Tag: Oakland Diocese

Msgr. John McCracken – Diocese of Oakland

Monsignor John McCracken

Diocese of Oakland

John T. McCracken Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1944

Died: 2012

Assignment History:

  • 1944-1948: St. Augustine Church (Oakland, CA)
  • Summers of 1950s-1960s: Sunshine Camp in Mendocino County
  • 1950-1956: Catholic Social Service (Oakland, CA)
  • 1956-1958: Catholic Social Service for Marin, Solano, and Contra Costa Counties
  • 1958-1962: Catholic Social Service for Solano and Contra Costa Counties
  • 1962-1970: Catholic Charities, Diocese of Oakland
  • 1969-1970: St. Benedict Parish (Oakland, CA)
  • 1970-1979: Queen of All Saints (Concord, CA)
  • 1979-1983: St. Mary Parish (Walnut Creek, CA)
  • 1983-1985: Santa Maria (Orinda, CA)
  • 1989-2006: St. Anne (Walnut Creek, CA)
  • 2010-2012: St. Isidore Parish (Danville, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Monsignor John McCracken:

Msgr. John McCracken served as a priest throughout the Bay Area for over six decades. In May 2021, a lawsuit was filed against the Diocese of Oakland alleging sexual abuse by McCracken between 1972 and 1974. According to media reports, the victim alleges that when he was an 11-year-old boy at Queen of All Saints in Concord, California, McCracken would summon him to his office in the rectory, touch him inappropriately and then rape him. According to his old medical records, he was treated for “rectal bleeding” during that time frame.

Now in his 60’s, the man claims he was crippled with very deep depression and anxiety for years and was in 30 years of group therapy because of the abuse. He believes there were other victims of McCracken.

McCracken died in 2012. He was the oldest and longest-serving priest of the Diocese of Oakland. The case is pending investigation.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. Francis Verngren – Diocese of Santa Rosa

Brother Francis Verngren

Diocese of Santa Rosa (Christian Brothers)

Francis Verngren Diocese of Santa Rosa Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1936

Died: 2003

Assignment History:

  • 1937-1939: Unknown
  • 1940-1959: St. Peter’s High School and Sacred Heart High School (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1959-1969: St. Mary’s College High School (Berkeley, CA)
  • 1969-1984: St. Mary’s College High School (Napa, CA)
  • 1984: Justin-Siena High School (Napa, CA)
  • 1985-1988: Unknown
  • 1989: Retired

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother Francis Verngren:

Br. Francis Verngren was a member of the Christian Brothers religious order who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. According to media reports, in 2003, a man filed a civil lawsuit alleging that Br. Verngren sexually abused him when he was a child from 1966 until 1970 while Br. Verngren was principal and head dorm resident at St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley. The lawsuit was settled within a few months. Verngren died in December of that same year.

Br. Verngren is publicly named on the Oakland Diocese’s and the Santa Rosa Diocese’s 2019 list of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Santa Rosa in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Santa Rosa now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Diocese of Santa Rosa, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. Terrence Wong – Diocese of Oakland

Brother Terrence Wong

Diocese of Oakland/Marianists

Terrence Wong Horowitz LawJoined Order: Unknown

Died: 1997

Assignment History:

  • Joseph High School (Alameda, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother Terrence Wong:

A member of the Marianist religious order, Fr. Terrence Wong, was accused in a civil lawsuit, alleging that he sexually abused a child from approximately 1967 to 1970. According to media reports, the abuse is said to have occurred at St. Joseph High School in Alameda, California. The details of the sexual abuse allegations, including when and where the alleged abuse occurred, or the victim’s age/gender, are unknown.

He was listed publicly on the Diocese of Oakland 2019 list and the Marianists’ 2020 list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Wong died in 1997.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Stephen Whelan – Diocese of Oakland

Father Stephen Whelan

Diocese of Oakland/Salesians

Stephen Whelan Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1969

Removed: 2003

Assignment History:

  • 1970: Salesian High School (Richmond, CA)
  • 1971-1978: St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA)
  • 1979-1980: St. Francis Junior High School (Watsonville, CA)
  • 1981-1983: Unknown
  • 1984-2005: SS. Peter and Paul (San Francisco, CA)
  • 2006-2008: Salesian Provincial Residence (San Francisco, CA)
  • 2009-2016: Berkeley Salesians of Don Bosco (Berkeley, CA)
  • 2017-2018: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Stephen Whelan:

Fr. Stephen Whelan is a Salesian priest who worked in several California dioceses, including the Diocese of Oakland and Archdiocese of San Francisco. According to media reports, in 2003, Whelan was accused in a civil lawsuit of sexually abusing a child from 1970 to 1971 at St. John Bosco High School in Richmond, California. The accuser stated that Br. Billante saw the whole thing and did not report it. He was found guilty and was removed from ministry immediately following the verdict.

