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Allegation Against Deceased Priest Found Credible

The Diocesan Review Board of the Diocese of Richmond has determined an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Rev. Clarence Watkins to be credible. Because the incident was alleged to have occurred in Falls Church, which is now part of the Diocese of Arlington, Father Watkins’ name will be added to the Diocese of Arlington’s list of credibly-accused clerics. Father Watkins died in 2012. 

He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Richmond in 1967, and was assigned as associate pastor of Queen of Apostles Parish in Alexandria from 1967-68 and St. James Parish in Falls Church from 1968-73.  From 1973 to 1990, Father Watkins was an active duty U.S. Air Force chaplain.  During this time, following the establishment of the Diocese of Arlington in 1974, he was incardinated in the Arlington Diocese.

After returning from active duty in 1990, he was appointed parochial administrator of Queen of Apostles where he served until 1992. From 1992 until his retirement in 2000, Father Watkins was pastor of St. Rita Parish in Alexandria.

The Diocese of Arlington encourages anyone who knows of any misconduct or abuse on the part of any cleric or employee of the Diocese to report it to the Virginia Attorney General’s hotline (VirginiaClergyHotline.com), and also to contact the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at (703) 841-2530. The diocesan child protection policy is online at arlingtondiocese.org.  

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020