To the People of God of Western North Carolina

Dear Friends in Christ,

With great sorrow yet abiding hope, the Diocese of Charlotte publishes this list of 14 clergy who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse within the diocese since it was established in 1972.

It is painful to even try to comprehend such gravely immoral behavior, particularly for those who have carried the burden of sexual abuse by clergy. However, in speaking with survivors and hearing their stories, it is clear to me that making known the names of their abusers can promote healing for them and their families. I pray this step achieves that goal.

This list is the culmination of a process begun more than a year ago in our belief that a full accounting of credibly accused clergy would provide validation for victims and demonstrate our commitment to transparency and accountability. While most of the names on the list were made known years ago by the diocese and others, to ensure this accounting was comprehensive, the diocese engaged independent investigators to review some 1,600 personnel and other historical records dating back almost 50 years.

To all who have been victimized by Catholic clergy, I apologize on behalf of the diocese and express to you personally my heartfelt sorrow for the physical, emotional and spiritual pain you have suffered. You deserved a priest in whom you could place your trust, a model of Jesus the Good Shepherd. Regrettably, it is clear in our history that the Catholic Church – including this diocese – did not fully understan­­d the pathology of child sexual abuse or respond to allegations as aggressively as it could have, as we do today.

While nothing can change the past, in our sorrow we also find hope. The information we present here reflects a clear shift in the way the Church – and this diocese – has addressed the problem of child sexual abuse since 2002, when the U.S. Catholic Bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The Charter mandates zero tolerance, strict accountability standards, and protocols for reporting allegations and preventing abuse in all of our parishes, schools and ministries. Since I became bishop in 2003, I have been fortunate to have the Charter as our guide on this issue.

Please be assured, our file review confirmed that no clergy member serving in our diocese today has a credible allegation of child sexual abuse against him. These men deserve our prayers and our support, for they have endured the long shadow cast by the immoral acts of a few in the past.

Also be assured that all of the accused clergy named on this list have long since been removed from ministry – and most are now deceased. Under the Charter, anyone credibly accused must be removed from ministry until a determination of guilt or innocence is made through government or Church proceedings.

It is also our practice to report all allegations of child sexual abuse to civil authorities for action, independent of our Church adjudication process. We continue to urge people to contact law enforcement directly if they have been victimized. And we are launching an independent hotline to make it easier for people to report suspected cases of sexual abuse or misconduct to us for investigation and Church disciplinary purposes.

I am grateful for the courage and strength of abuse survivors who have shared their most private pain so those responsible could be held accountable and children today can be protected from harm. I pray the information we are sharing will provide some measure of healing and restoration of trust – for victims and for our many brothers and sisters in Christ whose confidence in the Church hierarchy has been shaken and who have felt betrayed by the way some Church leaders handled abuse allegations in the past.

Unfortunately, no list of this nature can be considered a final accounting. It is a document to which new names might be added. This list reflects credible allegations we have documented now, and it will be updated as new information emerges – and as additional survivors, perhaps prompted by this list, come forward.

I invite you to read more here about the information we publish today. Please pray with me that this information achieves the goal of bringing healing to victims. I also ask that you please pray for the Church, and for the Lord to call good and holy priests to serve the People of God in our growing diocese. With the Lord’s help, we can continue fostering a safe and supportive environment in our parishes, schools and ministries so that the Church in western North Carolina can help lead future generations to Him.

Yours in Christ Jesus,
Reverend Peter J. Jugis
Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, J.C.D.
Bishop of Charlotte

Credibly Accused Clergy

Listed below are 14 clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the Diocese of Charlotte since it was established in 1972. Summarized are the allegations considered credible as a result of action by civil authorities, findings by the diocese’s Lay Review Board, or as the result of a comprehensive review of the diocese’s personnel and other files by independent investigators in 2019. Included on separate tabs are credibly accused clergy and religious brothers who served in western North Carolina before the Charlotte diocese was established, or were accused of sexual abuse or misconduct elsewhere.

Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Donald Philip Baker

Affiliation

Diocese of Charlotte

Donald Philip Baker

Ordained, 1980 | Left ministry, 1994

Affiliation

Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Lenoir, N.C.

In March of 2017, a man reported to the Diocese of Charlotte that Baker had sexually abused him in his Lenoir parish from 1986 to 1989, when he was a teenager. The diocese alerted Caldwell County DSS, and Lenoir police investigated but did not file charges. At the time of the allegation in 2017, Baker was living in Arizona, where he had relocated in 1991 and worked briefly in the Diocese of Phoenix. Baker left ministry in 1994.

In 2019, after an investigation, the Charlotte diocese’s Lay Review Board deemed the allegation credible and recommended that Baker not be permitted to engage in any ministry. He remains permanently out of ministry.

Assignments

  • Holy Infant Catholic Church (Reidsville, N.C.)
  • Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
  • St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (Lenoir, N.C.)
  • St. Joseph Catholic Church (Newton, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Charles Jeffries “Jeff” Burton

Affiliation

Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)

Charles Jeffries “Jeff” Burton

Ordained, 1967 | Removed, 2007 | Deceased, 2011

Affiliation

Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)

Allegation(s)

Location
Youth Ministry Center, Flat Rock, N.C.

In May of 1994, an adult male reported to the Diocese of Charlotte that Burton made advances and inappropriately touched him in 1982 at a youth ministry center in Flat Rock, when he was 17. Burton had been assigned by his supervising religious order, the Maryland Province of Jesuits, to work in the Charlotte diocese, and was appointed co-director of diocesan youth ministry in Flat Rock. At the time the allegation arose in 1994, Burton had not worked in the diocese for more than a decade. The diocese reported the allegation to his supervising religious order. The Jesuits sent Burton for treatment and then returned him to ministry in New Jersey, the order said in a 2007 statement. The Flat Rock allegation resurfaced in 2007 when the Jesuits conducted a review of their personnel files. The Jesuits said Burton acknowledged the incident and they removed him from ministry. He died in 2011.

Photo courtesy of The Press of Atlantic City

Assignments

  • Diocese of Charlotte Youth Ministry Center, Co-Director of Youth Ministry (Flat Rock, N.C.)
  • Hot Springs Boys Home (Hot Springs, N.C.)
  • Spring Creek Elementary and High Schools (Hot Springs, N.C.)
  • St. Teresa’s Catholic Church (Revere, N.C.)
  • Catholic Diocesan Scouting Chaplain
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Eugene D. Corbesero

Affiliation

Consolata Society for Foreign Missions

Eugene D. Corbesero

Ordained, 1962 | Dismissed, 1983 | Deceased, 2016

Affiliation

Consolata Society for Foreign Missions

Allegation(s)

Location
Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.; New Jersey

In March of 1995, a man reported to the Diocese of Charlotte that he had been abused by Corbesero when he was a teenager at Our Lady of Consolation Church in Charlotte. The alleged incident occurred sometime between 1973 and 1975.

A New Jersey priest who served in five states, Corbesero had been assigned by his supervising religious order to work in the Charlotte diocese during the time of the alleged abuse. His order reassigned him out of state in 1976 and he quit the order in 1981. He formally left the order and was released from the clerical state in 1983.

