A Statement From Our Bishop
THE MOST REVEREND JOSEPH V. BRENNAN, D.O.
BISHOP, DIOCESE OF FRESNO
May 7, 2019
The review of clergy files at the Diocese of Fresno by Dr. Kathleen McChesney of Kinsale Management Consulting previously announced commenced on April 30, 2019. Dr. McChesney, a former FBI Executive Assistant Director, and her team will continue their review over the coming weeks as relates to Phase One of the process. Phase Two will focus on analyzing the outcome of Phase One. At that time, the format for the release of names of accused clergy will be established and how they will be categorized. The process will include participation of the Diocesan Review Board, College of Consultors and Sensitive Issues Committee. Victims' advocacy will again be a crucial part of the decision making process. An announcement will be made upon the completion of the file review so the public will be informed that Phase One has been completed and Phase Two is beginning. An estimated time for the release of the names will then be determined.
Recently, the California Attorney General's Office has asked all 12 Catholic dioceses around the state to preserve files and documents that concern their compliance as mandatory reporters of child abuse to local law enforcement.
In addition, the Attorney General's Office has asked that 6 of the 12 dioceses voluntarily produce these same documents so that the AG's Office can monitor their compliance with the letter and spirit of the law. The Fresno Diocese is among them.
As is our policy, we intend to cooperate with the Attorney General's request, as well as any other requests from law enforcement, and will work out the details with them directly.
The Diocese of Fresno was also recently contacted with a request on behalf of the district attorneys that serve within our eight counties to set up a meeting. We welcome and look forward to this opportunity to engage in what we believe may be mutually beneficial dialogue.
The Diocese of Fresno regularly trains all mandated reporters about their obligations to report to law enforcement. Even those who are not mandated reporters are reminded of the moral obligation to be aware for the signs of child abuse and to report it when there
is a reasonable suspicion an abuse has occurred.