No Incidents of Abuse By Archdiocesan Priests in Almost 20 Years
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Archdiocese of Washington has posted on its website the names of 28 former clergy of the archdiocese credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors from 1948 onward. The list also includes three religious-order priests who served in temporary roles in archdiocesan parishes or schools. The list was assembled as part of a comprehensive review of the archdiocese’s archives ordered by Cardinal Donald Wuerl in 2017.
“This list is a painful reminder of the grave sins committed by clergy, the pain inflicted on innocent young people, and the harm done to the Church’s faithful, for which we continue to seek forgiveness,” said Cardinal Wuerl. “Our strong commitment to accompany survivors of abuse on their path toward healing is unwavering, but it is also important to note that to our knowledge there has not been an incident of abuse of a minor by a priest of the archdiocese in almost two decades. There is also no archdiocesan priest in active ministry who has ever been the subject of a credible allegation of abuse of a minor.”
In 1986, the Archdiocese of Washington was one of the first dioceses in the country to adopt a written child protection policy. Since 1993, the archdiocese has had a Case Review Board, and since 2002, the archdiocese has also had a Child Protection Advisory Board consisting primarily of lay experts. Since 2002, the archdiocese has had a fully staffed Office of Child Protection and Safe Environment, and spends on average $350,000 annually on child protection efforts, training and mandatory background checks for all priests, employees and volunteers who have substantial contact with children, as well as safe environment training for all children in Catholic schools and religious education programs. The archdiocese also releases an annual, independently audited report on its child protection efforts, which is posted on its website and published in its Catholic Standard newspaper.
“Of course, in matters such as this, our first response is to the survivors, to help them and accompany them toward healing,” said Kim Viti Fiorentino, Chancellor and General Counsel for the archdiocese, who noted that the comprehensive review remains an ongoing effort. “But it is also important that the public understand that the Archdiocese of Washington has long been a leader in protecting the most vulnerable in our midst, and that there is no safer place for a young person than in an Archdiocese of Washington parish or school.”
The archdiocese urges anyone aware of suspected sexual misconduct by any clergy, employee, or volunteer of the archdiocese to report it to the authorities or contact the Office of Child Protection and Safe Environment for the Archdiocese of Washington at 301-853-5302.