Jesuits confirm former Mercy Cross priest accused of sexual abuse

Jesuits confirm former Mercy Cross priest accused of sexual abuse
Francis M. Landwermeyer, who died in September of this year, was once assigned as a priest at Mercy Cross High.

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The name of a priest once assigned to Mercy Cross High School has appeared on a list of credible claims of sexual abuse. The list was released Friday by the Jesuit Church.

Francis M. Landwermeyer, who died in September of this year, was principal at Mercy Cross High in Biloxi during the school’s first year. Mercy Cross High opened in 1982. The Jesuit list says he is connected to more than one allegation of sexual abuse involving a child. The abuse reportedly happened in the 60s and 70s.

According to the list released by the Jesuit Church, the sexual abuse by Francis Landwermeyer reportedly happened in the 60s and 70s.
According to the list released by the Jesuit Church, the sexual abuse by Francis Landwermeyer reportedly happened in the 60s and 70s. (Photo source: Mission Parks Funeral Home)

Mercy Cross didn’t open until 1982, so the credible claims happened before his Biloxi assignment. Landwermeyer was also assigned at several other high schools, including ones in New Orleans, Tampa, San Antonio and Dallas. Landwermeyer was removed from ministry in 2010.

WLOX is just receiving this information and are in the process of reaching out to learn more about Landwermeyer, including the years he was assigned to Mercy Cross High School.

The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province released the list of "credible accusations of sexual abuse of a minor," naming 42 Jesuit priests in the abuse allegations. The report says the men on the list fall into one of three categories:

  • Jesuits from this province against whom one or more credible claims of sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult have been made; 
  • Jesuits from other provinces against whom there are credible claims resulting from their work while assigned to this province; 
  • Jesuits of this province whose names have been published on diocesan websites or the websites of other Jesuit provinces.

The report is made up of men who were accused of sexual abuse in the Jesuit Church, not necessarily convicted on any criminal charges or found liable in any civil claims. To read the list in full, click HERE.

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