Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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List of all Clergy With Credible and Substantiated Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors

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Letter from Bishop Knestout

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.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout
Bishop of Richmond

February 13, 2019

Printable Letter From Bishop Knestout   Carta del Obispo Knestout en española


Introduction

Below are the names of clergy that have served in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and have a credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor.  This list is being published by the Diocese as we seek to redouble our efforts to assist survivors of abuse. To those who have been abused and who have not contacted law enforcement or diocesan officials, please know that we are here for you.

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond urges individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the Diocese to report abuse directly to law enforcement, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-800-552-7096, and by calling the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064.

We also encourage individuals to contact the 24-hour confidential Victim’s Assistance Reporting number at 1-877-887-9603 or email vac@richmonddiocese.org to report sexual abuse.

If you have questions about this list or the Diocese’s response to the sexual abuse crisis, please send an email to: PastoralResponse@richmonddiocese.org.

 


List of Clergy
(Updated October 4, 2019)

Click name for details

Priests of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond

Name of Priest  Status (2)
Beardsley, Frederick James Suspended/Deceased
Blankenship, John Paul Convicted/Laicized
Bostwick, John Raymond Removed
Butler, John Robert Laicized
Cassidy, Patrick J. Deceased
Goff, Richard Bernard Laicized
Goodman, Julian B. Removed
Hesch, John Beaman Deceased
Higgins, Philip J. Removed/Deceased
Leonard, John E. Convicted/Removed/Deceased
Leveille, Roland Edmund Dispensed/Deceased
Majewski, Joseph B. Suspended
McConnell, James Henry (1) Deceased
Murphy, Dennis Paul Suspended
Pham, Joseph Thang Xuan Suspended
Rizer, James Lee(1) Deceased
Rodriquez, Oscar Alexander “Paul” Convicted
Rule, Steven R. Suspended
Shrader, Dwight Edward Laicized/Deceased
Teslovic, Eugene John Removed

 


Priests ordained in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, alleged to have committed abuse in the present-day territory of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and later incardinated to the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, or alleged to have committed abuse in both dioceses.

 

Name of Priest  Status (2)
Findlay, Harris Markham (1) Deceased
Kamerdze, Paul Jude (1) Deceased
Krafcik, Andrew William Paul Laicized
Munley, John Joseph (1) Deceased
Nudd, Robert Eugene (1) Deceased
Rea, John (1) Deceased
Reinecke, William Thomas (1) Deceased
Ryder, Austin Lewis Deceased

Religious and Priests of Other Dioceses with allegations of abuse that occurred in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond

Name of Priest/ Religious Status (2) Religious, Other Diocese
Bourbon, Francis C., S.J. Deceased Jesuit
Brady, Martin D., T.O.R. Deceased Franciscan
Burkhardt, Gordian, O.S.B. (1) Deceased Benedictine
Doyle, Terence, S.T. Deceased Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity
Dozier, Carroll T. (1) Deceased Diocese of Memphis
Earley, Richard R., S.S.J. Deceased Josephite
George, Frederick, O.S.B. Removed Benedictine
George, George Convicted Maronite
Manning, Aeden Deceased Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity
Melody, Roland (Owen John), m.s.ss.t Convicted Trinitarian
Philben, Francis M., C.S.Sp. (1) Deceased Holy Ghost
Ryan, Paul David Convicted/Removed Ballarat, Australia
Smalls, Oliver Joseph Unknown Belize
Sykes, Thomas D., S.A. Laicized/Deceased Francisican

Religious and Priests of Other Dioceses with allegations of abuse elsewhere, who worked in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond

 

Name of Priest/ Religious  Status (2) Religious, Other Diocese
Banaszek, Stanley F. Suspended/Deceased Maryknoll
Burton, Charles Jeffries, S.J. Removed/Deceased Jesuit
Canu, Anthony Michael, T.O.R. Laicized/Deceased Franciscan
Dyer, Bernardine George, O.P. Dismissed/Deceased Dominican Friar
Fedor, James Laicized Scranton
Gormley, James J. (1) Deceased Jesuit
Mateo, Leonardo, G. Suspended/Deceased Tagbilaran, Philippines
Nguyen, Vincent The Quang Unknown Saigon, Vietnam
Ludwig, Augustine, O.S.B. Abandoned Ministry/Deceased Benedictine
Scales, Donald, O.S.B. Deceased Benedictine

Notes:

(1) – The allegation of abuse was made after the priest’s death.
(2)– A glossary of terms used is included with the Frequently Asked Questions.

 

 

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Please note:  These Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ’s”) pertain specifically to the release of names of clergy about whom a credible and substantiated claim of sexual abuse of a minor has been made.  A separate FAQ document may be found on the Diocese’s website which provides more information about Bishop Barry C. Knestout’s and the Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s pastoral response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.  (Updated February 15, 2019)

Why is this list being published now?

Bishop Knestout wanted to reach out to both victims and the laity.  He announced plans to release this list after a comprehensive and independent audit of clergy, Safe Environment Office, and Diocesan Review Board files.  The audit was completed in February 2019.

What prompted both Dioceses in Virginia to release the list of names on the same day?

The Catholic Diocese of Arlington was established in 1974 from territory previously served by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. Bishop Knestout and Bishop Burbidge agreed to release their lists in conjunction with the hope they could better insure the names of all clergy serving in the Commonwealth, and against whom such credible and substantiated allegations were made, were included on one or both lists.  Certain priests are alleged to have committed abuse in present-day Richmond territory, but were later incardinated in Arlington. These names may appear on both lists.  Other priests are alleged to have committed abuse in present-day Arlington territory, but before the creation of the Arlington Diocese.  If those priests were later incardinated in Arlington, their names may appear on the Arlington list.  We encourage those interested to review both lists.