In 2019, Whelan was included on the Diocese of Oakland list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Whelan was sent to a provincial house in Berkeley, California, where he still resides today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. Francis Verngren – Diocese of Oakland

Brother Francis Verngren

Diocese of Oakland/Christian Brothers

Francis Verngren Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1936

Died: 2003

Assignment History:

  • 1937-1939: Unknown
  • 1940-1959: St. Peter’s High School and Sacred Heart High School (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1959-1969: St. Mary’s College High School (Berkeley, CA)
  • 1969-1984: St. Mary’s College High School (Napa, CA)
  • 1984: Justin-Siena High School (Napa, CA)
  • 1985-1988: Unknown
  • 1989: Retired

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother Francis Verngren:

Br. Francis Verngren was a member of the Christian Brothers’ religious order. According to media reports, in 2003, a man filed a civil lawsuit alleging that Verngren sexually abused him when he was a child from 1966 until 1970 while Verngren was principal and head dorm resident at St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley. The lawsuit was settled within a few months, and Verngren died that same year.

Verngren is publicly named on the Diocese of Oakland list and the Diocese of Santa Rosa 2019 list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Verngren died in 2003.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. John Vas – Diocese of Oakland

Brother John Vas

Diocese of Oakland/Salesian

John Vas Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Assignment History:

  • 1959-1967: Salesian High School (Richmond, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother John Vas:

Br. John Vas was a member of the Salesians religious order who worked in the Diocese of Oakland and San Francisco. According to media reports, in 2008, a woman accused Vas of sexually abusing her for approximately seven years beginning in the 1960s when she was seven years old at Salesian High School in Richmond, California, where Vas was the band instructor. Vas has reportedly been accused of sexually abusing at least one other person.

According to media reports, in 2018, Vas was part of a group of clergy members accused of molesting boys at Salesian schools in the 1950s to 1960s.

As of 2008, Vas was living in Florida with his wife of 38 years.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Ramon Varela – Diocese of Oakland

Father Ramon Varela

Diocese of Oakland/Franciscans

Ramon Varela Horowitz LawOrdained: 1949

Died: 2002

Assignment History:

  • 1949-1955: Native American Mission, AZ
  • 1955-1960: St. Mary’s (Stockton, CA)
  • 1960-1962: Mission San Miguel (San Miguel, CA)
  • 1962-1963: St. Peter’s (Bapchule, AZ)
  • 1963-1967: Sacred Heart (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 1967-1968: St. Elizabeth’s (Oakland CA)
  • 1968-1970: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Fresno, CA)
  • 1970-1972: Our Lady of Guadalupe (San Jose, CA)
  • 1972-1976: Ascension (Portland, OR)
  • 1975-1978: Saints Simon and Jude (Huntington Beach, CA)
  • 1978-1979: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Delano, CA)
  • 1979 Sacred Heart (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 1979-1993: St. Francis Home (Santa Ana, NM)
  • 1993-2001: ElderCare Facilities (NM)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Ramon Varela:

Fr. Ramon Varela, a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Barbara, was named publicly as accused by the Franciscans’ St. Barbara Province list in 2019 that is credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. He was included on the Diocese of Oakland list along with the Diocese of Phoenix list in 2019. According to this list, a report was made in 1994, alleging that Varela sexually abused minors from 1949 to 1979. Information about the age/gender of his alleged victim/victims, the nature of the alleged sexual abuse, or Varela’s assignments at the time of the alleged abuse is unknown.

In 2020, Varela was included on the Diocese of Stockton list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

His status as a priest and whether he had access to children from 1993 until his death is unknown.

Varela died in 2002.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Robert Van Handel – Diocese of Oakland

Father Robert Van Handel

Diocese of Oakland/FranciscansRobert Van Handel Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1975

Laicized: 1997

Assignment History:

  • 1975-1991: St. Anthony Seminary (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • 1991-1992: Franciscan Friars Provincial House, Oakland, CA
  • 1992: St. Luke Institute (Suitland, MD)
  • 1993-2020: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Robert Van Handel:

A Franciscan priest in California, Fr. Robert Van Handel, started a boys’ choir in Berkeley and later moved to Santa Barbara, California where he taught at St. Anthony’s Seminary High School and founded the Santa Barbara Boys’ Choir. At these locations, Van Handel allegedly abused at least 25 boys from 1975 to 1992, including his own nephew.