When the allegation was made in 1995, then-Charlotte Bishop William Curlin determined it was credible and alerted Corbesero’s order to verify he was no longer in ministry.

In October of 2007, the former priest pleaded guilty and served five years in prison for the 2006 sexual assault of a minor in New Jersey, according to published reports. Corbesero died in 2016.

Assignments

  • Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. Dorothy Catholic Mission (now Church) (Lincolnton, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Aloysius Joseph D’Silva

Affiliation

Diocese of Charlotte

Aloysius Joseph D’Silva

Ordained, 1961 | Deceased, 2005

Affiliation

Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
St. Bernadette Catholic Mission, Linville, N.C.

In December of 1998, a teenager reported D’Silva had inappropriately touched and kissed her at St. Bernadette Catholic Mission in Linville. D’Silva denied the allegation and the Diocese of Charlotte could not substantiate the claim at the time. D’Silva died in 2005. As part of the diocese’s 2019 historical file review, the allegation was re-examined and found credible through an independent investigation.

Assignments

  • St. Bernadette Catholic Mission (Linville, N.C.)
  • St. Lucien Catholic Church (Spruce Pine, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Richard B. Farwell

Affiliation

Diocese of Charlotte

Richard B. Farwell

Ordained, 1981 | Removed, 2002 | Convicted, 2004

Affiliation

Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Salisbury, N.C.; St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.

In 1999, a woman reported to the Diocese of Charlotte that Farwell had abused her son in the early 1980s, but the then-adult son did not come forward to make a complaint. Farwell had taken leave from the Charlotte diocese in 1998, returned briefly to ministry in Charlotte in 2000, then moved to Florida that same year for a job at Food for the Poor, a charity which provides food and other services to the poor in Latin America and the Caribbean. With no formal complaint against Farwell, then-Charlotte Bishop William Curlin, now deceased, provided the charity a letter of good standing for Farwell.

In April of 2002, the victim did come forward and reported to the diocese that Farwell had abused him in 1983, when he was 12 or 13, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Salisbury. The diocese alerted Rowan County DSS, which alerted Salisbury police. The diocese immediately removed Farwell’s priestly faculties, and Farwell was subsequently fired from his job at Food for the Poor.

In June of 2002, a second allegation against Farwell was reported by the attorney for a man who said Farwell had sexually abused him in 1984, when he was 15, at St. Ann Catholic Church in Charlotte and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Salisbury. The diocese informed Salisbury police and Mecklenburg County DSS, which alerted Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. The diocese also referred the allegation to its Lay Review Board.

In August of 2002, Farwell was indicted in Rowan County on two felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor. In November of 2004, while denying wrongdoing, Farwell pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and was sentenced to probation.

In 2005, after the criminal case concluded, the Lay Review Board deemed the allegations against Farwell credible and recommended he remain out of ministry. A civil lawsuit filed on behalf of both victims in Mecklenburg County Superior Court was dismissed in 2014.

Farwell remains permanently out of ministry and resides in Florida.

Assignments

  • Charlotte Catholic High School, Pastoral Minister (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • Queen of the Apostles Catholic Church (Belmont, N.C.)
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Salisbury, N.C.)
  • St. Aloysius Catholic Church (Hickory, N.C.)
  • St. Ann Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. Dorothy Catholic Church (Lincolnton, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
P. Patrick Gavigan

Affiliation

Diocese of Charlotte

P. Patrick Gavigan

Ordained, 1953 | Deceased, 2007

Affiliation

Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, Greensboro, N.C.

In April of 2002, the Diocese of Charlotte received an allegation from a woman alleging abuse by Gavigan in 1973 at Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro, when she was a minor. Ordained for the Trappist Fathers religious order in Conyers, Georgia, Gavigan had been incardinated into the Charlotte diocese in 1972 and retired in 1992.

After the allegation was received in 2002, the diocese alerted its Lay Review Board and Guilford County DSS. Gavigan denied the allegation. In its investigation, the Lay Review Board recommended that Gavigan, living in a North Carolina nursing home by that time, be restricted from ministry to minors. He died in 2007.

Assignments

  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (High Point, N.C.)
  • Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Brevard, N.C.)
  • St. Benedict Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
  • St. Dorothy Catholic Church (Lincolnton, N.C.)
  • St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (Tryon, N.C.)
  • St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church (Shelby, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Adelbert “Del” Holmes

Affiliation

Glenmary Home Mission Society

Adelbert “Del” Holmes

Ordained, 1963 | Deceased, 2013

Affiliation

Glenmary Home Mission Society

Allegation(s)

Location
St. William Catholic Church, Murphy, N.C.; Franklin, Ky.; Diocese of Richmond, Va.

In October of 2019, Holmes was publicly named on the Ohio-based Glenmary Home Missioners’ list of clergy credibly accused of abuse of a minor. The Diocese of Charlotte had no record of abuse allegations against Holmes but sought more information since the Glenmary society had twice assigned Holmes to work in western North Carolina in the mid-1960s and mid-1970s.

In November of 2019, the society told the diocese Holmes had been accused of abusing three minors in 1976 in Murphy, where he served at St. William Catholic Church. The society also said another credible allegation stemmed from Holmes’ subsequent assignment in Franklin, Kentucky.

Glenmary said it had received the North Carolina allegations in 1988, while Holmes was living at the society’s headquarters in Cincinnati, and that Holmes had admitted the abuse. According to the society, he was sent for treatment in 1988 and removed from ministry in 1991. Holmes died in 2013.

In October of 2019, the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, added Holmes to its list of clergy with credible allegations of abuse that occurred in the Richmond diocese.

Assignments

  • Immaculate Conception Catholic Mission (Hayesville, N.C.)
  • St. William Catholic Church (Murphy, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Donald J. Joyce

Affiliation

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate-United States Province

Donald J. Joyce

Ordained, 1958 | Removed, 1997 | Deceased, 2013

Affiliation

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate-United States Province

Allegation(s)

Location
Sacred Heart Catholic Mission, Wadesboro, N.C.; Lowell, Mass.

In April of 2002, a man reported to the Diocese of Charlotte that he had been abused as a minor by Joyce from 1973 to 1976 at Sacred Heart Catholic Mission in Wadesboro. Joyce had been assigned by his supervising religious order to work in the Charlotte diocese. In 2002, the diocese reported the allegation to Union County DSS and Joyce’s order for investigation. The diocese has no information on what action the order may have taken. Joyce had already been removed from ministry in 1997 and was working in an Oblates-run college library in San Antonio, Texas, when the allegation was made.

In 2006, a second allegation of abuse in Massachusetts emerged in a lawsuit accusing Joyce of sexually abusing a minor from about 1977 to 1979 at a parish in Lowell, where he had been assigned by his order.

In 2019, as part of the diocese’s historical file review, the Wadesboro allegation was referred to the diocese’s Lay Review Board, which deemed the allegation credible.

