Statement by the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin on the Arrest of Jesus Antonio Castañeda-Serna

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On February 24th 2019, Jesus Antonio Castañeda-Serna, a former priest in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, was arrested after victims filed complaints with the Fresno Police Department.

Castañeda (commonly known as Father Antonio Castañeda) joined the diocese in 2008 as the vicar of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Fresno, California. On the evening of October 29, 2017, Bishop Eric Menees received credible accusations that Castañeda had committed sexual misconduct against adults in the diocese. The following morning, Bishop Menees suspended Castañeda from all pastoral and priestly ministry and reported the accusations to the police.

The Anglican Diocese of SanJoaquin hired an independent third party to conduct an internal investigation. Pursuant to diocesan policy, Castañeda was notified of his right to representation at an ecclesiastical trial convened to hear the accusations. On November 24, 2017, Castañeda informed the bishop he would not contest the accusations, and he consented to be deposed from priestly ministry in the Anglican Church. Castañeda was then stripped of all priestly roles, privileges, and standing, and Bishop Menees began lending day-to-day pastoral care and oversight to Castañeda’s former congregation.

Since Bishop Menees first learned of the accusations against Castañeda, the Anglican Diocese of SanJoaquin has made pastoral and clinical counseling available to all victims who have already, or  who may still, come forward. The diocese is committed to the physical safety, mental health, and emotional and spiritual well-being of all our members. If anyone has been, or believes they may have been, a victim of sexual misconduct or abuse by the clergy or staff members at any church in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, we encourage you to contact law enforcement and/or the Diocesan Office (559-244-4828, www.dioceseofsanjoaquin.net). We will do our utmost to help you and to seek justice.

If you believe you have been a victim of clergy sexual abuse please contact the Fresno Police Department at 559-621-7000 and request to make a report.

The Rt. Rev. Eric Vawter Menees, Bishop