A priest who helps investigate claims of sexual abuse and misconduct by fellow clergy has been named second in command of the 46-county Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, Bishop Peter Jugis announced on the diocesan website Friday.
Father Patrick Winslow, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte, replaces Monsignor Mauricio West, who resigned March 25 after a “credible allegation” of sexual misconduct, the diocese’s newspaper reported.
West has denied the allegation, which involved a former adult student of Belmont Abbey College, the diocesan newspaper previously reported.
West stepped down as the diocese’s longtime vicar general and chancellor after the diocese’s Lay Review Board found the allegation of sexual misconduct credible, according to the Catholic News Herald.
Winslow joined the Charlotte diocese in 2002 from the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., the newspaper reported in an article on the Charlotte diocese’s website Friday.
Winslow has served “with distinction in several important diocesan roles,” including as ex-officio member of the Lay Review Board, according to the paper.
The board also advises Jugis on how to respond to an allegation the board finds credible, the News Herald reported.
In a statement, Jugis said Winslow was “highly recommended” to him by the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors, which are groups of priests that advise the bishop.
Winslow, a New York native, also served at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte, St. Francis of Assisi Church in Jefferson, St. Frances of Rome Mission in Sparta and St. John the Baptist Church in Tryon, according to his bio on the diocesan website.
As vicar general, Winslow will report directly to Jugis on issues involving clergy and vocations and will act “in place of the bishop in his absence,” the News Herald reported. As chancellor, he will oversee daily administrative and business operations of the diocese.
He will remain pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church “for the time being,” the News Herald reported.