Jesuit Fr. Larry Gooley
Jesuit Fr. Larry Gooley
A review board for the Jesuits’ Western province has confirmed the credibility of an allegation of “boundary violation” against Jesuit Father Larry Gooley.

The allegation of sexual misconduct involving an adult is decades old, but did not surface until early 2019, when Father Gooley was pastor of St. Mary by the Sea Parish in Rockaway Beach. The 87-year-old priest was removed from his post and sent to live at the province’s retirement facility in Los Gatos, California. He has been cooperating fully with the investigation.

“He has taken responsibility for his actions, and his biggest concern is the healing of the individual who came forward with the allegation,” said a June 26 letter to the parish from Father Scott Santarosa, provincial superior of the Western Jesuits. “He is deeply remorseful for the pain he has caused.”

Asking parishioners to pray for all victims, Father Santarosa said Father Gooley will do further “inner work” and then may return to restricted ministry while still living at the Los Gatos center.

“I know this has been a difficult time for St. Mary’s, and I am sorry for the disruption you have experienced,” Father Santarosa wrote. “This is an example of the Catholic Church responding to the People of God’s demands for greater transparency and accountability, which is very important, although it can be painful when it hits close to home.”

Father Santarosa said he is grateful for the good work Father Gooley did in Rockaway Beach, especially his spiritual outreach to the most vulnerable and hurting.