October 18, 2018 02:40 PM
The Catholic Diocese of Sacramento said this week it will postpone releasing names of priests accused of sexual abuse until an independent auditor can review thousands of personnel records.
A spokesman for the diocese on Oct. 10 said it planned on having staff members produce a list within a few weeks. Monday, Bishop Jaime Soto said that the sensitivity of the matter combined with the increased scrutiny towards the Catholic church required hiring an outside investigator as a more “prudent” course of action.
“There (are) a lot of files, more than 2,000 files, that have to be reviewed and my staff was overwhelmed by the size of the task and the expectation that it would be an accurate and transparent list,” Soto said.
Soto said the diocese planned to hire former FBI agent Kathleen McChesney, a consultant who has worked with other dioceses to do similar reviews. In 2002, McChesney worked with the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, the church’s national leadership organization, to create its office of Child and Youth Protection.
In 2015, McChesney reviewed personnel files at the Archdiocese of Seattle, leading to the release of a list of 77 priests and other church officials with credible child sexual abuse allegations against them. In 2018, she reviewed the records of the Diocese of Little Rock and named eight priests with substantiated sex abuse allegations. In California, her firm has been hired to review the personnel files of the Diocese of San Jose and the Diocese of Oakland.
Read more here by BY ALEXANDRA YOON-HENDRICKS at the Sacramento Bee: