Diocese of Santa Rosa Announces Sex Abuse Settlement
SANTA ROSA—The Diocese of Santa Rosa today announced it has paid what it characterizes as “a significant settlement” to a victim of the deceased Fr. Ted Oswald, who died in 2010.
With this settlement, there are no known abuse cases pending against the diocese.
Bishop Robert F. Vasa, who has led the diocese since 2011, expressed great sadness for the victim and for all victims.
“The settlement involves a lot of money. It does not, however, restore peace and tranquility to this child of God. I pray this can come in time.
“I humbly apologize to this young person on behalf of the Church that failed to protect them. I also take this occasion to apologize to all victims for the harm done to them. This perversity, though prevalent in all parts of society, was allowed to persist in the Church for too long. Thus while continuing to be vigilant we must also seek forgiveness. Those who have left the Church because of this scandal must be invited again to believe the Church brings goodness, truth, and the light of Christ’s healing presence and mercy.
“This requires the Church to root out every hint of this type of perversity. This is a task beyond human power. So while we need to maintain attentive vigilance, we especially need to redouble our attentiveness to prayer and works of penance.
“Finally, let me say this: The Diocese of Santa Rosa in California has policies and procedures in place, but everyone in every parish and school needs to cooperate with them if we are to ensure the safety and well-being of our children and everyone else. Sadly, evil will still occur, but it will not ever be tolerated.
“Again let me reiterate my heartfelt plea for forgiveness, recognizing that forgiveness, however difficult, is necessary for authentic healing to take place.”
The settlement does not come out of the diocese’s Capital Campaign or Annual Ministries Appeal. It will not impact any existing ministries. Rather, the funds will primarily come from insurance reserves.