Diocese distressed over new charges in Sullivan case

CHARLESTON — The Diocese of Charleston is “deeply distressed” to learn about additional charges against Charles Sullivan, “because that means more children may have been harmed,” said Mary Jeffcoat, director of Communications, in a statement released by the diocese Jan. 15.

Since Sullivan’s arrest Dec. 12, the diocese has offered pastoral care to the victims and their families and all members of the Cardinal Newman School family.

The Diocesan Victim Assistance Minister, Jean Sullivan, is available to anyone who wishes to contact her at (803) 958-0450.

“We are committed to do everything possible to protect children,” said Jeffcoat.

In the past five weeks, the diocese has added the following to ongoing actions:

• At Cardinal Newman School, the diocese is conducting SLED checks on all teachers and staff members and is asking all volunteers to complete application forms and to sign the diocesan policy regarding sexual abuse.

• On Jan. 9, the diocese held a workshop for all Catholic school principals in South Carolina to increase awareness of children who are at risk or who are victims of abuse and neglect.

• All 750 teachers from the 27 Catholics schools in the state attended or will attend a similar workshop Jan. 20 in Columbia or Jan. 23 in Charleston.