Bishop addresses allegations of child sexual abuse in Catholic churches


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond on Wednesday addressed allegations of child sexual abuse in the state’s Catholic churches.

Bishop Barry Knestout is in charge of the Diocese of Richmond — which includes churches in Hampton Roads.

In a joint statement with Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge, Knestout said, “Any instance of child sexual abuse is intolerable and gravely immoral. We hope that this process will bring healing for all victims and confirm our commitment to accountability and justice.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced the investigation on Wednesday as well as a newly launched clergy abuse hotline.

According to the statement, both the Richmond and Arlington dioceses began their own internal investigations before being contacted by Herring.

Knestout was in Newport News on Tuesday, where he met with representatives of about three dozen Catholic churches in Hampton Roads. He said he was sorry for the actions of fellow priests, and listened to parishioners’ concerns.

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