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More than 200 named in list of clergy accused of sexual abuse in Bay Area

In an effort to pressure Bay Area dioceses for more information about accused clerics, a California law firm...

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 4:39 AM
Updated: Oct 25, 2018 4:39 AM

In an effort to pressure Bay Area dioceses for more information about accused clerics, a California law firm representing survivors of sexual abuse on Tuesday released its own list of more than 200 clergy members accused of misconduct.

The list from Jeff Anderson & Associates is part of a report that accuses the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the dioceses of Oakland and San Jose of covering up allegations and enabling serial abusers.

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The names and allegations have already been made public through several sources, including the Bay Area dioceses' own public statements and groups devoted to exposing clergy misconduct, such as bishopaccountability.org.

The 65-page report includes the names and assignments of 212 clergy members, including 51 who appeared on more than one diocese list, Anderson & Associates attorney Mike Reck said.

"It is believed that the Bay Area dioceses do not make available to the public the full history, knowledge and context of the sexually abusive clerics. This report is an attempt to compile information already available to the public from various sources in the public media," the report said.

The report comes less than a week after the Diocese of San Jose released a list of 15 former priests accused of sexual abuse. The report lists 33 names under the San Jose Diocese, 95 under the Oakland Diocese, and 135 under San Francisco.

The San Jose Diocese said on Wednesday most of the discrepancies it identified were priests who were in Santa Clara County on assignments from religious orders or dioceses other than the bishop of San Jose or the Archbishop of San Francisco.

"As such, the Diocese of San Jose has no personnel files for those men. Their religious orders or dioceses would have handled any report and investigation of the allegations against them and placed restrictions on their ministry if the allegations were found to be credible," the Diocese of San Jose said in a statement.

"The Diocese of San Jose remains resolute in our commitment to provide healing and reconciliation for the victims/survivors. This will allow us to continue the process of restoring trust that has been painfully eroded by those in positions of leadership and by being accountable and transparent for what has happened in the past in the Diocese of San Jose.

The Diocese of Oakland announced on October 8 that it is reviewing its files and intends to release a list of credibly accused clergy after Thanksgiving.

"We are not going to divert our resources from this work to respond to Mr. Anderson's list," spokeswoman Helen Osman said.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco intends to review the report and the criteria used to include names in it, spokesman Mike Brown said.

"In the meantime, our archbishop is continuing to meet with people and parishioners to hear what their concerns are about the overall crisis. When that's finished we have a course of action."

Anderson and Associates investigator Pat Wall accused Bay Area dioceses of providing incomplete information about accused clergy, including their current whereabouts, leaving individuals and groups to scrape the internet for missing details.

"This is a secret that has been sitting in front of us in open sources for decades, that's what drives me personally nuts," said Wall, who left the priesthood. "From a risk analysis standpoint we cannot tell you where they are at ... we can't tell you if they are teachers or live next to a school or married into a family with a whole group of kids."

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