Charlotte Diocese Adds 2 New Names To List Of Clergy 'Credibly Accused' Of Abuse

By Sarah Delia
March 2, 2020

[with audio]

The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte has made additions to a list of clergy it considers credibly accused of sexual abuse. The updates which occurred on Friday, are the latest additions to the list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse involving minors since it was released late last year. 

The list is divided into 3 categories: credible accusations of abuse involving minors that occurred within the Charlotte Diocese, credible allegations of abuse involving minors that occurred in what was formerly known as the Raleigh Diocese but would now be considered the Charlotte Diocese, and the third “accused elsewhere” category which means they were named on other diocese's lists, but there are no documented allegations of abuse during their time within the Charlotte Diocese.

Both new names appear in the “accused elsewhere” category, and both priests are listed as deceased.

The first new name is Harold Johnson, a Boston priest who worked at St. Patrick’s in Charlotte from February 1957 to October 1959—back when the entire state was under the jurisdiction of the Raleigh Diocese. His name was published in 2011 in a list released by the Boston Archdiocese. WFAE originally reported on Johnson’s absence from the Raleigh and Charlotte lists on February 4. Days after our report, he was added to the Raleigh Diocese list.

The second name new to the list, is Texas priest Hugh Clarke.

Clarke is also listed on the Diocese of Corpus Christi and Raleigh lists. According to multiple media reports in 2011, a $1.2 million settlement was reached between the Diocese of Corpus Christi and three men who said they were sexually assaulted by Clarke when they were altar boys in the 1970s.

Clarke served at Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville (before the Charlotte Diocese formed in 1972) for about two years in the mid-1960s according to the Charlotte Diocese. 

The Charlotte Diocese did not publicly announce changes to the accused elsewhere category last week.

In a prepared statement the Charlotte Diocese says it will publicly announce any updates to the list if it involves abuse that occurred in the Charlotte Diocese when it was formed in 1972.


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