Today, Jesuits West is announcing the province will release the names of those Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors since 1950. In a letter explaining his decision, Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, provincial of Jesuits West, said that in the wake of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, which detailed shocking cases of abuse of minors by priests, “the People of God rightly demand and deserve transparency on the part of Church leadership.”
According to Fr. Santarosa’s letter, the province will release the names of those Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors since 1950. The release is scheduled for the first Friday of Advent, December 7, 2018, and following the release of names, the province will undergo an external review of files to ensure that its list is complete and that cases of abuse were handled appropriately. If the external review identifies additional names, the province will release those names as well. The name of the firm conducting the external review will also be announced on December 7.
Fr. Santarosa said, “On behalf of the Society of Jesus, I apologize to victims and their families. There is no greater betrayal of pastoral care than the abuse of a minor by someone with a sacred duty to protect and care for the People of God. While the Church in the U.S. has experienced significant reform in this area, we are now called to deepen that reform by becoming more transparent. In issuing this list and calling for an independent review, we hope to offer victims and their families a step forward in the healing process.”
Since 2002, Jesuits have enforced rigorous policies to ensure the safety of minors, including ongoing professional development to help create safe environments. In his letter, Fr. Santarosa encouraged anyone who has felt victimized by a Jesuit to contact the province’s Advocacy Coordinator, Mary Pat Panighetti, 408-893-8398 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and appropriate law enforcement and child-protective agencies.
Calling his conversations with abuse survivors “moments of grace,” Fr. Santarosa concluded his letter by asking for prayers for victims of abuse and for the Church. “May we find in this moment the courage to move forward with integrity, transparency and accountability.”