Assignment Record – Rev. William J. "Bill" Spine, s.j.

Summary of Case: A Chicago Province Jesuit ordained in 1973, Fr. Bill Spine worked in Peru, Brooklyn NY, Moline IL, Chicago IL, and Lexington KY. He was a teacher, parish assistant and pastor, and associate director of a diocesan hispanic ministry office. Spine was removed from active ministry in February 2006, several months after the Jesuits received what they called a credible allegation that the priest sexually abused a teenage boy while assigned to Peru in the mid-1970s. The boy was Spine's student. The Official Catholic Directory shows that Spine was living in Rome from 2007 to at least 2010.

Ordained: 1973


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes


Chicago archbishop was John Patrick Cody (1965-1982).

1975 Jesuit School of Theology of Loyola University Chicago IL  
1975 1981  


Spine was "credibly" accused in the 2005 of sexually abusing a teenage boy in Peru in the mid-1970s. The boy was Spine's student.

Peru teacher  


Brooklyn bishop was Francis John Mugavero (1968-1990).

1983 St. Ignatius Brooklyn NY 3/5, 2/4  


Peoria bishop was Edwin William O'Rourke (1971-1990).

1986 St. Mary's Moline IL 3/4, 2/2 St. Mary's had a school with 187 students.


Chicago archbishop was Joseph Louis Bernardin (1982-1996).

1989 Holy Family Chicago IL 1/6, 1/5, 1/3 Holy Family had a school with 232-268 students.
1989 1990 Clark St. Jesuit Residence Chicago IL    


Oakland bishop was John Stephen Cummins (1977-2003).

1991 Jesuit School of Theology Berkeley CA    


Bernardin was succeeded by Francis Eugene George, o.m.i. (1997-).

2001 Jesuit Community at Loyola University of Chicago Chicago IL Spine was involved with Loyola University's Hispanic House.  


Lexington bishop was James Kendrick Williams (1988-2002), followed by Ronald William Gainer (2002-2014).

2004 St. Paul's Lexington KY 2/3  
2001 2006 Hispanic Ministry Lexington KY associate director Spine was removed from active ministry in February 2006 due to a "credible" allegation that he
sexually abused a teenage boy in Peru in the mid-1970s. The Jesuits learned of the allegation several months previously but kept Spine in ministry during their investigation.
2006 2007 Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus - Provincial Office Chicago IL   Spine is indexed in the 2007 Directory as at the Provincial Office, but he is not listed there in the Chicago archdiocese pages.
2007 2010   Rome Italy   Spine is not indexed beyond the 2010 Directory.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1974-2010)

Joliet Priest Accused of Abuse Put on Leave, By Cathleen Falsani, Chicago Sun-Times, February 8, 2006
Lexington Priest Is Removed from Ministry, Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Stem from Work in Peru Years Ago, By Frank E. Lockwood, Herald-Leader , February 8, 2006
Lexington Priest Removed After Allegations of Misconduct, WKYT, February 8, 2006
New Priest Abuse Allegations Emerge, Joliet Priest Removed from Parish, By Ben Bradley, WLS-TV/ABC7 (Chicago), February 7, 2006

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Spine's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on April 21, 2014.