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!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

WJU Pedophilic Professor Convicted

FAIRFAX, Va. (9/29/10) -- Rev. Felix Owino, WJU Associate Professor of Philosophy, was convicted of aggravated sexual battery of an eleven-year-old girl. Owino's conviction followed his guilty plea entered in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, Va. Owino will be sentenced for the felony on Dec. 17, 2010. Felix Owino's crime carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a $100,000 fine. The prosecutor is asking for a five-year sentence, after which Owino could be deported to Kenya. The professor-priest has been incarcerated without bond since his arrest on July 8, 2010.

Perhaps now our university would consider issuing a statement that Professor Owino has been fired. And perhaps concurrently issue a statement that credibly accused homosexual predator Thomas F. Gleeson, S.J. has also been fired. Gleeson is the Jesuit Trustee who cast the decisive vote to fire WJU's President, thus commencing WJU's downhill slide of the past fourteen months.

Mike Fahy
WJU Alumnus

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Best Saving Might be a Healthy Sale

In the “Inferno” Dante describes the Nine Circles of Hell where those guilty of grave faults face fierce demons and their own foolish sins. The aftermath at Wheeling Jesuit must feel like hell for board members and the Jesuit trustees who launched the sacking of their president, Fr. Giulietti.  With no plans in place to develop the college into a viable school on their own, the results of the action continues to fester and slowly destroy the school.  Those of us who watch find it unbelievable that such foolishness could actually happen at a Jesuit college.  Maybe its Jesuitness is all past history as it must face the inevitability of a sale.

Leo Cleary

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

SNAP director criticizes Jesuit university

The following is a guest commentary written by David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Several weeks ago, a Wheeling Jesuit University priest and teacher was arrested in a Washington DC suburb and charged with molesting a girl.

The university's president, Sister Francis Marie Thrailkill, and her public relations staff quickly sent out to area media a shamelessly self-serving news release that shows just how much further Catholic authorities have to go if ever they hope to effective come to grips with the horrific child sex abuse and cover up crisis.

Thrailkill almost tried to pretend she and her colleagues barely know the alleged predator, Father Felix Owino. But instead of working to distance themselves from him, Catholic officials should be working to find and bring forward other potential victims, witnesses and whistleblowers, so that justice can be done.

According to the university's statement, Owino "has no current responsibilities" at Wheeling Jesuit. He "is not expected or return to the school." He "was on summer break" when he was arrested. Owino was allegedly the subject of "no student complaints," the school says. Most recently, he was teaching "on line." He's "not a member of the Jesuits." He is "originally from Kenya."

Can they do anything more to detach themselves from this priest? Why not go one step further and try to reassure worried parents by saying Owino doesn't own any T-shirts or jerseys or jackets with the university logo on them? At the risk of sounding trite, can you imagine Jesus responding like this if one of his apostles had been arrested for a suspected child sex crime?

Adding insult to injury, Thrailkill's news release urges victims to contact school staff. She's dead wrong. Anyone who saw, suspected or suffered Owino's crimes should call police officials, not church or school officials. This is almost always true, but especially when there's already an active criminal investigation.

Those with knowledge or suspicions about Owino's alleged crimes or misdeeds have a Christian and civic duty to step forward, call police, and help the truth surface. Those who employed Owino (both Thrailkill and Wheeling Bishop Michael Bransfield) have a moral obligation to seek out and help others Owino may have hurt. Here's the bottom line: When victims, witnesses and whistleblowers speak up, at least there's a chance that children will be protected, victims will be healed and wrong-doers will be exposed. But when victims, witnesses and whistleblowers stay silent, nothing changes and kids keep getting hurt. And when authorities (in this case, both university and diocesan) focus more on damage control than abuse prevention, the Catholic Church's abuse crisis gets worse, not better.

Just a few short weeks ago, the pope pledged to "do everything possible" to stop future child sex crimes by priests. Somehow, Wheeling Jesuit University's president must not have heard or understood this promise. How else to explain their herculean efforts to duck and dodge and distance themselves from a credibly accused predator, instead of trying to find his victims and help law enforcement investigate him?

(David Clohessy, of St. Louis, is a clergy sex abuse victim and the executive director of SNAP. He can be reached at 314-566-9790 or SNAPclohessy@[no spam]aol.com.)

- as published by Matt Abbott at RenewAmerica.com