Nov 21, 2006

Santa Rosa bishop admits wrongdoing -- Santa Rosa de Lima, pray for us!


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.

3 Comments:

Anonymous tomjedrz said...

In California virtually anyone with official knowledge of such conduct is legally required to report it without delay. The term is "mandatory reporter" ...

From the Virtus Online "Model Code of Pastoral Conduct" (http://www.virtus.org/virtus/PastoralConduct.pdf)


Clergy, staff, and volunteers must hold each other accountable for maintaining the
highest ethical and professional standards. When there is an indication of illegal actions
by clergy, staff, or volunteers, you should notify the proper civil authorities immediately.
Also notify the [diocese, parish, religious community/institute, or organization].


It astounds me that the Bishop was not aware of this. One also has to wonder why the attorney allowed the delay. His first question to Bishop Walsh should have been "Have you called the authorities yet?"

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Zarba said...

Counseling:

"You shouldn't ought to have done that."

"OK. Are we done now?"

Maybe the bishop should got to a monatery for a few years of fasting and prayer. THAT'S counseling.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you mean to join his predecessor at the monastery in Arizona where he was seen at local karaoke restaurants and giving a retreat to seminarians visiting the monastery?

12:52 PM  

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