‘credibly Accused’ Are the Shame of Our State

By Jim Gillis
Newport Daily News
July 4, 2019

We saw them this week, portraits of Catholic clergy “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children, a rogues’ gallery of grown men who preyed on youngsters.

The Diocese of Providence has a long history of denial, obfuscation and cover-up on this topic. So it’s significant Bishop Thomas J. Tobin released the names of 50 men, most now dead.

The release invites as many questions as it provides answers. It’s short on specifics, particularly how many attacks went on and what action the church took.

I think we now know the diocese here (and dioceses across the country) shifted accused priests from parish to parish, sliding them like chess pieces across the state. It amounted to a protection racket for pedophiles.

You may recognize some of the names on the list, several of whom served in Newport County. Father James Silva, for instance, assaulted one of my best friends when he as an altar boy at Jesus Saviour Church.

Maybe releasing the names provides further healing ... or none at all. I was taught to respect priests as a boy, though I never had any interest in serving on the altar.








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