Jesuits settle abuse claim against late Sacramento priest

Sacramento Bee/June 5, 2009

The Jesuit religious order has paid $100,000 to a man who claimed he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest at St. Ignatius Church in Sacramento more than 50 years ago.

Will Green, 61, said he was raped repeatedly by the Rev. Arthur Falvey over a period of four years, starting in 1954 when Green was 7 years old.

Falvey died in 1966.

"I had polio, and I turned to the priest for help, and this happened," said Green, who now lives in San Diego.

Falvey served at the Arden Way church from 1955 to 1961 and at Jesuit High School from 1964-1965, according to the Rev. John P. McGarry of the Jesuits of the California Province in Los Gatos.

The Catholic Diocese of Sacramento was not involved in the settlement, according to spokesman Kevin Eckery.

"We decided to settle out of a desire for closure on his part," McGarry said. "And because the allegations involved a Jesuit who has been deceased so long that we could not make any determination."

The priest was the brother of Mark Falvey, a Jesuit priest who served in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and was accused of abusing 10 children over 16 years, beginning in 1959. Mark Falvey died in 1975.

The Jesuits reached a $14 million settlement in 2007 with nine men and women who allege they were abused by the Southern California priest.

Green's allegation is the only one against Arthur Falvey, according to McGarry.

Green praised church leaders who helped him deal with the abuse.

"I had left the church," Green said. "But the Jesuits helped me get therapy. They saved my life."

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