Update: Diocese Releases Statement on Former Simpsonville Priest's Alleged Sexual Misconduct
By Jonathan Allen
March 11, 2013
Update: In the wake of accusations that have surfaced alleging that Father Hayden Vaverek, a priest and administrator at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Simpsonville, engaged in alleged sexual misconduct many years ago while at another church, the Diocese of Charleston released the following statement on Sunday.
The full statement, which implies the alleged misconduct took place outside the church, reads:
"An allegation of sexual misconduct of a minor dating back more than 15 years has been made against Father Hayden Vaverek. Per diocesan policy, Father Vaverek must be placed on administrative leave and his priestly faculties withdrawn. Diocesan officials have notified law enforcement authorities about this allegation and are fully cooperating with them.
Father Vaverek served at several parishes and schools in South Carolina including those in: Greenville, Simpsonville, Anderson, Greenwood, McCormick, Myrtle Beach, Garden City, Moncks Corner, Bonneau, and Hilton Head Island. The reported allegation indicates the alleged misconduct occurred while Father Vaverek was pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes in Greenwood; however, no parishioners of that parish were involved in the reported allegation.
The Diocese of Charleston encourages all victims and those who have knowledge of any sexual misconduct to contact civil authorities in their area. To receive help and guidance from the diocese, please contact Sister Sandra Makowski at the Chancery in Charleston at (843) 853-2130 x209.
The Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone, Bishop of Charleston, asks everyone to pray for all victims of abuse and for their families."
Last week, a man who was representing the catholic church approached an investigator at the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, according to a WSPA report. He reportedly told investigators that a sexual incident involving a minor occurred years ago at Our Lady of Lourdes in Greenwood with Father Hayden Vaverek, who later served a stint as priest and administrator at St. Mary Magdalene in Simpsonville. Deputies said the victim now lives out of state and had someone from the catholic church meet with the Sheriff’s Office to make a report.
Greenwood County deputies said Father Vaverek is in Rome, and have been unable to interview him, according to the report.
Stay with Patch for more details as they develop.
Vaverek is the 12th priest in the Charleston Diocese to be publicly accused of sexual misconduct, according to BishopAccountability.org.
Original article: Father Hayden Vaverek, a former priest and administrator of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Simpsonville, has been accused of alleged sexual misconduct, according to a news report.
Vaguely mentioning an unnamed and uncited report, WYFF said that Vaverek allegedly engaged in unspecified sexual misconduct dating back more than 15 years while he was pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes in Greenwood.
The Diocese of Charleston reportedly placed Vaverek on administrative leave. Meanwhile, potential victims of the priest's alleged misconduct are encouraged to contact local authorities, the report said.
Father Vaverek received a degree in criminal justice from Texas State University-San Marcos and attended seminary at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md. He was ordained in 1994.
His assignments have included parochial vicar at St. Andrew Church in Myrtle Beach, and pastor at St. Joseph Church and School in Anderson, Our Lady of Lourdes in Greenwood, St. Michael in Garden City, St. Philip Benizi in Moncks Corner, Holy Family on Hilton Head Island and St. Mary Magdalene in Simpsonville, where he was appointed by the diocese in 2008.
According to his profile on the Linkedin social network, he is currently a Development Officer of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support based in New York City.
Stay tuned to Patch for more details as they become available.