Bishop Robert Bromm presented a memo to the priests of the Diocese of San Diego on February 24, 2004 regarding sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese from 1950-2003. The time period includes the first 29 years of what became the Diocese of San Bernardino in 1978.
Bishop Bromm stated “slightly over 200 priests” had ministered in the Diocese of San Diego and 60 priests had been accused of sexual abuse. Of the 42 priests with credible or substantiated allegations, 21 priests had “left” or were removed from ministry. A total of 128 people came forward alleging child sexual abuse.
On February, 27, 2007, the Diocese of San Diego filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just hours before the start of a civil child sex abuse trial. One month later the Diocese and Bishop Robert Bromm released the names of 37 priests who were credibly accused of child sexual abuse. The list of accused priests included the assignment history of each priest and his current stats. The Diocese did not specify the nature or extent of the abuse claims.
Seven months later in September 2007, the Diocese of San Diego reached a settlement of nearly $200 million with 144 sexual abuse survivors.
The Diocese of San Diego has not updated its lists of priests with allegations of sexual abuse since the 2007 list was released as part of the bankruptcy process and the list has since been removed from the Diocese’s website.
On May 14, 2019, the Catholic bishops of California announced the establishment of an Independent Compensation Program for Victim-Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests (ICP) for six California dioceses, including the Diocese of San Diego. The independent program will be administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille Biros, with an oversight committee including include former governor Gray Davis and Maria Contreras-Sweet.
We encourage all survivors of priest sexual abuse to consult with legal counsel before proceeding with a claim as part of these compensation programs in California. We have extensive experience navigating similar programs in New York and Pennsylvania, and our California attorneys and advocates are ready to help you explore your options to determine whether this is the right path for you.