Burillville, Rhode Island mother, Dawn Joly, was angered when she learned that a priest aggressively berated her son Skyler during a Catholic confirmation class at Our Lady of Good Help.15-year-old Skyler spoke to WJAR NBC 10 News about the treatment he received from the class instructor, Father Roman Manchester. Skyler recounted, "All of a sudden he just clicked like that…and then he said he hopes I rot in hell." Classmates confirmed Skyler’s story and other parents sent Ms. Joly Facebook messages saying that their children were “scared” and believed the priest to be “possessed.” Skyler’s mother said, "I was infuriated. I was shaking. I was very angry. I made phone calls. I called the church. I called the Diocese. I called the news."
Skyler began the confirmation classes in September and believed that he had a good rapport with the father saying that the priest would even laugh at his jokes. When Skyler’s dad picked him up from the class, “Priest said that he was trying a new tactic with the kids, and yes he did say those things. He wanted to try something new. Try to get the kids to go to church more,” Dawn explained. Regardless of the intent, Joly reported the incident to the parish and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.
Joly played part of a voice mail message left for her by the parish. “Either keep him at home and teach him there or send him elsewhere,” the caller from the parish said. “He was throwing F-bombs at Father. He damaged some church property.” Skyler took responsibility for those actions, but says that they only happened after the priest’s verbal tirade.
The station was unsuccessful in attempts to contact Father Manchester but they did receive a statement from the Diocese of Providence saying, “The Diocese has spoken with Father Manchester about the situation.”
“It’s emotionally damaging, and no child should have to go through that,” said Ms. Joly, who wants Father Manchester to be punished.
Video and more info: WJAR