Fr. Bernard Dabbene – Diocese of Oakland

| Dec 7, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Bernard Dabbene

Diocese of Oakland/Salesians

Ordained: 1966

Removed: 2000

Died: 2010

Assigned as follows:

  • The late 1950s: Salesian Seminary (Richmond, CA)
  • 1966-1968: St. Francis High School (Watsonville, CA)
  • 1968-1972: Don Bosco Technical High School (S. San Gabriel/Rosemead, CA)
  • 1972-1979: Salesian High School (Richmond, CA)
  • 1979-1982: Don Bosco Technical Institute (Rosemead, CA)
  • 1982-1983: Unknown
  • 1983-1984: Salesian Provincial Residence (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1984-1985: Salesian Community (Berkeley, CA)
  • 1985-1989: St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA)
  • 1989-1993: Salesian Provincial Residence (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1993-1999: Corpus Christi (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1998-2000: Archdiocesan Vicar for Parishes and Archdiocese Board of Education (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1999-2000: Cathedral of St. Mary (Assumption) (San Francisco, CA)
  • 2000-2010: Salesian Provincial Residence (San Francisco, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Bernard Dabbene:

Fr. Bernard Dabbene was a Salesian priest who became Principal of Salesian High School, Director of Don Bosco Tech in Rosemead, California, and served on the Archdiocesan Board of Education in Los Angeles. He once held a prominent post as former San Francisco Archbishop William J. Levada’s chief liaison to parishes in the archdiocese.

According to media reports, in November 2000, he was suspended from ministry after he was arrested for suspected child molestation when police caught him in his car with a 17 year-old boy he picked up in the Mission district of San Francisco, both with their pants unzipped. He was found guilty and sentenced to 300 hours of community service and 3 years’ probation. He was also ordered to get counseling, to avoid minors, and to register as a sex offender.

In 2001, Dabbene was sent to St. John Vianney Center in Philadelphia for six months of sex offender treatment. He then went back to live with the Salesians in San Francisco, where he worked as an archivist. In 2002, a man alleged that he had molested him as a ninth-grader at a Salesian Seminary High School when the priest was a teacher and lay brother. The man said he reported the abuse at the time to the Salesians. Dabbene was never removed from the Salesian order.

In 2019, his name appeared on the Diocese of Oaklands’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.

Dabbene died in 2010.

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