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New York schools reassure parents after the publication of a list of 50 Jesuits priests accused of abuse

Many Jesuits priests accused of sexual abuse worked in NYC high schools according to a list released earlier this month by the Jesuits.  Xavier, Regis, Brooklyn Prep and Fordham Prep  which are among New York’s best catholic schools, all appeared to have hired priests who were identified by the Society of Jesus as having a history of sexual abuse found to be “more likely true than not after investigation.”

Alleged sexual predator was still teaching at Masters School

The allegations are from decades ago and 35 priests mentioned on the list have now passed away.  Others have been removed from ministry or restricted from serving in public roles. Most of them have not been teaching for years. However one of them was still teaching at Masters Schools, a prestigious private school with no religious affiliation located in Dobbs Ferry, Westchester,  just North of New York City.  Up until a few days ago Robert Cornigans lived on campus and was an English teacher there.  Cornigans who left the Jesuits in 1981 was hired by the school in 2004 despite allegations that came out in 2003 that he had abused a child in 1976. After the list was published he was immediately forced to resign and to leave his campus residence. The school sent a letter to the parents and the community to apologize and informed them that they would hire an outside firm to investigate the case.

Other schools whose names were on the list also rushed to reassure the parents that suspected abusers were not employed by them anymore. Regis, Fordham Prep in New York and St. Peter’s Prep in New Jersey all sent communications and issued statements to dispel any notion that they still employed suspected abusers. Fordham Prep officials also indicated that stricter policies were now in place and that accused priests were not living in a nearby nursing home anymore.  According to advocacy groups, two priests named on the list were living at Murray-Weigel Hall, a nursing home for retired Jesuits located near the campus.

Read more in the New York Times