The Jesuit priest who officiated then-President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural Mass — and has been a household good friend for nearly 15 years — is under investigation for unspecified allegations and is now on depart from his place as president of Santa Clara College in California, in line with the faculty.
The Rev. Kevin O’Brien allegedly “exhibited behaviors in grownup settings, consisting primarily of conversations, which can be inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and bounds,” in line with a press release by John Sobrato, chairman of the faculty’s board of trustees.
Sobrato’s assertion didn’t specify the allegations in opposition to O’Brien however mentioned the trustees “help those that got here ahead to share their accounts.”
He mentioned that whereas O’Brien is on depart, the priest can be cooperating with the impartial probe, with conclusions to be shared with the Santa Clara College Board of Trustees.
In January, O’Brien gave the service on the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle for Biden, the nation’s second Catholic president, in addition to Vice President Kamala Harris earlier than the inauguration ceremony on the US Capitol.
He additionally presided over companies for Biden’s inaugurations as vice chairman.
The priest — who has been president of Santa Clara College since July 2019 — has recognized the Biden household for about 15 years, in line with the college. When he met the household, he was serving at Georgetown College, one other Jesuit school.
O’Brien didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from the Related Press.
Tracey Primrose, spokeswoman for the Jesuits West Province, which is overseeing the probe, instructed the Mercury Information that “Jesuits are held to an expert code of conduct, and the Province investigates allegations which will violate or compromise established boundaries.”
The rep didn’t elaborate on the investigation.
“As with all group, the Jesuits West Province has confidentiality practices, which is why I can not present any extra info relating to this matter,” Primrose mentioned.
Santa Clara College alumni and board members expressed shock Thursday.
“I’m unsure what’s happening — I’m actually shocked,” mentioned Norman Kline, a member of the college’s Board of Fellows, a fundraising group, and a former mayor of Saratoga, the Mercury Information reported.
O’Brien, he instructed the paper, was well-liked and impressed the group when he launched into a “listening tour” after his inauguration.
“He’s terrific,” Kline added. “I believe all people preferred him.”
The Canadian-born O’Brien grew to become a US citizen in 1988 at age 22 and earned an undergraduate diploma in authorities that yr from Georgetown College, adopted by a regulation diploma from the College of Florida.
However after exploring a authorized profession, he accepted a job as a trainer at Cardinal Newman Catholic highschool in West Palm Seashore, Florida.
He entered the Jesuit order in 1996 and was ordained in 2006.
Situated in Silicon Valley, Santa Clara College has an annual undergraduate enrollment of about 5,500 college students.
Ranked as one of many high 25 faculties for undergraduate instructing nationwide, the personal college has a million-dollar endowment and counts California Govs. Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown amongst its alumni.
With Submit wires