San Jose, California
The Diocese of San Jose (“the Diocese”), which was established on January 27, 1981, encompasses the county of Santa Clara in California. It consists of 48 parishes, three missions, 31 schools, 122 priests, seven deacons, and one seminary and serves a population of 584,000 registered Catholics. The Most Reverend Patrick J. McGrath, was installed on November 27, 1999, and leads the Diocese. A compliance audit of the Diocese was conducted during the period of September 29–October 3, 2003.
The information set forth below represents conditions as they were found during the week of the audit.
To Promote Healing and Reconciliation
The Diocese has established on outreach program via a separate office for the protection of children and vulnerable adults. Director Bernard Nojadera, who is well qualified, heads this office and oversees two new victim assistance coordinators. The bishop has met with victims/survivors and families in the past and will continue to do so. The diocesan review board was established on October 28, 2002, and consists of nine members, including a retired justice of the California Supreme Court, who chairs the board. The procedures for making an allegation of abuse are in a printed brochure, in three languages, which has been disseminated to parishes and schools in addition to being on the diocesan website. There have been no confidentiality agreements entered into by the Diocese since June 2002.
To Guarantee Effective Response to Allegations of Abuse of a Minor
The Diocese has established effective liaison with civil authorities, ensuring an open dialogue and cooperation. The Diocese has gone the extra step and reported a complaint in which the caller was anonymous, and the victim and priest remain unknown. The Diocese has a procedure in its published policies to advise victims/survivors of their right to report allegations of abuse to civil authorities. A well-established policy for clerics and lay employees has been in effect in the Diocese since 1993. The Diocese has a communications policy reflecting the bishop’s pledge to be open and transparent on any issue concerning sexual abuse of children and young people.
To Ensure Accountability of Procedures
The Diocese has participated in the research study regarding the “nature and scope” of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.
To Protect the Faithful in the Future
The Diocese has implemented a safe environment program in conjunction with the YWCA and Community Solutions Program. Standards of conduct have been established and publicized for priests and deacons, as well as diocesan employees, volunteers, and any other church personnel in positions of trust who have regular contact with children, young people, and vulnerable adults. The Diocese utilizes law enforcement assets to assist in conducting background checks and fingerprinting for all diocesan and parish personnel who have regular contact with minors. No priest or deacon who has had a credible allegation of sexual abuse lodged against him has been transferred to another diocesan ministerial assignment, or for purposes of residency. The Diocese has established screening and continued evaluation techniques and programs in the selection of candidates for ordination. A number of non-diocesan priests are present in the Diocese, and the bishop, or his representative, has established good lines of communication with the major superiors of their orders. The Diocese has cooperated with Santa Clara University, the Jesuit order, and the Greenbook Project in the conduct of research in the area of sexual abuse of minors.
Compliance with the Provisions of the Charter
As of December 1, 2003, the Diocese of San Jose was found to be compliant with the provisions of the Charter as measured by the process described in Chapter 2 in Section I. The Diocese of San Jose was issued three Commendations.
COMMENDATION 1—For establishing a separate office for the protection of children and vulnerable adults with its own director.
COMMENDATION 2—For having a sexual abuse prevention policy before the Charter was published.
COMMENDATION 3—For exceptional cooperation with civil authorities.
The compliance audit measured activity that has occurred since the adoption of the Charter in June 2002 with the exception of certain mandated actions found in Articles 5 and 14. Actions taken by the diocese/eparchy prior to June 2002 to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons are not included in this summary report.
Office of Child and Youth Protection
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20017-1194
(202) 541-5413 | FAX: (202) 541-5410