Message Regarding Announcement from USA Northeast Jesuit Province

From: Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President
January 15, 2019

Dear Members of the Holy Cross Community,

This summer after the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clerical sexual abuse, I wrote to you with my thoughts about the abhorrent behavior described in the report, and others before it, and the lasting pain inflicted on so many children and their families through the abuse and subsequent cover-ups.  

Today the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus released the names and current status of Jesuits or former Jesuits in the Province with one or more credible allegations of abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult since 1950. In addition to the names, the report includes information about each person’s ministerial assignments, the extent and timing of his abuse and when the abuse was reported. The full list has been posted on the Province website along with answers to frequently asked questions

There are three men on the Province list who have been associated with Holy Cross:

Joseph Fox, S.J. Fox was at Holy Cross from 1971-1988. The reported abuse of a minor occurred in 1956-1957, and was reported in 2012. Fox died in 1988.

Joseph McInnes, S.J. McInnes was assigned to Holy Cross from 1936-1938. The reported abuse occurred in the 1960’s through the 1980’s and was reported in the 2000’s. McInnes died in 1986.

James Pratt, S.J. Pratt worked at Holy Cross from 1992-1995. The reported abuse of a minor occurred in 1983 and was reported in 2003, after which he was permanently removed from ministry.

The allegations of abuse against minors referenced in the Province’s release were all reported after the men had left Holy Cross, and involved incidents that took place elsewhere. The Province has stated that any living Jesuit with a credible allegation of abuse is removed from ministry and lives under a closely monitored safety plan under which they can no longer offend. All reports involving minors are reported to law enforcement.

I recognize the pain that the information on this list may cause. I know that many of you, like me, continue to feel shock, anger and grief as we learn of more instances of abuse of minors by trusted members of the clergy and the cover-ups which allowed this sinful behavior to continue. I want to remind those who may be in distress following this report to contact the Office of College Chaplains or the Counseling Center. The Chaplains’ Office will continue to offer opportunities for us to reflect on and engage the issue of clergy sexual abuse together on campus in the coming months.

We are committed to a respectful campus culture and to preventing and addressing all forms of abuse. We have robust policies and processes in place regarding sexual misconduct. If you would like to report an incident of sexual discrimination, harassment or assault, please contact Tracy Kennedy, Director of Title IX Initiatives, at 508-793-3336 or tkennedy@holycross.edu. If you or someone you know has been the victim of abuse by a Jesuit not at Holy Cross, please contact Kristin Austin, the Province’s Victim Assistance Coordinator, at 443-370-6357 or UNEadvocacy@jesuits.org.

I know that you join me in continuing to pray for those who have been victimized and their families.

Sincerely,

Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.
President