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The Catholic Church and the Diocese of Orange are deeply committed and remain vigilant in protecting and caring for children, our most cherished resource. The Church has worked hard to protect children and to ensure their safety. The Diocese employs background checks and fingerprinting for all adults likely to be in contact with children.

Moreover, it is important to note the following facts:

  • The Diocese of Orange cooperates fully with law enforcement and appropriate agencies in reporting alleged incidents of sexual abuse of minors.
  • The Diocese has an Oversight Review Board whose members consider accusations of sexual abuse and who make recommendation to the diocesan bishop as regards how to proceed in individual cases. Current members may be found here: (
  • Every member of the clergy and all diocesan employees have read and signed the diocesan policy on sexual misconduct.
  • Before any man is accepted as a seminarian, he must be deemed fit, having undergone extensive psychological testing and a criminal background check.
  • Information is provided at all parishes regarding how to report sexual abuse of a minor and includes a telephone reporting line (800) 364-3064.

Current statistics

In the period from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, the Diocese of Orange performed background screenings on 26,512 adults. That number is broken down as follows:

  • Priests: 244
  • Deacons: 148
  • Seminarians and Permanent Diaconate Candidates: 64
  • Teachers: 1,763
  • School and parish employees and volunteers: 24,293

We believe one key to preventing child abuse is education and awareness. From July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 in the Diocese of Orange, 44,478 children participated in child safety awareness programs. Moreover, 26,512 adults completed child abuse safety training in the same year.


Members and former members of the clergy removed from ministry

Removed from ministry and returned to the lay state:

  • Christian Anderson
  • Richard Coughlin
  • Michael Harris
  • John Lenihan
  • Daniel J. Murray
  • Dominic Nguyen
  • Michael Pecharich
  • Gerald Plesetz
  • Caesar Salazar

Suspended from ministry and currently seeking to be returned to the lay state

  • Robert Foley

Removed from ministry (forbidden from presenting himself as a priest or from performing any priestly functions):

  • Franklin Buckman: life of prayer and penance. He is regularly visited and monitored.
  • Denis Lyons: life of prayer and penance. He is regularly visited and monitored.
  • Jerome Henson: life of prayer and penance. He is regularly visited and monitored.

Deceased priests:

  • Henry Perez
  • Eleuterio V. Ramos
  • John Ruhl
  • Gerardo Tanilong
  • Siegfried Francis Widera

For a list of priests credibly accused before the creation of the Diocese of Orange in 1976, please
visit the Archdiocese of Los Angeles website at:

  • Original Posting: August, 2016
  • First revision: 26 November 2018
  • Second revision: 30 March 2019
  • Third revision: 16 December 2019
  • Fourth revision: 18 December 2020