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The Jesuit priest who officiated President Joe Biden’s pre-inaugural Mass on Jan. 20th is reportedly under investigation for alleged naughty behavior.
Rev. Kevin O’Brien, a 15-year Biden family friend who serves as the president of Santa Clara University, “exhibited behaviors in adult settings, consisting primarily of conversations, which may be inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and boundaries,” according to a statement by the school’s Board of Trustees.
Published Monday, the statement by board chair John M. Sobrato abstained from specifying these “behaviors” in detail but did announce that an investigation has been launched and that O’Brien “has agreed to cooperate fully.”
Sobrato also revealed that an acting president has been appointed until the investigation is complete and a judgment rendered.
O’Brien appeared in the national spotlight two months ago when he officiated the Biden family’s Mass. He tweeted about it at the time (a copy of the tweet can be found here):
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
His school, meanwhile, posted a press release about the Mass.
“This morning, Santa Clara University President Kevin O’Brien, S.J., celebrated a Roman Catholic Mass for President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, their extended families, and Congressional leadership before Biden’s inauguration as the 46th President of the United States,” the presser reads.
“The Mass was held at The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, with over 100 family members and invited attendees including Democratic and Republican leaders (see below). Violinist Patricia Treacy, soprano Renée Fleming and the St. Augustine Gospel Choir performed during the Mass.”
See video footage from the Mass below:
Watched the motorcade leaving to take joe Biden to mass before inauguration & there’s something like 35 cars, an ambulance & 4 police cars😯
— kerry Hooper 🥀 (@hewitson10) January 20, 2021
Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle ahead of his inauguration pic.twitter.com/2ADE7GsRjf
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 21, 2021
The presser also touted O’Brien’s background and – more importantly — his longtime friendship with the Biden family.
“Fr. O’Brien, a Jesuit priest who has led Santa Clara University since July 2019, has been friends with the Biden family for nearly 15 years, dating back to when O’Brien was serving at Georgetown University. Before becoming president of Santa Clara University, Fr. O’Brien was dean of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University,” it read.
When pressed this week by Mercury News for more clarification regarding the allegations against O’Brien, a spokesperson for the Jesuits West Province, which is reportedly overseeing the investigation, cited confidentiality.
“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 regarding this matter,” she reportedly said.
As to whom exactly the Jesuits are, the “About Page” of Jesuits West Province provides a basic-level summary.
“We are the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers founded in 1540 by the soldier-turned-priest St. Ignatius of Loyola. Most people call us ‘the Jesuits,'” it reads.
“In the vision of our founder, we seek to ‘find God in all things.’ We dedicate ourselves to the ‘greater glory of God’ and the good of all humanity. We do so gratefully, in collaboration with others who share our values, including laypersons, who have become part of the ‘we,’ the extended Jesuit family,” the summary continues.
And so it appears Santa Clara University, which is a private Jesuit school, is essentially a subset of this broader organization, which by the way appears to be a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.
— Jesuits West (@jesuitswest) February 3, 2021
O’Brien meanwhile is known for lecturing about so-called “racial injustice”:
The Jesuits reportedly have a history of improper behavior as it pertains to sex. Last year eight former students of a Jesuit preparatory school in Dallas filed a lawsuit accusing the school’s priests of having sexually abused them.
“All eight men say they were abused during a time in the late 1970s and 1980s, when a cluster of priests that have since been found credibly accused of sexual assault, taught, counseled or coached students at the exclusive Jesuit Prep, according to records,” The Dallas Morning News reported in November.
“The lawsuit alleges the Dallas diocese, Jesuit Dallas Prep and the Jesuits’ U.S. Central and Southern Province, the priests’ spiritual order, all failed in their duty to protect the students, allowing the abuse by the priests to occur over several years and then covering it up.”
To be clear, there’s no evidence that O’Brien’s alleged behavior has anything to do with abuse of any kind. On the other hand, his longtime friend, President Biden, does have a history of alleged abuse:
Biden’s sexual assault accuser calls for complaint records to be released: ‘Why are they under seal?’ https://t.co/941hokjlRF
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 29, 2020
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