After list of SC Catholic priests accused of abuse, no simple path to healing

For victims of abuse by Catholic priests in South Carolina, the past month has opened old wounds but also fostered new hope. 

Since the 1990s, reports have surfaced implicating priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston in the abuse of minors dating back to at least the 1950s — cases that for years were treated in isolation.

As in other dioceses across the country, most of these incidents were handled internally by church leadership. Priests quietly resigned or were shipped off to other jurisdictions. Many victims did not wish for the publicity of a criminal investigation or trial. 

On March 29, Charleston Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone released four lists with the names of 42 priests that a South Carolina church panel decided had credible accusations of child sexual misconduct made against them.

Many heralded the move as a long-overdue step in the healing process, a public acknowledgement by diocesan leadership of years of pain and betrayal felt by victims, and a chance for the church and its flock to begin moving forward.

In the weeks since the lists’ release, however, attorneys, victims’ advocates and others have been left pondering whether church leaders have done enough and what should co...

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