Providence man urges diocese to release information about his abuser

Providence Journal

Sept. 23, 2019

By Madeleine List

A Providence man who says he was sexually abused as a child by the Rev. Normand J. Demers, a former priest in the Diocese of Providence who died last year, spoke about his experience in front of the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul on Monday.

Robert Houllahan, 50, said Demers sexually abused him at St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Providence, when Houllahan was 7 or 8 years old.

Accompanied on Monday by Robert Hoatson, co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, a New Jersey-based organization that advocates for victims of sexual abuse, Houllahan called on the Diocese of Providence to release all of the information it has on Demers and the allegations against him.

Demers was named in a list, released by the diocese in July, of 50 clergy members it said had been “credibly accused” of abusing children. Earlier this month, the diocese added a 51st name to the list.

But Houllahan said releasing the names of these clergy members wasn’t enough.

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