The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte published a list on Monday of 14 clergy members who had been credibly accused of child sexual abuse within the diocese since its establishment in 1972. The investigation that produced the list spanned a year and included a review of more than 1,600 files dating back 50 years, according to the diocese’s press release. All 14 clergy named were removed from ministry or died before allegations arose. While the list doesn’t name any currently serving members, four former priests were listed as having committed sexual abuse within the Triad.
1. P. Patrick Gavigan (Ordained in 1953, deceased in 2007)
According to the report, Gavigan was incardinated into the Charlotte diocese in 1972 after being ordained in Georgia. He retired in 1992. In April 2002, a woman alleged that she was abused by Gavigan in 1972, when she was a minor, at Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro. After receiving the allegation, the diocese alerted its review board, which is made up of medical, psychology and civil law professionals, as well as the Guilford County Department of Social Services. The review board recommended that Gavigan, who was living in a North Carolina nursing home at the time, be restricted from ministering to minors. He denied the allegation. In addition to serving at Our Lady of Grace, Gavigan also served at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in High Point and St. Benedict Catholic Church in Greensboro. Gavigan died in 2007.
2. Andre Anthony Corbin Jr. (Ordained in 1961, removed in 1988, convicted in 1989, deceased in 2008)
The only member on this list who was convicted, Corbin was connected with several abuse cases in the 1960s in various locations, including Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in Winston-Salem. According to the report, Corbin was alleged to have sexually abused children while he served as chaplain at the school in the 1960s and ’70s. In 1988, Asheville police charged Corbin with abuse of another victim, leading the Charlotte diocese to formally remove him. In 1989, Corbin pled guilty in Buncombe County and served two months in prison followed by probation. In addition to serving at Bishop McGuinness, Corbin also served at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Chapel in Winston-Salem.
3. Hugh J. Dolan (Ordained in 1934, deceased in 1981)
Prior to being affiliated with the Diocese of Charlotte, Dolan was a member of the Diocese of Raleigh which received an allegation against him in 2004. According to the Diocese of Raleigh, the abuse took place against a minor in 1964 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Greensboro. Dolan retired in 1979 and died two years later in 1981. In addition to St. Pius X, Dolan was assigned to St. Benedict Catholic Church in Greensboro.
4. John Joseph Hyland (Ordained in 1942, deceased in 1975)
Almost three decades after his death, an account of sexual abuse by Hyland surfaced in May 2002. A woman reported to the Charlotte Diocese that Hyland had sexually abused her from 1964 to 1966, while she was a student at St. Pius X Catholic School in Greensboro. Even though Hyland was deceased, the diocese notified its review board as well as Guilford County Department of Social Services. Hyland also served at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Greensboro.