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St Bernard's Church, Eureka

Father McCabe’s Californian victims begin to come forward

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St Bernard's Church, Eureka

Read more - Irish Church relocated a known pedophile to California

Since the story of Father Patrick Joseph McCabe broke, less than three weeks ago, four new victims of sexual abuse have come forward.

Patrick Joseph McCabe, no longer a member of the clergy, is now 74-years-old and is being extradited to Ireland to face six counts of abuse. He is currently being held in Alameda County's Santa Rita jail pending a federal extradition hearing.

The victims have spoken to the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priest (SNAP) over the last week, since widespread coverage of the case has been in the U.S press.

Two of the victims are already seeking legal counsel. They were both nine years old and students at St. Bernard's Catholic Parish when the alleged abuse took place.

He was sent to the United States following suspicions which arose about his behavior in Ireland. His case is described, detail by detail, in the Murphy Report, writing by Judge Yvonne Murphy, released last year.

In 1983 he came to St. Bernard's Parish, in Eureka, California just one month after he had been diagnosed as a pedophile in a rehabilitation clinic in New Mexico. He had been prescribed medication to tame his sexual desires for young boys.

Joey Piscitelli, the northwest director of SNAP, told IrishCentral "After he left rehab in New Mexico he applied to the parish and got the job. In other words the Church knew that he had just come from rehab. They should not have given him that position and realized he was a danger to children."

He remained in St. Bernard's Parish, working with the school there, until 1985, when he left due to "inappropriate conduct". He was then placed in Guerneville Parish until 1988 when he left the church for good.

Over the last six days Piscitelli has been contacted by four people who claim that they were abused by McCabe while he was placed in St. Bernard Parish.

Piscitelli, however, is not surprised. He told IrishCentral "This is always the way that we get victims to come forward. They hear the name in the press and decide to speak out."

The first two men, who have come forward to SNAP, both attended St. Bernard's Catholic Parish. They are both now in their forties and claim that McCabe abused them during his time in Eureka when they were just nine-years-old.

Although Piscitelli could not discuss the four people's allegations against McCabe he said that while two had contacted legal counsel, all four have not yet decided whether to make official allegation to the authorities.

Piscitelli said that "The Diocese of Santa Rosa (where St. Bernard's is located) contacted me after they heard that people had contacted me in relation to Father McCabe."

He continued "I always tell people not to call the church because the policy of the church in dealing with victims has been so bad, especially in Santa Rosa."

He continued "Two years ago three children came forward with allegations [against Father Xavier Ochoa]. Bishop Walsh, of the Santa Rosa Diocese, gave the priest a three day start. The priest went to Mexico and he has never been found. They could have caught that priest and now he's gone. You can't trust them."

Piscitelli believes it is St. Bernard's Parishes responsibility to support its parishioners and reach out to other victims. He said "St. Bernard's has that responsibility…The church has a responsibility because this man was known to be a predator.”

Read more - Irish Church relocated a known pedophile to California

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