San Jose Diocese Names 15 Priests Accused of Child Abuse

The Catholic diocese in San Jose has released the name of 15 former priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children. Of the named abusers, 10 are dead and the rest banned from the ministry.

“I express my deepest apologies for the actions of those who were in positions of authority and who violated that sacred trust by abusing children,” San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath said in a statement Thursday. “The sexual abuse of children and young people is an appalling crime and a sin. When these perpetrators are members of the clergy, there are not only psychological, but spiritual wounds.”

The six living priests are Phil Sunseri, Hernan Toro, Angel Mariano, Alexander Larkin, Robert Gray and Don Flickinger. Seven of the priests on the list— Sunseri, Toro, Thomas Bettencourt, Joseph Dondero, Laurent Largente, George Moss, Notel Senevirante—had never before been publicly outed as pedophiles, according to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

According to the diocese’s disclosure, most of the allegations involved abuse in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s. At least two priests, Toro and Leonel Noia, were reassigned to the ministry even after being criminally convicted of pedophilia.

Noia worked at St. Julie Billiart, St. Anthony and Five Wounds churches in San Jose after his 1976 conviction. Toro went on to serve at Mountain View’s St. Athanasius, Morgan Hill’s St. Catherine and Palo Alto’s St. Aloysius parishes after his 1983 conviction.

The church said it considers an allegation credible if it involves a priest’s admission or an investigation by law enforcement or an independent oversight body.

Thursday’s announcement came 10 days after the San Bernardino Diocese revealed the names of 34 abusive priests. San Jose’s was the first Bay Area diocese to follow suit. McGrath, who released the list in three languages, said he has also hired a former FBI agent to review how church leaders have handled past abuse complaints.

“There can no longer be a culture of secrecy in the church, but one of transparency and accountability,” McGrath said. “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.”

The bishop’s full statement is posted below.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I express my deepest apologies for the actions of those who were in positions of authority and who violated that sacred trust by abusing children. The sexual abuse of children and young people is an appalling crime and a sin. When these perpetrators are members of the clergy, there are not only psychological wounds but spiritual wounds.

In the Diocese of San Jose, we have worked diligently to create a safe environment in which to worship, learn, and gather in our parishes, schools and other institutions.  Every bishop, priest, deacon, employee, and volunteer, who have contact with children in any capacity, must undergo a background check and triennial training on how to prevent, recognize and report the sexual abuse of children. It is my commitment to build on the efforts of the past and continue to improve upon them.

To that end, I am releasing the names and status of all priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse of children occurring within the Diocese of San Jose.  These priests were assigned to a parish or diocesan ministry in Santa Clara County by the Bishop of San Jose or, in the years before our founding in 1981, by the Archbishop of San Francisco.

We have attempted to make this list as accurate and complete as possible. In November, Dr. Kathleen McChesney will lead an independent team to audit our priest personnel files. Should additional credible allegations surface during the investigation, those names will be added to the list that I am providing today. Dr. McChesney is a former FBI Executive Assistant Director.

Our vigilance, training, and prevention efforts are ongoing and we continually seek to improve them. I have spoken to many survivors of abuse who have come forward, and I thank them for their courage. I personally encourage any survivors, who have not previously come forward, to do so by contacting the local authorities – police department or sheriff’s office – and then to make a report to our Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults at 408-983-0113 or opcva.ethicspoint.com.

There can no longer be a culture of secrecy in the Church, but one of transparency and accountability. 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.

With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,

Sincerely yours,
Bishop McGrath Signature -png
Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop of San Jose

9 Comments

  1. The “Catholic” church is a breeding ground for child molesters and deviants. This is only the tiny tip of the iceberg. I truly hope deeper investigations are done and those sickos held accountable.

    • I agree James, the priesthood has been a breeding ground for child molesters. However, deeper investigations are now being done, and we will see how deep that iceberg goes.

      So the light of day is sanitizing that nest of homosexual priests. As someone raised Catholic, it pains me to see what has happened.

      The reason this happened is obvious, and mundane: the priesthood became far too lax in its vetting because it was becoming increasingly harder to recruit from only one-half the population.

      But unless homosexuality and child abuse are limited to Catholic priests, can you explain how to shine the media’s light of day on homosexual politicians? They also abuse children — and at double the rate of Catholic priests.

      The media is fully complicit in this hidden scandal. There’s a mountain of evidence showing that large numbers of homosexuals used the priesthood as an easy access portal, allowing them to sexually molest defenseless children.

      But we have not seen even one-tenth the number of stories reporting on child abuse by political electeds, who continue to enjoy a free pass by a protective media. That means they will continue their rampant child abuse.

