GARRETT PARK (MD)
Archdiocese of Washington D.C.
September 30, 2022
[See cached PDF of this letter as it appeared on archdiocesan letterhead.]
Dear Holy Cross Church Community,
It deeply saddens us to have to share some difficult information, however, we believe it is important to make the community aware of a matter involving child protection concerns.
Recently, we received information that Reverend Robert P. Buchmeier has been accused of sexual abuse of minors that is reported to have occurred in another diocese decades ago, prior to his ordination to the priesthood.
This allegation was reported to the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, which notified the appropriate civil authorities and also notified us, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. Upon receiving this allegation, I, as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy and Secretary for Ministerial Leadership, immediately placed Father Buchmeier on administrative leave in compliance with our Child Protection and Safe Environment Policy. Father Buchmeier’s priestly faculties have been suspended, and he is no longer at the rectory, pending a review of the allegations.
Holy Cross Church and The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington take seriously our responsibility to protect children entrusted to our care. It is important that you be informed of the facts given the gravity of this matter and our deep commitment to the safety of our youth and the healing of those who have been harmed by abuse.
Please be assured that we will fully cooperate with the investigation by the civil authorities and comply with the Child Protection and Safe Environment Policy of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.
We encourage anyone with information that may be helpful to the authorities to contact the Alexandria Police Department, Criminal Investigations Division, at 703-746-4444.
If at any time you become aware of improper conduct by anyone in archdiocesan ministry, please contact Courtney Chase, Executive Director of the Archdiocese’s Office of Child Protection & Safe Environment, at 301-853-5302.
Please keep in your prayers those who are affected by this very painful situation and thank you for your ongoing vigilance to keep our young people safe from harm.
Very Reverend Anthony Lickteig
Vicar for Clergy
Secretary for Ministerial Leadership