SNAP to Oakland Bishop: More than 160 Abusers Spent Time in Your Diocese
Leaders from SNAP in the Bay Area have compiled data showing that at least 161 abusive clerics have worked and lived in the Diocese of Oakland. We are calling on Diocesan officials to update their current list and to be clearer with the Bay Area’s Catholic community about the exposure children and the vulnerable have had to these men.
SNAP’s list of accused clerics in Oakland has been compiled through careful study of abuse lists published by other dioceses and religious orders, as well as those names that have been made public through lawsuits, secular investigations, or the media. Our examination of these records has shown that the diaspora of abuse in Oakland is severe as “allegedly abusive priests came to Oakland or left it for Europe, the Philippines, Mexico, Canada, various places in Central America and most, if not all, of the fifty states of the US.” According to our list, anywhere from 23 to 49 priests associated with the Diocese of Oakland have been accused of sex crimes In any given year.
Transparency and community awareness are key tools to prevent future cases of sexual abuse. Sanitizing lists and scrubbing names only puts children and the vulnerable at risk of abuse by someone who should be known to the public for their crimes, but who but has escaped listing due to arbitrary limitations. It does not matter where a priest was ordained or to what religious order he belongs – what matters is ensuring that parents and parishioners are aware of the true scope of the problem and are empowered to make decisions that will protect their loved ones from harm.
It is clear the problem of clergy sexual abuse is an ongoing one. By being more transparent with the public about the extent of abuse in their Diocese, Catholic officials in Oakland can be an ally in the fight to prevent future cases. Transparency from Diocesan officials is key and they can demonstrate their commitment to prevention by updating their list today.
CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP Treasurer ([email protected], 415-341-6417), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Zach Hiner, 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 SNAPnetwork.org)