Letter to Diocese of Charlotte Regarding Incomplete List of Abusers
Dear Bishop Jugis,
As representatives of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, we believe that there are at least nine additional men who should be included on the list of abusers which you released at the end of December, 2019, and updated in February of this year. These men are:
- Albert Gondek, OSFS, was on the list of accused clerics published by the Diocese of Raleigh in 2018, although he was removed over a year later. The priest has three known allegations of sexual assault against him, in three different dioceses. He was accused of sexually abusing a 12 year old boy in Maryland in 1960 when he was a seminarian. Fr. Gondek was also accused of sexually assaulting a 30 year old man in the Diocese of Raleigh in 1993. Most recently, the cleric was accused of sexually abusing an 18 year old male and minor children in 2010 in your diocese. There were also complaints from Pennsylvania that he gave high school students alcohol in 1978-1979.
- David Hagan, OSFS, was accused by two men in a 2006 lawsuit of sexually abusing them when they were minors. The priest worked at Sacred Heart College/Belmont Abbey in NC from 1972 to 1978.
- Abbot Timothy Kelly, Benedictine, worked as an administrator at Mary Help of Christians Abbey in Belmont, North Carolina, from 1989-1991. A man filed suit in 2011 alleging that the priest sexually abused him in 1966 at St. Anselm's Church in the Bronx when he was 15-16 years old. Abbot Kelly has faced sex abuse allegations from multiple victims in other parts of the country.
- Seminarian Brian Kaup was accused of raping a 17 year old girl on parish grounds in 2013. A lawsuit was filed in 2017.
- Deacon Mark Doherty worked as a teacher at Bishop McGuiness Catholic High School in Charlotte from 1997-2003. He was prevented from becoming a priest in Boston because of "substantial" allegations of sexual misconduct with young boys before he moved to North Carolina.
- John McCole was accused in a lawsuit filed in 2009 of abusing a 15-16 year old boy in Pennsylvania. The complaint also said that Fr. McCole and Fr. Justin Pechulis both abused him in Asheville at the Basilica of St. Lawrence in the late 1970s. Fr. Pechulis is included on your list of accused priests.
- Vincent Dwyer, Trappist, lived in Charlotte in the early 1970s. He was a well-known speaker and assistant professor at UNC-Charlotte for several years. He was accused of abusing a 15 year old high school student beginning in 1969. The victim received a $75,000 settlement in 1995 from the priest’s superiors at St. Joseph's Abbey in MA. She also sued the Diocese of Monterey in 2003.
- Music Minister Paul Berrell worked at Eugene Catholic Church in Ashville when he was arrested in 2009 for the abuse of a 13 year old girl. He pleaded guilty to a federal charge of Production of Child Pornography in 2010. A lawsuit was also filed on behalf of the child, and was settled for $1.5 million in 2013.
- John Schneider resigned as pastor from St. Eugene Catholic Church in Asheville because of his involvement in the attempted cover up of child pornography produced by his Music Minister, Paul Berrell. Schneider was originally charged with felony obstruction of justice, but was allowed to plead to a lesser charge of misdemeanor obstruction.
We recognize that including some of those named above might necessitate the implementation of categories beyond those currently in use on your list. However, we believe that in the interest of openness and transparency, that these men should be included.
Also, while we are delighted that your list includes photos of the accused, we hope that you will update it to include the dates that each of those named worked in a particular parish. This information can be extremely helpful to survivors and to family members of victims. We would also urge you to adopt a section for new allegations, and to publicly announce all updates to your list.
We believe that we share a common goal in wanting to see the children and vulnerable adults in the Diocese of Charlotte protected, and all survivors helped along in their healing journeys. Accordingly, on behalf of victims and their families, as well as the public, we challenge you to expand your list as we suggest.
SNAP, Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg, NC