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Sexual abuse cover-up calls for Board expulsion

The Heights urges the University to take action immediately to uphold reputation

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01


A recent Globe article has revealed that Rev. Bradley M. Schaeffer, S.J., current member of Boston College’s Board of Trustees, allegedly failed to investigate or contact the police after receiving complaints regarding then-popular Rev. Donald J. McGuire’s behavior with young boys. Instead, Schaeffer, leader of the Jesuits in the Chicago area during the early ’90s, sent McGuire to treatment for a sexual disorder—treatment he later acknowledged did not go well. He reportedly knew about McGuire’s repeated abuse for over 30 years.
According to the article, following the treatment, McGuire allegedly continued to molest boys until at least 2003, six years after Schaeffer left Chicago. McGuire is now serving 25 years in a federal prison for child sex abuse while the Jesuits face a lawsuit for their failure to protect one of McGuire’s alleged victims. The Jesuits did not expel McGuire from the order until 2007, nearly 40 years after the first serious allegation against him.
Though Schaeffer, now 62, is planning to retire from BC later this year, The Heights feels the University should take action immediately, and we urge the administration to remove him from the Board of Trustees. While we acknowledge the fact that the University had no knowledge of Schaeffer’s role in the McGuire case when he was elected to the board, we feel inaction may endanger the school’s reputation as one of the most prestigious Catholic institutions in the country. 
We can all be appreciative of the expertise that Schaeffer has brought to the Board of Trustees, but knowing this information now, there is no reason to keep him on until June. It can only elicit further negative publicity, and we in no way should appear to condone McGuire’s actions. 
The Heights would also like to remind the University that in the past it has taken the lead among local Catholic institutions in responding to the clergy abuse scandal, in particular by launching Church in the 21st Century in 2004. This situation serves as another opportunity for BC to set a good example and hopefully combat claims that the Church has dealt with sexual abuse complaints ineffectually.

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