March 30, 2005

Priests: Diocese knew of parishioner abuse

HAYWARD (CA)
Tri-Valley Herald

By Matt O'Brien, STAFF WRITER

HAYWARD A priest testifying in the first-ever civil clergy abuse trial against the Catholic Diocese of Oakland said Tuesday the diocese knew local priests were abusing young parishioners, but declined to call the police.

Another priest said he was moved to other parishes when allegations of sexual misconduct arose.

The testimony came in the second day of a civil trial in which two former Antioch altar boys are accusing the diocese of failing to protect them from a pedophile priest, the Rev. Robert Ponciroli.

Rev. George Crespin, the diocese's former personnel director, admitted in a deposition videotape relayed to jurors that "it wasn't our practice" to contact police about sexual abuse allegations.

Posted by kshaw at March 30, 2005 06:55 AM