Virginia has opened an investigation into whether leadership in Virginia's Catholic dioceses covered up the sexual abuse of children. Maryland and the District both recently opened investigations into their respective dioceses.
WASHINGTON — Virginia has opened an investigation into whether leadership in Virginia’s Catholic dioceses covered up the sexual abuse of children.
Maryland and the District both opened investigations into their respective dioceses in the past few weeks.
On Oct. 24, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring launched a hotline for reporting clergy abuse as part of the investigation: www.VirginiaClergyHotline.com.
The hotline is available 24/7 and is staffed by Virginia State Police investigators during regular business hours.
According to a press release, the hotline was created after a grand jury report revealed that sexual abuse and cover-ups perpetrated by the Pennsylvania Catholic clergy persisted for decades.
“Like so many Americans, I read the grand jury report on clergy abuse in the Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, and I felt sick. It made me sick to see the extent of the damage done, the efforts to cover it up, and the complicity and enabling that went on by powerful people who should have known better and should have done more to protect vulnerable children,” said Herring.
“We shouldn’t assume the behavior and the problems are limited just to Pennsylvania or to one diocese. If there has been abuse or cover-up in Virginia like there was in Pennsylvania, I want to know about it, I want to root it out, and I want to help survivors get justice and get on a path to healing.”
“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,” the statement said.