Memphis' first Catholic bishop named on list of clergy accused of child sexual abuse

By Katherine Burgess
Commercial Appeal
February 18, 2019

Carroll T. Dozier on Dec. 3, 1970
Photo by Dave Darnell

[with video]

Memphis’ first Catholic bishop has been named on a list of clergy who “have a credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor.”

The list was released last Wednesday by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, where the Most Rev. Carroll T. Dozier was assigned to three parishes before being appointed the first bishop of the Diocese of Memphis in 1970.

The allegation of abuse was made against Dozier after his death in 1985, according to the list. The list did not give additional details about the allegation.

Dozier became bishop of the Diocese of Memphis after it was separated from the Diocese of Nashville.

According to a cached page from the Diocese of Memphis’ website, Dozier’s time leading the diocese was marked “by reconciliation of the races, by ecumenism, by efforts to recognize and begin to fill the needs of the poor and downtrodden, to protect the life of the unborn and to crusade for peace and disarmament.”

Dozier resigned due to ill health in 1982, according to the website.

The list of clergy with allegations of sexual abuse of minors was released by the Diocese of Richmond as their bishop asked for an independent and comprehensive review of personnel files.

“By publishing this list, we can help bring about healing to those who have experienced abuse in the Church and heighten the awareness of this tragic situation,” wrote the Most Rev. Barry Knestout, bishop of Richmond.

Dozens of state dioceses have released names of accused clergy since a grand jury report released in August found that church leaders protected more than 300 “predator priests” in dioceses across Pennsylvania.

In November, the Catholic Diocese of Nashville released the names of 13 priests accused of sexually abusing minors, including several who spent time in Memphis.

But allegations of abuse by Memphis priests aren’t new: In 2010, records unsealed after legal action by The Commercial Appeal revealed that at least 15 priests had been accused of sexual misconduct over four decades in the Memphis Diocese.



Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.