Sexual Abuse Policies, Procedures and Prevention in the Diocese of Providence
The world is already so torn and divided, brokenness is now everywhere. Consequently, the church – the seamless garment of the Lord – cannot allow herself to be ... broken or fought over. - Pope Francis, at a gathering of 400 US bishops, St. Matthew Cathedral, Washington DC., Sept. 23, 2015
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has in place one of the strongest anti-sexual abuse programs in the United States. Nationally recognized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Diocese of Providence’s policy clearly states that known sex offenders are not permitted to serve in active ministry. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, the eighth Bishop of Providence, upholds and strictly enforces the Diocese’s strong anti-sexual abuse program. Continually reaffirming the commitment to ensuring safe environment in the Church, the Diocese’s policy is regularly reviewed by professionals in the areas of psychology, ministry and law, and is updated as required. Read Bishop Tobin’s Letter of Promulgation.
A pastoral response program exists for alleged victims, providing non-prejudicial psychological counseling. To learn about support services, call 401.946.0728 or write: Office of Outreach and Prevention, 80 Saint Mary’s Drive, Cranston, RI 02920.
Pope John Paul II reminded in his Address to the Cardinals of the United States in April 2002 that the sexual abuse of minors is “by every standard wrong and rightly considered a crime by society; it is also an appalling sin in the eyes of God.” The Office of Compliance continues to educate all diocesan employees at every level and ministry about the child protection, from holding Safe Environment Trainings to requiring mandatory background checks for those who work with children. The Office of Compliance impartially investigates each and every complaint received.
If you know of, suspect, or have been a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a church employee or volunteer please immediately contact the Office of Compliance.
Child Protection Links
Resources, Reports & Commentary
News coverage of sex-abuse allegations in Europe by the New York Times and other secular publications has understandably sparked both anger and confusion. Unfortunately, much of the coverage and commentary has been flawed. Several writers, both Catholic and secular, have examined these reports in their full context. A list of writers and links is provided below: