Bishop Jugis shares some new information on the status of proceedings involving Father Patrick Hoare of St. Matthew Parish.
January 21, 2023
Prot. No. B 010/23
Dear St. Matthew parishioners,
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a new year begins, I want to share some new information on the status of proceedings involving Father Patrick Hoare, who was removed as pastor of St. Matthew for reasons outlined in my letter to you on July 1, 2020.
As described in that letter, I accepted the recommendation of the Diocese of Charlotte’s independent Lay Review Board that Father Hoare remain out of active ministry, after the Board’s investigation found instances in which observed behavior by Father Hoare with minors constituted boundary violations under our policy and raised questions about his judgment during his ministerial assignments in the diocese.
Father Hoare has remained on administrative leave as he exercises his rights to appeal my decision to authorities who oversee the administration of justice in the Church.
In December 2020, after consultations with Father Hoare and two pastors of the diocese, as required by Church law, I issued a decree formally removing Father Hoare as pastor. The decree cited evidence and specified several reasons for removal, including:
- Father Hoare had repeatedly been the subject of complaints from the faithful that he failed to live up to contemporary standards of conduct with minors, with concerns raised at each parish where he had been assigned since his ordination in 2007, including St. Matthew;
- Father Hoare acted in a manner that brings grave detriment to ecclesiastical communion;
- Multiple reports of inappropriate behavior in violation of ministerial standards of conduct with minors raised grave concerns among parishioners and at a minimum called into question Father Hoare’s judgment;
- Consequently, Father Hoare’s ministry had become harmful and/or ineffective in part or in total.
Father Hoare appealed this decree to authorities in Rome in January 2021.
After hearing the concerns of Father Hoare and the diocese, the Holy See’s Dicastery for
the Clergy examined the evidentiary record and in July 2021, denied Father Hoare’s appeal.
In its decree, the Dicastery said the diocese had “sufficiently demonstrated grave and lasting cause for the removal.”
Father Hoare appealed the Dicastery’s decree to the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court. In November 2022, that body ruled that Father Hoare’s appeal was “manifestly lacking in foundation” and “must be dismissed.”
Father Hoare has since made a final appeal to a larger panel of the Apostolic Signatura. It is unclear when a decision in that matter might be made, but that ruling is expected to conclude the Church proceedings involving Father Hoare. Until then, he remains on leave without an ecclesiastical assignment.
I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as the administrative recourse process of the Church continues. While it is hard to predict precisely when this final appeal will conclude, I will keep you informed. I also want to express my gratitude for the leadership and work of parochial administrator Father John Allen and the dedicated clergy, staff and lay leaders at St. Matthew, and I ask for your continued support of all those committed to the ongoing work of the Church. Please be assured of my continued prayers for peace and for God’s blessing upon the parish and everyone involved in this matter.
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, J.C.D.
Bishop of Charlotte