Statement of President & Editor in Chief of America Media Regarding John T. Ryan, S.J.
January 15, 2019
New York, NY — On January 15, 2019, the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus released a list of all Jesuits in that ecclesiastical jurisdiction, living and deceased, as well as any former Jesuits of the Northeast Province, who have been the subject of one or more credible allegations of abuse of a minor. The list includes all such allegations received by the Northeast Province since 1950.
As of today, every Jesuit province in the United States has released such a list. The public disclosure of this information is a necessary step toward justice and reconciliation for the victims and survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy.
In light of this public disclosure, it is my sad duty to report to you the following: On Jan. 9, 2019 Northeast Province officials contacted me in my capacity as president of America Media. I learned then for the first time that the list released today would include the name of John T. Ryan, S.J., who was an employee of America Media (then America Press) from 1989 to 1994. During those years, Father Ryan was listed on the masthead of America magazine as “Associate Editor for Development.”
Father Ryan is the only Jesuit on any of the provincial lists of credibly accused Jesuits who was an employee of America Media.
Also on Jan. 9, I was informed by Northeast Province officials that Father Ryan was dismissed from the Society of Jesus in 2002 and that, according to their records, the allegations against Father Ryan were received by the Northeast Province in 2003 and 2014.
In light of the grave nature of this matter, I asked the current staff of America Media to review our files and to report to me any information regarding Father Ryan. I also spoke with the few members of our staff who might have known Father Ryan during his five years at America Media, some 25 years ago. I can report to you that I have received no information that indicates that any member of the America Media staff, then or now, had any knowledge of Father Ryan’s alleged misconduct with minors.
This is the extent of the information in my possession regarding Father Ryan.
From 1962 to 2017, America Media owned a building located at 106 West 56th Street in New York City. The building housed the editorial and business offices of America Media, as well as a community of Jesuits. The community included both Jesuits who were employed by America Media and other Jesuits who were not employees of America Media. Starting in 1984, the Jesuit community at 106 West 56th Street, its membership and activities, were the exclusive responsibility of the religious superior of the New York Province (now part of the Northeast Province) and were not under the direction of the editors and staff of America Media. Province officials have requested that all questions unrelated to the employment history of the men on these lists be directed to their respective province office.
Links to all of the lists of credibly accused Jesuits that have been released by the Society of Jesus in the United States are provided below. Contact information is available at each link.
At this time, the editors and staff of America Media are most mindful of the victims and survivors of these crimes. We continue to pray for them and for the healing of the American church. You can access America’s ongoing coverage of this story here.
Rev. Matthew F. Malone, S.J.
President & Editor in Chief
Lists of Credibly Accused Jesuits Released by Jesuit Provinces