The Vatican has cleared the Bishop of Charleston, SC, Robert Guglielmone, of sexual abuse allegations, after a preliminary investigation found the charge to be baseless.
Bishop Guglielmone came to Charleston in 2009, and served before that as a priest of the troubled Rockville Centre diocese in New York. The accusation against him came in August 2019, in a lawsuit filed in New York under the state’s civil “look back window” that temporarily suspended the statute of limitations on civil suits relating to sexual abuse allegations.
The Catholic News Agency reportedthis week that the accusation lacked a “semblance of truth” – a canonical legal standard that means an accusation lacks merit on its face. Preliminary investigations are conducted under provisions of Church law laid out in canon 1717 of the Code of Canon Law and Article 16 of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s substantive norms regarding the most serious crimes (graviora delicta).
“As we approach the end of what has been an extremely challenging year,” Bishop Guglielmone said in a 6 December letter, “I am very pleased to be able to share some good news. I recently received a letter from the Papal Nuncio stating that the Vatican has determined that the sexual abuse allegation against me has no semblance of truth and is thus unfounded.”
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