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The Society of Jesus has had different episodes of Catholic sex abuse cases in various jurisdictions.

Abuse in the United States

Diocese of Fairbanks

In February 2008, the diocese of Fairbanks announced plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, claiming inability to pay the 140 plaintiffs who filed claims against the diocese for alleged sexual abuse by priests or church workers dating from the 1950s to the early 1980s. The Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, was named as a co-defendant in the case, and settled for $50 million. The Diocese, which reports an operating budget of approximately $6 million, claims one of the diocese’s insurance carriers failed to "participate meaningfully".[1][2][3][4]

Diocese of Portland

The lawsuits in the Fairbanks diocese have also affected the Jesuit community in the diocese of Portland, given that the Western Province of the American Jesuits is located in the State of Oregon.[5][6]

Diocese of Boston

In 2002, criminal charges were brought against five Roman Catholic priests in the Boston area of the United States, John Geoghan, John Hanlon, Paul Shanley, Robert V. Gale and Jesuit priest James Talbot, which ultimately resulted in the conviction and sentencing of each to prison.[7]

Cheverus High School

In 1998, nine male alumni claimed that they had been molested while attending the Jesuit school Cheverus. Two former faculty members were accused. The school confirmed the abuse and apologized to the victims. The victims also accused both Cheverus High School and the Portland Diocese of hiding information, and that they had previously known about the abuse. Settlements to victims have reached a cumulative seven figures, with ongoing counseling additional. Primarily, two long time Cheverus faculty members, one the former chair of the English Department, the other, the former head of the Track Team, have admitted they are guilty. Both teachers lost their jobs at Cheverus in 1998. [8]

Abuse in Germany

Canisius-Kolleg Berlin

In 2004 and 2005 two former students of the school told the headmaster of this Jesuit school that they had been sexually abused by two of their former teachers. In December 2009 and January 2010 two other boys contacted the headmaster and claimed the same about the same teachers. The headmaster decided to write a letter to all former students in which he stated that he was deeply sorry for what happened. After receiving the letter several others of the former students contacted the headmaster and said that they - too - had been abused.

The names of the former students claiming to be sexually abused have been withheld from the public, but the public was told many of them were notable scientist or held political or economic positions of power. It was also revealed that some of the alumni, who had been abused decided to send their children to the Canisius-Kolleg.[9] One of the teachers has spoken out and said the allegations made against him were true, because he really had abused boys. The teachers might not be sued for what they did, because it seems that in most cases the time limit for pressing trial has passed, but the abused boys want them to apologize.[10]

An investigative report detailing allegations of substantial abuse was released in 2010.[11]

Jesuit College of Sankt Blasien

In 2010, Padre Wolfgang S. admitted to several acts of sexual abuse of minors during his years as a teacher in Sankt Blasius from 1982 to 1984. Prior to that he had taught in another jesuit college in Berlin (Canisius-Kolleg) where he had also molested children. The order in 2010 concedes that upon discovery, his superiors did provide help for him to emigrate to South America. Other cases of sexual abuse of minors in the jesuit order have also been reported lately and are being investigated. As of February 2010, it seems that all cases have become time-barred. [12]

Abuse in Latin America

Affair in Chile

Rev. Stefan Dartmann disclosed that the same abusive teacher in Germany had been guilty of similar crimes in Jesuit schools in Chile and Spain.[13]

See also


  1. "Fairbanks Catholic Diocese filing for bankruptcy". WorldNow. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-03-03. "More than 150 claims were filed against the church for alleged crimes at the hands of clergy or church workers between the 1950s and 1980s."
  2. United Press International (2008-02-15). "Diocese of Fairbanks plans bankruptcy". ArcaMax. ArcaMax Publishing, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-03-03. "Robert Hannon, who serves as a special assistant to Bishop Donald Kettler and is the diocesan chancellor, told the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News that officials believe bankruptcy is the fairest way to compensate victims."
  3. Baldino, Megan (2008-02-15). "Diocese of Fairbanks to file for bankruptcy". CNA. Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2008-03-03. "The negotiations allegedly failed because one of the diocese’s insurance carriers did not “participate meaningfully.” ... Robert Hannon, chancellor and special assistant to Bishop Donald Kettler, said bankruptcy would provide a way for church assets to be distributed fairly among abuse victims."
  4. "Diocese hopes to continue operations despite Chapter 11 petition". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Archived from the original on 2009-07-20.
  5. More than 500 abuse victims’ claims filed in Jesuits’ Oregon Province bankruptcy case
  6. Jesuits' Oregon province, facing abuse lawsuits, files for bankruptcy
  8. "Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church / Scandal and coverup". The Boston Globe.
  9. Die Zeit: "Canisius Kolleg - 17 Schüler berichten von sexuellem Missbrauch". 29.1.2010
  10. Susanne Vieth-Enthus: "Schüler an Jesuiten-Gymnasium jahrelang missbraucht" 28. January 2010
  11. "Report Outlines Abuse Claims at German Jesuit Schools" article by Judy Dempsay in The New York Times May 27, 2010
  13. Jesuit coverup of sex abuse on two continents
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