Jeff Anderson & Associates of St.Paul compiled a 66-page report that lists 263 local priests who they have branded as sexual predators. The attorney of a California clergy abuse survivor accused three leaders in San Francisco Bay Are dioceses on Tuesday of engaging in an “institutional cover-up of an enormous magnitude”.
The lawfirm has sued all dioceses in California on behalf of a victim Tom Emens, who said he was repeatedly molested by a priest who died in 2002. Anderson also released a separate 120-page report on clerical sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that named more than 300 alleged clerical offenders.
He spoke at a news conference and state that new names had been removed from publicly available documents. The bishops also had connections or had known the names of other sexually abusive priests whom “they have not told the public about, that they have not told the public about.”
He said this list is just the tip of the iceberg and that “There is a culture of secrecy, and every single bishop in California has made a conscious choice to keep the names that they know to be criminals, who are sexual predators,”
“What happened to me should not happen to any child,” he said.
The report is billed as a “chronology and analysis of the rampant sexual abuse of children with the Bay Area including a discussion of how the highest Church officials enabled the abusers and covered up their crimes.”
“Perhaps most shocking among the discoveries is that some perpetrators were intentionally transferred and retained in trusted positions with direct access to children even when they were known to be abusers,” it says.
Mike Brown, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, cast doubt on the report, saying in an interview that “we cant tell how it was put together or from what sources or the criteria that were used.”
“These are very important points,” he said, adding that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has been “spending a lot of time out in parishes talking to people” and that “he’ll be making decisions very soon about how the archdiocese will publicly address this information.”
Helen Osman, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Oakland said they were reviewing its files and plans to release its own 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,” Osman said.