For Immediate Release: April 13, 2020
Diocesan Review Board Concludes Investigation of Rev. Msgr. Raymond A. Barton
Retired Priest Name Not Added to Diocesan List of Clergy with a Credible and Substantiated Allegation of Child Sexual Abuse
(RICHMOND, Va.) – Following a lengthy investigation by the Diocesan Review Board, Bishop Barry C. Knestout of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond has determined that Msgr. Raymond A. Barton, a retired priest of the diocese, will not have his name added to the diocesan list of clergy with a credible and substantiated allegation of child sexual abuse.
On Feb. 14, 2020, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond announced it had received a report of allegations of child sexual abuse against the retired priest. The information was brought to the diocese by a representative of a deceased victim. When notified of the allegations, the diocese reported the information to law enforcement authorities. (Read initial statement.)
In accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the diocese conducted an internal investigation of the allegations involving Msgr. Barton. The information gathered was presented to the Diocesan Review Board which reported its findings and recommendation to Bishop Knestout. The bishop concluded that while the allegation was credible, it could not be substantiated.
“There were several factors that weighed against my decision to add Msgr. Barton’s name to the list of credibly and substantially accused. Chief among them is the fact that both the accuser, who is deceased, and the accused, who is unable to be interviewed due to health conditions, cannot clarify the question at issue,” said Bishop Knestout. “Therefore, I will not add Msgr. Barton’s name to the list of credibly and substantially accused at this time.”
Individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the diocese should report abuse directly to law enforcement, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 800-552-7096, and by calling the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 833-454-9064.
Individuals are also encouraged to contact the 24-hour confidential Victim’s Assistance Reporting number at 877-887-9603 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report sexual abuse.
For Immediate Release: February 14, 2020
Notice Regarding Rev. Msgr. Raymond A. Barton, Retired
A representative of a deceased victim has come forward with a report sharing allegations of child sexual abuse by Rev. Msgr. Raymond Barton. The report identified the victim and described details of the abuse. The incident is alleged to have occurred in the early-1970’s. The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has reported the allegations to civil authorities.
Msgr. Barton, retired since 2011, is not currently serving in ministry. Msgr. Barton will not be permitted to engage in active ministry until the allegations are investigated and resolved.
Msgr. Barton was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Richmond in 1966. He served as an associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond, and as a faculty member at St. John Vianney Seminary, Goochland. He was a pastor at the following parishes: Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Norfolk; Saint Nicholas Catholic Church in Virginia Beach; and Holy Comforter Catholic Church in Charlottesville. He also served as a co-pastor for Church of the Holy Apostles in Virginia Beach.
Bishop Knestout remains committed to transparency and accountability when allegations of child sexual abuse are reported. He encourages anyone who knows of any misconduct or abuse on the part of a cleric or representative of the diocese to report it.
Individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the diocese should 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 email@example.com to report sexual abuse.