A member of Boston College's Board of Trustees resigned this week after coming under fire for allegedly shielding a Jesuit priest accused of molesting children over several decades.

 

The Rev. Brad Schaeffer handed in a letter terminating his role on the board Thursday.

 

Schaeffer is accused of ignoring allegations that now-convicted Rev. Donald McGuire molested children in Chicago in the 1990s.

 

Terence McKiernan, founder and co-director of Bishop Accountability.org, an advocacy group that documents abuse cases within the Catholic Church, was pleased to hear Schaeffer stepped down.

"The Jesuits have certainly known about his past and it's astonishing to us that he was ever admitted to the board," said McKiernan.

 

McKiernan learned about the resignation minutes before the group planned to march on BC President Rev. William Leahy's house and demand Schaeffer's removal.

 

Schaeffer's conduct came to McKiernan's attention after a Boston Globe article on Sunday supplied documentation indicating Schaeffer's role in covering up the abuse.

On Wednesday, members of the Boston College American Association of University Professors also called for Schaeffer's resignation during a faculty forum with President Leahy.

A spokesman for the university said Schaeffer's letter was accepted and his association with BC has ended.

"His appointment to the BC board came eight years prior to revelations of alleged sexual abuse at the hands of [McGuire]," said Jack Dunn of BC's public affairs office.

Dunn said Schaeffer's role on the board was scheduled to end this June.

Sophomore Christopher Caniff said he was "happy" to hear Schaeffer was no longer representing the school.

"People who make egregious decisions like enabling an abuser have no right to be leading the faithful."