The Jesuits’ U.S. Central and Southern Province has retained an outside organization to review personnel files of Jesuits dating to 1960 in preparation for publicly releasing the names of Jesuits and former Jesuits of the province who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.
Kinsale Management Consulting, Inc., which is composed of retired FBI agents and law enforcement personnel, will review files of Jesuits for whom the province has personnel records who entered, worked in or died in the current province, the former New Orleans Province, the former Missouri Province, or the Region of Puerto Rico since 1960. After the audit, the Jesuits will release a list of Jesuits and former Jesuits of the province against whom there are credible allegations of abuse consistent with the standards of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
“The People of God deserve transparency from the leadership of the Church,” said Father Ronald A. Mercier, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits’ USA Central and Southern Province, in a statement released Nov. 19. “It is my hope that through the publication of this information, we can work to rebuild trust, always with the well-being of victims in mind.
“On behalf of the Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province, I apologize to the victims for the pain caused by Jesuits in the past.”
The comprehensive review is expected to be completed in spring 2019. In the meantime, the province is compiling a preliminary list, which it stated will be released Dec. 7.
The Jesuits encouraged anyone who has suffered abuse by a Jesuit to notify the appropriate law enforcement or child-protection agency in the location in which the incident took place. In addition, victims also are encouraged to contact Carol Brescia, the province’s victim assistance coordinator, by phone at (314) 915-7168 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone who suspects child abuse is urged to report their suspicions to the police.
The U.S. Central and Southern Province consists of 13 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, southern Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee and Oklahoma — as well as the Central American country of Belize and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The former New Orleans Province, which is now part of the Central and Southern Province, also included Georgia.