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Jesuits West Province Statement Responding to Gonzaga University Being Featured in Investigative Report

December 18, 2018 — Recent coverage about Jesuits who abused minors decades ago has put Gonzaga University in the news. The story concerns Jesuits from the former Oregon Province with credible claims of sexual abuse of minors, who lived monitored and restricted under Safety Plans, in a Jesuit-owned building, Bea House, adjacent to the Gonzaga campus. In 2016, all Jesuits on Safety Plans at Bea House were moved to Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California.

In a statement released yesterday, Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh requested confirmation that no one who is the subject of a credible allegation has been assigned to Gonzaga or will be assigned going forward. Jesuits West guarantees that no Jesuit with a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is currently or will ever be knowingly assigned to Gonzaga University or the Jesuit community on its campus, nor to any Jesuit work of the Province.

Jesuits with credible allegations are on Safety Plans and reside at the Province’s senior health-care facility, Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, in Los Gatos, California. The 250-acre Sacred Heart Jesuit Center is located on a hill ¾ mile above downtown Los Gatos. It is supervised 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Safety Plans for Jesuits with credible allegations of abuse of minors are reviewed annually by our Review Board, and audited by outside safety consultant, Praesidium, which reviews Jesuits West and provides accreditation for prevention of sexual abuse of minors. The Review Board, composed of lay professionals in law enforcement, psychology, and human resources, evaluates each Jesuit’s Safety Plan, always holding the safety of the community as the guiding principle.

In general, Safety Plans consist of the following elements:

  • Restrictions from public ministry as a priest
  • Restrictions from contact with minors
  • Restrictions on travel—usually only with an approved chaperone
  • Required monthly meetings with a delegate (i.e., former parole officer) about adherence to Safety Plan.

Jesuits West apologizes to the victims and families who put their trust in a Jesuit, only to have that trust so profoundly betrayed. Jesuits West has both a zero-tolerance policy for credible allegations made against a Jesuit involving a minor or a vulnerable adult and stringent procedures to ensure the safety of minors. No Jesuit who has a credible allegation of sexually abusing a minor is allowed to remain in public ministry.

If you feel you have been victimized by a Jesuit, please contact both Mary Pat Panighetti, Advocacy Coordinator for Jesuits West, at 408-893-8398, and appropriate law enforcement and child-protective agencies.

Click here to read about Safety Plans.





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