Spotlight on abuse: Episcopal priest William L. Winston

By | April 17, 2022
Episcopal priest William L. Winston
Episcopal priest William L. Winston Episcopal priest William L. Winston
Episcopal priest William L. Winston graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1980 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1980. A priest of the conservative Anglo-Catholic Society of the Holy Cross (SSC), he left the Episcopal Church USA in 1985 and was re-ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church through the Pastoral Provision for married former Episcopal priests in 1986. Winston was assigned as pastor of St. Virgil’s Catholic Church in the Catholic Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey. Winston was removed from active parish ministry on November 4, 2004 after being arrested for physically assaulting his wife, throwing her to the ground, kicking her, and dislocating her jaw. Winston was also charged with and pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 4-7 year old boy in his pastoral care on an ongoing basis between 1999 and 2002. Winston claimed that the stress of serving a large parish while married with small children drove him into alcoholic rages and removed his memory of sexual activities. Several of his children also testified to his verbally and physically abusive behavior and neglect. He was placed on paid leave by the Catholic diocese after his 2004 arrest, and his wife and four children were allowed to continue living in his former rectory. Winston was laicized by the Vatican in August 2007 after serving a six-month prison sentence.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments