The priest who held President Joe Biden’s inaugural Mass is under investigation for allegedly behaving inappropriately, the Santa Clara University Board of Trustees Chairman announced.
Father Kevin O’Brien, who is president of the university, is being investigated for “exhibited behaviors in adult settings” that violate Jesuit protocols and boundaries, according to the announcement. The university placed O’Brien on leave after receiving allegations of inappropriate behavior from the Provincial of the USA West Province.
“I have been informed by the Provincial of the USA West Province that the Jesuit Provincial Office recently received accounts that Father O’Brien exhibited behaviors in adult settings, consisting primarily of conversations, which may be inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and boundaries,” John Sobrato, chair of the board of trustees said in a statement Monday.
Sobrato revealed in the statement that a thorough investigation is ongoing and its results will be announced at a later date. He added that O’Brien has a right to a fair investigation and that any accusations should be thoroughly examined.
My friends of ≈15 years, @JoeBiden & @DrBiden asked me to celebrate Mass for their family & friends at inauguration. I will offer the peace and support of prayer as the new admin tries to heal a divided nation. May God bless all public officials as they serve the common good. pic.twitter.com/Mhqd6TKNUL
— Kevin O’Brien, S.J. (@kevinobriensj) January 20, 2021
Tracey Primrose, a Jesuits West Province spokesperson, which is leading the investigation, told The Mercury News that the province has confidentiality rules which prevent her from revealing additional information about the allegations against O’Brien.
“Jesuits are held to a professional code of conduct, and the Province investigates allegations that may violate or compromise established boundaries. As with any organization, the Jesuits West Province has confidentiality practices, which is why I cannot provide any additional information at this time,” Primrose said.
O’Brien held Biden’s inaugural Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on Jan. 20.
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