SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) –The Diocese of San Jose announced Thursday evening that it will start releasing the names of priests implicated in the sexual abuse scandal consuming the Catholic church.
San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath announced Thursday “a need for reform, a need for transparency in the way the church responds to allegations of sexual abuse.”
The response reform includes talking to clerical sexual abuse victims and releasing names and the statuses of priests who abused minors in the San Jose area.
The diocese also plans to use a former FBI executive assistant’s firm to do an independent review of sexual abuse records and how the church handled them.
KPIX 5 spoke with John Salberg, one of the victims of sexual abuse who will see his abuser’s name on the diocese’s list.
“It’ll be painful. It’s a tough thing,” said Salberg emotionally. “To see names put there is powerful. It’s a reminder, so some people it’s going to hurt.”
Salberg is one of 12 victims molested by the late Reverend Joseph Pritchard of Saint Martin of Tours in San Jose. The abuses happened in the 1970s.
Salberg said that when he reported the abuse to church leaders as an adult, they turned a blind eye.
“They weren’t writing anything down. I mean, they weren’t recording anything, and it kind of blew my mind,” he said.
For victims such as Salberg, believing the church will follow through with their word isn’t easy.
“The church has failed numerous times over and over, saying they’re going to do something and actually carrying it out,” said Salberg. “Yeah, yeah I have very good reason to have doubt.”
Despite his past, John remains a Catholic today. Although he stands by his religion, he can’t say the same about those leading his church.
“I have doubt that they’ll actually provide all the information that they say they have,” he said. “As much as I’m a practicing Catholic, I don’t think they’re capable of allowing themselves to come clean.”
The bishop said more names could be released after the diocese completes the independent review.
KPIX 5 reached out to the Oakland and San Francisco dioceses, but at the time of publication, they have not decided if they will release any names.