Today's San Francisco Chronicle reports (click on this post's title) that Bishop Daniel Walsh of the Diocese of Santa Rosa has admitted wrongdoing and will enter a four-month "pre-filing diversion" program in which he will receive counseling.
That way, the bishop will avoid criminal misdemeanor charges for failing to notify the police promptly last April 27 about an admission that day by Fr. Francisco Ochoa Perez, also known as Francisco Xavier Ochoa, of "sexual misconduct with minors." The bishop notified the diocesan attorney instead of the police, and Father Ochoa, 68, fled, probably to Mexico, in the three days before the diocese did notify the police.
The Chronicle reports that Santa Rosa District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua said, "It is clear that Bishop Walsh should have known of his obligations to immediately report the matter involving Francisco Ochoa."
The newspaper also quotes Santa Rosa Diocese spokeswoman Deirdre Frontczak: "The bishop is a priest and is trained to deal with sinners. I don't think it crossed the bishop's mind that this priest was a criminal and a flight risk."
That's what she said.
Santa Rosa de Lima, pray for us! By the way, the image above of St. Rose, the patroness of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, is from the diocesan website.