Assignments

  • Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church (Monroe, N.C.)
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Mission (Wadesboro, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Michael Joseph Kelleher

Affiliations

Trappist-Cistercian religious order
Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte

Michael Joseph Kelleher

Ordained, 1953 | Retired, 1999 | Removed, 2010 | Deceased, 2014

Affiliations

Trappist-Cistercian religious order
Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Church, Albemarle, N.C.; Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.; Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Hendersonville, N.C.; Charlotte Catholic High School, Charlotte, N.C.

In January of 2010, the Diocese of Charlotte contacted Stanly County authorities after learning of an allegation of sexual abuse against Kelleher posted on an online message board. The anonymous writer alleged he had been abused by Kelleher at Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Church in Albemarle in 1977, when he was 14 and Kelleher was pastor there. Kelleher had been retired since 1999, but still served occasionally at Holy Cross Catholic Church and Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in Kernersville.

The Charlotte diocese investigated and in June of 2010 removed Kelleher’s priestly faculties. In July Albemarle police charged him with one felony count of taking indecent liberties with a child. Kelleher admitted the abuse in a police interview, according to Stanly County Superior Court documents. However, the judge declared ailing Kelleher not competent to stand trial and dismissed the case in July in 2014. Kelleher died a month later.

After Kelleher was charged, others came forward to allege Kelleher had also abused them as minors in the 1970s and 1980s, including additional victims in Charlotte and Hendersonville. Law enforcement in Charlotte and Henderson County investigated the claims but did not pursue charges. The diocese’s Lay Review Board found the allegations credible.

Assignments

  • Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, Chaplain (2 terms) (Kernersville, N.C.)
  • Holy Cross Catholic Church, Occasional Mass celebrant after retirement (Kernersville, N.C.)
  • Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (Hendersonville, N.C.)
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (High Point, N.C.)
  • Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Church (Albemarle, N.C.)
  • Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church (Lexington, N.C.)
  • St. Dorothy Catholic Church (Lincolnton, N.C.)
  • St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church (Waynesville, N.C.)
  • St. Joseph Catholic Church (Asheboro, N.C.)
  • St. Lawrence Catholic Church (now Basilica) (Asheville, N.C.)
  • St. Patrick Church (now Cathedral) (Charlotte, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Peter Tan Van Le

Affiliation

Diocese of Vinh Long, Vietnam

Peter Tan Van Le

Ordained, 1973 | Retired, 2011 | Removed, 2013

Affiliation

Diocese of Vinh Long, Vietnam

Allegation(s)

Location
St. Joseph Vietnamese Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.

In 2013, the Diocese of Charlotte received allegations against Le of sexual abuse of multiple minors at St. Joseph Vietnamese Catholic Church in Charlotte. The diocese alerted its Lay Review Board and Mecklenburg County DSS, which referred the information to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office. The subsequent investigation identified additional victims. Authorities did not prosecute, but the diocese’s Lay Review Board found the allegations credible. In August of 2013, the diocese removed Le’s priestly faculties and alerted his home diocese of Vinh Long, Vietnam, where he had retired in 2011 because of ill health.

Assignments

  • St. Ann Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. Joseph Vietnamese Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Damion Jacques Lynch

Affiliation

Diocese of Charlotte

Damion Jacques Lynch

Ordained, 1991 | Removed, 1998 | Dismissed, 2009

Affiliation

Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Boone, N.C.

In the mid-1990s, parents of a 14-year-old boy alleged that Lynch molested him from 1991 to 1995, when Lynch served at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Boone. Lynch admitted the abuse and was sent for psychiatric treatment. In 1997, after a counselor cleared Lynch for return to ministry, then-Charlotte Bishop William Curlin appointed Lynch to Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in Charlotte. About that same time, the brother of the initial victim also accused Lynch of abusing him during his time in Boone. Lynch was removed from ministry in January of 1998 and the Diocese of Charlotte settled two lawsuits with the family in Watauga County Superior Court. Lynch was released from the clerical state in 2009.

Assignments

  • Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. Elizabeth Catholic Church (Boone, N.C.)
  • Appalachian State University, Campus Minister (Boone, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Justin Paul Pechulis

Affiliations

Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte

Justin Paul Pechulis

Ordained, 1958 | Deceased, 1983

Affiliations

Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
St. Lawrence Catholic Church (now Basilica), Asheville, N.C.

In 2008, a civil lawsuit was filed in Buncombe County Superior Court against the Diocese of Charlotte and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by a man alleging he was sexually assaulted at St. Lawrence Catholic Church (now Basilica) in Asheville in 1976 or 1977. The man said he was 15 or 16 at the time of the abuse and named as his assailants Pechulis, who was deceased, as well as a Philadelphia priest and a third unidentified man. Pechulis, a Pennsylvania native and friend of the Philadelphia priest, was pastor of St. Lawrence Catholic Church at the time of the alleged assault. Although Pechulis had died in 1983, civil authorities were notified in Philadelphia and Asheville. Both the Philadelphia and Charlotte review boards investigated the allegation. The Charlotte diocese’s Lay Review Board found the allegation credible in 2008. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2010.

Assignments

  • Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. Frances of Rome Catholic Mission (Sparta, N.C.)
  • St. John Baptist de la Salle Catholic Church (N. Wilkesboro, N.C.)
  • St. Lawrence Catholic Church (now Basilica) (Asheville, N.C.)
  • St. Peter Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • Diocese of Charlotte, Judicial Vicar (Charlotte, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Donald Francis Scales

Affiliation

Order of St. Benedict (Benedictines)

Donald Francis Scales

Ordained, 1955 | Removed, 2006 | Deceased, 2008

Affiliation

Order of St. Benedict (Benedictines)

Allegation(s)

Location
St. Michael Catholic Church, Gastonia, N.C.

In 2006, a man wrote a letter to the administrator of St. Michael Catholic Church in Gastonia alleging he had been sexually abused as a minor by Scales at the parish in 1977-1978. Scales had been assigned to the parish by the Benedictines of Belmont Abbey, his supervising religious order. In 1980, Scales relocated to a Benedictine priory in Richmond, Virginia. When the allegation was reported in 2006, the Richmond priory, Belmont Abbey and Gaston County DSS were notified, and DSS alerted the Gaston County District Attorney’s office. Scales denied the allegation. No charges were filed, but the Diocese of Charlotte’s Lay Review Board found the allegation credible and his order removed him from ministry in 2006. He died in 2008.

Assignments

  • St. Michael Catholic Church (Gastonia, N.C.)
Est. 1972Diocese of Charlotte
Robert Yurgel

Affiliation

Capuchin Franciscan Friars-Province of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis

Robert Yurgel

Ordained, 1996 | Removed, 2008 | Convicted, 2009 | Dismissed, 2010

Affiliation

Capuchin Franciscan Friars-Province of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis

Allegation(s)

Location
St. Matthew Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.; Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.; St. Michael Catholic Church, Gastonia, N.C.

In April of 2008, the Diocese of Charlotte learned of abuse allegations against Yurgel when he was arrested in Passaic, New Jersey, after a man reported to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police that he had been repeatedly abused by Yurgel almost a decade earlier. Yurgel had been assigned by the New Jersey-based Capuchin Franciscans religious order to work at St. Matthew Church in Charlotte from 1997 to 1999. The abuse occurred when the victim was 14 and reportedly took place at several locations including St. Matthew and Our Lady of Consolation churches in Charlotte and St. Michael Church in Gastonia.

