Fr. Steven Rule – Diocese of Richmond

| Mar 2, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Steven Rule

Diocese of Richmond

Ordained: 1975

Removed: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • Church of the Epiphany (Richmond, VA)
  • Holy Trinity (Norfolk, VA)
  • Our Lady of Lourdes (Richmond, VA)
  • Prince of Peace (Chesapeake, VA)
  • Saint Andrew (Roanoke, VA)
  • Saint Ann (Colonial Heights, VA)
  • Saint John Vianney Seminary (Richmond, VA)
  • Saint Joseph’s Shrine of Saint Katharine Drexel (Columbia, VA)
  • University of Richmond

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Steven Rule:

According to media reports, in August 2002, Father Steven Rule was temporarily removed from ministry at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Roanoke while the diocese investigated a claim that he sexually abused a student at St. John Vianney Seminary in Goochland County in 1976. At the time of the incident, Rule was dean of students.

In the fall of 2002, the diocese determined that Father Rule engaged in a situation that “was inappropriate and exceeded the boundaries under the circumstances.” He was sent out of state for psychological evaluation and eventually reinstated.

“There were some improprieties, but not to the level of taking the man’s priesthood from him,” a diocese spokesman said.

In April 2011, Father Rule was again placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation of inappropriate behavior which did “not involve a minor.” The exact nature of the charge was not disclosed. The diocese said he was cleared “after an independent professional review,” but didn’t provide details of how or by whom the review was conducted.

In February 2019, Father Rule‘s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Richmond’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. His status was listed as “suspended.”

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