The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte has announced it will publish a list of clergy members who’ve been credibly accused of child sex abuse. In a statement issued Monday, Bishop Peter Jugis said it's hard to predict how long its investigation will take but that the list should be published by the end of the year.
"Through my discussions with abuse survivors, I have come to believe that a full airing of abuse from the past is crucial in the healing process for victims and for the entire Church,” Jugis said.
At the recommendation of its Lay Review Board, the diocese began conducting a review of its personnel files and historical records last fall to search for any allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy who have served in the diocese since its inception in 1972.
“Any allegations discovered in these historical files have and will be forwarded to our Lay Review Board for evaluation and/or further investigation,” Jugis said.
Monday’s announcement follows the release in recent months of clergy members accused of child sex abuse in other U.S. dioceses. Last fall, the Justice Department announced it had begun an investigation into the Catholic Church’s handling of child sex abuse allegations in Pennsylvania.
In March, the Charlotte diocese’s second-highest ranking official, Monsignor Mauricio West, resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct involving an adult student when West was vice president for student affairs at Belmont Abbey College in Gaston County in the mid-1980s.
Pope Francis last week announced new procedures for reporting suspected child sexual abuse, conducting investigations and protecting victims and whistleblowers. They go into effect June 1.
The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte covers 46 counties in western North Carolina.