Another Diocese of Sacramento cleric removed for “inappropriate conduct” with an adult; SNAP wants his name included on the Diocesan list of accused clergy
(For Immediate Release April 7, 2022)
On April 4th, the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento once again quietly announced on its website the removal of a cleric for “inappropriate conduct.” Bishop Jaime Soto said that Deacon James Burkett was found to have “violated diocesan policy regarding clergy conduct” with an adult woman. The Deacon no longer has an assignment nor does he have faculties in the Diocese.
We applaud the Diocese for removing Deacon Burkett, for posting this information on their website, and for alerting parishioners at Our Divine Savior parish in Chico where Deacon Burkett was assigned. However, we notice that the Deacon’s name does not appear on Sacramento’s list of accused clerics. We believe that Deacon Burkett, along with Fr. Renerio Sabuga, Jr. (Fr. Jong), Fr. Percy Singco, and any other cleric who sexually abused adults over the age of 25 should be added to the Diocesan list.
Sacramento area SNAP Leader and survivor Dorothy Small observed, “My abuser, Fr. Sabuga returned to ministry in his country. It isn’t an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with an adult but the abuse of spiritual power and authority where there isn’t equal power.”
Dorothy continued, “The Vatican took a position to criminalize the abuse of adults, but the names of those ‘credibly accused’ of abusing men and women over age 25 still haven’t made it to Bishop Soto’s list.”
We again recommend that the Bishop include those clerics who abuse older adults to his list of accused. We believe that any prelate who truly wants to help survivors heal and to protect all of his spiritual children would do nothing less.
Deacon Burkett brings the number of accused clerics on SNAP’s List for the Diocese of Sacramento to 103, although only 65 of those names are on the Diocesan List. Among the missing names are some, like Deacon Burkett, Fr. Sabuga, and Fr. Singco, whom the Diocese acknowledges as “credibly accused.”
CONTACT: Dorothy Small, SNAP Sacramento Area Leader, ([email protected], 530-908-3676 ), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)