One-man protest outside Fall River Diocese demands list of credibly accused priests

Herald News

January 21, 2020

By Deborah Allard

Victim advocate and former priest Robert M. Hoatson of New Jersey held a one-man protest outside the Fall River Diocese on Highland Avenue Tuesday morning to ask that Bishop Edgar da Cunha release a complete list of priests accused of sexual abuse.

“It’s outrageous that he hasn’t released this already,” Hoatson said.

Hoatson’s protest came just two days after an additional two Catholic priests, Fr. James F. Buckley and Fr. Edward J. Byington, both retired, were suspended amid allegations of two separate accounts of sexual abuse of a minor. Both served in Fall River churches and in other local towns in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

But the Fall River Diocese said it is still conducting an internal review of sexual abuse allegations of its clergy. Da Cunha in January 2019 announced the hiring of former FBI Assistant Director William Gavin to review claims as an independent consultant. A list was expected to be released last spring.

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