OF RICHMOND VA
Plausibly Accused Priests: 19 (15 diocesan priests and 4 order priests)
Total Priests: NA
See the Dallas Morning News database entry on Bishop Francis DiLorenzo. and recently retired Bishop Emeritus Walter Sullivan. The June 2002 database examined the records of bishops and identified those who had allowed accused priests to continue working or had otherwise protected priests accused of sexual abuse. The database is relevant to the bishops' "Nature and Scope" study because the bishops who prepared the surveys for the study are in many cases responsible for the "scope" of the problem.
The Catholic Diocese of Richmond took part last spring in the nationwide survey of statistics on sexually abusive clergy and their victims. The survey was conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and was called for by the National Review Board established by the bishops of the United States. The Review Board, which oversees the handling of sexual abuse cases, plans to release the combined results of the survey study later this month.
In contributing to the study, the Richmond Diocese researched records spanning the survey’s 50 plus year range, from 1950 to 2002. From those records, the diocese provided the study with statistics on plausible reports of sexual abuse of minors that were made during that 50 year period. Research of that period discovered abuse allegations that involved 15 diocesan priests. The diocese also included statistics from allegations against 4 other priests who were members of religious orders serving in the diocese at the time. The full dossier of information which the diocese furnished for the survey included statistics on a total of 24 victims. Also, information on related expenses was provided as far as it could be determined.
Officials from the Diocese of Arlington, which was formed from the Richmond Diocese in 1974, teamed with Richmond officials to ensure that the number of abusers and victims reported by each were accurate. "We worked together," said Father Pat Apuzzo, spokesperson for the Richmond Diocese, "and compared notes to eliminate double reporting of allegations which could be on file in both places. Over a period of fifty years, where a number of dioceses throughout the country were created from others, the possibility of reporting the same allegation more than once is significant. That factor is important when considering the final results of the survey."
In commenting on the completion of the survey, Father Apuzzo said, "The enormous labor to examine and catalog massive volumes of material was unparalleled. Such a unified effort by dioceses nationwide is testimony to the solidarity of our resolve against sexual abuse of minors. The statistics we’ve compiled should prove valuable. Yet, the human pain that all this data represents can’t be compressed into figures or shown on charts. The heartbreak is always there. It entreats us now to stay the course our leaders have set out for themselves and for all us. It compels us, with a sobering and gripping plea, not to let the horrors we’ve uncovered repeat themselves ever again."
CONTACT: Fr. Pat Apuzzo firstname.lastname@example.org.
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