Msgr. William A. Kraft – Diocese of San Bernardino

Monsignor William A. Kraft

Diocese of San Bernardino

William A. Kraft Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1951

Died: 2001

Assigned as follows:

  • 1953: Holy Rosary (San Bernardino, CA)
  • 1954-1956: Blessed Sacrament (San Diego, CA)
  • 1955:  University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
  • 1955-1964: Newman Clubs and Aquinas Clubs
  • 1957-1970: St. Therese of The Child of Jesus (San Diego, CA)
  • 1965-1970: Cemeteries
  • 1969: Senate of Priests
  • 1971-1977: Good Shepherd (San Diego, CA)
  • 1978: St. Charles Borromeo (San Diego, CA)
  • 1979-1991: Building Committee
  • 1980: On Special Assignment, Director Office of Financial Programs and Planning
  • 1980-1981: St. Catherine Laboure (San Diego, CA)
  • 1982-1989: Office of Financial Programs
  • 1982-1991: Diocesan Deferred Giving
  • 1982-1990: Campaign for Human Development (San Diego, CA)
  • 1983: St. Mary’s (National City, CA)
  • 1984-1986: Immaculata (San Diego, CA)
  • 1985-1991: Presbyteral Council Consultors
  • 1986: Special Assignment, Catholic Community Services (San Diego, CA)
  • 1987-1991: Special Assignment, Office of Development (San Diego, CA)
  • 1989-1991: Catholic Relief Services

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor William A Kraft:

Msgr. William A Kraft became known as a successful fund-raiser and was named the executive development director of the diocese. He was honored for his service by Pope John Paul II. He also had a pattern of abuse dating back to 1953, two years after he was ordained. According to media reports, multiple survivors have come forward alleging child sexual abuse by Kraft, including several minor boys and at least one girl from 1953 through the 1970s. The accusations range from fondling to rape. Kraft denied all allegations. 

Kraft has been named in multiple civil lawsuits filed in 2003. According to media reports, one of the suits alleged that he attempted to rape a boy in the church rectory at St. Therese in Del Cerro in 1969, after abusing him for five years beginning when the boy was 11. In December 2001, another suit alleged abuse of a boy beginning when he was 9 until he was 17 years old, while Kraft was pastor of Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church in Mira Mesa. The case was settled for $250,000. 

According to media reports, one suit was by a woman who alleged that she had been sexually abused when she was a teen in 1961. She had been hospitalized with rheumatic fever and claimed that Kraft molested her while administering the sacrament of the last rites of the church. Another suit was by a man who said Kraft abused him hundreds of times from 1970 to 1974 and gave him gifts, including money and a motorcycle, to keep quiet. 

In March 2007, Kraft’s name was included in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The suits were settled in September 2007, as part of a $198.1 million settlement. In October 2010, as part of a settlement with survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the Diocese of San Diego released his personnel file which revealed letters from an accuser’s parents dated back to 1969, addressed to the then-bishop Francis Furey. 

Richard Sipe, a former priest, and retired psychotherapist said that he believed the letters are authentic. 

“So there are many, many, many documents, files and files, and files of documents that show the sexual activity — with minors — by priests of this diocese,” said Sipe. “It went on from the very beginning of this diocese”.

A statement from the Diocese said, “the letters also indicate that Bishop Furey investigated the allegation and found no reason to take further action”.

William A Kraft retired in 1991 and died in September 2001.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in San Bernardino, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.