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Publicly Accused: Bay Area Priests Linked to Child Abuse

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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Thursday that his office is gathering information about complaints of sexual misconduct by clergy members of all faiths.

In October, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose was the first Bay Area religious organization to release a list of 15 clergy with "credible" accusations of child abuse. 

"I express my deepest apologies for the actions of those who were in positions of authority and who violated that sacred trust by abusing children," Bishop Patrick McGrath said in a letter accompanying the list. "The sexual abuse of children and young people is an appalling crime and a sin. When these perpetrators are members of the clergy, there are not only psychological wounds but spiritual wounds."

The diocese’s internal review board determines whether an accusation against a priest is "credible."

After the release, a lawfirm compiled a list of Bay Area clergy who have been publicly accused of abuse. The report, which used information from the nonprofit Bishop Accountability, found 33 San Jose clergy and a total of 212 Bay Area clergy with alleged links to child abuse. Some of the accused clergy worked at more than one diocese.

The Diocese of Oakland announced plans to release a list around Thanksgiving. The Archdiocese of San Francisco has not released a list, and said it will make a decision on its course of action following the U.S. Bishop’s Meeting in November.

Bay Area victims are seeking a statewide probe similar to the one recently concluded in Pennsylvania that made international headlines.

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