      Meanwhile, “Uncle Joe” Biden is laughed off by his media enablers. Can you imagine the hue and cry if Vice President Pence or President Trump was caught on video doing what VICE President Biden does repeatedly? https://bit.ly/2AoTGN4

      What do we do to stop electeds from molesting scores, and maybe hundreds of young children?

      In the past, the media would do their usual investigative reporting, thus causing the Attorney General and/or the District Attorney to file charges. Then the perps would be put on public trial, which the media would also report on, followed by another report on the perp’s astonishing depravity, and the judge’s decades-long prison sentence. The public would cheer on the good guys, and everyone would get back to business.

      That has always been the media’s public responsibility (and coincidentally, the way it sells advertising). But have we seen that happen any time recently? From our current perspective, that sounds like something from an earlier era.

      Why aren’t those prosecutions being done right now? It is because the media has backed away from reporting on that evil because the heads of the six (6) media giants that control practically all of this country’s information flow might also be preying on children?

      Or, could it be even worse than that: is Big Media allowing our children to be sexually brutalized because they’re playing political favorites?! And if so, is that sufficient for the 8th Circle of Hell… or the 9th?

      So, what should the media do now?

      #1: Thoroughly investigate sexual abuse by any electeds?

      Or…

      #2: Continue to sell their souls?

  2. The smoke of satan has entered the church. I remember watching the wave of immorality come into the diocesan school I attended in the late 60’s and early 70’s. As a child I recognized the lack of reverence for the Holiness of God. Someone thought it a good idea to take out the kneelers, and move the tabernacle somewhere off the alter. The statues were moved to the back of church so as not to distract us! Sex ed entered the classroom and the sacred was dead. The perversion was dressed up as ‘normal’, if you had any modesty you were considered square. As tragic and heinous as this story goes, I was not shocked at all when it first broke in 2002. My first thought was – sex ed entered the classroom – this opened the flood gates for the rest that was to come. The cleaning of this disaster must be swift and thorough. Maybe we can finally stop tolerating the sins of the culture and stand for the teachings of Christ! God Bless our beautiful Mother Church!

  3. Pedophiles make about 5% of our population. This means, there are every where, in every religious denomination, SES, ethnic group… What has caused the Catholic church this fame is the massive cover up they engaged in for decades. This is a lesson for those who try to cover up crimes instead of protecting victims. “For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested, neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad, Mark 4:22.” AMEN! Adonai!

    • > What has caused the Catholic church this fame is the massive cover up they engaged in for decades.

      Cover up? Catholic Church? You’ve got to be kidding!

      The child abuse sins of the Catholic Church have been massively and gleefully covered by the “progressive” media.

      The Catholic Church has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements. Church properties have been sold off. Many dioceses are bankrupt.

      The cover up has been the pedophilia of the Democratic Party and Democrat politicians. (Is CNN or the New York Times going to cover up the pedeophilia of Republicans? I DON’T THINK SO!)

      Whatever happened to the “Pizzagate” scandal, suggesting pedophilia and satanism involving Democrat big wig John Podesta? (a.k.a “Ped-esta”). Whatever happened to “Lolitagate” and the antics of Bill Clinton and his “children loving” friends? How much clout does the San Francisco based “North American Man Boy Love Association” have with former San Francisco mayors? You know: Gavin Newsom? Dianne Feinstein? Campaign contributions? Hmmmmm?

      Flushed down the media memory hole faster than you can say “deep state”.

  4. Well, then previous bishops have known this, along with some cardinals and they should all be removed from the priesthood. I am so glad we grew up in an era of decent men and not here on the West Coast and those on the East Coast seemed to collect them by the handfuls. Those who have died have met God and for sure He took “care” of them. Those still alive should definitely be ostracized and out of this area. How dare they claim to be doing God’s work when it actually the devil’s work. I am a real Catholic and know that crap happened more than once in the 2000 yrs. of our Church and we are still here as the real Church. Francis for most of us is not our pope and he, too, had a background of “protecting” in his native country. May God have mercy on them because it is very difficult for us to have a lot of mercy for them and their lack of morals and values in the black suit! We will continue forward but with a lot more eyes on any priest in our parish, thank you. They are mere nothings while we are the real Church. C

    • > Francis for most of us is not our pope and he, too, had a background of “protecting” in his native country.

      The Roman Catholic Church is in quite a state.

      I have to believe that when the College of Cardinals next goes into a secret conclave there will be fist fights.

  5. Father Noel Seneviratne taught me to be a good Catholic when he baptized me when I was 25 yrs old. He has made sure I willl have free housing for the rest of my life. Without him I would be homeless. He made sure I got the best medical treatment when I was sick. He has passed away now. He was a good priest and a good man.

  6. They should look into the Catholic Church in Cupertino as well. Such a disgrace that these priests were protected by the church.

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