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Santa Rosa Diocese names 39 clergymen as known or alleged sex abusers

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Are you a victim?

The Diocese of Santa Rosa has offered to meet and provide assistance to any victim of clergy abuse. Call or contact Victim Assistance Coordinator Julie Sparacio at 707-566-3308, or P.O. Box 1297, Santa Rosa, California 95402.

___________

LIST OF NAMES: Here are the 39 names released by the Santa Rosa Diocese on Saturday, which lists priests and deacons with ties to the diocese, who church leaders say committed child sexual abuse or were credibly accused of such crimes.

Names previously released:

  • Patrick Gleeson*
  • Austin Peter Keegan
  • Don Kimball*
  • Vincent O’Neill*
  • John Rogers*
  • Anthony J. Ross
  • Gary Timmons

Names part of public record (media disclosures, legal, internet, etc.):

  • Carmelo Baltazar*
  • Anthony Bolger*
  • David Brusky*
  • John Crews
  • Francis (John) Ford*
  • Patrick A. Hannon*
  • Michael Emmet Kelly
  • Patrick McCabe
  • John A. Meenan*
  • Francisco Javier Ochoa*
  • Ted Oswald*
  • Thomas Parker
  • Bernie Ward
  • Ron Wiecek

Not previously named, credibly accused:

  • Francis E. Neville*
  • Xavier Pallathuparambil*
  • Alfredo Sobalvarro
  • James Walsh*

Named due to ties to SR Diocese but claims in other areas:

  • Joseph Alzugaray*
  • Edward F. Beutner*
  • Kevin Dunne
  • Don Eagleson*
  • Don D. Flickinger
  • J. Patrick Foley*
  • Ruben Garcia*
  • Bruce Maxwell*
  • John Moriarty
  • Mark O'Leary
  • Daniel Polizzi*
  • Celestine Quinlan*
  • Francis Verngren*
  • Vincent A. Yzermans*

Not named, but "have received much notoriety" and are "still under review""

  • George Patrick Ziemann*
  • John Clayton Nienstedt
*Asterisks denote those known to be dead, according to the news release.

Santa Rosa Bishop Robert F. Vasa on Saturday disclosed the names of 39 priests and deacons with ties to the diocese who church leaders say committed child sexual abuse or were credibly accused of such crimes, a disclosure that marks the most comprehensive acknowledgment to date of the decades-long scope of the clergy abuse scandal in the local Catholic church.

The list made public to about 140,000 parishioners as well as the media includes many well-known names long public due to high-profile molestation cases as well as several previously unknown — most of them accused for offenses committed several decades ago.

At least 23 of those on the list are deceased.

None are serving in public ministry in the Santa Rosa Diocese, Vasa said in the North Coast Catholic newspaper, published online Saturday ahead of a long-planned news release.

About 17 people included on the list served in the Santa Rosa Diocese at some point but had accusations lodged against them elsewhere, Vasa said.

But the bishop said a search of the records indicated about 25 priests were accused of abusing about 100 children during service to the Santa Rosa Dioecese from its founding in 1962 to the present — “a shocking number” that, in part, inspired release of the names, he wrote in the diocesan newsletter.

He noted that four priests — Gary Timmons, Don Kimball, Austin Peter Keegan and Francisco Xavier Ochoa — were responsible for 63 known victims. Kimball and Ochoa are deceased, according to the church.

“My primary goal in releasing the names of accused priests and deacons who served in Santa Rosa in this public fashion is to give to all the victims of clerical sexual abuse the assurance that they have been heard and that the Church is very much concerned for their well-being and healing,” Vasa wrote. “It is my deepest prayer and hope that this release of names in a consolidated fashion says to any of you who are victims, we have heard you, we believe you, we affirm you in your trauma and we want to help with a healing process.”

The list of 39 clergymen includes the well-known names of predatory priests whose disturbing behavior came to light in the mid-1990s during a rash of civil and criminal cases that exposed the sprawling North Coast diocese as a focal point of the Catholic abuse scandal several years before the scandal erupted nationwide.

The diocese has since paid out more than $29 million in legal settlements to childhood victims of at least 10 priests since the 1990s, about $12 million of it covered by insurance.

“Sadly, we have had sexual abuse events as late as 2006 and 2008 and I find that most troubling,” Vasa said in his written statement accompanying the disclosure, which was also published in Spanish. “However, the vast majority of the abuses occurred decades ago. This is not complete proof that the Church is making progress in eliminating this great tragedy, but I find this to be a sign of hope.”

The new disclosure comes in the wake of explosive revelations contained in a Pennsylvania grand jury report last year that renewed the drumbeat for greater scrutiny of church leadership. Catholic dioceses in San Jose and Monterey last year released their lists of clergymen accused or known to have committed sex abuse or misconduct.

Are you a victim?

The Diocese of Santa Rosa has offered to meet and provide assistance to any victim of clergy abuse. Call or contact Victim Assistance Coordinator Julie Sparacio at 707-566-3308, or P.O. Box 1297, Santa Rosa, California 95402.

___________

LIST OF NAMES: Here are the 39 names released by the Santa Rosa Diocese on Saturday, which lists priests and deacons with ties to the diocese, who church leaders say committed child sexual abuse or were credibly accused of such crimes.

Names previously released:

  • Patrick Gleeson*
  • Austin Peter Keegan
  • Don Kimball*
  • Vincent O’Neill*
  • John Rogers*
  • Anthony J. Ross
  • Gary Timmons

Names part of public record (media disclosures, legal, internet, etc.):

  • Carmelo Baltazar*
  • Anthony Bolger*
  • David Brusky*
  • John Crews
  • Francis (John) Ford*
  • Patrick A. Hannon*
  • Michael Emmet Kelly
  • Patrick McCabe
  • John A. Meenan*
  • Francisco Javier Ochoa*
  • Ted Oswald*
  • Thomas Parker
  • Bernie Ward
  • Ron Wiecek

Not previously named, credibly accused:

  • Francis E. Neville*
  • Xavier Pallathuparambil*
  • Alfredo Sobalvarro
  • James Walsh*

Named due to ties to SR Diocese but claims in other areas:

  • Joseph Alzugaray*
  • Edward F. Beutner*
  • Kevin Dunne
  • Don Eagleson*
  • Don D. Flickinger
  • J. Patrick Foley*
  • Ruben Garcia*
  • Bruce Maxwell*
  • John Moriarty
  • Mark O'Leary
  • Daniel Polizzi*
  • Celestine Quinlan*
  • Francis Verngren*
  • Vincent A. Yzermans*

Not named, but "have received much notoriety" and are "still under review""

  • George Patrick Ziemann*
  • John Clayton Nienstedt
*Asterisks denote those known to be dead, according to the news release.

Vasa said he is seeking transparency on behalf of the diocese in an effort to aid the healing of victims and to “acknowledge that the evil and sinful actions of these priests have adversely affected us all.”

“The injury done to others is not in any way comparable to the impact on specific individuals or families but there is harm nonetheless,” Vasa wrote. “The perverse actions of these priests and bishops have shaken the confidence of the People of God in every parish in our country. These predatory priests and bishops have caused immense damage to the priesthood and they have dishonored every good and holy priest striving to do God’s will.”

Check back later for updates.

You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 707-521-5249 or mary.callahan@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @MaryCallahanB.