It is with great sorrow that we come together today with the departure of our president and dear friend, Fr. Julio Giulietti, S.J. We have all come here to seek the truth, and to know and understand what has happened within the university walls and what has become of the reputation of WJU. In this light, please invite anyone to read the blog and feel free to comment as you wish.

Any posts with profanity are not welcome, otherwise, please speak your mind. You are a part of this university and we want to hear your voice!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Preist Probe Resolution Disheartening - Letter to the Editor

October 28, 2009

It's very disheartening to see how Wheeling Catholic officials are responding to the revelation that a Jesuit university board member stands accused of sexual harassment.

Because one California church official in 1999 decided that an allegation against Fr. Thomas Gleeson was "unsubstantiated," West Virginia Catholic authorities are apparently fine with giving him a position of authority and responsibility over innocent teenagers and vulnerable young people.

Would it hurt Wheeling Jesuit University so much to even spend a few days delving into this accusation, instead of immediately assuming that a credible accuser is wrong and an accused cleric is right?

David Clohessy
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests National Director
St. Louis, Mo.

- as published in the Wheeling News-Register

1 comment:

  1. http://www.su-spectator.com/news/oregon-province-sexual-abuse-claims-may-reach-500-1.895729
    Oregon Province sexual abuse claims may reach 500
    Number of victims alleging abuse exceeds expectations
    By Joshua Lynch

    Print this article
    Share this article Published: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Updated: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Attorneys representing victims of sexual abuse in a case against the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus are finding they have more clients than they expected.

    As a Nov. 30 deadline for filing claims against the Oregon Province approaches, some plaintiff’s attorneys are estimating that the total between several firms will reach 500 claims alleging abuse by as many as 80 Jesuits.

    “I honestly was stunned,” said Patrick Wall, who works as an advocate with a law firm representing victims.

    Walls’ firm Manly Stewart is alone representing 198 victims, alleging abuse by 44 Jesuits, and expects to file more claims before the Nov. 30 deadline, which was set by a federal judge after the Oregon Province filed for bankruptcy in February.

    The province—which includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon—sought bankruptcy protection shortly after a lawsuit was filed in January on behalf of 43 victims, which was later expanded to 63 victims.

    In a statement issued in February explaining the Oregon Province’s decision to declare bankruptcy, the Very Rev. Patrick Lee, current provincial, said “approximately 200 additional claims were pending or threatened,” an estimate that will fall significantly short with one law firm filing at least 198 claims.

    According to the province, it has already settled more than 200 claims since 2001, paying more than $25 million of its own resources and more from its insurers.

    Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. was named a defendant in the lawsuit, which alleged he knew some Jesuits had sexually abused minors but didn’t disclose that information when he was provincial, or leader, of the Oregon Province from 1990 to 1996. Sundborg denies all the allegations against him.

    Lawyers and members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, have been drawing media coverage as they’ve traveled within the province’s states, urging victims to come forward before the deadline.

    The majority of claims come from Alaska, where more than 170 Alaska Natives as of February have filed lawsuits against the Jesuits alleging sexual abuse. Most of the claims are from 40 to 60 years ago, according to the province. Since 1950, 3,000 Jesuits have served in the Oregon Province.

    Still at issue in the Portland Federal Bankruptcy Court is whether Seattle University and other Jesuit educational institutions are part of the Oregon Province’s assets. The court will rule on that after the Nov. 30 deadline, according to Wall.

    Seattle University officials say the institution and others like it are financially independent and are not “owned, operated or controlled by the Oregon Province.”

    But plaintiff’s attorneys are saying that at the time of much of the abuse and before 1972, the provincial exercised considerable control over the universities.

    “If the board of the university decided to shut down the university,” Wall said, “and sell all the assets, where would the money go? It would go to the society.”

    posted by: Judy Block Jones, SNAP Ohio Valley Regional Director, 636-433-2511