December 19, 2018
Hundreds of CA Catholic Clergy Accused of Sexual Abuse: Full List
ProPublica has compiled a list of "credibly accused" Catholic clergy from around the country, including hundreds in California.
Feb 4, 2020 11:07 am PT | Updated Feb 4, 2020 11:34 am PT
ProPublica has released the most comprehensive list to date of Catholic clergy “credibly accused” of sexual abuse. (Shutterstock)
CALIFORNIA — The investigative news site ProPublica, a Patch Partner, has compiled the most comprehensive list so far of Catholic clergy "credibly accused" of sexual abuse. The list includes hundreds of alleged abusers from California.
A total of 10 dioceses in California have released lists, with a combined total of 757 names of clergy accused of abuse. ProPublica published the full list of dioceses, each of which includes the names of the alleged abusers.
The accused clergy worked for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the dioceses of San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Stockton, Monterey and Santa Rosa. (Some clergy who worked for multiple dioceses may be listed more than once.)
Meanwhile, several California dioceses have failed to release lists of their own credibly accused clergy, including the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Diocese of Fresno.
Along with the list, ProPublica outlines the challenges of identifying offenders long after such widespread abuse became known.
Over the last year and a half, the majority of U.S. dioceses, as well as nearly two dozen religious orders, have released lists of abusers currently or formerly in their ranks.
The revelations were no coincidence: They were spurred by a 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report, which named hundreds of priests as part of a statewide clergy abuse investigation.
Nationwide, the names of more than 5,800 clergy members have been released so far, representing the most comprehensive step toward transparency yet by a Catholic Church dogged by its long history of denying and burying abuse by priests.
But even as bishops have dedicated these lists to abuse victims and depicted the disclosures as a public acknowledgement of victims' suffering, it has become clear that numerous alleged abusers have been omitted and that there is no standard for determining who each diocese considers credibly accused.
ProPublica has collected the 178 lists released by U.S. dioceses and religious orders as of Jan. 20 and created a searchable database that allows users to look up clergy members by name, diocese or parish. This represents the first comprehensive picture of the information released publicly by bishops around the country. Some names appear multiple times. In many cases, that accounts for priests who were accused in more than one location. In other instances, dioceses have acknowledged when priests who served in their jurisdiction have been reported for abuse elsewhere.
Kathleen McChesney, a former FBI official who helped establish a new set of child protection protocols within the USCCB [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops] in the early 2000s, has urged bishops and religious orders for nearly two decades to create a comprehensive list of accused clergy. She said our database will allow the public to better track dioceses' disclosures, rather than seeing each list in isolation.
"People don't know where to look," McChesney said. "The contribution of the one list will help a lot of people to perhaps identify someone that they believe abused them."
Still, much crucial information remains missing. Despite the recent surge of releases, 41 dioceses and dozens more religious orders have yet to publish lists, including five of seven dioceses in Florida, home to more than 2 million Catholics.
California dioceses that released lists:
- Archdiocese of Los Angeles(352 names released)
- Diocese of San Bernardino(38 names released)
- Diocese of Orange(18 names released)
- Diocese of San Diego(53 names released)
- Diocese of Sacramento(63 names released)
- Diocese of San Jose(86 names released)
- Diocese of Oakland(64 names released)
- Diocese of Stockton(14 names released)
- Diocese of Monterey(30 names released)
- Diocese of Santa Rosa(39 names released)
California dioceses that have not released lists:
- Archdiocese of San Francisco
- Diocese of Fresno
- Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle
- Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in the USA & Canada
W. O. Belfield, Jr.