E. Bay Priest under Fire for Lewdness Allegations

November 12, 2007

A clergy-abuse advocacy group claims the priest poised to take the lead of Pleasanton's two Catholic churches has a criminal past. They also accuse the Oakland Bishop of not doing and enough to inform the public.

The Rev. Padraig Greene has been appointed the church's incoming pastor and is set to take lead Jan. 1, said current Pastor Daniel Danielson.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says Greene was arrested in 1999 for lewd behavior in public.

Greene was arrested during a sting operation in a restroom at the North Oakland Sports Center, according to SNAP.

"We're just asking the Bishop to tell the truth and to inform the parishioners and let the parishioners make their own judgments about whether they'll let their children be with Father Green," said SNAP National Director David Clohessy. "We certainly think that the prudent course of action is to protect kids and to assume that he may still be dangerous."

Clergy at the St. Augustine Church in Pleasanton stood by their soon to be pastor Monday after SNAP passed out fliers Sunday revealing he was arrested several years ago on the lewdness allegations.

Greene served as St. Augustine's associate pastor for five years before his recent appointment. Danielson said he knew about Greene's past before Greene came to the church and said there is no reason to think he is a danger to children.

"The SNAP group is people primarily concerned with clergy child abuse... so they tend to see everything through that lens even if it has nothing to do with that," Danielson said. "It was simply indecent exposure, there were no children involved, no children nearby, and it is not appropriate to view this man as a danger to children."

Piscitelli says Greene's past shows he has poor judgment and should not be left alone with children.

"The problem we are having is the sheer deception of not telling the parishioners what Greene was doing and the belittling of what he did by saying he was not convicted," Piscitelli said.

He added, "I absolutely believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a danger to children."

Danielson said there have been questions about Greene but that there is also "a great deal of support" for him. He said his parishioners are "mature enough to be able to accept the fact that we're all forgiven sinners."

Danielson said he would address the charges and confirm the 1999 incident in his parish bulletin for the upcoming weekend.


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