Breaking News
More () »

Catholic Diocese of Richmond names clergy with credible, substantiated allegations of sexual abuse against them

The Diocese of Richmond published a list of dozens of priests and religious who had credible and substantiated claims of sexual abuse made against them.

RICHMOND, Va. — The Catholic Diocese of Richmond published a list at noon Wednesday that named 42 clergy members who had a "credible and substantiated allegation" of sexual abuse involving a child made against them.

A letter from Bishop Barry C. Knestout accompanied the list. 

The dioceses' website said the earliest known case of sexual abuse involving a child was in the 1950s. The latest of which the diocese is aware took place in 1993.

The list came five months after Knestout pledged to conduct an independent investigation to review church personnel files.

Full letter:

“To the victims and to all affected by the pain of sexual abuse, our response will always be about what we are doing, not simply what we have done. We will seek not just to be healed but will always be seeking healing. We will seek not just to be reconciled but will always be seeking reconciliation,” Knestout said in his letter.

Several clergy members whose names appear on the list served communities in Hampton Roads at one time or another. They include:

Frederick Beardsley

St. Bede (Williamsburg)

St. Paul (Portsmouth)

John Blankenship

St. Mary Star of the Sea (Fort Monroe)            

St. Joseph’s (Hampton)                    

St. Rose of Lima (Hampton)                    

John Bostwick

St. Paul (Portsmouth)

John R. Butler

St. Mary Star of the Sea (Fort Monroe)

Carroll T. Dozier

Christ the King (Norfolk)

Julian Goodman

Blessed Sacrament (Norfolk)

John Hesch

St. Nicholas (Virginia Beach)

Joseph B. Majewski

St. Jerome (Newport News)

Joseph Thang Xuan Pham

St. Bede (Williamsburg)

James Lee Rizer

St. Mary Star of the Sea (Fort Monroe)

Blessed Sacrament (Norfolk)

Dwight Shrader

St. John the Apostle (Virginia Beach)

Eugene Teslovic

St. Luke (Virginia Beach)

Church of the Resurrection (Portsmouth); ordained deacon at the time

Full List from the Diocese

Priests of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond:

  • Beardsley, Fredrick James: Suspended
  • Blankenship, John Paul: Convicted/Laicized
  • Bostwick, John Raymond: Removed
  • Butler, John Robert: Laicized
  • Dozier, Carrol T.*: Deceased
  • Goff, Richard Bernard: Laicized
  • Goodman, Julian B.: Removed
  • Hesch, John Beaman *: Deceased
  • Higgins, Philip J.: Removed
  • Leonard, John E.: Convicted/Removed
  • Leveille, Roland Edmund: Dispensed
  • Majewski, Joseph B.: Suspended
  • McConnell, James Henry*: Deceased
  • Murphy, Dennis Paul: Suspended
  • Pham, Joseph Thang Xuan: Suspended
  • Rizer, James Lee: Deceased
  • Rodriquez, Oscar Alexander "Paul": Convicted
  • Rule, Steven R.: Suspended
  • Shrader, Dwight Edward: Laicized
  • Teslovic, Eugene John: Removed

Priests ordained in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, alleged to have committed abuse in the present-day territory of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and later incardinated to the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, or alleged to have committed abuse in both dioceses:

  • Findlay, Harris Markam*: Laicized
  • Kamerdze, Paul Jude*: Deceased
  • Krafcik, Andrew William Paul: Laicized
  • Munley, John Joseph*: Deceased
  • Nudd, Robert Eugene*: Deceased
  • Rea, John*: Deceased
  • Reinecke, William Thomas*: Deceased
  • Ryder, Austin Lewis*: Deceased

Religious and Priests of Other Dioceses with allegations of abuse that occurred in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond:

  • Brady, Martin D., TOR, Franciscan: Deceased
  • Burkhardt, Gordian, OSB, Benedictine: Laicized
  • Earley, Richard, R. SSJ, Josephite: Deceased
  • George, Frederick, OSB, Benedictine: Removed
  • George, George, Maronite: Convicted
  • Melody, Roland (Owen John), m.s.ss.t, Trinitarian: Convicted
  • Philben Francis M., CSS p, Holy Ghost*: Deceased
  • Ryan, Paul David, Ballarat, Australia: Convicted/Removed
  • Smalls, Oliver Joseph, Belize, S. A.: Unknown

Religious and Priests of Other Dioceses with allegations of abuse elsewhere, who worked in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond:

  • Bourbon, Francis R., S.J., Jesuit: Unknown
  • Burton, Charles Jeffries, S.J., Jesuit: Removed
  • Dyer, Bernardine George, O.P., Dominican Friar: Dismissed
  • Fedor, James, Scranton: Laicized
  • Ludwig, Augustine, OSB, Benedictine: Abandoned Ministry


*The allegation of abuse was made after the priest’s death.

Catholic dioceses across the country stepped up their responses since a grand jury report released in August alleged that more than 300 priests abused at least 1,000 children over seven decades in Pennsylvania.

RELATED: Hotline, online form set up to report clergy sex abuse

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said in October that his office was investigating possible clergy sexual abuse of children.

Individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the Diocese are encouraged to 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Before You Leave, Check This Out