Only Three Degrees Of Separation!
Like an (evil) gift that just keeps on giving, the pedophile cases against Father Donald McGuire keep mounting up. But the man who was Mother Theresa's confessor is, oddly enough, himself unrelentingly unrepentant.
Yesterday, I was startled to spy on a news rack the following:
SF WEEKLY, By Peter Jamison, July 27, 2009, 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.
Pedophile-priest stories are now so commonplace, half the country doesn't think of "priest" without "pedophile." There was a time, however, when "priest" was synonymous with "GOD." I know. I was raised VERY Catholic (I popped out of the womb into the arms of a nun!). And about the time that I was in a Dominican college prep school, Father Donald McGuire was teaching at another boy's college prep school only 10 miles away.
But even for someone already gilded with respect, Donald McGuire was an extraordinary man, a charmer who had a great knowledge of many things and would relate subjects like Greek history and Jesuit doctrine in compelling detail.
I think deep down inside he enjoyed the coronation that we laypeople gave him, because we felt so lucky that we had this time with this brilliant, devout prophet.
Looking back, it's quite obvious that McGuire held himself in very high esteem. He frequently told some of his colleagues "I could pray rings around you anytime!" But despite his often contemptuousness, he had a love of his students. His male students. His male students in the confessional. "Bless me father for I have sinned."
I cobbled together this time line from several articles.
1960s: McGuire allegedly abuses victim #1 in Europe.
1968: McGuire allegedly abuses Vic Bender (Victim 2) at Loyola Academy.
1968: McGuire allegedly abuses Victim 3 at Loyola Academy.
1968-1969: McGuire allegedly abuses Victim 4 at Loyola Academy.
1983: Thirteen years after the Jesuits first learned of Victim 4's allegations of sexual abuse by McGuire, McGuire becomes the spiritual director for the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa's order. He becomes Mother Teresa's confessor.
1986: Victim 9 is born. McGuire baptizes him and becomes his godfather.
1987-94: McGuire's alleged molestation of Victim 5 (then 8 or 9 years old) begins.
1987: Victim 10 (brother of Victim 5) is born. McGuire baptizes him. McGuire also baptized his younger siblings.
1999: Victim 9 goes to Chicago to "live" with McGuire at Canisius House.
McGuire allegedly uses confessions as a means to begin fondling Victim
9, who alleges that McGuire sexually molested him hundreds of times
between 1999 and 2004, including regular abuse during confession.
The abuse, you see, was made more sinister by the fact that he was close to some of the families, had baptized some of the victims and had even become the godfather of one!
And here's how Mother Theresa and Whoopi Goldberg came into play:
It was at McGuire's bidding that the 11-year-old came to serve as an altar boy that morning at St. Paul's Convent, a boxy building of yellow stucco that rises from a tree-lined block near the intersection of 29th and Church streets. (The convent houses local novices in the international Missionaries of Charity order, founded by Mother Teresa in 1950.) The priest was close to the boy's family... Both St. Paul's church and its convent were depicted in Whoopi Goldberg's blockbuster movie, Sister Act.
Piecing together the complex web of abuser, victims, and admirers becomes almost incredulous when one finds out who turned him in to the authorities: his own nephew, Kevin McGuire, a lawyer specializing in...pedophile cases.
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."
McGuire was defrocked in 2007 and is now serving a 25-year sentence for the abuse of two victims at Loyola Academy. Legally blind from diabetes, and 74-years-old, McGuire will obviously spend the rest of his life in prison. That fact, however, is little compensation to the victims and their families. Civil suits against the Jesuit order are pending. They will add to the already staggering sum of $1 billion paid out in such suits since 1995.
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