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Raleigh's Catholic Diocese Trying To Dispel Doubts About Church

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The leader of Raleigh's Catholic Diocese is trying to dispel doubts about the church.

Bishop Joseph Gossman wrote a letter that was read by priests at every Mass in every parish in eastern North Carolina on Sunday.

Residents in Duplin County were stunned to learn that a man they trusted, Father Drew Perry, was removed from his post on Thursday. Gossman said Perry lied on his seminary application when asked if he had ever been charged with sex abuse.

Gossman also hopes that he will help maintain the faith of the Catholic community by acting quickly and candidly.

"One of the things people had a hard time with is it was covered up, kept secret and I think he did the right thing by acknowledging it rather than keeping it private," he said.

Perry is on administrative leave indefinitely. The charge against him was dropped when the victim refused to testify. Gossman insists sexual misconduct will not be tolerated in the Raleigh Diocese.

Gossman also promises not to operate in the culture of secrecy that has affected the church in other cities.