CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A priest accused of sexual abuse will have one last chance to win an appeal to be allowed back into the clergy.
The Diocese of Charlotte issued a release on Saturday outlining the process surrounding the situation involving Patrick Hoare, a former priest who was removed from St. Matthew Catholic Church in Ballantyne.
Hoare was removed on July 1, 2020 after the diocese says his observed behaviors with minors, "constituted boundary violations." He had previously been accused of sexual abuse of minors when he was a priest in Pennsylvania. The results of that investigation are still unknown.
Additional reasons given for Hoare's removal included concerns raised over his conduct with minors at St. Matthews, acting in a "manner that brings grave detriment to ecclesiastical communion," and claims his ministry had become "harmful and/or ineffective."
In the release, Bishop Peter Jugis stated that Hoare has been on administrative leave since being removed from his position in July 2020.
After being removed, Hoare appealed Jugis's decision through the Vatican's appeal system. His first appeal was denied so he then appealed to the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's highest court. When that board denied his appeal in November 2022, he chose to appeal to a larger panel.
This panel will be Hoare's last chance to get back into work as a priest. It is unclear at this time when that ruling will come.
"I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as the administrative recourse process of the Church continues," Jugis said in a release addressed to the parishioners. "While it is hard to predict precisely when this final appeal will conclude, I will keep you informed."