Providence Diocese to hold 'day of prayer' following Penn. sex abuse report

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- In a letter to the clergy and parishes of the Diocese of Providence, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin on Thursday announced he is presiding over a "special day of prayer and penance" on September 14 following recent allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests in Pennsylvania. 

Tobin, who was an auxiliary bishop in Pittsburgh in the 1990s, invited all members of the clergy and members of the Catholic church to join him in penance and prayer "to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable."

"I will undertake a personal 24-hour fast from 8:00 a.m. on Friday the 14th until 8:00 a.m. on Saturday the 15th in penance for my own faults and failures as a Christian, priest and bishop, as well as for the sins and failures of all priests and bishops related to the sexual abuse of minors," Tobin wrote in the letter. 

Read the full letter from Bishop Tobin »

September 14 was chosen because it is the "Exaltation of the Holy Cross of Christ," according to the letter.

A grand jury report recently revealed more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania were investigated for child abuse and identified more than 1,000 victims. Tobin was not named in the report. 

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