By Liz Sullivan
Across Santa Clara County, and stretching over three weeks, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath and the Diocese of San Jose hosted its final two listening sessions en route to a path to healing.
On October 12, Bishop McGrath, along with Coadjutor Bishop Oscar Cantú gathered with more than 80 people at Saint Martin of Tours Church.
Five days later, Bishop McGrath held the final session on October 17, at Santa Teresa Church. About 60 people attended this session.
“We realized how important it was to the victims for their peace of mind for transparency that they will see the whole list together, and if there are other people out there who have not come forward, now is the moment to do so.”
These sessions have sought input from the people in the pews on the path way to reform, listening to those who have been victimized by clerical sexual abuse either directly or in their families and praying for God’s grace to be our only guide.
On October 18, Bishop McGrath released the names of clergy with credible allegations of sexual abuse of children. This part of the Diocese’s commitment to transparency and accountability to assist in the process of reconciliation and healing for victims/survivors.
With the release of the list, the Bishop expressed his deepest apologies for the actions of those who were in positions of authority and who violated that sacred trust by abusing children. The Bishop also voiced his commitment to continue to improve upon the vigilance, training, and prevention efforts that have been in place since 2002.
The Bishop personally encouraged other victims/survivors to come forward. Anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse by anyone working on behalf of the Church is urged to contact civil authorities (police department or sheriff’s office) and then to contact the Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults at (408) 983-0113 or opcva.ethicspoint.com.
In early November, Dr. Kathleen McChesney, and her firm, Kinsale Management Consulting, will begin an in-depth independent review of all personnel records of priests regarding the sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults committed by any cleric appointed by the Diocesan Bishop to serve in the Diocese.
The Diocese expects to publish a full report by the end of the year.
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