For Immediate Release: March 8, 2019
The Diocese of Richmond has received a notice from the Diocese of Corpus Christi (Texas) that Fr. Leo Guarnieri, a retired priest of the Diocese of Richmond, has been accused of sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult. The allegation(s) were reported to the Diocese of Richmond, March 7, 2019.
The incident is alleged to have occurred in Texas where Fr. Guarnieri currently resides in his retirement. Fr. Guarnieri denies the allegation.
Following the report of the allegation, Fr. Guarnieri’s faculties have been suspended which means he cannot present himself as priest in good standing nor administer sacraments pending a review.
Fr. Guarnieri was ordained as a priest for the Congregation of the Holy Cross in 1977. He served as a chaplain for the Archdiocese of Military Services in subsequent years and incardinated into the Diocese of Richmond in 1994. Upon his retirement from the military in 1999, he served in the Diocese of Richmond as pastor for Church of Saint Therese in Gloucester and as administrator of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in West Point until he retired in 2009.
The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to report sexual abuse.