Msgr. George J. Francis – Diocese of Oakland

| Dec 7, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Monsignor George J. Francis

Diocese of Oakland

Ordained: 1937

Removed: 1986

Died: 1998

Assigned as follows:

  • 1938-1943: St. Patrick’s (San Jose, CA)
  • 1944-1949: St. Cyril’s (Oakland, CA)
  • 1950-1956: Epiphany (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1957-1987: St. Bede (Hayward, CA)
  • 1988-1998: Retired, St. Bede (Hayward, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor George J Francis:

Msgr. George J Francis was ordained for the Diocese of San Francisco in 1937. According to media reports, in 1990, he was named in a lawsuit filed by a woman who alleged that he raped her as a 7-year old girl in 1959. Church officials denied any wrongdoing by Francis but settled the case in 1993.

According to media reports, another lawsuit was filed in 2002, alleging that he sexually abused a girl from approximately 1979 to 1982 starting when she was about age 5 through 8. She said during that time, he became a close friend to her parents, often visiting for dinner and joining them on family trips, including a summer vacation to Hawaii in 1980. The abuse occurred when he took her on several unsupervised day and weekend trips to Sacramento and San Jose. He also abused her every other Friday at St. Bede’s rectory. The case was later settled in 2004 for $3 million.

“I was raped several times by Francis, very ritualistically and sadistically,” she said. “He [Francis] told me that God would take someone I loved if I told anyone.”

In 2002, both victims went public, and the Diocese of Oakland admitted that Francis was a serial child sexual abuser and that they knew of at least nine more girls that were his victims. During the apology service at St. Bede’s, one victim said as she pointed to a windowless, wooden chamber in the back corner of the church, “I was raped in that confessional right back there, that one.”

In 2019, Francis’ name appeared on the Diocese of Oaklands’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted incidents of abuse occurring in the 1960s and 1972.

In 1986, Francis was removed from ministry/retired and died in 1998.

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