Bishop Accountability


Accused Priests: 13 (of which 3 "were found to have unsubstantiated claims against them")
Total Priests: About 620 (calculated from the 2.1% figure below)
Alleged Victims: 38
Cost: $2,758,000 (therapy, treatment, legal settlements and attorney’s fees)
Data are for "priests who ministered in what is now the Diocese of San Bernardino" since 1978, when the diocese of San Bernardino was erected from the diocese of San Diego

See the Dallas Morning News database entry on Bishop Gerald Barnes. The June 2002 database examined the records of bishops and identified those who had allowed accused priests to continue working or had otherwise protected priests accused of sexual abuse. The database is relevant to the bishops' "Nature and Scope" study because the bishops who prepared the surveys for the study are in many cases responsible for the "scope" of the problem.

The John Jay Report Fact Sheet

Statement of Bishop Barnes concerning the release of the John Jay Study

“This is a painful reminder of the inexcusable transgressions of our past, I am truly sorry that any of this has occurred. Our prayers are with the victims of these terrible crimes. We will spare no effort to ensure that they are not repeated. We are a movement of sinful people in sorrow over the hurt our sins have caused,” he said. “We are moving toward healing. Our prayers will always remain with victims and those who have suffered.”

The John Jay Report Fact Sheet


The Study of the Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse by Catholic Clergy in the United States was conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of New York University September-December 2003.

The study is a review and examination of the records of all 195 dioceses, eparchies and religious orders in the United States from 1950-2002. It includes information regarding victims, offenders and the costs of therapies, treatment and attorney’s fees.


* Since the formation of the Diocese of San Bernardino in 1978, 13 priests were found to have allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against them.

* Nationwide, 4,392 priests had allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against them during the reporting period

* 38 minors in San Bernardino and Riverside counties made allegations of sexual abuse by a priest during the reporting period.

* The Diocese of San Bernardino paid $2,758,000 million in therapies, treatment, legal settlements and attorney’s fees related to sexual abuse of minors by priests.


* Approximately 2.1 percent of priests who ministered in what is now the Diocese of San Bernardino between 1978 and 2002 had allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against them.

* The national average of priests with sexual abuse allegations against them, according to the John Jay Study, is 4 percent.

* All of Diocese of San Bernardino’s sex abuse-related costs reported in the John Jay Study were paid by insurance; none from operating funds and/or parishioner contributions.

* None of the 13 priests in the Diocese of San Bernardino with allegations chronicled in the John Jay Study are in active ministry.
o 1 is in custody
o 3 are no longer in ministry
o 1 is deceased
o 4 are suspended or on leave
o 1 is out of the country
o 3 were found to have unsubstantiated claims against them


The Diocese of San Bernardino is committed to taking whatever steps necessary to prevent sexual abuse of minors and reach out to victims. In April 2002, the Diocese adopted a 10-point policy to prevent sexual abuse of minors and reach out to victims in April 2002 that included fingerprinting all diocesan priests and employees, an abuse hotline and a zero tolerance policy on sexual abuse and child protection training.

See a PowerPoint presentation from the diocese.

Bishop Gerald R. Barnes Letter Regarding the John Jay Study

February 18, 2004

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I need to briefly inform you about an extremely important development that some of you may have heard about in last week’s news. It concerns the Church’s commitment to deal openly and honestly with the scandal of the sexual abuse of children by priests.

As a part of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the bishops of the United States called for studies to be conducted into the magnitude of the problem of clerical sexual abuse, as well as the causes of the current crisis. The first of these studies, concerning the scope of the problem has been completed by the John Jay School of Criminal Justice (at New York State University). The results of this study will be released next Friday, February 27, 2004.

From all indications the results of the study will be startling. I wanted you to hear this from me, your bishop. Any healing process includes the willingness to acknowledge the severity of the problem.

The John Jay Study will present the total number of cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors for the last fifty years in the United States. It will also give the number of perpetrators and the amount of money that has been paid out by dioceses for legal fees and counseling.

I know that this scandal has been a cause of pain and embarrassment for all of us. Yet as Catholics we understand that in asking for forgiveness we need to acknowledge our sinfulness fully and honestly. By commissioning this study we are confirming that we are truly committed to transparency and to ending child sexual abuse in the Church.

I ask for your continued prayers for the victims of child abuse, the Church and for your priests as together we continue to work to Heal the Body of Christ.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Gerald R. Barnes
Bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino




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