CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Peter J. Jugis, the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, announced on Monday that the Diocese welcomed new procedures for handling child sexual abuse cases recommended last week by Pope Francis.
These new procedures include new approaches to handling investigations and protecting the victims and whistleblowers involved in these situations.
The announcement also stated that the Diocese would be reviewing allegations of sexual abuse in Charlotte by local clergy members going back to 1972. As part of this review, any claims found to be credible will result in the public disclosure of the names of those responsible along with ‘appropriate disciplinary action’.
No names have been released at this time, but the bishop stated that a list would be compiled and released by the end of the year.
This announcement comes in the wake of recent investigations into abuse allegations that had been placed on the local Diocese regarding decades-old abuse claims.
Charlotte attorney Seth Langson has been critical of the way the Charlotte diocese has handled claims of sexual abuse over the years. He thinks the decision to make the names of the accused public is a good move.
"I’m happy for any steps, yes. I’d like to see a lot more, but this is progress,” said Langson in an interview with WBTV Monday evening.
The attorney said he thinks that with Jugis’ decision to release the names, the bishop is succumbing to pressure.
“With all the other dioceses around the country, and especially surround North Carolina, It’s inevitable they’re going to have to release the names,” said Langson.
He agrees with the sentiment that the releasing of the names will be good for the victims.
“I think it helps because one, it validates the victims that there accusations were taken seriously. It also encourages other survivors to come forward because sexual abusers usually have many, many victims," noted Langson.
The attorney is adamant that all claims get investigated, no matter how old.
“Police ought to know about them and be able to prosecute them. It doesn’t matter if they’re still in North Carolina, or Florida or wherever they are. They’re a danger to children," said Langson.