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R.I. priest suspended for alleged abuse

Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:16 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A Rhode Island priest has been suspended because of charges he was involved in sexual abuse more than 30 years ago, Catholic officials say.

The Diocese of Providence said in a release posted on its website Monday that Monsignor John Allard "has taken responsibility for his actions and has expressed his profound remorse for the harm he has caused." The diocese said there was a single credible complaint of sexual misconduct.

Allard, who was ordained in 1975, is on administrative leave and banned from functioning as a priest. He had been assigned to two Woonsocket parishes, St. Agatha and Precious Blood, and to a chapter of the Catholic Youth Organization.

"Allegations of abuse, even if they occurred many years ago, are taken very seriously," Bishop Thomas J. Tobin said. "For the many who are affected by this heartbreaking news, I offer my prayers for healing and forgiveness."

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