March 29, 2019
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
It is with a heavy heart and in the spirit of transparency and accountability that I, based on the recommendations of the independent Sexual Abuse Advisory Board of the Diocese of Charleston, release the names of those clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct or abuse involving a minor. It is my fervent hope and prayer that publishing this list will help bring healing to the victims and their families who have been so grievously harmed by the betrayal of priests and Church leadership.
The victims of sexual abuse and their families have suffered much pain and are understandably hurt and angry. We must continue to pray and care for our brothers and sisters who have experienced this trauma inflicted by priests they trusted. We also need to honor the courage of those who have come forward to share the most intimate and painful experiences of their entire lives. My heart hurts for the victims and the damage this has caused to them and to their families.
The task before the Church today is to assist in the healing of victims and to regain their trust. This regaining of trust is not only necessary for the victims, but also for all the faithful. The Church should always be a safe environment — not only a place where no one will be abused going forward, but also a place where those who have been abused in the past can find understanding, healing and hope. Let us remain steadfast in offering our prayers to God that all victims of child sexual abuse may find healing and peace.
The list of priests was compiled after a review of diocesan priest records. Every effort was made to ensure that the examination was thorough, precise and complete. Members of the independent Sexual Abuse Advisory Board then assessed and agreed on the final list of priests. It is important to note that an accusation determined by the Board to be credible is not a finding of liability or guilt; it means that the allegation at least seems to be true and/or offers reasonable grounds to be believed.
This list includes the names of those priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in the Diocese dating back to 1950. It is separated into four parts:
- Priests under the direct authority of the Diocese of Charleston as to which a credible allegation of sexual misconduct or abuse has been made involving conduct within the Diocese;
- Visiting priests from another diocese and priests under the direct authority of a Religious Order, but assigned to the Diocese of Charleston, as to which a credible allegation of sexual misconduct or abuse has been made involving conduct within the Diocese;
- Priests who served in the Diocese of Charleston, with no accusations within this Diocese, but who have credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors that occurred in another jurisdiction, and
- Priests who are listed by virtue of a class action settlement payment as determined by an arbitrator
The list will be updated if new credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor are determined.
In order to experience a resurgence of holiness, we in the Church must continue to strengthen the protections provided to our children and young people in our parishes and schools. I urge you, the faithful of our Diocese, to participate in this resurgence. Trials and tribulations can often become the catalysts for tremendous strengthening to enable us to deal with the problems we face in our lives. With your help, our Church will become stronger and the crisis we now face will result in the purification of the Church.
Sincerely in Christ’s Peace,
+Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop of Charleston
March 29, 2019