Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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National Overview on Sexual Abuse of Minors

With the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002, the Diocese of Richmond along with all dioceses in the United States have consistently pursued mandatory background screenings and child protection training for all clergy, religious, lay employees and volunteers. Due to the vigilant efforts of thousands of clergy and lay faithful, the Catholic Church in the United States is stronger and safer today than in years past.

While there is no excuse for the terrible sins of the past, progress has been made, as this is not the Church today. Please reference the graph below from the Center for Applied Research of the Apostolate (2006) which presents national data on the number of alleged cases of clergy sex abuse of minors reported during each five- year period from 1950 to 2017. There have been significant decreases – yet, still not acceptable.


In the Diocese of Richmond, we believe diligent efforts have enabled our parishes and schools to be some of the safest places for our youth. We are consistently evolving and improving our efforts and are committed to complete transparency relating to prior and any future allegations of child sexual abuse.


For additional information, please reference the USCCB Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection website and national studies below:

USCCB Secretariat of Child & Youth Protection

2018 Annual Report Findings & Recommendations

John Jay Study: The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors (2004)

2019 John Jay update to Causes and Context