Bishop Tobin weighs in on sex abuse controversies

Providence

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been a challenging year for the Catholic Church in Rhode Island.

Scandal rocked the town of Bristol over the summer when David Barboza, a well-known administrator at St. Mary’s Church, was accused of child molestation.

Files indicate the church was aware of the allegations against Barboza but allegedly did not take action.

On this week’s episode of Newsmakers, Bishop Thomas Tobin spoke about Barboza’s case for the first time and claimed he couldn’t say much because he didn’t remember “too much of the details.”

“I think anytime there is an expression or act of sexual abuse, we want to apologize for that and be very sorry for whatever part we ever played in it,” Tobin said.

Over the summer, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence also released a list of former priests and clergy considered “credibly accused” of abusing minors.

One of the former priests included on the list recently sued the Diocese — claiming he was subjected to shame and ridicule once the list was made public. He also claims he was never notified of the allegations against him until the list was compiled years later.

Tobin believes everyone whose name was included was aware that the list was coming.

“I am very comfortable with how the list was handled. It’s never perfect and it’s a difficult exercise for everybody,” Tobin said.

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