Biden inauguration priest resigns as Santa Clara U. president

The Jesuit priest who presided over the inaugural Mass for then President-elect Joe Biden resigned as president of Santa Clara University in California this week after an investigation discovered he had behaved in a fashion “inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and boundaries.”

John Sobrato, the chairman of the college’s board of trustees, confirmed in an announcement Wednesday that Rev. Kevin O’Brien had provided his resignation Sunday and the board had accepted it the next day.

Sobrato added {that a} probe by the Jesuits’ USA West Province confirmed that O’Brien had engaged in inappropriate conduct, “consisting primarily of conversations, during a series of informal dinners with Jesuit graduate students.”

Father Kevin O'Brien with President Biden & First lady Jill Biden
Father Kevin O’Brien presided over the inaugural Mass for Joe Biden.
@kevinobriensj Twitter

The chairman’s letter went on to say that “alcohol was involved” and that the investigation didn’t discover any inappropriate conduct by O’Brien outdoors of the dinner settings. O’Brien had been positioned on depart when the investigation started in March.

O’Brien has been directed by the Jesuits to start a “four-to-six-month therapeutic outpatient program … to address related personal issues, including alcohol and stress counseling,” in line with Sobrato.

President Joe Biden, left, and his wife, Jill Biden, center, stand with heads bowed as the Rev. Kevin O'Brien says the blessing during a Thanksgiving meal for Wounded Warriors
Then-Vice President Joe Biden and his spouse, Jill Biden, stand as the Rev. Kevin O’Brien says the blessing throughout a Thanksgiving meal for Wounded Warriors on Nov. 22, 2010.

In a letter of his personal that was revealed Wednesday by the San Jose Mercury News, O’Brien stated that when his remedy is full, he expects to “return to active ministry as a Jesuit priest, but … it will not be at Santa Clara as president.”

O’Brien didn’t element his conduct within the letter, describing it solely as “behavior over the past year in certain social settings with adults that did not meet the highest standards of decorum expected of me as a Jesuit.”

On Inauguration Day, O’Brien officiated and gave the homily on the morning Mass attended by the Bidens on the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. In a tweet, O’Brien described the president and first woman as “friends of [approximately] 15 years.”

Kevin O’Brien, Biden’s inauguration priest has resigned from his university role.
Kevin O’Brien, Biden’s inauguration priest, has resigned from his college position.

O’Brien joined the Jesuits in 1996 and was ordained as a priest in 2006. He labored for eight years at Georgetown University earlier than changing into dean of Santa Clara’s theology faculty in 2016. He was chosen as college president in 2019.

“This is a challenging time for Santa Clara, but Fr. O’Brien has shown both generosity and freedom in wanting to do what is best for the university,” stated the Rev. Scott Santarosa, head of the Jesuits West Province, in an announcement. “With care for the faculty, staff, students and entire Santa Clara community, he has decided to step down.”

The Survivors Network of these Abused by Priests, identified as SNAP, on Wednesday known as for the Jesuits to broaden the investigation to different locations O’Brien beforehand labored, together with Georgetown, to see if different college students would come ahead.

“SNAP is alarmed with the limited amount of information that has been provided about the case and wants to see the probe expanded,” the assertion stated.

President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend services at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle with Congressional leaders prior the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony on January 20, 2021
Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend companies on the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle with congressional leaders prior the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony on January 20, 2021.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Santa Clara, based in 1851 as the primary Jesuit college within the West, is ranked as one of many prime 25 colleges for undergraduate educating nationwide. California Govs. Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown are amongst its alumni.

With Post wires

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.