WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) -- A Woonsocket priest, the Rev. Monsignor John Allard, has resigned as pastor of St. Agatha and Precious Blood Parishes in Woonsocket, after "a credible allegation", the Providence diocese says, of sexual misconduct of a minor that allegedly took place more than thirty years ago.
In a news release Monday, the diocese said Msgr. Allard has taken responsibility for his actions and expressed "profound remorse for the harm he has caused."
The resignation is in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and diocesan policy.
Bishop Thomas Tobin appointed Rev. Wilfred Gregoire, a senior priest at St. Agatha, temporary administrator.
Msgr. John Allard was first ordained a priest in 1975 and served in multiple assignments in Rhode Island.
The diocese continues to investigate, along with the Rhode Island State Police.
This is the first and only known allegation of abuse related to Msgr. Allard, the diocese said.
"Allegations of abuse, even if they occurred many years ago, are taken very seriously and acted upon" in accordance with the Charter, Bishop Tobin said in the news release. "For the many who are affected by this heartbreaking news, I offer my prayers for healing and forgiveness."
Msgr. Allard has left the rectory and will be living at a private residence, the diocese said.
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