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Child sex abuse allegations made against priests with Richmond-area ties

Posted at 3:21 PM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 15:29:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Allegations of child sexual abuse levied against four Catholic priests who led congregations in Central Virginia and Hampton Roads are now under review, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond announced Monday.

“While the alleged incidents are from the past, we recognize the pain is still a deep and present reality for victim survivors of abuse and for their loved ones,” Bishop Barry C. Knestout said. “We continue to pray for their healing and for their loved ones who support them.”

The diocese said no conclusions have been regarding any of the announced allegations.

Fr. William Dinga, Jr.

Status: Retired Without Priestly Faculties

Allegations of child sexual abuse have been made against Fr. William Dinga, Jr. while serving at Christ the King Catholic Church, Norfolk in 1986. Fr. Dinga adamantly denies the allegations. He was ordained a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond in 1975 and served as a pastor or associate pastor at the following parishes: Christ the King, Norfolk; Saint Andrew, Roanoke; Holy Cross, Lynchburg; Saint Jerome, Newport News; Saint Vincent de Paul, Newport News; and Saint Peter, Richmond. Fr. Dinga retired in 1990. Prior to this recent allegation, Fr. Dinga did not have permission to exercise any public priestly ministry. His priestly faculties remain suspended.

Fr. Joseph Slowik

Status: Retired without Priestly Faculties

Allegations of child sexual abuse have been made against Fr. Joseph Slowik while serving at St. Paul’s in Portsmouth in the early 1990’s. The diocese has been unable to ascertain Fr. Slowik’s response to the allegations. The Church process will proceed based on the assumption that Fr. Slowik denies the allegations. Incardinated as a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond in 1979, he served as a pastor and/or associate pastor at the following parishes: St. John, Petersburg, St. Paul, Portsmouth and Church of Saint Therese, Gloucester. He was removed from public ministry in 2006. Fr. Slowik’s priestly faculties remain suspended.

Fr. Thomas L. Long, Jr.

Suspended from Priestly Ministry

Allegations of child sexual abuse have been made against Fr. Thomas L. Long, Jr. while serving at Christ the King Catholic School in Norfolk in 1986. The diocese has been unable to ascertain Fr. Long’s response to the allegations. The Church process will proceed based on the assumption that Fr. Long denies the allegations. Fr. Long, ordained a priest of the diocese in 1981, was assigned to St. Joseph in Petersburg and Christ the King in Norfolk. He took a leave of absence in 1988 and has not served in priestly ministry within the Diocese of Richmond since that time. Prior to these allegations, Fr. Long’s priestly faculties were already suspended. His faculties remain suspended.

Fr. Eugene Daigle

Religious Order Priest

Allegations of child sexual abuse have been made against Fr. Eugene Daigle, a religious order priest, while serving at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea in Fort Monroe in the late 1970’s. Fr. Daigle was ordained a Redemptorist, or member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (C.Ss.R), a religious community of Roman Catholic priests and brothers, before working in ministry in the diocese. The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has informed the provincial superior of the Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province, to whom Fr. Daigle reports to, of the allegations. Currently, Fr. Daigle is no longer active in priestly ministry. The diocese has been unable to ascertain Fr. Daigle’s response to the allegations. The Church process will proceed based on the assumption that Fr. Daigle denies the allegation.

The diocese encouraged anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the diocese to report abuse directly to law enforcement first, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-800-552-7096, and by calling the Virginia Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1- 833-454-9064 or VirginiaClergyHotline.com.