While still a child, he reported the crimes to nuns
A school staffer reportedly cried at the disclosure
But SF Catholic officials didn’t stop the predator
The cleric was just ‘outed’ for the first time in June
SNAP also urges church-goers to ‘boycott’ the archdiocese
It’s one of just 2 dioceses in CA that hasn’t released pedophiles’ names
And it’s one of the few in the US that’s “still dragging its feet”
At a news conference, a local man is publicly revealing his name and face for the first time and disclosing his new child sexual abuse and cover up lawsuit against San Francisco Catholic officials.
An advocate and victim’s attorney will urge the Archdiocese of San Francisco to immediately release its list of clerics accused of sexually abusing children, as most US Catholic dioceses, including nine of the twelve in CA, have done.
Thursday, Dec. 5 at 11:30 a.m.
Outside the San Francisco archdiocesan headquarters, One Peter Yorke Way in San Francisco
A northern California man who is disclosing his identity as a victim of clergy childhood sexual abuse, a California attorney/psychologist (who represents him) and a Missouri man who for 30 years was the executive director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
1) Genaro Licea of northern California has just filed a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit – one of many expected in the coming weeks – against the San Francisco Catholic archdiocese. Until just a few months ago, the priest had never been publicly accused before, though archdiocesan officials received an abuse report against him 14 years ago.
In June, Licea also filed an official abuse report against the archdiocese with the California Attorney General’s office.
The accused is Fr. John Kavanaugh, a former priest at St. Finn Barr School (419 Hearst Ave. at Edna St., 415 333 1800) in the Sunnyside District of San Francisco. Licea is a 52-year-old man who was an altar boy from the fourth through eighth grades while he attended the school. In the fifth grade, he reported the abuse to his teacher who teared up and reported the abuse to two nuns. He was told that they would talk to Fr. Kavanaugh but apparently nothing was done to end the abuse, according to his lawsuit.
In 2004, Licea reported his abuse to San Francisco Catholic officials. Archdiocesan staff sent an investigator to interview him at his house and later offered to pay for his counseling. But archdiocesan officials never reported Fr. Kavanaugh to police, prosecutors or Child Protective Services. Nor did they ever reach out to other potential victims of Fr. Kavanaugh by publicizing the credible allegation in church bulletins, pulpit announcements or any other church source or publication, according to the victim’s attorney. The priest went on to work at St. Patrick’s in San Francisco, Serra High School, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Redwood City.
The suit, filed in San Francisco County Court, seeks unspecified damages including punitive damages. It charges church officials with “negligent supervision and/or retention” of Fr. Kavanaugh.
The priest, who was ordained in 1948, is now dead.
2) Nearly 20 years ago, the first US prelate (the then-bishop of Tucson Arizona) released a list of credibly accused abusive clerics. Fifteen years ago, the first California prelate (then-Cardinal Roger Mahony of LA) did the same.
Now, ten of the state’s 12 bishops have done this and all but about two dozen of the nearly 200 US dioceses have done so. But San Francisco has not. (Another hold out is Fresno).
For the safety of kids, SNAP wants San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordelione to do this immediately or at the very least, a list of those accused clerics who are still alive.
For each diocese that does this, names that have never been publicly associated with the sexual abuse of children or vulnerable adults are revealed.
These lists can be a source of healing for survivors, to know that they are not the only victim. Seeing their abuser’s name exposed can give victims the courage to break their silence, to come forward and begin to heal.
Parents who have lost a child to suicide, or to substance abuse, may find on these lists an answer to the nagging question of "Why?"
Naming the names also serves to protect today's boys and girls. These men may still be living around or even working with children, without parents or employers being aware that they are a threat to young lives.
Every day that an abuser’s name is hidden, children are at risk, and the repercussions of those violations echo through an entire lifetime, SNAP says.
Until the San Francisco archdiocese names predators, SNAP is urging the faithful to donate elsewhere AND give to organizations that protect children and fight abuse.
In the meantime, SNAP also urges Catholics and citizens to look to outside sources for information, especially BishopAccountability.org