Priests with ‘credible’ sex abuse allegations named in list have ties to Hampton Roads


RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY/AP) — The Catholic Church sex abuse scandal has reached Hampton Roads.

The Diocese of Richmond and the Diocese of Arlington released the names of dozens of priests in our state who have been accused of child sex abuse. 

A Norfolk priest addressed the issue during mass on Wednesday night, asking for prayers of healing for the victims as well as the church.

“Today is a very difficult and sad day in the church in Richmond,” said Fr. Dan Beeman, pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk.

The Diocese of Richmond published the names of 42 priests that have a credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse against a minor dating back to the 1950’s.

10 On Your Side found at least nine names on that list with ties to our area, including Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Hampton.

Although Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk is not on that list, the victims of this latest scandal were at the forefront during mass.

“We pray for the church to bring healing for those that are victims of child sexual abuse both in the church and any institution and any home,” Fr. Beeman said.

In a letter, Bishop Knestout apologized to the victims for what they went through but he also thanked them for coming forward.

“It’s so sad. It’s heartbreaking,” said one woman.

The woman, who is a member of the Catholic Church, said she’s glad the names were published.

“This pain and destruction has to stop,” she said. “It’s very, very serious and I believe they should all be held accountable.”

Fr. Beeman spoke to the crowd, pledging support for victims and a promise for parishioners saying “not on my watch.”

“We’ve put into place practices and procedures that are rightly, quite extensive to be sure that our children and those in our care and in our ministries and in our schools are safe in our church,” he said.

“It’s going to be a very painful process but it needs to be done and from there, Christ’s church can flourish again,” the woman said.

The diocese says some of the priests on that list have died, some are in jail, and according to the church none are working in the diocese anymore.

“To those who experienced abuse from clergy, I am truly, deeply sorry. I regret that you have to bear the burden of the damage you suffered at the hands of those you trusted.  I am also sorry that you must carry the memory of that experience with you.  Moreover, I apologize to family members and friends of the abused, and to all members of the Catholic Church.”
-Bishop Barry Knestout

The following are priests that 10 On Your Side has confirmed have ties to Hampton Roads:

Julian Goodman was at Blessed Sacrament in Norfolk in the 1990s. 

John Butler was at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea in Hampton from 1958-60.

Caroll Dozier was at Christ the King in Norfolk in the 1960s and 70s.

Monsignor Joseph Thang Xuan Pham was at Saint Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg in 1988.

Dwight Shrader was at St. John the Apostle in Virginia Beach from 1989 to 2003

Eugene Teslovic was St Luke’s Catholic Church in Virginia Beach from 1990-2002.

Martin Brady was at the James Barry Robinson School in Norfolk from 1968-72. 

Gordian Burkhardt was at the James Barry Robinson School in Norfolk and St. Gregory the Great in Virginia Beach in the 60s and 70s. 

Paul David Ryan was at Star of the Sea in Virgina Beach in 1979. He was an Austrailian priest sentenced to jail in Austraila in 2006 for abuse. 

Richmond is the latest Catholic diocese to release names of clergy members with accusations of sexual abuse. New Jersey’s five Roman Catholic dioceses have released the names of more than 180 priests they say have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

The Associated Press reports nearly 2,000 accused clergy members and others nationwide have been identified since and including a grand jury report that found Catholic priests in Pennsylvania molested more than 1,000 children since the 1940s.

An AP investigation published in January found accusations that date back six or seven decades in some cases, with the oldest being from the 1910s in Louisiana.

To report claims of abuse you can call the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 833-404-9064 or Child Protective Services at 800-552-7096.

WAVY’s Geena Arevalo, Stephanie Harris and Kevin Green contributed to this story.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending stories

Don't Miss

WAVY Twitter Widget

WAVY Facebook