Yurgel was extradited to Charlotte following his arrest. In February of 2009, he pleaded guilty to felony second-degree sexual offense and served nearly eight years in prison. Yurgel was dismissed from the order and the clerical state in 2010. He was released from prison in August of 2016, ordered to register as a sex offender, and moved to New Jersey, according to published reports.

In 2010, a civil lawsuit against the Capuchin Franciscans and the Charlotte diocese was settled.

Assignments

  • Catholic Conference Center, Novitiate program (1992) (Hickory, N.C.)
  • Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Service as part of Novitiate program (1992) (Salisbury, N.C.)
  • St. Matthew Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. Michael Catholic Church, Occasional Spanish Mass celebrant (Gastonia, N.C.)

Listed are clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the Diocese of Charlotte since it was established in 1972.

Name Ordination Date Affiliation(s) Location(s) of Alleged Abuse*
Donald Philip Baker Left ministry 1980 Diocese of Charlotte
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Lenoir, N.C.
Charles Jeffries “Jeff” Burton Removed, Deceased 1967 Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)
Youth Ministry Center, Flat Rock, N.C.
Eugene D. Corbesero Dismissed, Deceased 1962 Consolata Society for Foreign Missions
Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.; New Jersey
Aloysius Joseph D’Silva Deceased 1961 Diocese of Charlotte
St. Bernadette Catholic Mission, Linville, N.C.
Richard B. Farwell Removed, Convicted 1981 Diocese of Charlotte
Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Salisbury, N.C.; St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.
P. Patrick Gavigan Deceased 1953 Diocese of Charlotte
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, Greensboro, N.C.
Adelbert “Del” Holmes Deceased 1963 Glenmary Home Mission Society
St. William Catholic Church, Murphy, N.C.; Franklin, Ky.; Diocese of Richmond, Va.
Donald J. Joyce Removed, Deceased 1958 Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate-United States Province
Sacred Heart Catholic Mission, Wadesboro, N.C.; Lowell, Mass.
Michael Joseph Kelleher Retired, Removed, Deceased 1953 Trappist-Cistercian religious order
Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte
Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Church, Albemarle, N.C.; Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.; Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Hendersonville, N.C.; Charlotte Catholic High School, Charlotte, N.C.
Peter Tan Van Le Retired, Removed 1973 Diocese of Vinh Long, Vietnam
St. Joseph Vietnamese Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.
Damion Jacques Lynch Removed, Dismissed 1991 Diocese of Charlotte
St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Boone, N.C.
Justin Paul Pechulis Deceased 1958 Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte
St. Lawrence Catholic Church (now Basilica), Asheville, N.C.
Donald Francis Scales Removed, Deceased 1955 Order of St. Benedict (Benedictines)
St. Michael Catholic Church, Gastonia, N.C.
Robert Yurgel Removed, Convicted, Dismissed 1996 Capuchin Franciscan Friars-Province of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis
St. Matthew Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.; Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C.; St. Michael Catholic Church, Gastonia, N.C.
* “Location(s) of Alleged Abuse” generally refers to where the alleged abuse took place or the parish where the accused cleric was assigned or serving at the time.
Pre-1972Western North Carolina
Andre Anthony Corbin, Jr.

Affiliations

Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte

Andre Anthony Corbin, Jr.

Ordained, 1961 | Removed, 1988 | Convicted, 1989 | Deceased, 2008

Affiliations

Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
Gibbons Hall for Boys, Asheville, N.C.; Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Brevard, N.C.; Massachusetts

In 1983, the Diocese of Charlotte received an allegation against Corbin of sexual abuse in 1966 at Gibbons Hall for Boys in Asheville – when the Diocese of Raleigh oversaw the Catholic Church across the entire state. The Raleigh diocese had deemed Corbin unfit for a ministerial assignment in 1970 after alleged abuse at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, then located in Winston-Salem. Corbin moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, and remained out of ministry.

The Charlotte diocese inherited supervision of Corbin when it was established in 1972. Although the diocese never assigned Corbin to any ministry, he sometimes made unsanctioned arrangements to assist parishes in the Diocese of Springfield.

In 1986, after renewed contact with the Asheville abuse victim, the Charlotte diocese alerted the Springfield diocese that Corbin was living unassigned within the territory of their diocese and that abuse had been alleged.

In 1988, Asheville police charged Corbin in connection with the abuse. The Charlotte diocese formally removed Corbin’s faculties to function as a priest. In 1989, Corbin admitted the abuse and pleaded guilty in Buncombe County Superior Court to one felony count of taking indecent liberties with a minor. He served two months in prison followed by probation and treatment.

Additional credible allegations of abuse in the 1960s by Corbin in Brevard and Winston-Salem were reported in following years.

Other allegations of abuse also in the 1960s in Springfield and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, were reported in civil lawsuits in Massachusetts in 2004 and 2008.

Corbin died in 2008.

Assignments

  • Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, Chaplain (Winston-Salem, N.C. – former location)
  • Christ the King Catholic Mission (Kings Mountain, N.C.)
  • Gibbons Hall for Boys (Asheville, N.C.)
  • Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Chapel (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
  • Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Mission (Highlands, N.C.)
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Brevard, N.C.)
  • St. Barnabas Catholic Mission (now Church) (Arden, N.C.)
  • St. Lawrence Catholic Church (now Basilica) (Asheville, N.C.)
Pre-1972Western North Carolina
Hugh J. Dolan

Affiliations

Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte

Hugh J. Dolan

Ordained, 1934 | Deceased, 1981

Affiliations

Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
St. Pius X Catholic Church, Greensboro, N.C.

According to the Diocese of Raleigh, in 2004 it received a single allegation against Dolan of abusing a minor in 1964 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Greensboro. Although the alleged abuse occurred before the Diocese of Charlotte was established, the diocese inherited Dolan in 1972 when Greensboro became part of the Charlotte diocese. Dolan retired from ministry in 1979 and died in 1981. In 2018, the Raleigh diocese publicly named Dolan on its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The Charlotte diocese has no documentation of alleged abuse during the time Dolan was assigned here.

Assignments

  • St. Benedict Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
  • St. Gabriel Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church (Swannanoa, N.C.)
  • St. Pius X Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
Pre-1972Western North Carolina

Affiliation

Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri (Oratorians)

John Gallagher

Ordained, 1947 | Deceased, 1976

Affiliation

Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri (Oratorians)

Allegation(s)

Location
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Monroe, N.C.

In 2019, as part of the Diocese of Charlotte’s file review, an independent investigator found credible an allegation from September of 1971 that Gallagher had inappropriately touched a teenaged girl at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Monroe. A “supply” priest assigned by the Oratorian religious order based in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Gallagher was filling in for one weekend during the pastor’s absence. The alleged abuse was reported immediately to another priest, who alerted the Diocese of Raleigh, which oversaw the Catholic Church across North Carolina at the time. The teenager’s family declined to press charges, according to diocesan files. Gallagher’s supervising religious order restricted his ministry in response, and he died in 1976.

