Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Announcement Concerning St. John the Apostle, Va. Beach

May 17, 2024

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond recently learned of allegations of sexual abuse committed against students of St. John the Apostle School by an adult (now deceased). The appropriate civil authorities and law enforcement agencies are involved. The Diocese is also investigating to confirm whether the Diocese’s Safe Environment regulations or other policies were properly followed. 

The protection of our children is of the upmost importance to the Diocese. 

Fr. Rob Cole, Pastor of St. John the Apostle parish, is on temporary leave from the parish while this matter is investigated. The Diocese will not reach any conclusions until the investigation is completed. Know, however, that the Diocese is committed to ensuring that our institutions provide an environment where our children are safe and thrive. 

During this time, Bishop Barry Knestout has appointed the Very Reverend Esteban De Leon, VF, pastor of Star of the Sea Catholic Church, as temporary administrator of the parish. Similarly, the Office of Catholic Schools will provide additional support to the school administration. 

Please keep all involved in your prayers.