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Charlotte Priest Will Remain Away From Ministry

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte Pastoral Center
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte Pastoral Center.

The pastor of Charlotte’s St. Matthew Catholic Church will remain away from ministry following an investigation into a decades-old allegation of sexual abuse. 

In a letter to St. Matthew parishioners this week, Bishop Peter Jugis, the head of the Charlotte Diocese, said he accepted the recommendation of the diocese’s independent Lay Review Board that Father Patrick Hoare remain away from active ministry at this time. 

Hoare had been placed on administrative leave last December after someone told the diocese they'd been sexually abused by Hoare about 25 years ago in Pennsylvania.

Credit Catholic News Herald
Father Patrick Hoare

The alleged abuse would have occurred when the accuser was a minor but before Hoare was a Catholic priest.  Hoare has denied the allegations. 

In his letter to parishioners, Jugis said although there are no known allegations of abuse during his time in the Charlotte Diocese, there were concerns raised regarding some of Hoare's behavior. 

"The Review Board did consider three complaints against Father Hoare alleging several instances of inappropriate physical contact with minors that were observed by others in group settings at St. Matthew and St. John Neumann parishes," Jugis wrote. "These complaints were reported recently and did not constitute sexual abuse but involved a hug, rubbing the shoulders or abdomen of a minor, and being “very touchy.” The Review Board concluded such behavior represented boundary violations that raised questions about Father Hoare’s judgment."

Jugis says Father John Allen will continue as administrator of St. Matthew. 

Late last year the Charlotte Diocese released a list of clergy members credibly accused of sexual misconduct and abuse.

Before the list was released, WFAE published a four-part investigative podcast series, "The List," focusing on the process. The series, hosted and reported by Sarah Delia, examines the impact of the child sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and the process of creating lists of credibly accused clergy.

Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.
Marshall came to WFAE after graduating from Appalachian State University, where he worked at the campus radio station and earned a degree in communication. Outside of radio, he loves listening to music and going to see bands - preferably in small, dingy clubs.