Pre-1972Western North Carolina
John Joseph Hyland

Affiliations

Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte

John Joseph Hyland

Ordained, 1942 | Deceased, 1975

Affiliations

Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
St. Pius X Catholic School, Greensboro, N.C.

In May of 2002, a woman reported to the Diocese of Charlotte that Hyland had sexually abused her as a minor from 1964 to 1966 at St. Pius X Catholic School in Greensboro. Hyland was deceased, but the diocese notified Guilford County DSS as well as its Lay Review Board, which deemed the claim credible. At the time the abuse is alleged to have occurred, the school was under the supervision of the Diocese of Raleigh, and in 2018 it publicly named Hyland on its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

Assignments

  • Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (Hendersonville, N.C.)
  • St. Benedict Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
  • St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church (Swannanoa, N.C.)
  • St. Patrick Catholic Church (now Cathedral) (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. Pius X Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
Pre-1972Western North Carolina
William J. Kuder

Affiliation

Diocese of Raleigh

William J. Kuder

Ordained, 1933 | Deceased, 1960

Affiliation

Diocese of Raleigh

Allegation(s)

Location
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, (former location) west Asheville, N.C.

In March of 1995, the Diocese of Charlotte notified parishioners of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church that it had received allegations against Kuder of sexual abuse of minor boys dating from the 1950s. Kuder had been pastor of the parish and its school from 1949 until his death in 1960. The west Asheville-area parish was under the supervision of the Diocese of Raleigh at the time but became part of the Charlotte diocese when it was established in 1972.

Raleigh Bishop Joseph Gossman and Charlotte Bishop William Curlin, both now deceased, found the allegations credible and publicly apologized for Kuder’s crimes in a joint statement in 1995. The joint statement was the culmination of discussions with some of Kuder’s victims that originated in 1992, when the first victim came forward asking Church leaders to denounce Kuder publicly, take steps to identify and assist other victims, and commit to preventing any further abuse of children. After the bishops’ statement in 1995, numerous additional victims came forward to report having been abused by Kuder.

The Lay Review Board for the Charlotte diocese referred the case to the Raleigh diocese, which reported the allegations to law enforcement although no criminal charges could be filed. In 2018 the Raleigh diocese publicly named Kuder on its list of clergy credibly accused of child abuse.

Assignments

  • St. Benedict Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
  • St. Bernadette Catholic Mission (Linville, N.C.)
  • St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church (West Asheville, N.C.)
  • St. Joseph of the Hills Catholic Church (Eden (formerly Leaksville), N.C.)
  • St. Lucien Catholic Church (Spruce Pine, N.C.)
Pre-1972Western North Carolina
Edward William Smith

Affiliation

Glenmary Home Mission Society

Edward William Smith

Ordained, 1943 | Deceased, 1975

Affiliation

Glenmary Home Mission Society

Allegation(s)

Location
Buck Creek, N.C.; Boone, N.C.

In October of 2019, the Ohio-based Glenmary Home Missioners publicly named Smith on its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese of Charlotte sought more information since Smith’s ministry with the Glenmary society included one assignment in western North Carolina in the 1960s. The Diocese of Raleigh oversaw the Catholic Church across the state at that time.

The society told the Charlotte diocese it had received two credible allegations of sexual abuse many years after Smith’s death in 1975. One allegation was received in 1993 of abuse in the 1960s at Buck Creek, a short-lived training facility and summer youth camp run by the society. The other was received in 2001 involving abuse in 1963 in Boone, when Smith was pastor of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church.

In December of 2014, the Charlotte diocese received a separate allegation against the deceased priest from a man who reported he had been sexually abused in the 1960s on Boy Scout camping trips in the Boone area. The diocese’s Lay Review Board alerted Watauga County DSS as well as the Glenmary society, which found the allegation credible.

Assignments

  • St. Elizabeth Catholic Church (Boone, N.C.)

Listed are credibly accused clergy who served in western North Carolina before the Diocese of Charlotte was established, when the Diocese of Raleigh oversaw the Catholic Church across North Carolina.

Name Ordination Date Affiliation(s) Location(s) of Alleged Abuse*
Andre Anthony Corbin, Jr. Removed, Convicted, Deceased 1961 Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte
Gibbons Hall for Boys, Asheville, N.C.; Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Brevard, N.C.; Massachusetts
Hugh J. Dolan Deceased 1934 Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte
St. Pius X Catholic Church, Greensboro, N.C.
John Gallagher Deceased 1947 Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri (Oratorians)
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Monroe, N.C.
John Joseph Hyland Deceased 1942 Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Charlotte
St. Pius X Catholic School, Greensboro, N.C.
William J. Kuder Deceased 1933 Diocese of Raleigh
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, (former location) west Asheville, N.C.
Edward William Smith Deceased 1943 Glenmary Home Mission Society
Buck Creek, N.C.; Boone, N.C.
* “Location(s) of Alleged Abuse” generally refers to where the alleged abuse took place or the parish where the accused cleric was assigned or serving at the time.
Accused Elsewhere
Al Behm

Affiliation

Glenmary Home Mission Society brother

Al Behm

Ordained, N/A | Left religious order, 1993

Affiliation

Glenmary Home Mission Society brother

Allegation(s)

Location
Kentucky

In October of 2019, Behm was publicly named on the Ohio-based Glenmary Home Missioners’ list of credibly accused clergy. Alleged abuse of a minor by Behm occurred in the 1970s in Kentucky, the Glenmary society said. In the 1980s, the society assigned Behm to serve as the first campus minister at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, part of the Diocese of Charlotte. There are no allegations documented from his ministry there.

Assignments

  • Western Carolina University, Campus Minister (Cullowhee, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
George C. Berthold

Affiliation

Archdiocese of Boston

George C. Berthold

Ordained, 1963 | Removed, 1998

Affiliation

Archdiocese of Boston

Allegation(s)

Location
Woburn, Mass.; Brighton, Mass.

Berthold appears on the Archdiocese of Boston’s list of credibly accused clergy for sexual abuse of a minor in 1972 in Massachusetts. The allegation was made known to the Boston archdiocese in 1996, according to published reports, and Berthold was dismissed as dean of St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. In 1997, he was recommended for a teaching job at Belmont Abbey College but when the Boston abuse allegation was made public a year later, he was fired from the college and his priestly faculties in the Diocese of Charlotte were removed. His case for dismissal from the clerical state has been referred to the Vatican. The Charlotte diocese has no allegations of sexual abuse documented here.

Accused Elsewhere
Louis A. Bonacci

Affiliation

Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)

Louis A. Bonacci

Ordained, 1973 | Removed, 2011 | Left religious order, 2014

Affiliation

Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)

Allegation(s)

Location
Columbia, Md.

In December of 2018, Bonacci’s supervising religious order, the Jesuits’ Maryland Province, named Bonacci to its list of credibly accused clergy for allegations of abuse in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Maryland. He was later assigned to serve in the Diocese of Charlotte, and no abuse allegations were documented here.

