February 09, 2005

Priest denies abuse claims

The Argus

By Kristin Bender, STAFF WRITER

The pastor of a Roman Catholic church in Berkeley has left his post amid accusations of sexual misconduct 30 years ago, while he was serving at Our Lady of the Rosary in Union City.

The Rev. George Crespin, 69, pastor at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in downtown Berkeley, was granted permission to retire last week by Bishop Allen Vigneron.

"He submitted his resignation and the bishop accepted it," said the Rev. Mark Wiesner, a Diocese of Oakland spokesman.

The diocese currently is investigating 44 outstanding cases of sexual misconduct involving members of the clergy. The diocese and all alleged victims are starting a mediation process next week that could result in settlements.

Sister Barbara Flannery of the Diocese of Oakland declined to release details of the accusation against Crespin. The sex and age of the accuser were not available, although Crespin called the accuser a "young adult" in a letter he read to parishioners Sunday.

Posted by kshaw at February 9, 2005 07:15 AM