November 30, 2018
By Alex Meyer
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston released Thursday the names of 31 clergy members accused of sexual abuse through lists that include dozens of incidents dating back as far as 1950.
The diocese released two lists — one of 18 priests accused while serving in the diocese and one of 13 priests who served in the diocese but were credibly accused elsewhere — with the hope that others who may have been victims will come forward. Of those 31 clergy members, 18 served in the Northern Panhandle.
“Every single one was a surprise,” Bryan Minor, delegate for administrative affairs for the diocese, said of the names during a press conference Thursday.
The diocese reviewed more than 2,000 files and tens of thousands of documents to produce the lists with the intent of being transparent and helping people heal, Minor said.
“The diocese sincerely apologizes to all victims of clergy sexual abuse and all the families or individuals who have been affected by sexual abuse within the church,” he said.
The lists include credible accusations of sex abuse against minors, meaning that there is a “reasonable cause” to believe an offense has occurred, Minor said. The incidents involve violations of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, rules set by the church in 2002 to address abuse allegations. The lists also do not specify whether the misconduct conducted by clergy was criminal or not.
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