Gonzaga Prep President responds to list of Jesuit clergy members accused of sexual abuse

Gonzaga Prep President responds to list of Jesuit clergy members accused of sexual abuse

Among the names on a recently released Jesuits West Province list of clergy members with credible claims of sexual abuse made against them, were more than a dozen that had served at Gonzaga Preparatory School. Additionally, there were many more that served at Gonzaga University, were retired for a time at Gonzaga University or served at Mount St. Michael on the list. Many of the accused priests are not currently still alive.

Included, was the namesake of one of Gonzaga Prep’s buildings, Hurley Hall, which currently houses the school’s Treasury Office and the Office of the school’s President. It was named after Fr. John Hurley, who served at the institution for almost 50 years.

Gonzaga Prep. President Michael Dougherty says the Hurley’s name could potentially be stripped, but they are awaiting clarification from the Jesuit West Providence because of a potential naming mix-up when it came to the sexual abuse allegations.

Read Dougherty’s full statement:

The highest priority of Gonzaga Preparatory School is the safety of its students. Our school exists to promote the dignity and well-being of every student. The abuse of a child is the antithesis of our mission and will never be tolerated. Our hearts and prayers are with the victims of abuse, and we affirm the work of the Jesuits West Province in its efforts for full transparency and accountability. As part of its recent release, the Province republished the list of all Jesuits from the Oregon Province against whom a claim had been made as part of its 2011 bankruptcy.

Even though this list has been public since 2011, many members of our community are seeing this list for the first time, and we are reliving the outrage that comes with knowing that several Jesuits who once served at Gonzaga Prep have been accused of sexual abuse. Fr. John Hurley, who served at the school from 1947-92, was among the Jesuits listed in the Oregon Bankruptcy.

The school is aware of an instance of misidentification regarding the allegations against Fr. John Hurley. Specifically, the claim of sexual abuse against a minor that was alleged to have occurred in the late 1950’s has been found to be actually against Fr. James Hurley, and we understand that this allegation will be removed from Fr. John Hurley’s name. The Province acknowledges that the list that was released may contain errors and/or omissions, and it has commissioned a thorough review of its files. School administration and its Board of Directors are awaiting further clarification from the Jesuits West Province, and will proceed accordingly. The school will remove from public recognition the names of any Jesuits who are associated with abuse.

The highest priority of Gonzaga Preparatory School is the protection and safety of its students. Our faculty and staff have all undergone criminal background checks and professional development designed to ensure a safe environment. Students are aware of multiple people who they can contact if there is ever a concern for their own safety, or the safety of a classmate. The school encourages anyone who may have experienced abuse to contact their local law enforcement agency, with whom the school will fully cooperate.

For more on the Jesuits West Province and to read the list of accused clergy members click here to go to their website.

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