The Catholic Diocese of Richmond on Thursday added six priests to a list of clergy who have been accused of sexual abuse against a minor, bringing the total named to 49.
The additions to the list come four months after Bishop Barry Knestout publicly named 42 priests whom he had determined, after an independent audit of files, had credible accusations made against them. The move came in response to public outcry after a Pennsylvania grand jury report released last August found that at least 1,000 children were sexually abused by at least 300 Catholic clergy in the state.
“Back in February, when we published a list of clergy against whom there are credible and substantiated claims of child sexual abuse, we acknowledged the list would be updated,” Knestout said in a press release. “As we continue to engage with survivors of abuse and learn more about the history of our diocese, we continue our commitment to transparency. It is my sincere hope that the additions of these individuals will help provide healing for anyone who suffered at their hands.”
Knestout also announced a change in policy that all institutions run by the diocese will no longer name buildings after a pastor, founder or individual in an effort to be sensitive to survivors of abuse.
Victims advocates said that they believed the original list released in February was incomplete and cast doubt over whether the diocese is truly committed to transparency.
Five of the six priests added to the list have died, with one dying as recently as this year. The diocese does not know if the sixth is still alive.
Five of them worked for religious orders and one, Patrick Cassidy, was a diocesan priest who had been assigned to nine different churches throughout Virginia, including St. Paul in Richmond.
Attorney General Mark Herring announced in October that his office is investigating the Catholic Church for a cover up of abuse and established a hotline for victims of clergy abuse, (833)454-9064.
The priests added to the list are:
Stanley F. Banaszek
Anthony M. Canu
Patrick J. Cassidy
Leonardo G. Mateo
Thomas D. Sykes
Vincent The Quang Nguyen