|Jesuit Priest Moved off Bellarmine Campus
Semi-Retired Cleric Is under Investigation in Sexual Misconduct Case in Washington
By Kim Vo
San Jose Mercury News
December 22, 2007
A Jesuit priest living at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose has been moved after religious leaders learned he is being investigated "for an alleged recent incident of sexual misconduct with a minor while on a pastoral assignment," according to a letter Bellarmine's president sent to parents, faculty and alumni.
Father Carlton Whitten, who is semi-retired, had been living part time on the Bellarmine campus, though he was not teaching at the elite school. Instead, the priest recently worked throughout the Western states, filling in for priests on sabbatical or vacation.
It was during one of those assignments in Washington that the alleged misconduct occurred, said Father Al Naucke with the Jesuits California province.
A bishop in Washington informed the California province. Leaders alerted Bellarmine on Wednesday.
An officer with the White Salmon Police Department confirmed that they were investigating Whitten, but would not say the nature of the allegations. He referred all questions to the town's police chief, who won't be back on duty until Sunday.
Whitten taught at Bellarmine from 1955 to 1958, when he was a scholastic, or seminarian. He served there as a priest from 1965 to 1972.
Before going into semi-retirement, he worked for about a year and half as an associate pastor at St. Agnes Church in San Francisco, according to the Archdiocese of San Francisco. That assignment ended in February 2003. San Jose was unaware of any local assignments Whitten might have had.
Naucke said there is no centralized office that tracks short-term assignments.
More than a dozen Jesuits live on the 19-acre Bellarmine campus. While a majority teach there, others use it as their living quarters and are assigned elsewhere. Whitten, who lived at Bellarmine for the past four years, has since been moved to Sacred Heart, the Jesuit center in Los Gatos. He has been removed from active ministry.
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