Court Battles

Lawsuit: Jesuit priest abused boy ‘more than 1,000 times, in multiple states and countries’

In a lawsuit filed Monday in California state court, an American man alleges the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, a Jesuit priest who died in prison in 2017, sexually abused him on more than 1,000 occasions for years in various states and countries, according to The Associated Press.

Robert J. Goldberg, 61, said in the lawsuit and an interview with the AP that after they met in Chicago, McGuire abused him from age 11 into adulthood while he worked for McGuire as a valet. McGuire died while serving a 25-year sentence for sexually abusing other boys in his charge.

While the lawsuit as filed does not name defendants, Goldberg’s lawyers said defendants will include the U.S. branch of the Jesuit order as well as its top leader at the Vatican, alleging that Catholic officials were aware of and covered for McGuire’s abuse.

Goldberg said his mother came to rely on the $300 to $500 a week McGuire paid him to work as his assistant.

“He was very controlling. I had no say whatsoever,” Goldberg told the AP. “Whatever he told my mother he wanted me to do, I had to do it.”

Goldberg also said he and his family moved to California when McGuire relocated to teach at the University of San Francisco, a period during which McGuire also became a close associate of Mother Theresa. In 1994, the future saint wrote a letter of support to the Jesuit order saying she did not believe abuse allegations against McGuire.

McGuire was removed from active ministry in 2007 and defrocked in 2008. In 2012, the Rev. Bradley M. Schaeffer, who received Mother Theresa’s letter, apologized for not taking action.

“I deeply regret that my actions were not enough to prevent him from engaging in these horrific crimes,’’ he said. “We are deeply sorrowful.”

The Jesuits’ Midwest Province said they had no comment on the lawsuit but were aware of it. 
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