Benedictine order admits keeping cleric at Marmion Academy for years after child sex abuse accusations

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The Catholic religious order that runs Marmion Academy in Aurora is acknowledging for the first time that one of its members had “established allegations” of child sex abuse in the 1970s and remained at the school for years.

During that time, Brother Jerome Skaja was accused of more sexual misconduct involving minors.

The Benedictines long hid the fact that Skaja, who died in 2016, had been accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a Marmion student in the 1980s, as the Chicago Sun-Times reported in October — and also that they reached a secret financial settlement with the accuser when he threatened to sue when he turned 18.

In December, the Rev. John Brahill, a Marmion leader, said the order planned to post its first public list of “established offenders,” as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has done and as many other Catholic religious orders have. Now, the order has done that. Its list includes two people: Skaja and the Rev. Augustine Jones, a twice-convicted sex offender who died in 2007.

Skaja — who oversaw intramurals and was involved in fundraising for the school — had “multiple” incidents in which he was accused of molesting minors in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the new list, which says the accusations have been deemed to be “true.”

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1 comment

  1. Shameful. This type of grossly negligent behavior has perpetuated clergy abuse and led to and the escalation of sexual abuse of minor children.

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