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San Jose Diocese lists 15 priests accused of abusing children

San Jose Diocese lists 15 priests accused of abusing children
Bishop Patrick J. McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose speaks at a news conference in December 2017 at Most Holy Trinity Church in San Jose. (Karl Mondon / Bay Area News Group)

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose on Thursday released the names of 15 priests accused of sexually abusing children, becoming the latest of several California dioceses to release such lists in recent weeks.

Of the 15 priests, nine are dead and the rest have been permanently banned from the ministry. Four of the men had been convicted of sex crimes. All worked in Santa Clara County.

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In a letter released with the list, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath called the sexual abuse of children “an appalling crime and a sin.”

“There can no longer be a culture of secrecy in the Church, but one of transparency and accountability,” McGrath wrote. “Our work will not be complete until all of those who have been harmed have received assistance in healing and until the evil of child sexual abuse has been eradicated from society.”

After a Pennsylvania grand jury this year detailed rampant sexual abuse committed by Catholic clergy there, some dioceses have moved toward greater transparency by releasing the names — in some cases for the first time — of priests accused of such crimes.

The San Diego Diocese updated its public list in mid-September. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange are reviewing their lists of credibly accused priests — which were last updated in 2008 and 2016, respectively — to see whether any names should be added. The San Bernardino Diocese released the names of 34 priests on Oct. 8.

The list released by the San Jose Diocese did not describe the cases in detail. The reported allegations occurred from 1961 through the early 2000s.

The men on the list are those who have admitted to the offense, been criminally convicted or who have been deemed credibly accused by a diocese review board.

More names could later be added to the list, according to the diocese.

In November, Kathleen McChesney, a former FBI executive assistant director, will head an independent team that will audit priest personnel files, McGrath said in his letter.

“Should additional allegations surface during the investigation, those names will be added to to the list that I am providing today,” he said.

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