The recent discovery of the involvement of Fr. Bradley Schaeffer, SJ in the Donald McGuire child molestation case was deeply troubling to the Boston College community, and his resignation from the Board of Trustees last week comes as welcome news.
After Fr. Schaeffer’s mismanagement of the McGuire affair and before his time at BC, he was president of the national Jesuit Conference in the United States. This promotion calls into question the leadership of the Society of Jesus on an international level. If Fr. Schaeffer’s superiors in Rome were aware of what had happened during his tenure in Chicago, it is shameful that they would have promoted him.
While it was right for Fr. Schaeffer to resign, it would be nice to see a day when clerics, who are involved even tangentially in abuse or its mishandling, either voluntarily step aside or are removed from prominent roles by their superiors immediately, and not only when the media reveals the facts and public outcry escalates.
Ten years after the revelations of rampant child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy came to light, it is very sad to see that full transparency is still not yet a reality.