Father Patrick Hoare
Diocese of Charlotte
Placed on Leave: 2019
Known Assignments in the Diocese of Charlotte:
- St. Matthew’s Catholic Church (Charlotte, NC)
- St. John Neumann (Charlotte, NC)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Patrick Hoare:
Father Patrick Hoare was ordained in 2007, and up until 2029, had been the pastor of St. Matthew’s Church in the Diocese of Charlotte. St. Matthew is believed to be the largest parish in the United States, with nearly 11,000 registered families. According to media reports, in December 2019, Hoare was placed on administrative leave due to an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the mid-1990s, prior to his ordination as a priest. According to media reports, Hoare’s brother publicly identified the alleged victim as their own nephew, who is now in his mid-30s.
In July 2020, Bishop Peter Jugis announced that he accepted the recommendation of the Diocese’s internal review board that Hoare not be returned to active ministry. According to media reports, the Abington Township Police Department in suburban Philadelphia investigated the allegation, along with a similar claim of abuse of another minor in Pennsylvania “that subsequently emerged,” according to the bishop’s letter to parishioners. The allegations involved “accusations of inappropriate touching of relatives in the 1980s and early 1990s” when Hoare was a teen and in his early 20s, Jugis said. In February, Abington police told the diocese their investigation “found the claimants to be credible but, citing the statute of limitations, local authorities said they were unable to bring charges.” According to Jugis, the members of the Diocese’s review board found some of the allegations “credible,” but that “no specific incident of sexual abuse of a minor was identified based on the evidence presented.”
According to news reports, the review board also considered three additional complaints against Hoare alleging “several instances of inappropriate physical contact with minors that were observed by others in group settings at St. Matthew and St. John Neumann parishes,” Jugis said.
“These complaints were reported recently and did not constitute sexual abuse but involved a hug, rubbing the shoulders or abdomen of a minor, and being ‘very touchy,’ ” Jugis said. “The Review Board concluded such behavior represented boundary violations that raised questions about Father Hoare’s judgment.”
In July 2021, the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Clergy agreed with Bishop Jugis’s removal of Hoare as pastor, finding that the diocese “sufficiently demonstrated grave and lasting cause” for its decision. According to news reports, Hoare continues to deniy all of the allegations against him. Hoare filed an appeal to reverse Bihop Jugis’ decision to remove him. Hoare has lost two overseas appeals — the most recent in November 2022, when the Vatican’s highest court, the Apostolic Signatura, made a finding that Hoare’s challenge to his suspension was “manifestly lacking in foundation” and “must be dismissed.” Hoare then appealed to a larger panel of the Vatican court. It is unknown when the panel will render its decision. In the interm, Hoare will remain on administrative leave “without an ecclesiastical assignment.”
Read more at: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/religion/article271516292.html#storylink=cpy
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