South Carolina Bishop Accused of Abuse in New York Lawsuit
The highest-ranking Catholic official in South Carolina is being accused of child sexual abuse according to a just-filed New York lawsuit. For the safety of children, we call on church officials in the United States and in the Vatican to act quickly and suspend this bishop from his post pending an full investigation into the allegations.
Bishop Robert Guglielmone is being accused of molesting a child in the 1970s on Long Island. This accusation now places him amongdozens of US bishops who themselves have been accused of child sexual abuse.
It would be much easier if child molesters were always obvious social misfits who quickly gave others ‘the creeps.’ But in fact, child molesters are often charming, charismatic, outgoing and loveable, so it is not surprising that people like this can rise through the ranks of an institution. One needs look no further than Cardinal Theodore McCarrick as a recent example.
While we do not have firsthand information on these allegations, studies show that false allegations are extremely rare. We hope that anyone with information about these accusations will come forward and make a report to police and prosecutors immediately.
We also urge anyone who may have suffered, witnessed or suspected child sexual abuse in either South Carolina or New York to speak out and get help from trusted sources like police, prosecutors, therapists or support groups like ours.
Finally, we hope that this news will spur South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson to follow in the footsteps of twenty of his colleagues throughout the US and open an independent investigation into clergy abuse in South Carolina.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)