The following is an excerpt of a letter from the Office of the Chancellor to the Diocese of Oakland:

From: Steve Wilcox, Office of the Chancellor

To: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland: pastors, principals, Chancery employees, executive directors of Catholic Charities, Catholic Cemeteries, Catholic Scouting, and Diocesan Youth Retreat Center.

Date: July 1, 2019

Re: Document Hold Notice – Notice Not to Destroy or Delete Records (“Notice”)

As we communicated in The Weekly bulletins, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a letter to the twelve dioceses and archdioceses in California relating to Preservation of Documents Related to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct and Failure to Comply with Mandatory Reporting Obligations (the “AG Letter”).

Generally, the AG Letter seeks to have us preserve records from 1996 to the present related to any allegations of sexual abuse of minors, whether or not such allegations were credible or were formally reported to anyone, such as law enforcement, the Diocese, child protective services, etc.

This Notice should be shared broadly with everyone at any Diocesan location who might have or oversee this information. Steps must be taken immediately to protect and preserve all information of any kind and in any form that may possibly be related to issues in the AG Letter. It is critical nothing is done that may destroy or alter any information, including digital information.

Adverse consequences may occur if relevant information is destroyed or deleted. Therefore, this is a matter of the highest priority. You may have questions regarding what to do and we have given some guidance below. 

Everyone is responsible to make sure the records and information identified in the AG Letter do not get destroyed or deleted and are preserved. At this point, the Attorney General has asked we merely preserve the information—although we fully expect at some time in the future we will need to review and may need to produce to the Attorney General the records identified.

Full story at Diocese of Oakland website.