Rev. Bradley M. Schaeffer, S.J. resigned from his post on the Boston College Board of Trustees on Thursday following public criticism of the role he played in supervising a former Jesuit priest who allegedly molested multiple young boys over several decades. He had served on the University’s Board of Trustees since 2004.
“As all in our community know, Boston College is a wonderful, caring institution of higher education,” Schaeffer wrote in a letter to the Board of Trustees on Thursday. “I do not want to harm it or be a distraction. Therefore, I am ending my service as a trustee today.”
Last Sunday, The Boston Globe reported that Schaeffer was aware of sexual abuse committed by one of his most famous priests, Donald J. McGuire. Schaeffer did not contact police or other authorities, but instead sent McGuire to treatment for a sexual disorder. McGuire left the treatment after only a few months.
Jesuit superiors also ordered that McGuire not travel with boys under the age of 18, but the rule was weakly enforced. The article claims that McGuire continued to sexually abuse boys until as late as 2003.
In a statement, Schaeffer, 62, has expressed “deep regret” for failing to stop the actions of McGuire, who is now in prison after state and federal convictions for child sexual abuse.
The article in the Globe claimed that McGuire, an associate of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and a world-traveling retreat leader, sexually assaulted multiple young boys over the course of more than a decade. McGuire, who was expelled from the Jesuit order in 2007 and is now serving 25 years in a federal prison for child sex abuse, allegedly traveled the world with numerous young boys, who were frequently victims of inappropriate massages and sexual contact.
As McGuire’s superior, Schaeffer has come under much criticism for his lack of action in Chicago. When he was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2004, however, McGuire’s crimes had not yet been made public.
“While Father Schaeffer was being considered for the Boston College board no one on the board had knowledge of Father McGuire and his disgraceful conduct,” University Spokesman Jack Dunn told The Boston Globe.
At BC, Schaeffer serves as rector of the Blessed Peter Faber Jesuit Community at the School of Theology and Ministry. In August 2012, he will be succeeded by Rev. James Gartland, S.J., who is currently the president of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago. In his post, Schaeffer also supervises a study center for future Jesuit priests. Schaeffer was planning on retiring from his position on the Board of Trustees in June.
Taylour Kumpf, Editor-in-Chief, contributed to this report.