The first allegation of child sexual abuse against Van Handel came in 1992 and resulted in Van Handel being removed from active ministry. He was then sent to St. Luke Institute, an institution known for treating priests accused of child sexual abuse.

According to media reports, in 1994, Van Handel was criminally charged with sexually abusing students and sentenced to eight years in prison. He only served four years in prison and was on parole for four years. After his release in 1998, he moved to Santa Cruz, California, and is a registered sex offender.

A sexual autobiography written by Van Handel for a therapist was released describing the sexual events throughout his life, including his abuse of children. In the document, he claims that he was sexually abused as a student at St. Anthony’s in the 1960s. He states, “There is something about me that is happier when accompanied by a small boy…Perhaps besides the sexual element, the child in me wants a playmate”.

Van Handel was laicized in 1997. He was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors and the Diocese of Oakland list, and the St. Barbara Province Franciscans’ list in 2019.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Gary B. Tollner – Diocese of Oakland

Father Gary B. Tollner

Diocese of OaklandGary B. Tollner Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1961

Died: 1999

Assignment History:

  • 1961-1966 St. John the Baptist (El Cerrito, CA)
  • 1966-1971 St. Lawrence O’Toole (Oakland, CA)
  • 1971-1973 Santa Maria (Orinda, CA)
  • 1973-1985 St. Phillip Neri (Alameda, CA)
  • 1985-1995 St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus (Oakland, CA)
  • 1985-1999 Propagation of the Faith (Oakland, CA)
  • 1988-1999 St. Peter the Apostle Society (Oakland, CA)
  • 1989-1999 Catholic Ladies’ Aid Society (Oakland, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Gary B Tollner:

A priest of the Oakland Diocese, Fr. Gary B Tollner, has been accused of sexually abusing at least six children since the 1960s. According to media reports, in 1982, his sister-in-law reported that he had sexually abused her developmentally disabled young adult son. When this accusation came to light, others began to report abuse by Tollner. Reports were also made by parishioners that alleged that Tollner was engaging in suspicious behavior with young boys involving alcohol, drugs, and a hot tub.

In 1985, Tollner was sent to St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland, an institution known for treating priests accused of child sex abuse. According to media reports, in 1987, Tollner was accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy at St. Lawrence O’Toole beginning in 1966, and that the abuse continued into adulthood. From 1985 to 1995, Tollner was allowed to reside at a parish, which had a school, in which he held several Chancery positions. Tollner was named publicly as a sex offender at the February 2004 Diocese of Oakland’s apology service.

In 2019, Tollner was included on the Diocese of Oakland list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Tollner died in 1999.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. Tom Thing – Diocese of Oakland

Brother Tom Thing

Diocese of Oakland/Franciscans

Tom Thing Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Removed: 2004

Assignment History:

  • 1974-1978: St. Anthony Seminary School (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • 1979-1981: Unknown
  • 1982-1983: Invested/Simple Vows
  • 1983: St. Paul of the Shipwreck (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1984: Unknown
  • 1985: 7th Street Formation House
  • 1986-1989: Unknown
  • 1990: St. Francis (Provo, UT)
  • 1991-1993: Unknown
  • 1994: Old Mission San Luis Rey (Oceanside, CA)
  • 1995: Leave of absence
  • 1996-2001: University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
  • 2001: Health sabbatical
  • 2002: Unknown
  • 2003: Old Mission San Luis Rey (Oceanside, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother Tom Thing:

Br. Tom Thing was a member of the Franciscan Friars of California. Allegations of child sexual abuse by Thing surfaced when he was a pre-novitiate candidate at St. Anthony’s Seminary in Santa Barbara, California. According to media reports, Thing was then transferred to the Diocese of Las Vegas, where allegations of abuse again surfaced when Thing worked at St. Christopher’s Elementary School in North Las Vegas in the 1980s.

At least one survivor has come forward with allegations of child sexual abuse during this time. In 2003, he returned to Old Mission San Luis Ray where he was paired with a guardian to monitor his behavior. In 2004, Thing was officially released from the Order.

In 2011, a civil suit was filed against Thing in Las Vegas, alleging that he sexually abused a 7th-grade boy at St. Christopher Elementary School. From 2010 to 2011, it was reported that Thing was the director of student life at Rosemead Buddhist University. While at Rosemead Buddhist University, Thing allegedly had a relationship with a younger student.

Thing was named in civil lawsuits filed in 1995, 2004, and 2011. Thing has been living in Whittier, California, since 2017. He is listed on the Diocese of Las Vegas 2019 list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor, as well as on the Diocese of Oakland 2019 list and the Province’s list.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.