Virginia Attorney General Investigates the Catholic Church on Alleged Child Sex Abuse Cover Up

Kevin BiniazanJanuary 21, 2022

Background of the Investigation

Attorney General Mark Herring announced that his office is heading an “ongoing investigation” into two Catholic dioceses from Virginia. The probe likely concerns clergy members accused of covering up sexual abuse acts, according to sources close with knowledge on the situation in state government agencies and at least one legislator who confirmed its existence publicly this week.”

Allegations of Child Sex Abuse

In the wake of a Pennsylvania grand jury revealing more than one thousand cases where individuals claim they were sexually abused as children by priests and other clergy members, Attorney General Josh Hawley announced an investigation into Roman Catholic Church leadership. “We cannot tolerate this any longer,” said Herring at his news conference today.”Like many Americans, I felt sick when reading about these traumatic events taking place just steps from our own backyard.”

Catholic Church’s Response to Allegations

The Catholic Church has recently been under fire from the Virginia Attorney General, who alleged that the Church had neglected to address cases of child sex abuse which contributed to decades of pain endured by victims.

In response, the church has stood firmly on its record of upholding moral values and providing safe environments for all its members. While acknowledging that it had failed in some instances in the past, the church hoped to move forward with more measures put in place to ensure that any form of abuse is properly addressed and justice is served.

It noted that any allegations must be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated to make sure that no such incidents occur again. The Catholic Church are apparently determined to take any steps necessary to make sure these heinous crimes do not continue happening across their organizations and will do whatever it takes to protect the innocent from harm.

Virginia Attorney General’s Role in the Investigation

Herring’s office released a statement that said, “We shouldn’t assume the behavior and the problems are limited just to Pennsylvania or to one diocese. If there has been abuse or coverup 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.”

The Catholic Church has been targeted by thirteen other states this year alone for its mishandling of child abuse scandals.

The two Catholic dioceses from Virginia, Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Richmond Knestout have released a joint statement addressing the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked both churches over recent months. The following is an excerpt: 

“Having met with victims, we know that such abuse is unforgettable, and many carry that burden with them throughout their lives. We continue to welcome the opportunity to meet personally with victims, to hear their stories, and to support them in their journey toward healing.”

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