A former Catholic priest with ties to Marion and Morganton in the 1980s was credibly accused of abuse in Ohio, according to a review by the Diocese of Charlotte, which looked at decades of records.
In October of 2018, Richard C. Evrit was named on the Diocese of Youngstown (Ohio) list of clergy for credible allegations of sexual abuse from the early 1970s in that state.
Evrit served in the Diocese of Charlotte in the late 1980s until his home diocese placed him on indefinite medical leave in 1989. No local allegations of abuse were documented here, the diocese said.
His assignments were:
Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Mission (now Church) (Marion, N.C.)
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (Morganton, N.C.)
Evrit, who was ordained in 1973, died in 2019, according to the diocese.
The release of the information comes after a yearlong review in which the diocese examined accusations of abuse going back decades. The information was released today.
Here is a portion of the news release:
The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte today published a list of 14 clergy who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse in western North Carolina since the diocese was established in 1972.
The list is the result of a year-long process that included a comprehensive, independent review of more than 1,600 files dating back almost 50 years to ensure a full accounting of credibly accused clergy in the diocese’s history.
The file review confirmed that no clergy member serving in the Charlotte diocese today has a credible allegation of sexual abuse against him. Records also show that all 14 clergy named on the list were long ago removed from ministry or died before allegations arose. Most of their names also were made known publicly years ago by the diocese and others.
Reflecting national trends, the review found that instances of alleged abuse in the Charlotte diocese peaked in the 1970s and dropped sharply in the 2000s as new protections were put in place by the Church. In the last 20 years, one credible case of abuse is alleged to have occurred in the diocese.
“It is painful to even try to comprehend such gravely immoral behavior,” Charlotte Bishop Peter J. Jugis wrote in a letter published Monday along with the list and other abuse information. “However, in speaking with survivors and hearing their stories, it is clear to me that making known the names of their abusers can promote healing for them and their families.”
“This list is the culmination of a process begun more than a year ago in our belief that a full accounting of credibly accused clergy would provide validation for victims and demonstrate our commitment to transparency and accountability,” wrote Jugis. On Sunday, the bishop offered prayers for abuse survivors and told parishioners about conclusions of the diocese’s file review during Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte.
In addition to its list, the Charlotte diocese published information about credibly accused clergy who served in western North Carolina before the Charlotte diocese was established in 1972, when the Diocese of Raleigh oversaw the Catholic Church across the state. Also identified were clergy who served without documented incident in the Charlotte diocese but were accused of abuse or misconduct elsewhere on lists published by other dioceses and religious orders.