San Francisco Archdiocese named in lawsuit alleging abuse


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The San Francisco Archdiocese is named in a lawsuit along with 10 other diocese and the California Catholic Conference.

You may remember the name tom emens. Back in October, Emens visited San Francisco to announce his public nuisance lawsuit.

Emens alleges he was assaulted by a priest when he was 11, but right now — that priest in question isn’t named on any lists released by diocese so far.

Though this lawsuit is very personal for him — he says he’s hopeful the result will help all other victims too.

“A true victory for us would be a full deposition of all bishops to find out what they knew and when they knew it,” Emens said.

Emens and his attorneys are cautiously optimistic after a los angeles judge recently ruled that a portion of their lawsuit could proceed.

“It’s uncharted legal territory, but I trust the process,” he said. “We’re doing all we can but we can only do so much.”

Emens lawsuit aims to release the names and documented histories on all clerical offenders in each diocese in California.

“I believe it’s of just cause,” he said. “I believe it’s of note and of worth to the public to be aware of.”

Though the judge dismissed part of the lawsuit that alleged civil conspiracy, she did leave some of the claims open to further proceedings — saying, “making affirmative representations of the fitness of priests for assignments while concealing information regarding the sexual misconduct of those priests is not an issue of free speech but an issue of false speech.”

“At the very least I think the public has the right to know what information is in those files and that their kids are safe,” he said. “And without this lawsuit I think we could go on for years and years and never know the truth.”

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is among the last few of the California Diocese to withhold names of accused clergy members. 

Officials said Wednesday, their independent analysis of more than 4,000 files is not yet complete.

“This is our opportunity to get to the bottom of it and maybe feel for once in your life that you’re in control again,” Emens said.

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