Assignments

  • St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
  • Wake Forest University, Campus Minister (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
Francis C. Bourbon

Affiliation

Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)

Francis C. Bourbon

Ordained, 1957 | Deceased, 2007

Affiliation

Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)

Allegation(s)

Location
Buckingham, Va.

In December of 2018, the Jesuits’ Maryland Province named Bourbon on its list of credibly accused clergy for an allegation of abuse around 1985 in Buckingham, Virginia. He served in the Diocese of Charlotte in the early 1980s with no documented abuse allegations.

Assignments

  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (High Point, N.C.)
  • St. Barnabas Catholic Church (Arden, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
H. Cornell Bradley

Affiliation

Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)

H. Cornell Bradley

Ordained, 1969 | Removed, 2006 | Left religious order, 2007

Affiliation

Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)

Allegation(s)

Location
Ocean City, Md.; Washington, D.C.

In December of 2018, Bradley’s supervising religious order, the Jesuits’ Maryland Province, named Bradley on its list of accused clergy for credible allegations of sexual abuse in the late 1960s to early 1980s in Maryland and Washington, D.C. There are no credible abuse allegations documented during his time in the Diocese of Charlotte.

Assignments

  • Church of the Epiphany Catholic Mission (Blowing Rock, N.C.)
  • St. Elizabeth Catholic Church (Boone, N.C.)
  • St. Therese Catholic Church (Mooresville, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere

Affiliation

Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri (Oratorians)

Juan Carlos Castaño Mejia

Ordained, 1991 | Removed, 2002 | Convicted, 2003 | Deported, 2005

Affiliation

Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri (Oratorians)

Allegation(s)

Location
Rock Hill, S.C.

Castaño was arrested in March of 2002 after the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina, received an allegation against him of sexual abuse in 2000 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. A priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Ipiales, Colombia, Castaño was a visiting priest of the Oratory in Rock Hill. His order and the Charleston diocese immediately suspended him from ministry, and the Diocese of Charlotte simultaneously withdrew permission for Castaño to serve here. He had briefly volunteered at Room At The Inn in Charlotte (now called MiraVia) without documented incident. Castaño admitted the abuse in York County (S.C.) Circuit Court in 2003 and was sentenced to two years in prison before being deported to Colombia.

Accused Elsewhere
Augusto Cortez

Affiliation

Congregation of the Mission-Eastern Province (Vincentians)

Augusto Cortez

Ordained, 2003 | Convicted, 2009 | Dismissed, 2016 | Convicted, 2017

Affiliation

Congregation of the Mission-Eastern Province (Vincentians)

Allegation(s)

Location
Bushwick, N.Y.; Hampton Bays, N.Y.

Cortez was convicted of abuse-related offenses in New York in 2009 and 2017. He has been dismissed from his order, the Vincentians, and from the clerical state. His only presence in the Diocese of Charlotte was an unauthorized stay in residence for four weeks at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Charlotte in early 2008, where no allegations were documented against him. Cortez remains incarcerated in New York and his earliest release date is 2023, according to state prison records.

Accused Elsewhere
Robert B. Cullen

Affiliation

Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)

Robert B. Cullen

Ordained, 1958 | Deceased, 2005

Affiliation

Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)

Allegation(s)

Location
Maryland

In December of 2018, Cullen’s supervising religious order, the Jesuits’ Maryland Province, named him to its list of credibly accused clergy for allegations of abuse from the late 1960s to 1980s in Maryland, before he was assigned to serve in the Diocese of Charlotte. There are no documented abuse allegations during Cullen’s ministry here.

Assignments

  • Jesuit House of Prayer (Hot Springs, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere

Affiliation

Diocese of Youngstown

Richard C. Evrit

Ordained, 1973 | Deceased, 2019

Affiliation

Diocese of Youngstown

Allegation(s)

Location
Salem, Ohio

In October of 2018, Evrit was named on the Diocese of Youngstown’s list of clergy for credible allegations of sexual abuse from the early 1970s in Ohio. Evrit served in the Diocese of Charlotte in the late 1980s until his home diocese placed him on indefinite medical leave in 1989. No local allegations of abuse were documented here.

Assignments

  • Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Mission (now Church) (Marion, N.C.)
  • St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (Morganton, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere

Affiliation

Order of St. Benedict (Benedictines)

Frederick George

Ordained, 1975 | Left religious order, 1998 | Dismissed, 2004

Affiliation

Order of St. Benedict (Benedictines)

Allegation(s)

Location
Richmond, Va.

In February of 2019, the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, named George to its list of credibly accused clergy for an allegation of sexual abuse in the late 1970s at a Richmond parish. The Richmond diocese had received the allegation in 1987 and removed George from ministry. A Benedictine monk, George had relocated to a Richmond priory in 1975 from Belmont Abbey, where he had been assigned briefly to St. Michael Catholic Church in Gastonia. George left religious life in 1988 but returned to Belmont Abbey in 1991, with opinions of suitability from two psychological evaluations, and served without documented incident. He left Belmont Abbey in 1998 and was permanently dismissed from monastic life and dispensed from priestly ministry in 2004.

Assignments

  • St. Michael Catholic Church (Gastonia, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
Anthony Thomas Jablonowski

Affiliations

Diocese of Covington, Ky.
Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyo.
Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio
On loan to Glenmary Home Mission Society

Anthony Thomas Jablonowski

Ordained, 1970 | Removed, 2003 | Convicted, 2004 | Dismissed, 2006

Affiliations

Diocese of Covington, Ky.
Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyo.
Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio
On loan to Glenmary Home Mission Society

Allegation(s)

Location
Guernsey, Wyo.

In 2004, Jablonowski pleaded no contest to charges of abusing a 17-year-old boy at a Wyoming parish in the 1980s, according to public records. He served prison time and was dismissed from the clerical state in 2006. In the 1970s, Jablonowski served on loan to the Ohio-based Glenmary Home Missioners, who assigned him to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Jefferson, North Carolina. There are no documented abuse allegations from his time in Jefferson.

Assignments

  • St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (Jefferson, N.C.)
  • St. Frances of Rome Catholic Mission (Sparta, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere

Affiliation

Order of St. Augustine-Province of St. Thomas of Villanova (Augustinians)

Patrick F. Leonard

Ordained, 1996 | Removed, 2003

Affiliation

Order of St. Augustine-Province of St. Thomas of Villanova (Augustinians)

Allegation(s)

Location
New York

In September of 2003, Leonard’s supervising religious order, the Augustinians, removed him from ministry at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Charlotte after receiving a credible allegation against him of sexual abuse in New York in 1982. Leonard remains permanently out of ministry. There are no documented abuse allegations against him in the Diocese of Charlotte.

Assignments

  • St. John Neumann Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
Gregory J. Littleton

Affiliations

Diocese of Metuchen
Diocese of Charlotte

Gregory J. Littleton

Ordained, 1990 | Removed, 2004

Affiliations

Diocese of Metuchen
Diocese of Charlotte

Allegation(s)

Location
New Jersey

In 2002, the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, reported to the Diocese of Charlotte that it had received credible allegations of abuse against Littleton alleged to have occurred in New Jersey in the early 1990s. The Charlotte diocese removed Littleton from ministry at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Charlotte in February of 2004. He served here in the late 1990s and early 2000s without documented abuse allegations. Littleton denied the allegations and remains permanently out of ministry.