Who decided which clergy would be included on the list?

Bishop Knestout decided which clergy would be included on the list after careful review of all information available to him and in consultation with his canonical advisors and the Diocesan Review Board.

What are the criteria for being on the list?

The list includes names of clergy against whom a credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was made.  For purposes of the list, an allegation was considered credible and substantiated if it was supported by a preponderance of the evidence.  This determination was made after carefully considering many factors and circumstances including, but not limited to admissions, convictions, arrests, settlements of civil claims, detailed, consistent and plausible complaints, number of victims, priest’s assignment history, adverse actions against the priest by Church authority, and whether the name was published on other lists of known abusers.  The facts and circumstances that could substantiate a credible allegation varied from case to case.

This analysis was made more difficult by the fact that most child sexual abuse occurrences happen in the absence of witnesses. After careful analysis, a name was added to the list if the greater weight of evidence suggested it was more likely than not that the abuse occurred.   This does not mean it was proved to have occurred.

Is every priest or deacon who had an allegation of abuse made against him on the list?

Only those against whom a credible and substantiated allegation was made, as defined above, are included on the list.

How many priests have served in the Richmond Diocese and how many have had a credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor made against them?

To the best of our knowledge, over 1,000 priests have served in the Diocese since its inception in 1820 and for whom there are files.  More than forty priests have been determined to have credible and substantiated claims against them.  The records indicate the first credible and substantiated incident of sexual abuse of a minor made known to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond occurred in the 1950s.  The most recent incident of sexual abuse of a minor made known to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond as of February 13, 2019 occurred in the 1990s.

How are Bishop Knestout and the Catholic Diocese of Richmond confronting child sexual abuse?

The first and primary concern regarding child sexual abuse is responding to the needs of the victims and survivors.  Bishop Knestout and the Catholic Diocese of Richmond remain committed to facing the sexual abuse crisis in the Church with courage, faith, hope and love, as well as action.  More information on the Diocese’s pastoral response may be found at https://richmonddiocese.org/diocese-response  and in the Frequently Asked Questions at www.richmonddiocese.org.

Are there any priests or deacons that have a credible and substantiated allegation of abuse of a minor serving in ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond?

None of whom we are aware.  After a thorough and comprehensive review of the clergy files, the files in the Safe Environment Office, and the Diocesan Review Board files, Bishop Knestout is unaware of any priests or deacons serving in ministry or in any other capacity who have a credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse.  Should victims come forward with allegations against clergy in active ministry, Bishop Knestout will respond in accordance with our commitment to addressing allegations of sexual abuse and protecting God’s children found on the diocesan website.

Will the list of clergy with allegations of sexual abuse of minors be updated, and if so, how often?

Yes.  Any credible and substantiated allegation of child sexual abuse by clergy received by the Diocese will be reported publicly unless the safety of the victim could be compromised.

 

Does the Diocese continue to support a priest removed from ministry as a result of an allegation of sexual abuse?

It depends upon the conclusion of the Church process.  If a priest is laicized/dismissed, the Diocese no longer has financial responsibility and offers no financial support.  Only the Holy See/Vatican can remove a priest from the priesthood.

The Bishop can suspend a priest from ministry. However, when a priest is suspended from public ministry, Church law and Catholic teachings compel the Diocese to provide “sustenance” or support for the priest’s living and healthcare expenses. His other sources of income are taken into consideration.

 

Why are religious order priests and priests from other dioceses on a separate list?

A bishop does not have equal authority over all priests working within his diocese. Some priests may be members of religious communities under the authority of those communities’ leaders and are referred to as religious order priests.  Also, priests of other dioceses may work within another diocese with the permission of their bishop.

When order priests or priests from other dioceses are assigned to work in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, the Bishop of Richmond has authority over their public ministry.  Nonetheless, the obligations of supervision and discipline remain ultimately with his specific superior or bishop. For these reasons, religious order priests and priests of other dioceses appear on lists separate from priests incardinated to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond to reflect these fundamental distinctions.

How can I report abuse? What procedures and/or resources are in place to help abuse victims?

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond urges individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the Diocese to report abuse directly to law enforcement, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-800-552-7096, and by calling the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064.

 

Individuals are also encouraged to contact the 24-hour confidential Victim’s Assistance Reporting number at 1-877-887-9603 or email vac@richmonddiocese.org to report sexual abuse.

 


Glossary of Terms Used:

Clergy – Ordained bishops, priests, or deacons.

Deacon – Ordained to ministry of service, may be married.  May preside at baptisms, weddings, and funerals.  May preach at Mass or other services.  May not preside at Eucharist, Reconciliation, Confirmation, or Anointing of the sick.

Diocesan Priest – Ordained to serve in the Catholic Church under a bishop who exercises supervision, provides assignments and offers support.

Religious Order Priest – Ordained to serve in the Catholic Church as a member of a particular religious community whose work may include duties within the diocese.

Incardinated – A canonical action by which a priest or deacon becomes a member of a particular diocese or religious order.

Minor – Any person younger than age 18.

Removed – A canonical action imposed by the Holy See (Vatican/Rome) through which no public active ministry is to occur, yet there remains obligation for supervision and support from the Diocese.

Laicized/Dismissed – A canonical action imposed by the Holy See through which no public ministry is to occur.  No obligation for supervision by and financial support from the diocese or religious community remains.

Dispensed – A canonical action imposed by the Holy See at the request of the priest so that he is no longer obliged to public ministry.  No obligation for supervision and financial support remains.

Suspended – A canonical action imposed by the diocesan Bishop in which no public ministry is to occur, pending the possibility of removal by the Holy See.

While the Diocese has endeavored to make a complete and accurate disclosure, the information on this page is subject to change as additional information is received.