New Report Names More than 210 Priests Accused of Abuse in the Bay Area
A newly-released, independent report into sexual abuse in Bay Area dioceses is calling into question the veracity of the numbers previously released by California bishops themselves.
The recent release of names as compiled by Anderson & Associates is more than double the number previously acknowledged by the bishops of San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland. The report also shows how accused priests were moved from place to place with the apparent knowledge of officials from the three dioceses. Many never faced criminal charges because their bishops shielded them.
Disturbingly, records are incomplete as to where these potentially dangerous men lived and worked. For example, in the case of Stephen Kiesele of Oakland, his bishop writes that he "had arranged an assignment in another diocese," yet Kiesele's work history does not show the assignment to which he was shuffled. An accused priest under the jurisdiction of the San Jose bishop sits in jail today, having abused young girls at the age of 85 years old. The San Jose bishop "is infuriated" that he abused, but the bishop and his staff lost track of this priest, who was put back into ministry after being arrested and convicted of sex crimes. What other priests are out there who still are hidden to the public, but not to the bishops?
The fact is that while this report is illuminating and helpful, it still cannot reveal all of the bishop's secrets. However, an investigation by a District Attorney or the California Attorney General can.
Bishops typically blame shift when confronted with an accusation of a predator priest. In the case of an order priest, such as the Jesuit William Farrington, no bishop took responsibility for his abuse, even though he abused in the Bay Area. They say "he is a Jesuit, so he isn't our fault". But, he abused at a Catholic high school listed on a diocesan website. He abused San Jose kids.
Even the list from Anderson and Associates does not include deacons, nuns, lay teacher or other employees of Catholic schools, yet we know that children and vulnerable adults have been hurt by members of those groups, too. An independent investigation is the only way to get to the full truth, and we encourage Attorney General Xavier Beccera or the local DAs to launch an investigation today.
CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP California (firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-341-6417), Joey Piscitelli, SNAP California (email@example.com, 925-262-3699) Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175) Zach Hiner, Executive Director (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)