Assignments

  • Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (Tryon, N.C.)
  • St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church (Maggie Valley, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
Harold V. McGovern

Affiliation

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales-Wilmington-Philadelphia Province

Harold V. McGovern

Ordained, 1970 | Removed, 2008

Affiliation

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales-Wilmington-Philadelphia Province

Allegation(s)

Location
Delaware

In 2008, McGovern was permanently removed from ministry by his supervising religious order, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales’ Wilmington-Philadelphia Province, after a claim of abuse from the 1960s in Delaware was substantiated. In 2019, he was residing at a supervised Oblates-owned facility in Washington, D.C. There are no credible abuse allegations documented against him during his ministry in the 1980s in the Diocese of Charlotte.

Assignments

  • Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, Chaplain (Winston-Salem, N.C. – former location)
  • Holy Cross Catholic Church (Kernersville, N.C.)
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (High Point, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
James W. O’Neill

Affiliation

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales-Wilmington-Philadelphia Province

James W. O’Neill

Ordained, 1967 | Removed, 2002

Affiliation

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales-Wilmington-Philadelphia Province

Allegation(s)

Location
Wilmington, Del.

In 2002, Delaware’s Attorney General received an allegation against O’Neill of sexual abuse of a minor from 1976 to 1985 in Wilmington, Delaware. When the Diocese of Charlotte was alerted in April of 2002, O’Neill was removed as pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Greensboro, where he had been assigned by his supervising order. O’Neill admitted the abuse, according to court documents. In 2019, he was residing at a supervised Oblates-owned facility in Maryland. There are no abuse allegations documented from his ministry here in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Assignments

  • St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere

Affiliation

Diocese of Raleigh

Kenneth R. Parker

Ordained, 1965 | Retired, 1993 | Removed, 2010

Affiliation

Diocese of Raleigh

Allegation(s)

Location
Newton Grove, N.C.

In January of 2010, the Diocese of Raleigh permanently removed Parker from ministry after receiving a credible allegation against him of sexual abuse in 1981 or 1982 at a Newton Grove parish. He served in several parishes in the 1960s that are now part of the Diocese of Charlotte, with no abuse allegations documented. In 2018, Parker was named on the Raleigh diocese’s list of credibly accused clergy.

Assignments

  • Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (Forest City, N.C.)
  • Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
  • St. Frances of Rome Catholic Mission (Sparta, N.C.)
  • St. John Baptist de la Salle Catholic Church (N. Wilkesboro, N.C.)
  • St. Patrick Catholic Church (now Cathedral) (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. Peter Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
Gordon John Pillon

Affiliations

Diocese of Orange, Calif.
Diocese of Peoria, Ill.

Gordon John Pillon

Ordained, 1979 | Removed, 2006 | Deceased, 2012

Affiliations

Diocese of Orange, Calif.
Diocese of Peoria, Ill.

Allegation(s)

Location
La Habra, Calif.

In May of 2006, the Diocese of Peoria removed Pillon from ministry after learning of allegations of sexual abuse in the early 1980s when he served in California. He served on loan to the Diocese of Charlotte from 1996 to 1999, with no documented allegations against him here.

Assignments

  • Charlotte Catholic High School, Chaplain (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • St. Joseph Catholic Church (Newton, N.C.)
  • St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
Peter Raymond Richardson

Affiliation

Glenmary Home Mission Society

Peter Raymond Richardson

Ordained, 1986 | Left religious order, 2007 | Deceased, 2014

Affiliation

Glenmary Home Mission Society

Allegation(s)

Location
West Liberty, Ky.; Aberdeen, Miss.

In October of 2019, Richardson was publicly named on the Ohio-based Glenmary Home Missioners’ list of credibly accused clergy. Alleged abuse of a minor by Richardson occurred in 2005 in Kentucky, the society said. He also was named on the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi’s list for an abuse allegation there. Richardson served in Sylva, North Carolina, for one year in the mid-1980s, with no abuse allegations documented here.

Assignments

  • St. Mary, Mother of God Catholic Church (Sylva, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere

Affiliation

Congregation of the Mission-Eastern Province (Vincentians)

John D. Rutledge

Ordained, 1951 | Deceased, 1998

Affiliation

Congregation of the Mission-Eastern Province (Vincentians)

Allegation(s)

Location
Auburn, Ala.

In December of 2018, the Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama, named Rutledge on its list of credibly accused clergy for an abuse allegation from Auburn, Alabama, in 1968. In the early 1970s, he served at St. Mary Catholic Church in Greensboro (called Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church until 1972). There are no documented abuse allegations during his ministry in the Diocese of Charlotte.

Assignments

  • St. Mary Catholic Church, formerly called Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church (Greensboro, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
Robert E. Spangenberg

Affiliation

Congregation of the Holy Spirit-Province of the United States (Spiritans)

Robert E. Spangenberg

Ordained, 1974 | Deceased, 2006

Affiliation

Congregation of the Holy Spirit-Province of the United States (Spiritans)

Allegation(s)

Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.

In July of 2018, Spangenberg was named in the Pennsylvania Attorney General grand jury’s report for alleged sexual abuse of at least two minors in the 1980s in Pittsburgh. He was assigned by his supervising religious order, the Spiritans, to ministry in the Diocese of Charlotte in the 1990s, where no allegations are documented against him.

Assignments

  • Sacred Heart Catholic Mission (Wadesboro, N.C.)
  • St. James Catholic Church (Hamlet, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
William Tanguay

Affiliation

Diocese of Providence

William Tanguay

Ordained, 1969 | Removed, 2002

Affiliation

Diocese of Providence

Allegation(s)

Location
Providence, R.I.

In June of 2019, the Diocese of Providence publicly named Tanguay on its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse, for allegations during his ministry in Rhode Island from 1965 to 1981. Tanguay served in Hmong ministry for seven years in the Diocese of Charlotte, with no documented allegations of abuse here. He was removed from ministry in Charlotte in June of 2002 by the Providence diocese, which last reported Tanguay was living outside the U.S.

Assignments

  • St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Hmong Ministry (Hickory, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
Gino Vertassich

Affiliation

Glenmary Home Mission Society brother

Gino Vertassich

Ordained, N/A | Left religious order, 1975 | Deceased, 2003

Affiliation

Glenmary Home Mission Society brother

Allegation(s)

Location
Connecticut

In October of 2019, Vertassich was publicly named on the Ohio-based Glenmary Home Missioners’ list of credibly accused clergy. Alleged abuse of a minor by Vertassich occurred in 1969 in Connecticut, the society said. In the 1960s, he served in parishes in western North Carolina that later became part of the Diocese of Charlotte. There are no documented abuse allegations against Vertassich from his ministry in western North Carolina.

