Fourteen priests named on the Diocese of Providence’s list of clergy who were the subject of credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors served in parishes and positions in North and South Kingstown and Narragansett.
The diocese released the list Monday morning on its website. Of the 50 men listed in total, 31 are dead and 19 are living but have been removed from ministry. One resigned in 1979 before the diocese received an allegation of abuse.
Of the living priests with local ties, Edmund Micarelli, 96, had the most involvement in this area, according to the diocese. Ordained in 1959, he spent a year as chaplain at the Christian Brothers Center in Narragansett from 1959 to 1960, then was chaplain at the University of Rhode Island’s Newman Center in Kingston from 1960 to 1966 and a pastor at Christ the King Church in Kingston from 1964 to 1966.
From 1966 until 1989 he held positions in West Warwick, Providence, Cranston and Warren and was removed from ministry on April 17, 1990, according to the diocese.
The other living priests and the place and time of their local assignments are:
Joseph Abbruzzese, St. Francis de Sales Church, North Kingstown, 1991-92. He was removed from ministry in 1993.
Paul Charland, Christian Youth Center, North Kingstown, 1975-79. He was removed from ministry in 2011.
Robert McIntyre, Christian Brothers Novitiate, Narragansett, 1967. He was removed from ministry in 1994.
Richard Meglio, St. Bernard Church, Wickford, 1971. He was removed from ministry in 1988.
James Silva, St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, Narragansett, 1982. He was removed from ministry in 1993.
The list released Monday by the diocese was the result of an independent review of files dating back to 1950, a year used by many other dioceses as a benchmark, the diocese said.
It includes no details such as when and where the alleged incidents took place, when and to whom they were reported and the number of alleged victims of each person named.
News accounts show that Silva faced lawsuits in 1993 alleging that he sexually molested four boys in the late 1960s and early 1970s while a pastor at Jesus Saviour Church in Newport. In 1995 he pleaded guilty to an August 1991 sexual assault of an 18-year-old man and received a seven-year suspended prison sentence.
And Silva, Meglio and Micarelli were among 11 priests named in 38 lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Providence in the 1990s alleging sexual abuse. In 2002, the diocese reached a $13.5 million settlement with 36 of the plaintiffs.
According to a federal court suit, Micarelli was accused of molesting a 10-year-old boy in 1975, while he was assigned to St. Alexander’s Church in Warren.
According to the website bishop-accountability.org, he also had been the diocesan scout chaplain, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting regional scout chaplain, a member of the executive board of the NCCS, and at one time, the chaplain for a council scout camp. Various sources say he had retired by the 1990s and was living in Florida.
Eight deceased priests on the list were assigned to local churches.
At St. Francis of Assisi Church in Wakefield they were Normand Demers (1958), Charles Dolan (1933), William Gillooly (1947-50, 1965-67) and William O’Connell (1950-52).
Demers was removed from ministry in 2002, O’Connell in 1985. The others died before any allegations were made. Dolan also was pastor at St. Bernard Church in Wickford from 1942 to 1943.
Assigned to Christ the King Church in Kingston were Louis Dunn (1964-67) and Oscar Ferland (1967-72).
Dunn also was a URI chaplain from 1964-67 and Ferland from 1968-72.
Dunn was removed from ministry in 1994, while Ferland died in 1998, before an accusation was made.
Another URI chaplain on the list, Robert Marcantonio, served between 1977 and 1981. He was removed in 1989 and died in 1999. Richard Holden, who died in 1985, was a pastor at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, Narragansett, in 1964.
Bishop Thomas Tobin, in a letter accompanying the list, calls its release “a difficult but necessary moment” in the history of the church.
“The publication of this list is an expression of the transparency we want to encourage, and the accountability we need to accept,” he wrote.
The diocese said the list is a “working document and will be updated should more information become available.”
None of the living individuals listed is permitted to serve in ministry or function as a priest.
“To the victims/survivors and their families, and to the many faithful Catholics who have been rightly scandalized by these disgraceful events, I offer the profound apology of the Church and the Diocese of Providence,” Tobin wrote. “It should be strongly emphasized and clearly understood that the fact that a name appears on this list does not necessarily mean that the individual is guilty of having committed sexual abuse, unless the allegation has been otherwise proven or admitted. It means only that an allegation has been received by the Diocese and after a preliminary investigation, has been deemed to be credible. But it should also be noted that every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, credible or not, is reported to civil authorities and is subject to the canonical requirements of the Church. This has been the practice of the Diocese of Providence for many years.”
The publication of the list comes days after state lawmakers passed a bill by Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-South Kingstown, Narragansett) that amends the state’s civil statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. Gov. Gina Raimondo signed it Monday.
The law extends the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse from seven years to 35 years. It also extends to 35 years the statute of limitations for entities, individuals or organizations which caused or contributed to childhood sexual abuse through negligent supervision, conduct, concealment or other factors that enabled the abuse to occur.
“It is unfortunate that this bill is needed in our society,” Hagan McEntee said, “Because it signals that not only are our children being sexually victimized, but even more sadly, many of these victims will never have their day in court to face their abusers and demand accountability for the vicious childhood assaults that have haunted their lives – often times for decades.”
The Providence Diocese’s list includes a dozen priests who died before any allegation was received, including Monsignor Anthony DeAngelis, who worked in the diocese administration and died in 1990.
Hagan McEntee’s sister, Ann Hagan Webb, said that DeAngelis repeatedly molested her in West Warwick as a child and that she began recalling the abuse as an adult. She testified about what happened this year at the State House, to help persuade lawmakers to pass the bill.