GOD OR GOAT is one of the many child porn titles that Jesuit priest Gary Uhlenkott, S.J. at Gonzaga University allegedly purchased—discovered this week as a part of a federal sting operation on the Spokane campus and at the priest’s home.
For the dozen advocates and attorneys who battled for nearly a decade to combat the child abusers in the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, this news from Spokane is sickening, but not surprising.
Why? After five years of investigating 45 Jesuit child molesters in the Diocese of Fairbanks, I was shocked at the indifference and lack of action amongst the hierarchy. We discovered in case after case that the Father General, his American assistants in the Roman Jesuit curia, the Jesuit Conference in Washington D.C., the Provincials in Portland, the Socius in Portland, the Presidents at Gonzaga, and the Presidents at Seattle University all knew they had dozens of child molesters in the Province and chose to remain silent.
The lesson from Father Gary Uhlenkott S.J. and Gonzaga is that the crimes against children and the culture of Jesuitical indifference continue in the Society of Jesus. Despite uncovering that President Father John P. Leary, S.J. of Gonzaga was removed in 1969 for child abuse, the Oregon Province filed for bankruptcy protection 2009 to protect itself from hundreds of child abuse victims. Despite being certified by Praesidium, NOTHING has changed in the Society of Jesus.
Where is Father Gary now? Logical guesses are Southdown, Saint John Vianney Institute or Saint Luke Institute for evaluation. All are Roman Catholic-owned and operated facilities that believe they do not have an obligation to report childhood sexual abuse to authorities.
As I look back, maybe former Oregon Provincial Reverend John Whitney, SJ was brutally honest ten years ago when referring to Fr. James Poole, SJ. He said, “We do not push anyone off the boat.” Maybe a goat would be effective.