Assignments

  • St. Mary, Mother of God Catholic Church (Sylva, N.C.)
  • St. William Catholic Church (Murphy, N.C.)
Accused Elsewhere
William G. Ward

Affiliations

Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Buffalo

William G. Ward

Ordained, 1950 | Deceased, 2008

Affiliations

Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Buffalo

Allegation(s)

Location
Lackawanna, N.Y.; Niagara Falls, N.Y.

In March of 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo named Ward on its list of “deceased priests with more than one allegation made against them,” for abuse in parishes in New York in 1955-1956 and 1966-1971, according to published reports. Ward had been ordained for the Diocese of Raleigh in 1950, which, following Buffalo’s listing, included Ward on its list of credibly accused clergy in 2019. Ward served without documented incident in Winston-Salem, which later became part of the Diocese of Charlotte.

Assignments

  • St. Leo the Great Catholic Church (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

Listed are clergy and religious brothers who served in western North Carolina with no allegation documented in the Charlotte diocese but were named on lists or publicized by other dioceses and religious orders. Please refer to those other lists for details on the selection criteria used.

Name Ordination Date Affiliation(s) Location(s) of Alleged Abuse*
Al Behm Left religious order N/A Glenmary Home Mission Society brother
Kentucky
George C. Berthold Removed 1963 Archdiocese of Boston
Woburn, Mass.; Brighton, Mass.
Louis A. Bonacci Removed, Left religious order 1973 Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)
Columbia, Md.
Francis C. Bourbon Deceased 1957 Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)
Buckingham, Va.
H. Cornell Bradley Removed, Left religious order 1969 Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)
Ocean City, Md.; Washington, D.C.
Juan Carlos Castaño Mejia Removed, Convicted, Deported 1991 Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri (Oratorians)
Rock Hill, S.C.
Augusto Cortez Convicted, Dismissed, Convicted 2003 Congregation of the Mission-Eastern Province (Vincentians)
Bushwick, N.Y.; Hampton Bays, N.Y.
Robert B. Cullen Deceased 1958 Society of Jesus-Maryland Province (Jesuits)
Maryland
Richard C. Evrit Deceased 1973 Diocese of Youngstown
Salem, Ohio
Frederick George Left religious order, Dismissed 1975 Order of St. Benedict (Benedictines)
Richmond, Va.
Anthony Thomas Jablonowski Removed, Convicted, Dismissed 1970 Diocese of Covington, Ky.
Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyo.
Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio
On loan to Glenmary Home Mission Society
Guernsey, Wyo.
Patrick F. Leonard Removed 1996 Order of St. Augustine-Province of St. Thomas of Villanova (Augustinians)
New York
Gregory J. Littleton Removed 1990 Diocese of Metuchen
Diocese of Charlotte
New Jersey
Harold V. McGovern Removed 1970 Oblates of St. Francis de Sales-Wilmington-Philadelphia Province
Delaware
James W. O’Neill Removed 1967 Oblates of St. Francis de Sales-Wilmington-Philadelphia Province
Wilmington, Del.
Kenneth R. Parker Retired, Removed 1965 Diocese of Raleigh
Newton Grove, N.C.
Gordon John Pillon Removed, Deceased 1979 Diocese of Orange, Calif.
Diocese of Peoria, Ill.
La Habra, Calif.
Peter Raymond Richardson Left religious order, Deceased 1986 Glenmary Home Mission Society
West Liberty, Ky.; Aberdeen, Miss.
John D. Rutledge Deceased 1951 Congregation of the Mission-Eastern Province (Vincentians)
Auburn, Ala.
Robert E. Spangenberg Deceased 1974 Congregation of the Holy Spirit-Province of the United States (Spiritans)
Pittsburgh, Pa.
William Tanguay Removed 1969 Diocese of Providence
Providence, R.I.
Gino Vertassich Left religious order, Deceased N/A Glenmary Home Mission Society brother
Connecticut
William G. Ward Deceased 1950 Diocese of Raleigh
Diocese of Buffalo
Lackawanna, N.Y.; Niagara Falls, N.Y.
* “Location(s) of Alleged Abuse” generally refers to where the alleged abuse took place or the parish where the accused cleric was assigned or serving at the time.

Last updated 12/29/2019

Additional information identified during the 2019 file review involving clergy listed here has been referred to the diocese’s Lay Review Board for further evaluation. This website will be updated as additional relevant information becomes available. For more information on the list, please see the FAQs. If you have information about child sexual abuse by clergy, please report it to civil authorities and to the diocese using our independent hotline.

Abuse Data Over Time

The data below offer additional context for the Diocese of Charlotte’s list of credibly accused clergy, tracking incidents and reporting of abuse over time. The diocese’s 2019 independent file review confirmed that no clergy member serving in the diocese today has a credible allegation of sexual abuse against him. Alleged abuse in the diocese primarily occurred in the 1970s and steadily declined before dropping off in the 2000s, after the abuse crisis was exposed nationally and the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was adopted – affirming that its strict prevention and reporting protocols are working.

Abuse by Decade

Abuse by Decade

Incidents of alleged child sexual abuse in western North Carolina increased through the 1960s and peaked in the 1970s – reflecting national trends. Abuse rates dramatically fell off in the 2000s after the U.S. bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which put in place rigorous protections and reporting measures.
Occurrence vs. Reporting

Occurrence vs. Reporting

Alleged incidents of abuse in the Diocese of Charlotte peaked in the 1970s but were not reported until much later, after the abuse crisis was exposed nationally and the Church put in place strict procedures with the 2002 Charter. It requires the Church to report every allegation of abuse to civil authorities for investigation – no matter when the abuse occurred.
Results of Improved Screening

Results of Improved Screening

Most of the clergy credibly accused of abuse in western North Carolina were ordained prior to the 1970s, before priestly formation and screening practices in U.S. seminaries and religious orders began to be improved. Now, candidates for the priesthood must undergo thorough screening, training and evaluation as part of their human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation. In 2016, the Diocese of Charlotte started its own college seminary to guide formation of clergy who serve locally.
Credibly Accused Clergy Since 1972

Credibly Accused Clergy Since 1972

In the Diocese of Charlotte, 14 clergy have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. Half were clergy assigned here by religious orders or another diocese. Everyone named on the list above was removed long ago from ministry, and 9 are now deceased. No clergy serving in the diocese today has a credible allegation of sexual abuse against him.
Response to Allegations

Response to Allegations

Upon receipt of abuse allegations, the Diocese of Charlotte responded swiftly to remove the accused from ministry. In one case, an elderly retired priest was restricted from ministry to minors. In another, the abuse allegation could not be substantiated in 1998 and the accused continued in ministry until he retired in 2002. The case was re-examined in 2019 as part of the diocese’s historical file review and deemed credible.
Safe Environment Progress – By the Numbers

Safe Environment Progress – By the Numbers

The Diocese of Charlotte remains committed to vigilance and transparency so that our parishes, schools and ministries provide a safe, healthy and productive environment for all of God’s children. Background checks and ongoing training in child abuse awareness and prevention are mandatory for all clergy, Church workers and volunteers, whether or not they interact with minors. Read more about the diocese’s Safe Environment measures here.