Jesuits list of abusive priests include six that served in Guelph

FILE - The facade of St. Michael Archangel Catholic Church is illuminated at night on April 11, 2019. The church, which has been grappling for decades with the sexual abuse of children, is now being forced to reckon with the recognition that adults too can be sexually exploited by clergy. AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File

Six of 27 Jesuit priests in Canada accused of sexually abusing minors have at one time served in Guelph, Ont.

The Jesuits of Canada have released a list of priests and brothers they say were ‘credibly’ accused of sexually abusing minors over the past 70 years.

The release of the names comes after an audit that began in 2020 by independent investigator Brian King.

Of the six who served in Guelph, five are deceased: George Epoch, George Topp, Lorne Trainor, William Savoie and William Westaway.

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The only one still living is Francis Whelan, 93. He is currently on a restricted ministry safety plan.

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Two others on the list are also said to still be alive.

The order says in a statement that the release of the names is part of the Jesuits’ effort to promote transparency, accountability, justice and healing for survivors of abuse.

In most cases, the abuse came to light after the alleged abuser had died, with some cases never reaching criminal or civil litigation.

In a statement, Rev. Erik Oland says while an exhaustive file review has been done, it is still possible that other names may surface.

He says the list must be considered a living document, which may be added to or modified in the future as additional information is presented.

– with files from The Canadian Press


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