For He Has Sinned

A new lawsuit sheds light on the S.F. years of Mother Teresa's spiritual adviser – who is also one of the Jesuit order's most notorious convicted pedophiles.

It is true that the interplay among abuse victims, private attorneys, and law-enforcement officials in McGuire's case has at times been complicated. The victim whose complaint led to McGuire's federal conviction — his identity was withheld during the trial, and he is named in court records only as Dominick — originally consulted a private attorney known for representing plaintiffs in priest-pedophilia civil suits in Southern California. That attorney's name is Kevin McGuire, and he is Donald McGuire's nephew.

Kevin McGuire said he urged Dominick to take his allegations to federal authorities, and accompanied him to the U.S. Attorney's office on the day he filed a complaint. "I traveled in the same Catholic circles that a lot of these same victims traveled in," he said. "I realized it was my obligation to turn my uncle in. I'm doing it because it's the right thing to do."

Kevin McGuire is also representing Doe 129, who claims he is motivated by desire to hold the priest's superiors to account, rather than the prospect of financial gain. The litigation "certainly hasn't made my life any easier, and it's certainly not fun, and I certainly question whether there's any justice that can be done," said Doe 129, who still lives in the Bay Area. "I'm just really disgusted and furious about the fact that they knew about this for so goddamn long, and didn't do anything about it. If you had a carpet-cleaning business and a guy was a rapist, you wouldn't let him out and about working for you."

In response to questions from SF Weekly about Doe 129's lawsuit, Chicago Jesuit Provincial Edward Schmidt (the regional head of his order) said in a statement that the province was "aware" of the suit. "Because this matter involves a court action, we do not plan to make any further comment about these particular allegations at this time," he said.

Kevin McGuire said his uncle's time as a professor in San Francisco, and his later trips to the Bay Area and around the world, were encouraged by superiors as a "pass-the-trash" strategy to keep the predator priest far from his home base. "USF was a place where the Chicago Province sent Father McGuire to get him the hell out of their hair," he said. "That's why this guy was allowed to roam around the country. They wanted him everywhere but Chicago."

And he said that while there's no evidence Mother Teresa herself was consciously covering up for the priest whose piety she admired, the nun, who died in 1997, should have known something wasn't right.

"I think Mother Teresa had plenty of evidence in front of her that something was wrong," Kevin McGuire said. "When you see Father McGuire seven to nine times a year at your retreat houses or nunneries around the world, and he's constantly with teenage boys who are essentially his slaves, and to have these boys in your bedroom — yeah, I think that's plenty of notice to anyone with oxygen in your brain. I don't care how holy you think your confessor is. Something's wrong."


While Doe 129's lawsuit moves forward in Illinois, McGuire, who according to his lawyer is legally blind and suffers from diabetes, has begun serving his 25-year prison sentence at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. His federal conviction is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. (In May, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals denied his request for a new trial in that state related to his earlier abuse charges.) Absent a successful appeal, Komie said, his client "is not going to survive this prison sentence."

As the disgraced priest faces his earthly end, he has resolutely declined to embrace a concept at the very core of Catholicism: repentance. McGuire, the great confessor, has never admitted guilt in any of the instances of abuse for which he stands accused or convicted. He has also taken what could be interpreted as a less-than-Christian stance toward the victims who have chosen to speak against him.

"I want my accusers to be sentenced," he said during the postconviction phase of his first trial in Wisconsin in 2006. McGuire took advantage of his opportunity to address the judge prior to sentencing to profess his innocence in a rambling soliloquy in which he compared himself to Socrates, St. Thomas More, and Jesus. "I am humbled when I think of the company of saints I'm called to join here," he said, according to a trial transcript.

Earlier that day, McGuire said, he had meditated on his life. "I plead with the Holy Spirit to enlighten me, show me, in what way am I not living truthfully," he said. He added that he had resolved "to be more truthful, more like Jesus. I don't know how other people live, but that's the only way I can live." He continued, "Your Honor, I did all of this with the image of Christ crucified before me. I've never been closer to the crucified Christ, never in my life. It's a terrible experience, but it's glorious."

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