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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Follow the Paper Trail: Who Knew the Secrets of Pedophile Priest Donald McGuire?

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2011 at 5:04 PM

click to enlarge priestshush.jpg

In this week's cover story, SF Weekly takes a look at the voluminous paper trail left behind by Donald McGuire, the defrocked Jesuit priest who is currently serving a 25-year federal prison sentence for transporting minors across state lines to sexually abuse them.

Since he was a member of the Society of Jesus, complaints about McGuire and the subsequent reactions from his colleagues and superiors were documented in great detail. (Founded by the former soldier Ignatius of Loyola in 1534, the Jesuit order prizes order, obedience, and detailed record-keeping.) Hundreds of pages of documents released as part of an ongoing lawsuit against the order show show who knew, and when, about abuse allegations against McGuire.

If you'd like to take a look at many of the original source documents that informed our story, you can view them here, here, and here. Also, here is a legal motion by plaintiffs against the Jesuits that sums up the order's history of managing McGuire over his nearly five decades as an ordained priest. (These documents have been redacted to protect the identities of his victims.)

For those who want a thumbnail on this, here's our short list of some of the priests who were made aware of McGuire's abuse of boys. Among them is John Hardon, a deceased Jesuit who is now formally being considered for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church, and San Francisco priest Joseph Fessio, editor of Ignatius Press, the primary English-language publisher of the works of Pope Benedict XVI.

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Peter Jamison

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