Diocese of Charlotte
Cathedral of St. Patrick
Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Charlotte
|Territory||Western North Carolina Vicariates of Albemarle, Asheville, Boone, Gastonia, Greensboro, Hickory, Mecklenburg, Salisbury, Smoky Mountain, Winston-Salem|
|Area||53,696 km2 (20,732 sq mi)|
- Catholics (including non-members)
|(as of 2013)|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||November 12, 1971|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of Saint Patrick|
|Patron saint||Mary, Mother of God|
|Bishop||Peter Joseph Jugis|
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte (Dioecesis Carolinana) is a diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the southern United States. It consists of 46 counties in western North Carolina, which are divided into ten vicariates named for and administered from Albemarle, Asheville, Boone, Gastonia, Greensboro, Hickory, Mecklenburg, Salisbury, Smoky Mountain and Winston-Salem.Charlotte and the Piedmont Triad are the largest metropolitan areas in the diocese. The Charlotte See is a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Canonically erected on November 12, 1971, by Pope Paul VI, the diocese took its territories from the neighboring Diocese of Raleigh. The Charlotte See is led by a bishop who serves as pastor of the Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Charlotte, North Carolina.Peter Joseph Jugis is the current bishop. The diocese is also home to two of the three basilicas in North Carolina, the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, and to the largest Catholic congregation in the United States, St. Matthew Catholic Church.
The Diocese of Raleigh, established in 1924, was the first diocese in North Carolina. It included the entire State until the formation of the Diocese of Charlotte on January 12, 1972. At that time, Fr. Michael Begley, a priest in the Diocese of Raleigh, was ordained and installed as the first bishop of Charlotte. Bishop Begley served as ordinary of the diocese until his retirement at age seventy-five in May 1984, after which he served as apostolic administrator. When the new diocese was established, the Catholic population of the area was just over 34,000. Fr. John Donoghue, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, succeeded Bishop Begley in late 1984, and was appointed Bishop of Charlotte by the Holy See on 6 November and installed on 18 December 1984. The population of Catholics in Charlotte continued to grow, and Bishop Donoghue declared in the early 1990s that it would be the Decade of Evangelization. Bishop Donoghue became Archbishop of Atlanta on 22 June 1993 and was succeeded by William G. Curlin, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and Titular Bishop of Rosemarkie, on 13 April 1994. Bishop Curlin served the Diocese of Charlotte until his retirement on September 10, 2002. At this time, the population of the diocese had grown to approximately 87,000 people. On August 1, 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed Peter J. Jugis, judicial vicar and pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Monroe, North Carolina, as the fourth bishop of Charlotte, which he remains to this day. He was consecrated on October 24, 2003.
The total population of the diocese as of 2010 was approximately 4.8 million people. Of this number, 174,689 were registered Catholics (3.6% of the total population), living in a little over 63,000 households. This number does not include an estimated 230,000 undocumented Hispanic or Latino Catholics. The diocese encompasses three main areas of population: the Triad Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem; Charlotte; and the mountains. It covers 20,700 square miles (54,000 km2), and includes 46 counties.
In 2009 Fr. Robert Yurgel, a former priest at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Charlotte, was arrested after pleading guilty to second-degree sexual offense of a minor. Yurgel had sexually abused a fourteen year old altar boy in 1999. He was dismissed from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and defrocked from the Catholic priesthood in 2000. A three-year civil lawsuit took place against Yurgel and the Diocese of Charlotte. The case was settled for $1 million in retribution and an additional $40,000 to pay for the victim's therapy. Yurgel was released from prison in August 2016.
On August 14, 2018 a grand jury report from Pennsylvania named 301 priests responsible for allegedly abusing over 1,000 children within six dioceses over the course of seventy years. One of the priests named in the report was Spiritan Fr. Robert Spangenberg, who for a time worked in North Carolina for both the Diocese of Charlotte as well as the Diocese of Raleigh. Spangenberg served as a priest at St. James Catholic Church in Hamlet in the 1990s. David Hains, spokesman for the Diocese of Charlotte, stated that the diocese had not received any information from Spangenberg's Pennsylvania-based order about any concerns regarding his ministry before or during his tenure in Hamlet and that there have been no claims of sexual abuse by Spangenberg from parishioners from North Carolina.
On March 25, 2019 the Diocese announced that its Vicar General and Chancellor, Monsignor Mauricio West, had stepped down after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him. The allegations, which claimed that West engaged in multiple instances of unwanted sexual advances over a two-year period toward an adult student in the 1980s while he was Vice President for Student Affairs at Belmont Abbey College, were found as credible by the Lay Review Board of the Diocese of Charlotte.
On November 1, 2019, both the North Carolina House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation extending the statute of limitations for filing sex abuse lawsuits. While the state of North Carolina has no statute of limitations for criminal sex abuse cases, there still are statute of limitations in place for civil sex abuse lawsuits.
On December 30, 2019 Bishop Jugis released a list of fourteen priests credibly accused of sexual abuse in the diocese since 1972. On March 2, 2020, two more names were added to this list. However, those who were accused of sexual abuse in territory controlled by the Diocese of Charlotte prior to 1972 are not listed in the Diocese of Charlotte's "credibly accused" list, but are listed separately by the Diocese of Charlotte in a list titled "Western North Carolina." Former Catholic clergy who served in the Diocese of Charlotte but were accused of committing sex abuse "elsewhere" are also listed separately as well.
On April 14, 2020, two sex abuse lawsuits were filed against the Diocese of Charlotte, claiming that the Diocese of Charlotte shielded credibly accused priests Fr. Richard Farwell and Fr. Joseph Kelleher. The lawsuits were filed once before, but were dismissed due to the previous statute of limitations.
In December 2007, 14 priests of the diocese attended a five-day workshop on the 1962 version of the Mass, the legitimacy of whose continued public use in certain circumstances was recognized in July of that year. Father Samuel Weber OSB was the first to offer a regularly scheduled Mass in that form in the Diocese of Charlotte since 1969. He celebrated this version in October 2007 at Davis Chapel of Wake Forest University. Bishop Jugis noted that it would take some time, but that the diocese was trying to accommodate those with an attachment to this form of Mass. On the following January 13, the Tridentine Latin Mass or usus antiquor (older form) was celebrated for the first time in nearly 40 years at Our Lady Of Grace Church in Greensboro, with Bishop Peter Jugis attending.
Catholic News Herald cover (July 31, 2020)
|Format||Magazine and online|
|Owner(s)||Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte|
|Headquarters||11 S. Church Str., Charlotte, N.C. 28203-4003 U.S.A.|
Catholic News Herald is the official publication of the diocese. It has the slogan "Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina", it carries news from the diocese, general Catholic and world news with a Catholic perspective. The magazine was established in 1990 and publishes 26 issues per year. It also carries a supplement in Spanish language within the publication. Besides the print edition, it is available online at https://www.catholicnewsherald.com This publication should be differentiated from the British publication Catholic Herald.
Some notable churches within the Diocese of Charlotte include: