After researching 52 years’ worth of records, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond discovered “plausible reports of sexual abuse of minors” involving 19 priests and 24 victims, it reported Friday.
The research was carried out as part of a nationwide survey gathering statistics on sexually abusive Roman Catholic clergy and their victims. It was conducted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The combined national results of the survey are to be released later this month, said the Rev. Pat Apuzzo, secretary to the bishop emeritus.
In a news release, Apuzzo said the information, compiled last spring, avoided duplicating any allegations that might be reported in the Diocese of Arlington, which split off from the Richmond diocese in 1974.
Apuzzo said the report found allegations of abuse against 15 diocesan priests and against four other priests who were members of religious orders headquartered outside the diocese but working here.
The news release said the diocese also reported “information on related expenses … as far as it could be determined.” It did not provide any details on settlements with victims or payment for expenses such as counseling.
Apuzzo said the effort to catalog and document the information “nationwide is testimony to the solidarity of our resolve against sexual abuse of minors.”
The data, he said, “compels us, with a sobering and gripping plea, not to let the horrors we’ve uncovered repeat themselves ever again.”
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