Statement regarding Deacon James Burkett

The announcement below was read at Our Divine Savior Parish in Chico the weekend of April 2 & 3, 2022:

On February 9, 2022, my office received a credible allegation of inappropriate conduct by Deacon James Burkett, a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Sacramento, assigned at Our Divine Savior parish in Chico. This allegation involved inappropriate conduct with an adult woman.

I take every allegation of this nature very seriously and act promptly to ensure the safety of parishioners and others with whom an accused clergy member may have been in contact. Accordingly, I placed Deacon Burkett on a leave of absence on February 10, 2022, pending the outcome of an investigation into this matter.

The investigation has concluded. Deacon Burkett was found to have violated diocesan policy regarding clergy conduct. He no longer has an assignment, nor does he have faculties in the Diocese of Sacramento.

The laws of the Catholic Church and Diocesan policy are clear on this topic. Any conduct that abuses the sanctity of the relationship between a member of the clergy and the Faithful will not be tolerated. I will not allow anything to compromise the dignity or safety of parishioners, students or others who place their trust in our parishes, schools, and programs.

Let us pray for everyone involved in this troubling matter. May the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary bring the wisdom, mercy and healing of her Son, Jesus.