February 12, 2005

C.V. church to get apology from bishop

The Daily Review

By Karen Holzmeister, STAFF WRITER

CASTRO VALLEY For the second time in as many years, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Oakland will come to a local church and apologize for a priest who sexually abused children in the 1970s.

The Most Rev. Allen Vigneron "will acknowledge the suffering caused by the behavior of (the Rev.) Robert Ponciroli," an associate pastor at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church during the late 1970s, according to a statement issued by the diocese.

Ponciroli was arrested in 2003 and faces at least six counts of child molestation.

During the service, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Grace, Vigneron, bishop for the last 16 months, "will apologize for the diocese's failure to prevent abuse and for the betrayal of trust by one of its priests," the statement read.

Vigneron heads the diocese of 540,000 Catholics in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Posted by kshaw at February 12, 2005 08:08 AM