Catholic Priest Resigns in Warwick

By Neil Remiesiewicz
The Wpri
January 13, 2013

"Credible" sexual misconduct allegation surfaces

WARWICK,, R.I. (WPRI) -- A Catholic priest in Warwick has resigned as pastor of a church after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.

The Diocese of Providence has placed Father Barry Meehan, the pastor of St. Timothy's in Warwick, on administrative leave after determining that the allegations regarding an incident occurring 25 years ago were credible.  The allegations came to light recently and the Diocese reported them to the State Police.

Meehan has denied any wrongdoing.

Meehan was the pastor at St. Timothy's since 2002 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1978, having served in several locations in Rhode Island since then.

Bishop Thomas Tobin says he will meet with parish leaders and visit the parish personally in the near future.  In the meantime, Reverend Francis O'Hara will serve as a temporary administrator for the parish.  Auxiliary Bishop Robert Evans informed the members of the St. Timothy's congregation Sunday morning.

While on administrative leave, Meehan's permission to serve as a priest has been removed by the Diocese.

The Diocese of Providence urges anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse, or has credible information about sexual abuse, by a member of the Church to report it to either the Rhode Island State Police (401-444-1000) or the Diocesan Office of Education and Compliance (401-941-0760).


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