Fr. Benjamin Wren (Jesuits) – Archdiocese of New Orleans

| May 19, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Benjamin Wren

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Ordained: 1961

Left priesthood: 1996

Removed: N/A

Died: 2006

Assigned as follows:

  • Jesuit High School (Dallas, TX)
  • Jesuit High School (El Paso, TX)
  • Loyola University (New Orleans, LA)
  • Sophia University (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Loyola University (New Orleans, LA)
  • Community of John the Evangelist (New Orleans, LA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Benjamin Wren:

Father Benjamin Wren was a Jesuit priest who taught at Jesuit high schools in Dallas, El Paso and in New Orleans before spending 35 years as Asian History and Zen professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. He was affectionately called “Zen Ben Wren” on campus. He left the priesthood after 48 years to marry a former student in 1996, and died ten years later in July 2006.

According to media reports, in September 2016, he was accused in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting and raping the granddaughter of a co-worker on Loyola’s campus hundreds of times over a seven year period beginning in 1978, when the girl was 5 years old. His accuser said he told her that if she revealed their “special secret” to anyone it would be a “very bad sin, and that God would get her mother, father, and grandmother, and send them to Hell.”

According to the lawsuit, the abuse “began slowly, with light touching and caressing of Jane Doe by Father Wren,” but soon included the priest “forcing Jane Doe to perform oral sex on him.” By the time the girl turned 9 or 10 years old, the abuse involved “forcible sexual intercourse.” At the time, she suffered physical injuries, and at one point in her darkest hour, the victim “attempted suicide and was admitted for critical in-patient psychiatric care.”

The victim initially came forward to University administrators in late 2015. The Jesuits’ southern provincial apologized and offered payment for her treatment. Her lawsuit claimed the Jesuits’ lawyers tried to “extend and delay” her filing beyond the prescription period. In July 2018, Loyola and church officials settled the case for an undisclosed, but “significant” amount.

In November 2018, Father Wren’s name appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. One month later, in December, his name appeared on the Jesuits’ Central and Southern Province list of Jesuits credibly accused of child sex abuse.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  The Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for federal bankruptcy protection in April 2020.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss your legal options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the New Orleans Archdiocese.

Very strict filing deadlines will soon be set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, so please contact us to discuss your case today.  Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to [email protected].