William Spine

Photograph taken from https://www.bishop-accountability.org/accused/spine-william-j-1973/
NameWilliam SpineJesuit
Date of Birth1/2/1940 
Date of Ordination1973 
Association with LUC1973-1975 
Position at LUCJesuit School of Theology – exact position unclear 
Date of incident, Location of Incident1975-1976Lexington, KY
 1975-1981Tacna, Peru
 1979-1982Our Lady of Mercy Rectory, Bronx, NY; St. Ignatius Perish, Brooklyn, NY
Number of victims/accusationsAt least 4 victims 
Case statusAccused 
 Removed from public ministry2006
Status of IndividualUnknown 

William Spine was a newly ordained priest when he joined Loyola University Chicago in 1974. He had become a Jesuit in 1960 and received his ordination to priesthood in 1973. A year later he came to Loyola University Chicago’s Jesuit school of Theology, however the records do not indicate in what capacity, whether as a faculty member or as a graduate student. After two years in Chicago Spine was sent to Peru, where he served for several years during the 1970s until 1982. During his time in South America, Spine allegedly abused a minor student of his repeatedly over the course of several years.[1] The Midwest Province’s list of Jesuits with established allegations of sexual abuse of a minor list two further incidents with Spine’s entry: one between 1975 and 1976, which took place at the diocese of Lexington, Kentucky—and overlapping with his time in Peru—and another incident after his assignment to parishes in Brooklyn, New York between 1979 and 1982.[2] After serving for a few years in New York, Spine returned to Illinois in 1986, serving at several churches in the Chicagoland area. After spending a year at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, California, Spine again returned to Chicago in 1991, where he became involved with the Hispanic House at Loyola University Chicago before being assigned to the diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. The diocese of Lexington also added Fr. Spine to their respective list of clerical sexual abusers, but added that he was not assigned to the diocese at the time of the alleged incidents but only began to serve there in 2001.[3] Spine was accused of child sexual abuse in 2005. The Jesuit’s Chicago province took several months after finding out about the allegations to remove Spine from active ministry. At the time Spine was running the Hispanic ministry in Lexington. He was assigned to the Chicago provincial office before he was sent to serve in Rome in 2007.[4]

[1] “Rev. William J. Spine, s.j.- Assignment Record,” accessed March 8, 2022, https://www.bishop-accountability.org/assign/Spine_William_J_sj.htm#shorthand.

[2] The Society of Jesus – USA Midwest Province, “USA Midwest Province Jesuits with an Established Allegation of Sexual Abuse of a Minor,” 10.

[3] Allison Connelly, Andrew Sparks, “PART I: INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF DIOCESE OF              LEXINGTON REGARDING THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE BY CATHOLIC CLERGY AUGUST 14, 2020” (Diocese of Lexington, August 14, 2020), 12, Bishop Accountability, https://www.bishop-accountability.org/diocesan_lists/Lexington/2020_08_17_Lexington_Report_Update.pdf.

[4] Jeff Anderson & Associates PA, “The Anderson Report – Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese and Dioceses in Illinois,” 89.