The Diocese of San Bernardino, California, has released a list of 34 priests facing credible accusations of child sexual abuse in incidents going back to the 1960s.
The diocese released the list of “credibly accused priests” Monday in response to a grand jury report in Pennsylvania in August revealing more than 1,000 child victims of sexual abuse, Director John Andrews said. Of the 34 names, 29 were already in the public domain, a diocese statement said.
The status of the 34 accused priests is as follows:
• Fourteen are dead.
• Five were removed from the priesthood
• Fourteen were permanently banned from the diocese.
• One left the diocese 25 years ago, and his whereabouts are unknown.
Before 1978, the diocese was part of the San Diego Diocese, which published a similar list in 2007 and updated it last month in the wake of the Pennsylvania report. The list released Monday includes incidents from the 1960s to 2014 allegedly committed by priests who have served in San Bernardino since 1978.
Of the 34 priests, 18 were reported to police after the diocese became aware of the allegations, according to the list. Most of those cases were dated 1992 or later.
In some instances, priests were suspended or removed from the ministry. In others, the priest was deceased.
Two of the 14 priests who were permanently banned were sentenced by the Vatican to prayers and penance. Another returned to his home diocese in Argentina.
The list was drawn from diocesan records and files documenting reports of abuse made to diocesan personnel. The San Bernardino Diocese relied on police or legal documents, the priests’ admissions and facts uncovered by diocesan personnel to determine credibility, according to its statement.
“When we read this list we are pained to think of the many lives that were impacted by the sinful and unlawful acts of those priests who committed them,” Bishop Gerald Barnes said in a letter posted on the diocese’s website.
The diocese, which includes 1.6 million parishioners, is asking anyone who may have been abused by someone on the list to come forward. Individual parishes are expected to hold town hall meetings to address the issue, Andrews said.
“I again offer my sincere apologies and my deepest regrets to those who were victimized by the men on this list, and to all of the faithful of our Diocese who have been scandalized by this shameful chapter in our Church’s history,” Barnes said in his letter.
The Oakland, California, Diocese also announced this week it would be releasing a similar list later this fall. In a letter released Sunday in the diocese’s online publication, Bishop Michael C Barber said, “This is the latest step in the ongoing commitment of the Diocese of Oakland to stop the scourge of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. This public accountability will allow you and others in our community to see we are keeping our promises. We have nothing to hide. It is the right thing to do.”