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Statement by Bishop Michael C. Barber regarding Kiesle

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Statement by Bishop Michael C. Barber regarding Kiesle

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Statement by Bishop Michael C. Barber regarding allegation against former priest Stephen Kiesle


January 13, 2017

OAKLAND, CA – Bishop Michael C. Barber of the Diocese of Oakland has released the following statement regarding the recent allegations of abuse by Stephen Kiesle, a former priest of the Diocese of Oakland:

“I am deeply sorry for the hurt caused by Stephen Kiesle. While I know my predecessors and others moved as quickly as they could to remove his access to children, the pain that he inflicted on vulnerable young people is a crime and a sin. The Diocese has provided counseling and other services to all who have brought credible allegations of clergy sexual abuse to our attention. We continue to do so.“

The Diocese of Oakland requires all clergy, employees and volunteers to receiving training in child protection, first before beginning work or volunteering, and then every three years thereafter. These same individuals also receive a criminal background check.

The Diocesan Victims Assistance Ministry offers a variety of avenues for victims and family members to report their experiences and to be welcomed, to receive pastoral care, and to learn about and access much-needed services. Diocesan staff serving in the Office of Victims Assistance believe that individuals and communities are best served through a prompt response to requests for help, respectful listening, attention to their needs, and services to help them in the healing process. Survivors are encouraged to call 510-267-8373.

The Diocese of Oakland serves two counties in the East Bay region, Alameda and Contra Costa, and has 84 parishes, 16 pastoral centers, nine high schools, and 44 elementary and middle schools.