RI - Convicted predator now works for non-profit
- Clergy abuse victims want the public to be warned
- He’s defrocked and is listed as a registered sex offender
- His crimes spanned decades and were as recent as 2001
- Group worries ex-cleric may still be around “vulnerable people”
- And they worry about two recently arrested RI Catholic deacons too
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, advocates for clergy sex abuse victims will disclose that a defrocked predator priest now works at a Providence-based nonprofit. They will urge Providence’s Catholic archbishop to
- warn parents, parishioners and the public about the pedophile, and
- aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by two Rhode Island deacons who have recently been accused of sexual offenses.
They will also urge the agency to disclose the former cleric’s crimes to past, present and future clients and staff.
Tuesday, Aug 23 at 1:00 p.m.
Outside the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, 30 Fenner Street (by Broad & Franklin) in Providence, RI
Three individuals who belong a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
A concerned Rhode Island Catholic has notified SNAP that a predator priest, Fr. Daniel M. Azzarone Jr., now works at a Providence-based non-profit agency called Open Doors, which aims to support those who have been incarcerated.
SNAP worries that Azzarone may still be molesting kids or exploiting vulnerable adults (who are struggling to restore their lives and livelihoods after prison). For the sake of public safety, the groups want Rhode Island’s Catholic archbishop to use his church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements to warn parents, parishioners and the public about Azzarone’s whereabouts and crimes. The victims and advocates also want Open Doors officials to alert current and former staff and client about Azzarone’s past.
Open Doors which lists him on the staff as a “data analyst, and a "community outreach worker." It’s unclear whether Azzarone’s salary is paid for with government monies. (Several staffers with the agency are VISTA workers who get taxpayer-funded stipends. Others seem to be paid through a similar state-funded jobs program.)
Azzarone was defrocked in 2009, after having served a three-year jail sentence. Azzarone’s photo and his work history is available at http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Azzarone_Daniel_M.htm.
Two Providence diocesan clerics have been arrested recently. On Aug. 16, Deacon Robert Alessio was arrested for indecent exposure and on Aug. 10, Deacon Laurence Gagnon was arraigned for child molestation. Both have been removed from ministry.
SNAP wants Bishop Thomas Tobin to use church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements to seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by both deacons and Azzarone.
SNAP is not opposed to Azzarone having a job. They feel, however, that staff and clients at the agency should be told of his crimes and that everyone would be safer if he had a position that wasn’t around people who are struggling, powerless and lack credibility because of a criminal record." Convicted drunk drivers shouldn't drive school buses and convicted predators shouldn't be around vulnerable adults or kids.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.