NC--Church officials praised in sex case

For immediate release: Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home,[email protected])

We are grateful that the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina is admitting that a rector has been accused of sexual abuse while working at a Waynesville church for 12 years.

He is accused of molesting “at least three boys” at a Rhode Island school and is now being investigated by North Carolina police department for perhaps abusing a Waynesville NC.

Rev. Howard W. White Jr. worked at two places in North Carolina. In the 1980s, Rev. White Jr. was headmaster of what was then the Asheville Country Day School in Asheville, North Carolina and was rector of Grace Church in the Mountains in Waynesville.

He now leads St. James Episcopal Church in Bedford, Pennsylvania and also worked at a school called Chatham Hall in Chatham, Virginia. But most of the accusations against him stem from his years in Rhode Island at St. George's Episcopal School in Middletown.

A report issued by the school says that Rev. White — whom it refers to as "Employee Perpetrator #2" — had "inappropriate and potentially sexual misconduct with at least three male students." School officials quietly “fired Rev. White in 1974 after a student's parent reported the misconduct, which Rev. White admitted to the headmaster, but “the school never notified child-protection authorities — as required by the state's 1974 mandatory reporting law,” according to the Providence Journal.

Waynesville police are investigating a new allegation of abuse against Rev. White.

We urge all Episcopalian officials in all four states: North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia and Pennsylvania, to use church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements to aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Rev. White’s crimes and beg them to call police. This is the very least that church officials should do.

All too often, when clergy sex crimes emerge, church staff pretend to be powerless. They are not. They have both the resources and the duty to spread the word and actively help police and prosecutors build a strong case against predatory preachers.

We hope every single person who has information or suspicions about Rev. White will summon the courage to call law enforcement, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing. Our hearts go out to the brave individuals who have already stepped up and spoken up and shed light on this serial child molesting cleric.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,[email protected])


Former WNC rector under investigation for sex crimes

Emily Patrick and Julie Ball, [email protected]  February 12, 2016

The Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina in an open letter to parishioners this month acknowledged a rector has been accused of sexual abuse while serving at a Waynesville church for 12 years.

The diocese said a member of Grace Episcopal Church in the Mountains in Waynesville reported being sexually abused by the Rev. Howard White while she was a juvenile. In the letter, Bishop G. Porter Taylor urged anyone who might have been a victim contact the diocese.

Waynesville police said the department is  . . . 

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