Welcome Letter from the Director of Victim Assistance

Dear Friend,

Welcome to the Victim Assistance Website for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.  We appreciate the time you are taking to learn about our program of help and healing for victims/survivors of sexual abuse.  The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has brought a deep sorrow to our Bishop, priests, and the diocesan staff, as well as the lay faithful.  Our prayers for hope and healing go out to all victims/survivors of sexual abuse. 

In June 2002, the Catholic bishops of the United States met in Dallas and approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  By this document, they pledged to address the issue of child sexual abuse by clergy, lay employees and volunteers of the Catholic Church.  The Charter was a continuation of efforts already underway to respond to the increasingly clear problem of child abuse in the Church and society.  More recently, the Bishops have renewed their pledge to protect children in the future and minister to those who have been harmed in the past.  Solutions to these problems are proving to be complex, yet our hope is that we can have a positive impact on those who approach our diocese for assistance. 

If you have come to our website because you are a victim of child sexual abuse by clergy, lay employees or volunteers of the Catholic Church, please know that we are deeply sorry for the pain and suffering that you have experienced.  Our Victim Assistance staff stands ready to assist you in your healing and recovery.  We have listened to many people suffering from the agony of abuse, and endeavor to walk with each person on this painful journey towards healing and wholeness through and with Jesus Christ. 

In 2002, our Bishop Emeritus Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde collaborated with victims/survivors to develop a program to respond to their needs.  The initial program included Masses specifically offered to pray for healing, as well as prayer services, support groups and retreats.   Under the leadership of the current Bishop, Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, we have added Deanery Masses, educational meetings for victims/survivors, and counseling groups led by mental health professionals in an effort to assist those who are in need in new ways.  We also have a number of counselors committed to help those in need of therapy, along with priests, religious sisters and lay people who have received special training in providing spiritual guidance suited to the needs of victim/survivors.

We hope that you will take the first step and call our Victim Assistance Office at (703) 841-2530 so we may welcome you and offer our assistance.


Frank J Moncher, PhD
Victim Assistance Coordinator