West Virginia AG Strengthens His Lawsuit against WV Catholic Diocese
We are grateful that West Virginia Attorney General Morrisey is keeping the pressure up on the Wheeling-Charleston diocese by bringing new counts and evidence to his lawsuit. Informed communities are safer communities, and the more that is investigated, the more truth gets exposed.
It is especially troubling to learn that church officials at the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston chose not to publicly disclose reports of child sexual abuse by one of their teachers in 2006. Given that this event happened years after the adoption of the “Dallas Charter,” there is no reasonable explanation church officials could use to explain why these allegations remained secret. The same is true for the diocese’s arrogant decision to allow individuals to volunteer at schools without background checks.
These are reckless and dangerous choices that church officials actively made. And until church officials are held accountable for their crimes of enabling and covering up child sex crimes, we fear that church officials will continue this pattern of irresponsible decision-making.
We urge anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by anyone in the Wheeling-Charleston diocese to find the courage to come forward and make a report to the West Virginia Attorney General and law enforcement. No matter how long ago it happened or where it occurred, by speaking up there is a chance for healing and protecting others today.
(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)