Update: Diocese Releases Statement on Former Simpsonville Priest's Alleged Sexual Misconduct

Previous pastor and administrator of St. Mary Magdalene, Father Hayden Vaverek, accused of alleged sexual misconduct dating back years while at another Upstate parish.

Update: In the wake of accusations that have surfaced alleging that former St. Mary Magdalene priest and administrator, Father Hayden Vaverek, engaged in alleged sexual misconduct many years ago while at another church, the Diocese of Charleston released the following statement on Sunday.

The full statement, which implies the alleged misconduct took place outside the church, reads:

"An allegation of sexual misconduct of a minor dating back more than 15 years has been made against Father Hayden Vaverek. Per diocesan policy, Father Vaverek must be placed on administrative leave and his priestly faculties withdrawn. Diocesan officials have notified law enforcement authorities about this allegation and are fully cooperating with them.

Father Vaverek served at several parishes and schools in South Carolina including those in: Greenville, Simpsonville, Anderson, Greenwood, McCormick, Myrtle Beach, Garden City, Moncks Corner, Bonneau, and Hilton Head Island. The reported allegation indicates the alleged misconduct occurred while Father Vaverek was pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes in Greenwood; however, no parishioners of that parish were involved in the reported allegation.

The Diocese of Charleston encourages all victims and those who have knowledge of any sexual misconduct to contact civil authorities in their area. To receive help and guidance from the diocese, please contact Sister Sandra Makowski at the Chancery in Charleston at (843) 853-2130 x209.

The Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone, Bishop of Charleston, asks everyone to pray for all victims of abuse and for their families."

Last week, a man who was representing the catholic church approached an investigator at the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, according to a WSPA report. He reportedly told investigators that a sexual incident involving a minor occurred years ago at Our Lady of Lourdes in Greenwood with Father Hayden Vaverek, who later served a stint as priest and administrator at St. Mary Magdalene in Simpsonville. Deputies said the victim now lives out of state and had someone from the catholic church meet with the Sheriff’s Office to make a report.

Greenwood County deputies said Father Vaverek is in Rome, and have been unable to interview him, according to the report.

Vaverek is the 12th priest in the Charleston Diocese to be publicly accused of sexual misconduct, according to BishopAccountability.org.

Stay with Patch for more details as they develop.

Original article: Father Hayden Vaverek, a former priest and administrator of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Simpsonville, has been accused of alleged sexual misconduct, according to a news report.

Vaguely mentioning an unnamed and uncited report, WYFF said that Vaverek allegedly engaged in unspecified sexual misconduct dating back more than 15 years while he was pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes in Greenwood.

The Diocese of Charleston reportedly placed Vaverek on administrative leave. Meanwhile, potential victims of the priest's alleged misconduct are encouraged to contact local authorities, the report said.

Father Vaverek received a degree in criminal justice from Texas State University-San Marcos and attended seminary at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md. He was ordained in 1994. 

His assignments have included parochial vicar at St. Andrew Church in Myrtle Beach, and pastor at St. Joseph Church and School in Anderson, Our Lady of Lourdes in Greenwood, St. Michael in Garden City, St. Philip Benizi in Moncks Corner, Holy Family on Hilton Head Island and St. Mary Magdalene in Simpsonville, where he was appointed by the diocese in 2008. 

According to his profile on the Linkedin social network, he is currently a Development Officer of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support based in New York City.

Stay tuned to Patch for more details as they become available.

Stephen March 26, 2013 at 01:51 AM
For anyone interested in the truth, let it be said that Fr. Hayden was in Rome on military assignment. When this broke he had to return to his HQ in Germany, then arrange transport home. There never was a question of anybody "waiting at the dock with handcuffs." That isn't done in America to someone against whom no criminal charges have been laid. His military pension isn't lost, nor his veteran's benefits earned for service in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sure, he stood up in court next to someone who plead guilty and was sentenced to prison for molesting a child. What is a priest supposed to do, when a parishioner asks him to come help get through that ordeal? There are lots of clergy of all faiths who minister to condemned prisoners on death row. Does that mean that all those clergy must themselves be guilty of murder, or approve of murder? Father Hayden is not hiding from his diocese. They can reach him on the phone any time they want to, provided they can get through the hundreds of calls Father is getting from supporters all over the USA and overseas, supporters calling to offer prayers, and any other sort of help possible. I was puzzled at first when I read all the vitriolic hatred being spewed out in some of these comments. Then I thought back to my own early life, spent growing up in another part of the USA that also had a long history of lynching. Then it made more sense.
Veronica S. March 26, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Sorry Don, but the effectiveness of a sacrament does not depend on the holiness of the minister. Otherwise we would be in trouble, starting with St. Peter who denied the Lord himself three times. The sacrament works because is Jesus himself who guarantees that.
Rex March 28, 2013 at 03:50 AM
Good lord Stephen you've lost the plot. Your post was good until the bit about lynching.
Bart April 27, 2013 at 09:35 PM
The victim, a credible adult who is highly educated, has chosen not to pursue criminal charges. Instead the victim is allowing the process established by The Charter to Protect Children by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to follow its proper course and to continue it's investigation, render it's decision and ultimately submit the case to Rome, according to published articles in other sources. So the future of Father Vaverek is now an ecclesiastical one which can take many years to decide.
Brad May 08, 2013 at 02:43 PM
In a new release the Diocese has announced that the victim did not report the abuse, the Diocese did in accord with the charter to protect children. The victim wished that Father Hayden be sent to a program of therapeutic healing at a treatment center for priests who abuse children. The Diocese verified that a boundary violation and an act of abuse did occur. Because of this, Father Hayden remains suspended from all priestly ministry and the investigation continues even though no criminal charges will be filed. So it sounds as if Father Hayden's options are to a) seek treatment and b) cooperate with the process. It does not sound as if he will be able to return to ministry any time soon.


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