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Priest told teen to 'rot in hell' claims Rhode Island mother

A Rhode Island priest allegedly told a confirmation candidate to "rot in hell."
A Rhode Island priest allegedly told a confirmation candidate to "rot in hell."
Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

A Catholic priest from Our Lady of Good Help in Burrillville, Rhode Island allegedly told a teenage boy to “rot in hell” according to a WJAR NBC 10 News report on Wednesday. Could this be a case of priestly possession or out-of-control teen?

It is highly unlikely that Father Roman Manchester was possessed, although students from his confirmation class sent a Rhode Island mother Facebook messages stating the priest behaved as if he was and they were “scared.”

Skyler Joly, 15, accused the priest of “snapping” after he was told to “rot in hell” during the Monday evening religion class he attends, which Father Manchester teaches.

All of a sudden he just snaps. He just clicked like that and then he said he hopes I rot in hell.

The local Rhode Island NBC affiliate reported the teen was cursing in class and damaged the church’s property, a fact confirmed by the boy’s mother, Dawn Joly. However, Joly stated he was simply reacting to the priest’s abusive speech. She went on to claim that Father Roman had told her son’s father he was sampling a new approach to get the children to attend Sunday Mass.

The boy’s mother wants disciplinary action taken against the priest. Joly contacted the parish, the diocese and the news, however she was told to keep her son home or send him elsewhere to finish out his confirmation classes. Church officials apparently have discussed the situation with Manchester according to a statement issued by the Diocese of Providence.

The teen’s mother is distraught over her son’s treatment and feels it was “emotionally damaging.” Dawn Joly is worried her son’s confirmation could be delayed and if he doesn’t receive the sacrament, won’t be married in the Catholic Church.

Confirmation is huge. If you're not confirmed, you're not allowed to get married in a church.

Yes, the sacrament of confirmation is “huge,” however there are alternatives to the mother’s dilemma, such as moving parishes or receiving the sacrament as an adult. The priest accused of telling the teen to “rot in hell” declined comment.

© Deirdre Haggerty, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC, DBA more Catholic information and news from the author, click subscribe or follow Deirdre on Twitter, like her on Facebook, read her blog or email her any comments or questions.

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