Assignment Record– Bishop Tod David Brown

Summary of Case: Tod David Brown was ordained in 1963 in the Monterey-Fresno diocese. After the diocese split in 1967, Brown became a prominent priest of the diocese of Monterey. In December 1988 he was named bishop of Boise, ID. Brown served in Boise until 1998, when he was named bishop of Orange, CA. In a 1997 letter to the bishop of the Fresno diocese, a man claimed to have been molested by Brown in Bakersfield, CA in 1965, when the man was a 12-year-old boy. Brown denied the claim. Fresno bishop Steinbock told Brown's accuser that he had to be interviewed by a psychologist (of Stienbock's choosing) before there could be an investigation. No one interviewed Brown. The diocese deemed the accusation to be without merit. In 2004, Bishop Brown released the names of those accused in his diocese. He did not include his own name, explaining in 2007 that the omission was ..."because it was very embarrassing and very painful." Brown retired in 2012, at age 75.

: May 1, 1963
Retired: September 21, 2012


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Monterey-Fresno bishop was Aloysius Joseph Willinger, C.SS.R. (1953-1967).

1967 Our Lady of Perpetual Help


A man told the Fresno diocese in a 1997 letter that he was molested by Brown when he was a 12 year-old boy, in 1965. Brown denied the accusation.

CA 2/2

Our Lady of Perpetual Help had a school with 240-165 boys and 235-143 girls.


1963 1967 San Clemente Bakersfield CA   This was a mission of Our Lady's.


The diocese split in Dec. 1967. Monterey bishop was Harry Anselm Clinch (1967-1982).

1968 St. Francis Xavier Seaside CA 2/2  
1968 1969 On Duty Outside the Diocese     student  
1969 1972 St. Jude's Marina CA 2/2 In residence.  
1972 1974 Monterey Diocesan Headquarters Monterey CA   Brown is indexed at 580 Fremont Blvd. in the 1973 and 1974 Directories.
1974 1977 St. Jude's Marina CA 2/2 In residence. Brown was named a Monsignor in 1975


Thaddeus Anthony Shubsda succeeded Clinch (1982-1991).

1988 St. Francis Xavier Seaside CA    
1969 1988 Diocesan Tribunal Monterey CA Advocate 1969-1975; Defender of the Bond 1975-1981; Judge 1981-1988; Second Instance Judge 1983-1987  
1969 1977 Diocesan Adult Religious Education Monterey CA Director  
1969 1987 Building Commission Monterey CA   "Building and Finance Commission" 1978-1983.
Finance Commission Monterey CA   This was the "Building and Finance Commission" 1978-1983, then the "Finance Council"1983-1988.
1969 1972 Diocesan C.C.D. Monterey CA    
1969 1974 Liturgical Commission Monterey CA Chair 1969-1971  
1969 1970 Priestly Formation Monterey CA    

Vocation Commission        
1969 1977 Adult Religious Education Monterey   Director  
1969 1976 Diocesan Total Education Board (for Religious Education & Parochial Schools)

Monterey CA    
1969 1979 Diocesan Religious Education System (Youth and Adult Education) Monterey CA Superintendent/Director  
1979 1981 Office of Education Monterey CA Consultant  
Diocesan Senate and Consultors Monterey CA    
1980 1987 Administrative Committee Priests' Pension Plan Monterey CA Chair 1983-1984  
1983 1988 Presbyteral Council Monterey CA    
1984 1988 Catholic Charities Board of Directors Monterey CA    
1980 1988 Vicar General for Clergy Monterey CA    
1981 1988 Chancellor Monterey CA    
1984 1988 Moderator of the Curia Monterey CA   Brown was appointed bishop of the Boise diocese Dec. 27, 1988.


Tod David Brown was bishop of Boise (1988-1998).

Sept. 1998 Diocese of Boise Boise ID Bishop In his response to Brown's accuser in 1997 Fresno bishop Steinbock told the man that, in order to investigate, the man was required to be interviewed by a psychologist, whose contact information Steinbock provided. He added, "...the priest in question has been ordained 34 years, has lead an exemplary life, and has never had any such allegations against him in all those years. Brown's accuser said in 2007 that law enforcement did not interview him. Brown was not interviewed by church officials or law enforcement. An Orange diocesan spokesperson said in 2007 that the Fresno diocese and law enforcement investigated the claim and determined there was "no credible basis" for it. A Bakersfield police Sergeant stated in 2007 that the Department had no record of investigating the case.

September 1998

Tod David Brown was bishop of Orange (1998-2012).

September 2012 Diocese of Orange Orange CA   In 2004, as Orange bishop, Brown posted on a church door his "Covenant with the Faithful", which promised honesty with the media and transparency with Catholics of the diocese. A month later Brown released the names of accused priests of the diocese, but he did not include his own name. Brown stated in a 2007 deposition related to another case that he didn't reveal the accusation against him because "it was very embarrassing, and very painful." Brown retired September 21, 2012.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1964-1989)

Letter from Scott Hicks to Bishop John T. Steinbock, Accusing Bishop Tod D. Brown of Abuse, July 3, 1997
Reply from Bishop John T. Steinbock to Scott Hicks, Arranging an Interview
July 11, 1997
Nailed? Bishop Tod Brown and His Undisclosed Molestation Accusation, By Gustavo Arellano, Orange County Weekly, April 24, 2007
Why SNAP and Not SNAT?, By Christopher Zehnder, California Catholic Daily [San Diego CA], April 29, 2007
Another Sex-Abuse Accusation against Diocese of Orange, By Gustavo Arellano, Orange County Weekly, May 26, 2007
Deposition of Bishop Tod Brown Sept. 10, 2007
Judge Unseals O.C. Bishop's Testimony, By Christine Hanley, Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2007
Weekly Story on Bishop Brown Pedophile Allegation Proven Right, By R. Scott Moxley, Orange County Weekly, September 13, 2007
O.C. Bishop Allegedly Abused Boy in Bakersfield, CBS 2, September 13, 2007
Socal Roman Catholic Bishop Says He Was Falsely Accused of Abuse, By Gillian Flaccus, San Jose Mercury News, September 13, 2007
Bishop Says He Was Falsely Accused of Abuse, By Louis Medina, Bakersfield Californian, September 13, 2007
The Annotated Bishop Brown Deposition, By Gustavo Arellano, Orange County Weekly, September 13, 2007
Diocese of Fresno Lies to OC Weekly, Spins for Brown, By Gustavo Arellano, Orange County Weekly, September 14, 2007
Deposition Reveals Abuse Allegations against O.C. Bishop Brown, By Christine Hanley, Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2007
Brown Served at Northeast Church, Then-Priest Accused of Abusing Child in '60s, By Louis Medina, Bakersfield Californian, September 14, 2007
O.C. Bishop's Accuser Identifies Himself, By Christine Hanley, Los Angeles Times, September 15, 2007
Violation of the Covenant?, California Catholic Daily, September 19, 2007
Brown Abuse Claim a Mystery, Bakersfield Police Do Not Know If They Investigated Molestation Charge, By Rachanee Srisavasdi, Orange County Register, September 19, 2007
Very Embarrassing, and Very Painful, California Catholic Daily, September 21, 2007
False Assault Charges Unlikely, Expert Says, By Louis Medina, Bakersfield Californian, September 21, 2007
Brown Accuser Talks about His Past, By Rachanee Srisavasdi, The Orange County Register, September 30, 2007
SoCal's Other Wayward Bishop, By Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2007
" Shock and Disbelief", Attorneys Drop Request for Contempt Citation against Bishop Tod Brown, but Plaintiffs and Diocese Disagree on Why, California Catholic Daily, December 3, 2007
Tod Brown's Own Private Idaho, By Gustavo Arellano, Orange County Weekly, July 15, 2010
Accused U.S. Bishops,

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Brown's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on June 9, 2016.