ARLINGTON, Va. — A northern Virginia priest has been removed from his parish after the Catholic Diocese of Arlington says he confessed to sexual contact with a minor.
Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge said in a letter written over the weekend that Christopher Mould is no longer pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Clifton.
Burbidge said Mould was removed after he confessed last week to having sexual contact with one minor when he was parochial vicar at St. Thomas à Becket Church in Reston from 1992 to 1995.
“In accord with our Policy, I immediately made arrangements for Father Mould to leave the rectory at St. Andrew the Apostle Church that same day, and to take up residence at a place where he would not be in contact with any minor near a church or school property,” the bishop said.
“The Diocese of Arlington has committed its full cooperation with law enforcement in any investigation they pursue. It is important to note that prior to his recent admission of guilt, the Diocese of Arlington has never received a complaint of sexual abuse or misconduct against Father Mould,” the letter continued.
Burbidge said Mould has been barred from carrying out any priestly duties, and that the diocese has informed police.
“The Diocese of Arlington is fully committed to a zero tolerance policy related to sexual abuse of minors. Any such incident is a grave sin and a profound betrayal of trust. I express my heartfelt regret to the individual who was harmed by Father Mould’s actions,” the bishop said, telling the parish he realized the news “is difficult for you to receive.”
“While justice and a commitment to the protection of children and young people make these actions prudent and necessary, it also brings me sadness to know the impact they have on your community,” Burbidge said.
Fairfax County Police confirmed on Monday that they are investigating.
Crux staff contributed to this report.
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