February 01, 2006

Priest abuse spurs layoffs

The Argus

By Angela Hill, STAFF WRITER

OAKLAND The Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland has laid off 17 administrative employees in its chancery offices to help cover a $1.2 million budget deficit.

Church officials say the deficit was caused in part by costs related to a $23 million loan the diocese took out last year to pay settlements in priest sexual abuse cases.

After some three years of litigation and months of negotiation, the diocese agreed in August 2005 to a $56.4 million settlement with 56 childhood sexual abuse survivors. Insurance covered roughly half that amount, said the Rev. Mark Wiesner,who serves as diocesan spokesman. The church took out a loan for about $23 million, he added.

Locally, lawsuits or settlements regarding the clergy sex abuse scandal involved the late Vincent Breen during an assignment at Holy Spirit Parish; Donald Broderson from assignments at St. Leonard and Santa Paula parishes; the late James Clark from an assignment at Corpus Christi Parish; Robert Freitas from assignments at Santa Paula Parish and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Union City; Stephen Kiesle from assignments at Santa Paula and Our Lady of the Rosary parishes; and George Crespin from an assignment at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish.

Posted by kshaw at February 1, 2006 07:50 AM