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Ten Cleveland-area Jesuit priests credibly accused of sexual assault in the past

By Cory Shaffer • Dec 18, 2018 at 6:57 AM

CLEVELAND — The Midwestern region of the Jesuit church on Monday released the names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in two regions, including one covering Northeast Ohio.

The list includes 10 former Jesuits who were accused while either serving in or visiting Northeast Ohio at the time the sexual abuse occurred, according to the Midwest U.S. Jesuit Provinces.

The majority of the abuse occurred between the 1950s and 1970s, and many of the accused priests are now dead.

The release comes after similar releases by Catholic Dioceses across the country. The Cleveland Diocese has published a list of credibly accused priests since a sweeping grand jury inquiry in the early 2000s. The grand jury results have been kept under wraps in keeping with grand jury secrecy laws in Ohio.

"As we look back at our history, the failures of the Society of Jesus and the Church to protect those entrusted to its care fill our hearts with outrage, sorrow and shame,” the Rev. Brian Paulson, provincial of the Midwest Jesuits, wrote in a letter coinciding with the release. “On behalf of the Midwest Jesuits, I apologize to victim-survivors and their families for the harm and suffering you have endured. Many of you have suffered in silence for decades.”

The church also hired an investigative service out of Chicago to conduct an independent review of the church’s records in 2019 and will update the list if the service turns up credible allegations against any other priests.

The Rev. Henry A. Brockman faced multiple allegations during the 1950s and 1960s while he served at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. Brockman died in 1973.

The Rev. Ignatius M. Burrill faced allegations in the 1950s while serving at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, and again in 1977 at Loyola Academy in Illinois. He died in 1987.

The Rev. Thomas M. Gannon, faced multiple allegations from 1961 to 1966 while he served at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. Gannon was also accused of sexually abusing children in Gary, Indiana and Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s. Gannon died in 2011.

The Rev. Gerald B. Garvey was accused of sexually abusing multiple children in the 1950s while serving at Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. Garvey died in 1960.

The Rev. Howard J. McDonough was accused of sexual abuse in 1973, while he was assigned to Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls. He was dismissed in 1975.

The Rev. Robert C. Broome was credibly accused of sexual abuse at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland in 1956. He died in 2000.

The Rev. Roy A. Drake, who served in the New York Province, was accused of committing sexual abuse at John Carroll University in University Heights in the 1980s. He died in 2008.

The Rev. Thomas J. Powers faced multiple accusations, including as recently as 2000. He was accused while at St. Ignatius High School in the 1970s, while he served at John Carroll University from 1973 to 1978, and in 1985 and 1986 while he served at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls. In 2000, Powers was credibly accused of sexual abuse while he served in Michigan. He was dismissed in 2001.

The Rev. Oscar Gumucio, of the Bolivia Province, was accused from 1970 to 1972 while he was a priest at St. Patrick’s Parish and Lincoln Junior High School in Cleveland. He was dismissed in 1975.

The Rev. Emmanuel Briffa, of the Malta Province, was accused of sexual abuse in 1957 while he visited friends in Canton. Briffa was dismissed in 1963.

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