Crime & Courts

SC Catholic church delays naming priests accused of sexual abuse

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston is delaying its promised release of the names of priests accused of sexually abusing children.

In a statement Monday, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said the diocese needs more time to review its records and won’t meet a mid-February deadline that it set at the end of 2018.

“When we release the list of names, we want it to be accurate to the best of our knowledge,” Guglielmone said. “We owe that to the victims, the faithful and the public.”

The diocese, which covers all of South Carolina, said in December it would release the names of all priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors since 1950. The church now expects the lists of names to be ready by the end of March, it said in a statement.

As part of a 2007 settlement, the diocese undertook an extensive review of priests’ personnel records and other relevant files, a review that was shared with law enforcement. The church settled that suit, alleging abuse by priests and other church employees, for $12 million.

The church now is reviewing the personnel files of priests from 2007 through the present. Once that review is completed, the names of priests found to have abused children will be released, the church said.

Since the 1960s the Diocese of Charleston has received allegations against 24 priests, according to a Post and Courier report. Twelve were removed from the ministry.