Recent Addition to the Diocese of Santa Rosa List Points to Need for Catholic Bishops to Do More

Another abusive priest has been recently added to the list of names for the Diocese of Santa Rosa. The name was apparently added after a reporter from another state pointed out that the cleric, who also worked in California, had been included on another list.

On January 31, 2019, Fr. Jose Luis Contreras was named on the list of abusive priests released by the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The Diocese of Santa Rosa had released their list prior to their Texas counterparts, but did not include Fr. Contreras. According to Bishop Robert Vasa, there were no allegations against the cleric in his diocese.

While it can never be too late to expose a perpetrator, it can also never be too soon. Ideally, Fr. Contreras should have been added to the Santa Rosa list as soon as he was identified by San Antonio. It should not be incumbent on reporters or groups like ours to inform a bishop when one of his own is included on another list.

Catholic bishops should either be sending their lists to their brother bishops, or notifying them when a priest who also worked in another diocese is included among their names. We call on the USCCB to take immediate action to address this gap, in the interest of complete transparency. To do anything less is to continue to cover up the transfer of abusive clerics from one diocese to another.

We also urge the bishops’ conference to demand that every diocese release a complete list of their accused – clergy, brothers, nuns, seminarians and lay employees and volunteers -- along with photos, work histories, allegation history, and actions taken by their supervisors.

It is way past time for the Catholic bishops in this country to provide full information on the extent of abuse in their community to their parishioners and to the public.

CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP Board Member (dmcnevin@aol.com, 415-341-6417), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator, (msakoda@snapnetwork.org, 925-708-6175), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 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)


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