Catholic Diocese Denies Wrongdoing In Case Of Children Allegedly Switched At Birth


Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Thomas Catenacci Energy & Environment Reporter
Font Size:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia is denying allegations that it was responsible for switching two men at birth nearly 80 years ago.

John William Carr III and Jackie Lee Spencer accused the diocese of negligence and breach of duty in a lawsuit filed Friday, according to The Dominion Post. The men say they were switched at birth in 1942 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon, Wv. 

“The Diocese has never been involved in the management, administration or oversight of the hospital during its existence nor involved in its subsequent affiliation with WVU Medicine,” Tim Bishop, director of communications for the diocese said in a statement sent to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Wednesday.

This was a hospital that was organized, operated and sponsored by a religious order separate and distinct from the Diocese” the statement continues. “The Diocese has no information on why it is named in the lawsuit that it has not yet seen, nor been served, and accordingly has no specific comment.”

Four Pallottine sisters founded St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1920. The Pallottine Order is a Roman Catholic order whose mission it is to serve the sick and poor, according to the hospital’s website.

Parishioners pray during a mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Whitesville, West Virginia on April 6, 2010. (Photo: Reuters/Chris Keane)

Parishioners pray during a mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Whitesville, West Virginia on April 6, 2010. (Photo: Reuters/Chris Keane)

The Pallottine sisters transferred sponsorship of St. Joseph’s to West Virginia University Medicine and United Hospital Center in 2015

Spencer, who has spent decades searching for his long lost father, took a DNA test that he says proves he was not related to the family that raised him. He then contacted Carr’s family, to which the DNA test says he was related, the Associated Press reported.

“Well, I never felt like I fit in here because my mother and dad had brown hair and brown eyes, and so do my brother and sister,” Carr said in the lawsuit according to the Associated Press.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact