Assignment Record–Rev. Arthur Manuel Cunha

Summary of Case: Cunha was arrested in June 1986 in Novato, CA for suspected child sexual abuse of an 11-year-old boy. He later pleaded guilty to molesting two boys and was sentenced to sixty days in jail and four months at a counseling center. Cunha was the subject of at least three lawsuits. Before joining the priesthood, Cunha was a teacher in the Fremont, CA school system.

: December 1984


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

Jan. 1985

San Francisco archbishop was John Raphael Quinn (1977-1995)

1986 Our Lady of Loretto


Cunha was arrested in Novato in June 1986 for a suspected sex crime against an 11-year-old boy. A waitress in Pacifica had reported Cunha's suspicious behavior with the boy. Cunha later pleaded guilty to molesting two boys at Our Lady of Loretto. There were at least three lawsuits related to Cunha's abuse of boys.

CA 2/3, 3/3

Parish had a school with 323 -320 students.


1986 1987 Absent on Sick Leave      

He was sentenced to sixty days in jail and four months at a counseling center.

Cunha is not indexed in the Directories after 1987.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1985-1987)

Stories from the archives of the Novato Advance, Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 3:02 PM PDT
Law May Permit Trial of Priest in Sex Abuse Case, By Don Lattin, San Francisco Chronicle, April 28, 1994
The Diocesan Communicator, Diocese of Marquette, December 10, 2003

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 Cunha'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 October 3, 2011.