SF Archdiocese Settles Abuse Suits Filed by Two Brothers

Associated Press
October 13, 2005

San Francisco -- The Archdiocese of San Francisco has agreed to pay two brothers $2.6 million to settle their claims that former Monsignor Patrick O'Shea molested them in 1972.

The settlement was reached Tuesday, the day the cases were set to go to trial in San Francisco Superior Court, according to Rob Waters, the lawyer for the unidentified men.

"They're always going to have to live with this," Waters said. "I think they're glad the church has finally been held accountable for turning their backs on these kids entrusted to their care."

The brothers were 11 and 14 when O'Shea, who's now 72 and no longer a priest, took them to Lake Berryessa as a reward for their church work, then gave them alcohol before molesting them, Waters said.

The church did not dispute the allegations of abuse by O'Shea.

"Our sorrow is heartfelt for the pain and suffering that has come to abuse victims and their families, and we join in prayer to God for the healing of all," said Bishop John C. Wester, administrator for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The O'Shea lawsuits are among about 160 filed in Northern California in 2003, when the state Legislature temporarily suspended the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits filed over past abuse.

Most of those suits have been settled, including all the suits filed against the dioceses of Oakland and Sacramento.

About a dozen of the suits filed against the San Francisco archdiocese remain outstanding.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.