The leader of Rhode Island’s Roman Catholics reacted positively to the selection of the first pope from South America. Bishop Thomas Tobin was watching the news when Pope Francis was introduced to the world.
The bells of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul pealed wildly when white smoke emerged from the Sistine Chapel in Rome, indicating a new pope had been elected. Inside the Providence diocesan offices, Bishop Thomas Tobin and several staff members watched on TV as the new pope emerged from St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Roman Catholic watchdog group BishopAccountability.org is calling for greater transparency from the Diocese of Providence. The call comes as a second priest in two months is forced to resign for an allegation of child sexual abuse.
Monsignor John Allard has been forced to resign as pastor of St. Agatha and Precious Blood parishes in Woonsocket. The diocese of Providence says it received a credible allegation of child sexual abuse against Allard dating back more than 30 years. The priest has accepted responsibility and expressed remorse, according to the Diocese.
Another Roman Catholic priest has been sidelined by a child sexual abuse allegation. The priest has accepted responsibility for his actions.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence says Monsignor John Allard of Woonsocket has been forced to resign the pastor of St. Agatha and Precious Blood parishes because of a child sex abuse allegation that dates back more than 30 years.
The diocese says Allard accepted responsibility for his actions when confronted. He has expressed remorse for the harm he has caused and has moved out of the rectory.
Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin says he was stunned by the announcement that Pope Benedict the XVI will step down at the end of the month. Bishop Tobin met the pope a couple of times and was struck by his intellect and humility.
“He is a very gentle man, you get that sense in meeting him in person,” says Tobin. “He’s a very humble, gentle man who took this tremendous burden on his shoulders, somewhat reluctantly I believe.”
(PROVIDENCE, RI) A Catholic priest has resigned over allegations of sexual abuse.
The resignation of Father Barry Meehan, pastor of St. Timothy’s Church in Warwick, was announced over the weekend with the reading of a letter from Bishop Thomas Tobin.
In the letter Tobin says the diocese recently received a sex abuse allegation against Meehan that goes back more than 25 years. An investigation concluded the allegation had merit. Meehan resigned when he was confronted, though he continues to assert his innocence.