test of our relationship. We have lots of room for visitors and welcome past and current Jesuits when they are in the Albuquerque area. Life is good!" [OLIM: A Newsletter for Former Jesuits of the New Orleans Province, March 2001, Number 35, pp.6f.]

Nor can it be said that the pope was speaking of matters that do not involve our faith, since the essence of his teaching directly concerns the human and divine dignity of man and of love. In the enormous crisis of growth which envelops the whole world, the pope himself has been what the entire Church must be, and Vatican II affirmed, "both a sign and a safeguard of the transcendence of the human person" (Gaudium et Spes, §76). For this reason the service we as Jesuits owe to the Holy Father and to the Church is at the same time a service we owe to humanity itself. [Letter of Father General Pedro Arrupe, S.J. to the whole Society, on the encyclical Humanae vitae, in Acta Romana Societatis Iesu. Vol. XV, Fasc. II, 1968]

    • "The pope says the doctrine has to be clear. Well, the doctrine is too damned clear! That's not the problem." [Vincent T. O'Keefe, S.J., Father General Pedro Arrupe, S.J.'s Vicar, quoted by Carl Bernstein in His Holiness, p. 408, anent divorce, abortion and contraception.]

Although serving God our Lord much out of pure love is to be esteemed above all, we ought to praise much the fear of His Divine Majesty, because not only filial fear is a thing pious and most holy, but even servile fear -- when the man reaches nothing else better or more useful -- helps much to get out of mortal sin. And when he is out, he easily comes to filial fear, which is all acceptable and grateful to God our Lord: as being at one with the Divine Love. [Saint Ignatius Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, 18]

    • "Yet the overall portrait is one of men content in their vocations, who have drawn closer to the person of Jesus while leaving an earlier Almighty God figure behind." [Father Raymond Schroth, S.J., review of Passionate Uncertainty: Inside the American Jesuits, Star-Ledger (Newark) March 3, 2002, p. 5]


Anonymous said...

Fr. Jerold Lindner, SJ gave Fr. James Chevedden, a Jesuit priest who had been allegedly assaulted sexually by Fr. Lindner's friend, Br. Charles Connor, a ride to jury duty in San Jose on May 19, 2004. Three hours later Fr. Chevedden was dead.

The Jesuit Order paid $1.6 million in January 2008 to settle the wrongful death lawsuit regarding Fr. Chevedden. Br. Connor, friend of Fr. Lindner, was earlier named in another case where the Jesuit Order settled for $7 million regarding the sexual abuse of two retarded employees of the Jesuit Order.

The Jesuit Order paid settlements of $600,000 and $1 million in 1997 and 2006 regarding Fr. Lindner and sex abuse.

Anonymous said...

The record needs to be clarified concerning Father Clifford Taunton SJ. I doubt the veracity of the claims of sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by Father Clifford Taunton SJ.

From 1968 to 1978 I was educated by the Jesuits in Both Australia and the UK.

From 1972 to 1973 I was at a Prep School in the UK at which school, Father Clifford Taunton SJ was a master. The school was a boarding school. From my experience Taunton was very proper and did not tolerate any nude displays by young boys. Taunton always reprimanded us for such displays and ensured our dressing gowns were tightly fastened as we moved between the the dormitory and the showers. Ablutions were always supervised by the School Nurse who was a female.

On several occasions in 1973, during the rest period after lunch, I would spend the time with father Taunton in his room. At no time did Father Taunton behave otherwise than properly.

Father Taunton instilled in me to be a man of good manners and decorum.

Father Taunton is now with God. May he rest in peace.