Archbishop Cordileone Is Out of Bounds with COVID Criticisms

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco recently went public with criticisms on how the COVID-19 pandemic is being handled in California. We believe Archbishop Cordileone should focus less on how COVID is being handled by the state and more on how cases of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up are handled within his Archdiocese.

Archbishop Cordileone’s grievance comes from a desire to relax the current restrictions on public worship, we believe for the sake of donations. Yet entities related to the Archdiocese of San Francisco received upwards of $10 million in federal PPP loans that can be converted to grants, meaning that no repayment is necessary. Moreover, this demand comes after a certain powerful cleric in his Archdiocese defied secular orders and permitted a wedding that caused an outbreak.

In his op-ed, Archbishop Cordileone disparages “secular elites,” which we believe means anyone who does not agree with him. Is this because he resents governmental oversight and the expertise that it provides, and particularly the interference of law enforcement in exposing the cover-up of abuse in the Catholic Church? 

Secular experts and lawmakers say that exposing sexual predators is the best way to prevent children from rape and molestation. That is why California’s Megan’s Law database exists. Yet the Archbishop has refused the very basic step of publishing a list of those who have been accused of sexually abusing minors in the San Francisco Archdiocese. Although Archbishop Cordileone is one of the few hold outs among his brethren, he follows in the footsteps of all of his predecessors, who also refused to tell the public about these men. Reportedly, the Archdiocese may even have pressured a current VP candidate to suppress information when she became the San Francisco District Attorney.

SNAP believes upwards of 200 clerics associated with the SF Archdiocese have abused children. According to media reports, almost 40% of accused Catholic clerics are alive and therefore still potentially dangerous to children

We call on Archbishop Cordileone to focus on the safety of his parishioners first and publish his list of abusers. Until then, in our opinion, he lacks the moral authority to pass judgment on how the California government chooses to keep its citizens safe.

CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP Treasurer ([email protected], 415-341-6417), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP San Francisco/Bay Area Leader (925-708-6175, [email protected]), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])

(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

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