SNAP not only wants Fr. Gleeson removed and investigated.
The group also wants an explanation about why he was appointed to the board despite allegations against him, and it is seeking a settlement involving him and an investigation into the original accusation.
Ah, but the Jesuits have never conceded anything in the matter. Not in California, where the accuser and the three accused functioned at the time, and not in West Virginia. Indeed, the three were reassigned but not demoted, one of them to Seattle, where he became a university vice president.
So SNAP is barking up an impregnable, unclimbable tree, or so it seems. They cite Catholic rulings.
“In 2002, the U.S. Catholic church adopted a national clergy sexual misconduct policy . . . . It mandates openness in cases of alleged clergy misdeeds, and it requires that a priest who is credibly accused of sexual abuse be suspended while the case is investigated.
“After that policy was adopted, many bishops re-examined earlier allegations that had once been ignored, dismissed or deemed unsubstantiated. Dozens of Catholic clerics who had been accused but kept in ministry were suspended. That is what we want to see happen here with Gleeson.”
But if the accuser was told by his California provincial to whine no more, as he claims, what will the Maryland provincial — Wheeling Jesuit is in that province — say? Butt out, is my guess, or nothing at all.
The million-dollar suit in 1999, keep in mind, was about workplace harassment, not abuse of a minor. The three kept hitting on this scholastic (seminarian) until, his complaints ignored, he bailed out.
The appeals decision was very important, in that it permitted the law to enter the seminary, jumping over the wall, as it were. Once the decision was rendered, on Dec. 1, 1999, the suit was enabled. The settlement was made during 2000. By August of that year, Gleeson was back in Maryland, his home province, on a new assignment in charge of a retreat house.
As reported below, he is currently on sabbatical from a similar assignment in Wernersville, PA.