San Diego Diocese’s Statement Regarding New Lawsuits

Comment About Lawsuits Diocese 01.02.2020

Letter to Pastors and Parishes – January 1 2020 (1) (1)

SAN DIEGO (Jan. 2, 2020) –While we can’t respond to any specifics involved in these
lawsuits, five of the six men mentioned in today’s news conference are known sexual predators
whose names have been published on our website. All of the men are dead. Two of them
belong to Catholic religious orders (Koerner and Marron) and were not San Diego diocesan
priests. The sixth, Alexander Pinter, came from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, was briefly in San
Diego in the early 1960’s, but eventually moved to the Diocese of Oakland. Both dioceses have
published Pinter’s name on their list of accused priests, but no complaint about Pinter was ever
received in the Diocese of San Diego.
At least one of these men was rightfully sent to prison for his crimes. Our hearts and
prayers and deepest apologies go out to their victims and all victims of clergy sex abuse.
Regardless of the legal issues involved, we have a moral obligation to provide assistance
to any victim-survivor of that abuse and we would urge their attorney to contact us so that
counseling can be arranged at our expense. There are no prior conditions and the offer of
counseling stands regardless of any lawsuit against the diocese.
The sexual abuse of minors is evil, regardless of when it happens. As a result of various
reforms in 2002 and earlier, including mandatory Safe Environment training for clergy and all
church workers, annual age-appropriate safety training for students in Catholic schools and
religious education, enhanced criminal background checks and enhanced awareness and
vigilance, no new incidents of abuse have been reported to the diocese in nearly two decades.
Details about the steps the diocese has taken to prevent and report abuse can be found
on our website at www.safeinourdiocese.org.
Finally, we would also invite any victim-survivor of sexual abuse to participate in the
Independent Compensation Program established last fall as an additional avenue they can use
to pursue their legal claims. There are no costs or obligation to victims. If they go through the
program and reject the compensation offer, they receive, they have not given up their right to
pursue their claim in the courts. In most cases, a qualifying victim-survivor will receive an offer
within 90 days of their claim being finalized.