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A priest who presided over President Joe Biden’s inaugural mass is under investigation for exhibited “behaviors in adult settings, consisting primarily of conversations, which may be inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and boundaries.”

Santa Clara University said they received communication from USA West Province that the Jesuit Provincial Office had information that Father Kevin O’Brien may be violating their protocols. 

O’Brien was placed on leave from his position as university president while the investigation is conducted. 

John M. Sobrato, Chair of the Santa Clara University Board of Trustees said O’Brien agreed to cooperate with the investigation. The board is urging anyone with information about possible misconduct to come forward. 

“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,” wrote Sobrato. 


Prior to the inauguration in January, O’Brien officiated the inaugural mass for only the second Catholic president. Vice President Kamala Harris attended in addition to other family and friends at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C.

Santa Clara reported that O’Brien had a friendship with the Biden family for over 15 years. He met the now-president while working at Georgetown University. 

Neither the university nor the White House has responded to questions about the specific allegations. 

“Jesuits are held to a professional code of conduct, and the Province investigates allegations that may violate or compromise established boundaries,” said Tracey Primrose, a spokesperson for the Jesuits West Province.

Written ByAshley Grams

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