Survivor group slams Fresno Catholic churches for withholding names of accused priests

Fresno Bee

October 26, 2020

By Yesenia Amaro

It remains unknown when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno may release its list of credibly accused priests of sexual misconduct two years after it began to ponder what to release to the public.

An advocacy organization says the diocese is stalling the release of names of accused priests because it doesn’t want to encourage more lawsuits from victims. The diocese would not comment on that claim.

Almost all dioceses in California released their lists, naming credibly accused priests, in 2018 and 2019, but the Diocese of Fresno has yet to share that information with the public. The Archdiocese of San Francisco is the only other entity that has not released that information.

In September 2018, former Bishop Armando X. Ochoa began to work with a review board to determine what information the Diocese of Fresno would make public. In February 2019, officials announced the diocese had hired Kinsale Management Consulting to review records going back to the 1950s — as other dioceses in the state did — before it could release any information.

At the time, a diocese official said the names of priests accused of sex crimes would be released within a year, which would have been in early 2020.

Cheryl Sarkisian, chancellor at the Diocese of Fresno, last week said the investigation “is a work in progress.” She would not say how much longer the investigation is expected to take to be completed or what is delaying it.

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