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Fr. Kevin O'BrienSanta Clara University / YouTube

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WASHINGTON D.C, March 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Jesuit priest who offered Mass on the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration, Father Kevin O’Brien, has been placed under investigation for unspecified actions, in what have been described as “adult settings.” 

The news came in a press release from the chair of the board of trustees of Santa Clara University in California, where Fr. O’Brien has been president since 2019. The statement, from John M. Sobrato, mentioned that he had been informed by “the Provincial of the USA West Province that the Jesuit Provincial Office recently received accounts that Father O’Brien exhibited behaviors in adult settings, consisting primarily of conversations, which may be inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and boundaries.”

Sobrato added that an “independent investigation” was being conducted on behalf of the USA West Province, and during this time O’Brien has been placed on leave from his role as president, until the investigation reaches a conclusion. 

There was no further detail given about the nature of the actions which led to the investigation being launched. 

However, Sobrato continued by noting that the trustees “support” all who came forward to “share their accounts.” 

“It is important that anyone who witnesses actions they believe are inconsistent with SCU’s values or rules is able to share their concerns and have confidence that they will be taken seriously,” he stated. 

O’Brien was to be given a “fair and impartial investigation,” noted Sobrato, but he also urged anyone with “Concerns,” to contact the Jesuit’s West Provincial office

LifeSiteNews contacted the Jesuit’s West Province for a comment, but the office did not respond. However in comments made to The Mercury News, Jesuit spokeswoman Tracey Primrose said that “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.”

However, neither the university’s, nor Primrose’s comments have satisfied anti-abuse group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), who urged Santa Clara University to “be more transparent regarding the allegations so as to encourage others who may have experienced similar misconduct to come forward.” SNAP accused the “vague statement” of doing “no favors to either the university community or the alleged victims.”

The mysterious allegations surrounding Fr. O’Brien emerge just weeks after he offered Mass before Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, at Washington’s Cathedral of St. Matthew. The event was described by Austin Ruse, the president of the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM), thus:  “Joe Biden ate and drank his own spiritual death. That he received the Holy Eucharist from the hands of a Cardinal of the Church adds scandal upon scandal. One radio wag called it a mass for Planned Parenthood. And so, it was.”

The Jesuits have been keen to promote the relationship they now enjoy with the White House, and following the inaugural Mass, published the text of O’Brien’s homily, in which he praised Joe and Jill Biden for their “humility and hope.” 

“As you have done so often in your public and private life and during the campaign, Joe and Jill, you ground this day in your faith and in the familiar readings and prayers of these sacred rituals,” declared O’Brien.

He welcomed Biden’s current occupancy of the White House, mentioning on Twitter that “After too much darkness, the dawn breaks today, this inaugural day.”

Announcing his participation in Biden’s inaugural mass, O’Brien wrote online that “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.”

In fact, their relationship goes back 15 years, and dates to the Jesuit’s time at Georgetown University, where he served as Vice-President for five years. 

Ordained in 2006, O’Brien previously presided over other inaugural Masses in 2009 and 2013, when Biden was Vice-President under Barack Obama. 

Prior to his position at Georgetown, O’Brien spent two years immediately following his ordination at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington D.C, which has been described by LifeSiteNews journalist Doug Mainwaring as “arguably the most effete liberal Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Washington.” It was that same church which Biden chose to attend Mass on the first Sunday after his inauguration, adding his name to that of Father James Martin, S.J. as yet another prominent Catholic frequenting Holy Trinity Church, whilst rejecting Church teaching on matters such as abortion and LGBT ideology.