SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) — Santa Rosa has became the fourth Bay Area diocese to release a list of names of priests involved in child sexual abuse or credibly accused of such crimes.
Bishop Robert Vasa spoke at a press conference Monday following Saturday’s release of its list of clergy involved in the scandal that has rocked not just the Bay Area, but the country. “I feel tremendous sadness and grief and shame,” said Vasa.READ MORE: San José School District Secures Vaccine for Entire Workforce
Vasa vowed to prevent sexual abuse moving forward.”This is a wakeup call that says, ‘No, we need to redouble our efforts re-inform the people in the pews that we continue to be serious about this,'” he said.
Santa Rosa is now the fourth of six Bay Area dioceses to release its list of abusers and accused abusers. That now leaves San Francisco and Sacramento as the only one ones that haven’t. Both dioceses say they’ve hired an outside investigator to go through documents before releasing names – or anything at all.READ MORE: Golden Gate Fields Races to Make Up for Missed Vaccine Appointments
It’s a move that has many upset, including attorney Mike Reck who represents victims of clergy sex abuse. Beck is suing for the release of what the San Francisco Archdiocese knows about sex abuse among its ranks. Launching its own investigation, he says, falls far short.
“I think past experience has shown us that clearly that’s not enough,” said Reck. “This is an organization that cannot be trusted to police itself.”
Reck says the call for that information is echoed among grassroots Catholics across the area and any delay on behalf of the church sends a disturbing message. “Its a very callous, very harsh message,” said Reck, “that this archdiocese is leaving these survivors – both those who have suffered and those who are still suffering in silence and those children who may be suffering right now – that this archdiocese does not care about child safety.”MORE NEWS: Study Shows Stockton Universal Basic Income Experiment Led to Increased Employment
KPIX 5 reached out to the San Francisco Archdiocese and was told the archbishop is in Europe and unavailable. A spokesman agreed to provide a written statement but never did despite our multiple phone calls following up.