BREAKING: Diocese of Providence Names Priests “Credibly” Accused of Sexual Abuse

GoLocalProv News Team
July 1, 2019

Bishop Thomas Tobin

The Diocese of Providence on Monday morning released the names of clergy, diocesan and religious order priests as well as deacons, who have been "credibly" accused of sexual abuse of minors. Bishop Tobin stated last year that the names would be released in 2019.

In February, the Diocese of Providence’s Rhode Island Catholic Conference in written testimony to the House Judiciary Committee disclosed that the church has made tens of millions of dollars in payments to sexual abuse victims over the past few decades.

The testimony had been offered in opposition to legislation -- recently passed by the General Assembly -- to extend the statute of limitation of those who are sexually abused from the existing seven years to up to 35 years.

Payments to Victims 

The disclosure of the payments may, in part, be an indicator as to the Diocese's financial issues and why the church failed to make proper contributions to the pension fund of the now collapsed St. Joseph Health Services retirement fund -- the largest pension fund failure in Rhode Island history.

“Reflecting [on] our commitment to justice, the Diocese of Providence has resolved over 130 claims and paid out over $21 million in legal settlements. Additionally, a pastoral outreach program has provided victims with nearly $2.3 million for the cost of counseling in order to facilitate healing and wholeness. There have been many long-standing and effective efforts towards prevention here,” said the Church in written testimony to the House committee.

Last October, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a national non-profit, has called on Democratic candidate for Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha to commit to investigating the Diocese of Providence.

Alliance for Safe Communities, a Rhode Island-based organization advocating for the victims of diocesan sexual abuse, says it reached out to now former U.S. Attorney Neronha regarding his unwillingness to commit to an investigation of the Catholic Diocese sex abuse scandal.

"According to, there are at least 38 priests who worked in Rhode Island who have been accused of abuse. We fear there may be more. We hope that both candidates will seriously consider the importance of this investigation, especially as they enter the final weeks of their campaign," said SNAP.


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