Eight former Loyola priests named in Jesuit sex abuse list


Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Rose Wagner

Eight Jesuit priests who previously worked at Loyola were named in the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province’s list of 42 priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

The list, released on Dec. 7, included allegations of abuse by Loyola priests dating as far back as the 1950s and as recently as the 1980s.

University President Tania Tetlow sent a universitywide email statement in response to the list.

“Hopefully, today’s release of names will be yet another moment for those hurt by the scourge of sexual abuse to heal and for our community to begin to rebuild trust. Our hearts break for every person whose life has been impacted by abuse of any kind, no matter how long ago,” Tetlow said.

The oldest allegation against a priest with connections to Loyola was in reference to Elmo Rogero who was ordained as a Jesuit in 1944 and served at Jesuit High School before coming to Loyola and later returning to Jesuit High School. The single allegation of abuse was said to have occurred in the 1950s and Rogero was deceased when the allegation was raised.

J. Donald Pearce, former president of Jesuit High School and former employee of Loyola, was listed as having more than one allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against him. Pearce was ordained in 1959 and the allegations are estimated to date back to the 1960s. He was removed from ministry in 2003 due to poor health. That was the same year that the first allegation of abuse was brought against Pearce, although the Jesuits did not deem it credible, according to The Advocate.

The list also included two Loyola priests who the Archdiocese of New Orleans had identified as being taken out of ministry due to accusations of sexual abuse of minors in a list released in November. These priests, Bernard Knoth and Benjamin Wren, previously served as the university president and a Loyola professor respectively, and were both classified as having had one allegation of abuse against them, according to the list.

The other Loyola-related priests named in the list include:

Francis M. Landwermeyer

  • Ordained in 1966
  • Estimated time of accusations: 1960s, 1970s
  • More than one allegation of abuse
  • 13 different pastoral assignments during his priesthood
  • Removed from ministry in 2010
  • Left Society of Jesus and Priesthood in 2011

Claude L. Ory

  • Served as a Jesuit Brother
  • More than one allegation of abuse
  • Estimated time of accusations: 1970s
  • Removed from ministry in 2010
  • Member of Maryland Province and lives under supervision

Donald Dickerson

  • Ordained in 1980
  • More than one allegation of abuse
  • Estimated time of accusations: 1970s, 1980s
  • Removed from ministry in 1986
  • Loyola University New Orleans was his last assignment

Thomas J. Hidding

  • Ordained in 1986
  • One allegation of abuse
  • Estimated time of accusations: 1980s
  • Removed from ministry in 2002