Priest On Leave, Parents Say He Asked Inappropriate Questions

Patch [Barrington, RI]

February 15, 2022

By Jimmy Bentley

Parents say Rev. Eric Silva, of St Luke’s in Barrington, asked Cranston Catholic school students about sexual matters during confession.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence put a Barrington priest on leave after parents accused him of asking their children inappropriate questions about sex and sexuality during confession.

Rev. Eric Silva, of St Luke’s Parish in Barrington, was filling in at Immaculate Conception Regional Catholic School in Cranston last week. He was tasked with hearing confessions from students.

But parents told NBC 10 News Silva asked boys whether they were gay and also asked girls if they were sexually active, as well as other questions. During the leave, Silva will not be allowed to serve at the school or at St. Luke’s Parish, diocese officials said.

“The Church places great responsibility on the priest as confessor to exercise prudence, discretion, and attentiveness to the age of penitents,”Michael Kieloch, a spokesman for the diocese to NBC 10. “Confession must always be an opportunity to experience God’s mercy and peace. It is truly unfortunate whenever that doesn’t take place in confession. I have asked Fr. Silva to take this period of leave as an opportunity to reflect on these priestly responsibilities and to engage in additional formation.”