San Jose Pastor Resigns in Wake of Sex Offender Scandal

The diocese of San Jose confirmed to NBC Bay Area on Tuesday that Pastor Lieu Vu offered his resignation this week and Bishop Patrick McGrath accepted it.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Marianne Favro
    St. Frances Cabrini Parish in San Jose.

    The pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Church in San Jose has resigned in the wake of the scandal over a registered sex offender volunteering near children at a church festival last month.

    The diocese of San Jose confirmed to NBC Bay Area  on Tuesday that Pastor Lieu Vu offered his resignation this week and Bishop Patrick McGrath accepted it.

    Moving forward, diocese spokeswoman  Bernie Luongo Hoye said Vu will no longer be allowed to serve as pastor , although he can still serve as a priest at another parish within the
    Diocese of San Jose.

    Luongo Hoye said a former employee  in the Human Resources Office of the Diocese signed the original Nov. 15, 2010 letter permitting Mark Gurries, a registered sex offender, to volunteer in parish and school activities that do not involve regular, unsupervised contact with children, youth or vulnerable adults. The law allows sex offenders to volunteer near children if the administrator of a school writes a letter.

    Read the entire letter here.

    Luongo Hoye said a former employee  in the Human Resources Office of the Diocese signed the original Nov. 15, 2010 letter permitting Mark Gurries, a registered sex offender, to volunteer in parish and school activities that do not involve regular, unsupervised contact with children, youth or vulnerable adults. The law allows sex offenders to volunteer near children if the administrator of a school writes a letter.

    The identity of the letter's author has been redacted. But the statement from the diocese states that the bishop never approved its signing. The author is no longer an employee of the diocese.

    The resignation follows on the heels of a Saturday apology the bishop made to parents and community members. McGrath said it was a "mistake" that allowed Gurries to attend and volunteer at a Saint Frances Cabrini Parish festival on Oct. 6.

    "I am deeply troubled and I apologize to you that this policy was not followed," he said. By state law, Gurries, as a registered sex offender, is only allowed on a school property around children if he can produce written permission from a school administrator, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. 

    Sgt. Jose Cardoza said on Tuesday that his office is not pursuing an active investigation into the matter anymore, but the case is still technically open.