Diocese of Providence Posts List of Clergy Accused of Abuse
This morning, the Diocese of Providence, RI has finally taken the step of posting the names of clergy who have been accused of abuse. Now we call on church officials in Rhode Island to aggressively reach out to parishioners, informing them of this list and urging anyone with information or allegations of their own to report to local police and prosecutors.
While it is likely that this list was only published in response to growing public pressure, we hope that the release of this information will lead to safer, more informed communities We also hope that survivors who may be suffering in silence will be encouraged to come forward and make a report to police and the attorney general.
Unfortunately, the list released today Rhode Island church officials only includes names, ages, years of ordination, and their current status. While this information is valuable, it is not enough for a complete list. Bishop Thomas Tobin should work immediately to update his list and include, at a minimum, the work histories of each accused priest so that communities where abusers served know to look for survivors in their midst. Similarly, he should include information about when the archdiocese first received the allegations and what they did in response. Only by knowing what went wrong to enable abusers in the past can we best know how to prevent similar situations in the future.
Finally, while we are grateful for the bit of transparency shown by the Diocese of Providence today, we know that the best way to get full transparency and a true accounting of the problem is by relying on secular, independent officials. We call on Attorney General Peter Neronha to follow in the footsteps of twenty other attorneys general across the country and launch his own investigation into cases of clergy sexual abuse. This is the best way to not only understand the scope of abuse that has already occurred, but determine how to prevent more abuse from occurring in the future.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)