The Jesuit priest who officiated at Joe Biden’s inaugural Mass, Rev. Kevin O’Brien, who has been a personal friend of Biden’s for almost 15 years, is now under investigation in California.
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
According a statement from John Sobrato, the chairman of the board of Santa Clara University, a Jesuit-run school where O’Brien is the president, the priest allegedly “exhibited behaviors in adult settings, consisting primarily of conversations, which may be inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and boundaries.” The statement didn’t clarify what the allegations were about, but it said that the trustees “support those who came forward to share their accounts.” O’Brien has now been placed on leave during the investigation, the NY Post reported.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 19, 2021
O’Brien also officiated at Biden’s inaugurations when he was Vice President.
Biden’s inaugural priest Father Kevin O’Brien is put on leave from university over misconduct claims https://t.co/E5ClCLxy76
— Bourbiza Mohamed (@techgateorg) March 19, 2021
A spokesperson for the Jesuits West Province who are doing the probe said that they had confidentiality procedures. and so they could not be commenting any further, according to Mercury News.
The statement further said:
“An independent investigation into these accounts is being conducted on behalf of the USA West Province and the conclusions of the Province’s process will be shared with the Santa Clara University Board of Trustees. Father O’Brien was placed on leave from his position as University President for the duration of the investigation by the USA West Province consistent with its protocols. He has agreed to cooperate fully with the investigation and honor the process that he affirms annually as part of his ongoing Jesuit training.”
The University said they are approaching it as serious but “at the same time, we fully respect Father O’Brien’s right to a fair and impartial investigation.”
This, of course, sparked a lot of comment and speculation as to what was going on and what the allegations encompassed; there would appear to be significant allegations, to go to this length to relive him of duty.
People who knew him seemed surprised at the story and indicated O’Brien was well-liked.
Biden has called O’Brien a “national treasure” in the past (2016).
— Georgetown Alumni (@GUAlumni) May 25, 2016
Words that might come back to haunt him, depending on what’s going on here.
Neither O’Brien or Biden are talking about what the allegations are so far, and the failure to talk is only going to open the speculation of the worst. If it’s less than the worst, they should have put more parameters on it. It’s a college, so there are personnel procedures that they have to be conscious of; but it really does him no favors, if it isn’t really bad.
Chalk up another embarrassment in a slew of embarrassments, from falling multiple times on the stairs to being scolded and insulted by China and Russia. It has not been a good day for Biden.