Priest Placed on Leave

Catholic Diocese of Arlington
May 4, 2007

Priest Placed on Leave after Allegation of Misconduct

Rev. Christopher Buckner, 54, a faculty member with an area distance learning institution since 2000, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of an allegation that he engaged in inappropriate conduct with a minor between 1992 and 1994. After a preliminary review of the allegation, the Arlington Diocesan Review Board advised Bishop Paul S. Loverde to conduct an investigation in accord with diocesan policy. Rev. Buckner has denied any wrongdoing.

Upon learning of the allegation, the diocese met with the alleged victim, offered assistance, and reported the allegation to the civil authorities. Rev. Buckner was placed on leave while the allegation is investigated more fully. No final determination has yet been made with regard to the allegation.

The diocese has had a written Child Protection Policy since 1991. This policy was updated in 2003. Under the diocesan policy, if there is a final determination that an allegation of abuse or misconduct by a priest with a minor is substantiated, the priest is permanently removed from ministry. The majority lay-person Review Board serves in an advisory capacity to the bishop to review allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clerics. In addition, those accused are encouraged to seek a psychological evaluation.

Rev. Buckner has served as a faculty member with Catholic Distance University since 2000; during that time he has assisted at St. Veronica Church, Chantilly. He previously served as pastor, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, Fredericksburg, 1992-2000; parochial vicar, Holy Spirit Church, Annandale, 1990-1992; parochial vicar, Nativity Church, Burke, 1985-1990; parochial vicar, Sacred Heart Church, Winchester, 1980-1985; and deacon, St. Leo the Great Church, Fairfax, 1979-1980.

The diocesan Child Protection Policy is online at, under Child Protection and Safety. The Diocese encourages anyone who knows of any misconduct or abuse on the part of any cleric or employee of the diocese to notify both civil authorities and the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, Patricia Mudd, at 703-841-2530.


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