Charlotte Diocese to Release Names of Accused Priests By Year’s End
CHARLOTTE, NC – The Charlotte Catholic Diocese, by the end of the year, will release the names of any priests credibly accused of sexual assault.
“It’s a small step in the right direction,” said Seth Langson.
He’s a priest abuse victim’s advocate and attorney. Langson was encouraged by today’s announcement.
A letter from Charlotte Diocese Bishop Peter Jugis says, “The names of any clergy found to be credibly accused by the board in consultation with me (Jugis) will be made public and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.”
Jugis says the list will be made public by January 2020.
Victim advocates from the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests demanded the release of the names from the Charlotte Diocese last month. some are now questioning why there might be a delay until the end of the year.
“In my first lawsuit against them, the court ordered them to give me the names of all the priests who’ve been accused,” said Langson, “so they have this information available to them today.”
In Monday’s announcement, Jugis says they’ve been working on a comprehensive list for some time, but it was never made public.
The most recent accusation in the Charlotte region was brought to light in March. Monsignor Mauricio West, the second highest ranking member of the diocese, resigned. He stepped down following a credible allegation of unwanted sexual advances against a former Belmont Abbey student.
West has denied the allegations.
The Jugis letter comes just days after a groundbreaking church law was announced by Pope Francis. It requires all priests around the world to report clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups.
“It’s an absolute positive. Victims have been asking for this for a long time,” said Langson, “they want transparency.”