Accused abusive priest is now Nashville hospital chaplain

(For Immediate Release April 18, 2023) 

He’s now a Tennessee hospital chaplain, even though

--a judge says he “inflamed” an argument that led to a murder,

--a Catholic bishop says he “abused his position as a clergyman,” violated a church code of ethics, tried to deceive investigators and

--a woman says he “sexually, emotionally and psychologically abused her in 2018,” and

--an attorney says he’s had “previous felony convictions.”

He is Fr. Anthony Cipolle and he’s a chaplain at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

We call on the Catholic bishops of Nashville and Maine to

-- publicly warn the public, police and prosecutors about him, for the sake of public safety, and

-- clarify his clerical status, since the public’s been told he can’t function as a priest anymore.

We also applaud Melissa Kearns who bravely revealed her suffering at the hands of Cipolle in Maine’s largest newspaper yesterday.

Fr. Cipolle’s church supervisors in Maine “did not specify how he allegedly attempted to deceive investigators, nor did it give details of his other alleged infractions” but said “he will not be given another assignment” and “cannot function or present himself as a priest.”

A Florida attorney secured a settlement on behalf of another adult victim of Fr. Cipolle.

Catholic bishops can’t recruit, educate, ordain, train, supervise, pay and transfer sexually troubled clerics, then suddenly set them loose on society when they are exposed as wrongdoers. The church hierarchy owes an explanation to parishioners in both Maine and Tennessee and must clarify whether Cipolle has been defrocked or not. 

Contact: Michael McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578) 

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