Virginia's attorney general has joined officials from around the country investigating possible sexual abuse by clergy. © Johnypan - Dreamstime.com

© Johnypan - Dreamstime.com

Richmond Diocese Releases Clergy Abuse List

Richmond Diocese Names Clergy Accused Of Sexually Abusing Children

February 13, 2019 - 2:27 pm
Categories: 

(Richmond, Va.)  –  The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has released the names of 42 clergy they say abused children.  The list dates back to the 1950s with the most recent occurrence in 1993.  The Diocese issued the following release:

"Having completed an independent review  of clergy personnel files, the Diocese of Richmond published, today (February  13, 2019), a list of  42  priests that have a credible and substantiated  allegation  of sexual abuse against a
minor. The list was published to the diocese’s website at Noon."

“To the victims and to all affected by the pain of sexual abuse, our response will always be about what we are doing, not simply what we have done. We will seek not just to be healed but will always be seeking healing. We will seek not just to
be reconciled but will always be seeking reconciliation,” said the Most Rev. Barry C. Knestout, Bishop of Richmond,  in an open letter published with the clergy list.


The release of names fulfills a promise made by Bishop Knestout, on Sept. 14, 2018, in his pastoral letter, 'From Tragedy to Hope'."  In addition to the list, Knestout issued the following statement:

 

"Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today, consistent with my promises of transparency and accountability, I am publishing a list of clergy that have a credible and substantiated claim of sexual abuse against a minor.

I express my deep gratitude to the victims and survivors that have come forward and for your patience as we prepared this list.  As your bishop, I am called to be a good shepherd, attentive to the care and needs of all our people, especially the most vulnerable.  Therefore, I asked for an independent and comprehensive review of clergy personnel files, and the files from the Diocesan Safe Environment Office and the Diocesan Review Board.

By publishing this list, we can help bring about healing to those who have experienced abuse in the Church and heighten the awareness of this tragic situation.

To those who experienced abuse from clergy, I am truly, deeply sorry. I regret that you have to bear the burden of the damage you suffered at the hands of those you trusted.  I am also sorry that you must carry the memory of that experience with you.  Moreover, I apologize to family members and friends of the abused, and to all members of the Catholic Church.

This crisis calls us to be immersed in three aspects of reconciliation. We need to bring to light the damage that has been done by child sexual abuse in the Church in order for healing to take place. We must express our sorrow and contrition publicly and clearly to acknowledge what we have done and what we have failed to do.  We must continue to demonstrate our commitment to never let this happen again. In doing so, we make known — and support with actions — our commitment to repair the damage that has been done.

To the victims and to all affected by the pain of abuse, our response will always be about what we are doing, not simply what we have done. We will seek not just to be healed but will always be seeking healing.  We will seek not just to be reconciled but will always be seeking reconciliation.

Together, let our prayers guide us with God’s grace.  I ask you to pray for the healing of the victims and their families.  I ask you to pray for the Church. Be assured I will do all in my power to restore your trust and to make our Church an authentic witness to the Gospel now and throughout our journey to eternal life."