Response from the Diocese of Arlington related to a press conference held on December 8, 2017 by the Butler family regarding Fr. William Aitcheson


For Immediate Release
December 8, 2017


As was stated in our August 23 press release, the Catholic Diocese of Arlington was not aware of the civil judgment against Fr. William Aitcheson until August of this year. From that moment Fr. Aitcheson was encouraged to seek reconciliation and make restitution. 

After the Butler family declined a meeting with Fr. Aitcheson, he extended a genuine apology through a hand-written letter and attempted to pay the $23,000 civil judgment amount. The letter and checks totaling $23,000 were delivered to the Butlers’ attorney. At that time, they refused to open the letter and refused the restitution. They have since reconsidered and accepted $23,000 in restitution plus attorney’s fees amounting to $9,600.  

It was correctly stated in the press conference that Fr. Aitcheson had no legal obligation to make restitution, and it should be clarified that he had no obligation under Church law either. Fr. Aitcheson felt a moral obligation to pay as much as he could. The Diocese supported this decision. The restitution and attorney’s fees have been paid by Fr. Aitcheson from his private funds and a personal loan. 

Fr. Aitcheson acknowledges that he should have reached out to the Butler family and paid restitution decades ago, but he hopes this resolution begins a process of healing and peace. 

As this matter involving the Butler family and Fr. Aitcheson has only been resolved recently, plans for his future priestly ministry are still being discerned.


Previous statements on this topic:

Aug 21

Aug 23

Aug 26 (letter from Bishop Burbidge read at every Mass at St. Leo Parish)