Jacas submitted a report documenting her concerns to the Society, and contacted Fr. Gerald Beck, assistant to the U.S. district superior for the SSPX. She said she met with Fr. Beck in April 2018.
She says she was told during that meeting that Duverger was already under some restrictions due to another situation of "imprudence" with a woman, and that an investigation of him would be likely. According to Jacas, Beck told her that he would talk about her case with two other priests in the SSPX.
After she waited for weeks to hear from Beck, Jacas said she contacted him again; he reportedly reassured her that he took her claims seriously, and that Duverger "had little contact with the faithful" and was in poor health.
Nevertheless, Jacas said she learned in November 2019 that Duverger was serving as principal of St. Thomas More Academy in Sanford, Florida. She also knew that he had led a Christ the King procession at St. Mary's in Kansas.
Jacas eventually met with U.S. district superior Fr. Jürgen Wegner in December, and presented her concerns about Fr. Duverger. She said she was told that no investigation of Duverger had been conducted, only that the priest had been giving "apostolic restrictions" - prohibited from hearing the confessions of women or giving them spiritual direction. Fr. Wegner told her he would travel to Florida to see for himself if anything else could be done at the school to protect children.
After that meeting, Jacas saw a flyer at the SSPX chapel in St. Mary's, advertising a pilgrimage in France led by Fr. Duverger. "It hit me then that the restrictions were not as severe as Fr Wegner led me to believe," she told CNA. Jacas took a picture of the flyer and sent it to Fr. Wegner.
She said she also saw pictures on Facebook of Duverger at camps for children. She contacted friends in Florida who told her that Fr. Duverger worked with an all-female faculty at a school and had contact with children, playing with them at recess, going for walks with them, and hosting them in his office.
In January 2020, Jacas sent Fr. Davide Pagliarani, superior general of the SSPX, her email exchanges with the SSPX priests and told him that no investigation had been conducted of Fr. Duverger. She said she was told by his secretary in response that "he [Pagliarani] measures your sorrow, however, the decision is still Fr. Wegner's."
Jacas said that, meanwhile, Fr. Wegner told her he did not have power to remove Duverger from his position. She said she would go public with her story.
On Jan. 19, she posted her story on Facebook. Jacas said that communications staff for the SSPX contacted her family before she made the post, trying to reach her, expressing sympathy for her yet attempting to dissuade her from posting her story publicly.
After she posted her story, Jacas said she has heard from other alleged victims with "different situations, all over the states." She also learned of the KBI investigation into the SSPX, and she reached out to agents at the bureau. She said she was told a half dozen agents were part of the investigation in Kansas, as of May 1.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
On May 19, Durverger is still listed on SSPX websites as principal of St. Thomas More Academy.
Abuse allegations made against the SSPX were reported by the website Church Militant on April 22. Some accusations reported by the site had initially been reported by Fidelity Magazine in the 1990s, or in other publications.
The site said it had spoken with Fr. John Rizzo, FSSP--formerly an SSPX priest--as well as Theresa Gonzalez and Kyle White who claimed an immediate relation to victims of SSPX priests. The site also suggested that in addition to sexual abuse or misconduct, priests of the SSPX had caused harm to marriages or families through manipulative behavior.
On May 17, the Kansas City Star reported that the KBI was examining claims made by a number of other alleged victims of society priests. According to the newspaper, the SSPX was working with law enforcement officials to provide documentation requested in the investigation.
An April 28 communique of the SSPX U.S. district stated in response to the Church Militant report that the Society "is committed to transparency," and that "[j]ustice is dispensed impartially and according to the rules of law, not before a 'media court' that exclusively investigates charges and distils its information with the aim of dividing or destroying, and by multiplying false and malicious insinuations."
The Church Militant articles "mix and match real facts with false or unbelievable accusations, in an abhorrent manner," the SSPX stated, noting that it had put a "protection plan" in place for abuse victims.