November 17, 2005

Jesuits say half of Alaskan claims not theirs

Catholic Sentinel

11/17/2005 Ed Langlois
About half of the more than 80 sex-abuse lawsuits the Jesuits are facing in Alaska involve two diocesan volunteers who were never in the Society of Jesus or under its governance.

That is why the religious community is denying legal responsibility in those cases, says the head of the Northwest’s Jesuits.

“While we have worked towards healing with those we believed were harmed by Jesuits, we believe it would be an injustice to take responsibility for actions by those who were not our members or responsible to the Province,” says the provincial, Father John Whitney.

The Oregon Province of Jesuits covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Most of the abuse allegedly took place in remote Alaskan villages, where the Jesuits run missions they founded more than a century ago.

The Jesuits are seeking relief from more than 40 cases against one lay mission volunteer and two against another. Both were in the employ of the Diocese of Fairbanks.

Posted by kshaw at November 17, 2005 07:55 PM