CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — As the Catholic Church prepares to launch a sex abuse summit at the Vatican Thursday, the Diocese of Charlotte's bishop apologized to all victims Wednesday in a brief video message.
"The Diocese of Charlotte in solidarity with Pope Francis offers a sincere apology to anyone who have been victimized by this crime and awful sin," Bishop Peter Jugis said.
While dioceses across the country have released lists naming priests credibly accused of abuse, Charlotte has not, awaiting direction from the Vatican and bishops following the sex abuse summit.
The bishop's statement comes as victims and advocates continue to push the diocese to name names. The bishop did not mention whether Charlotte will release a list of its own accused.
"We look forward to receiving the results of that meeting of Church leaders taking place at the Vatican this month, and then to undertake the work of applying all concrete action items to the particular situation of the Church in the United States in our future meetings of the U.S. Catholic bishops," the bishop said.
The video marked only the third time Jugis has addressed the Catholic Church's abuse crisis publicly since 2004.
In his video, he urged victims of abuse to contact police, touted the training of more than 50,000 people locally in sexual abuse awareness and assured the public the diocese has remained open and transparent since the mid-1990s, posting sex abuse cases in its newspaper.
Just this week, Belmont Abbey College named two former monks who worked in the area, including one accused in 2006 of sexual abuse in St. Michael's Parish in Gastonia roughly 30 years prior.
The Diocese of Charlotte investigated and deemed the claim against Donald Scales a credible allegation, but never made it public -- including in the diocese's newspaper -- until this week.
"I only became aware of him in the last week or so," spokesperson David Hains said.
Independently, NBC Charlotte has identified at least 14 clergy members with ties to the Charlotte area previously accused of abuse.
"Our effort to combat this sinful crime will continue," the bishop said in the video. "Please join me in praying for healing for all victims of sexual abuse and also for a productive outcome from the meeting with the Holy Father."
The diocesan spokesperson previously arranged an on-camera interview with NBC Charlotte, but canceled in light of the bishop's planned video statement.