Bishop offers apology to clergy sex abuse victims, but still not releasing priest list

Bishop Peter Jugis, who heads the 46-county Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, issued a “sincere apology” Wednesday to victims of clergy sex abuse, which he called “this crime and awful sin.”

Jugis’ statement came a day after the Observer and others reported that the names of two monks who had once worked at Belmont Abbey College and at St. Michael Catholic Church in Gastonia appeared on a list recently released by the Diocese of Richmond, Va., of priests “with credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.”

The two monks, Donald Scales and Frederick George, had also worked in Virginia, though the accusation against Scales, who died in 2008, dated to his time as pastor of St. Michael parish in the late 1970s.

Though Jugis said in his Tuesday statement that the Charlotte diocese was committed to being “open and transparent,” it has so far resisted the trend around the country of releasing a list of past and present priests in the diocese who have been credibly accused of child sex abuse.

According to the Catholic News Herald, the Charlotte diocese’s own newspaper, the scores of dioceses that have put out such lists in recent months include many of those nearby. The Archdiocese of Atlanta, and the dioceses of Raleigh, Charleston, Savannah, Richmond and Arlington, Va., and Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn., have all released their own lists, the newspaper reported.

And in an article last month, the Observer quoted N.C. Attorney General, Josh Stein, as saying he thought the Charlotte diocese should follow the lead of Raleigh and other dioceses in releasing a list. “I believe transparency is important,” Stein said, “not only for families that came into contact with the named priest, but to restore confidence in the institution itself.”

Though Jugis didn’t mention th...

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