Forty former students of St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island, have made accusations of sexual abuse at the school during the 1970s and 1980s. The Rt. Rev. Audrey Cady Scanlan, Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, has written to her diocese about suspending the Rev. Howard White from his ministry as long-term supply priest at St. James Church in Bedford:
I learned about this situation as it was developing from my colleague, the Rt. Reverend W. Nicholas Knisely, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island, who serves as an ex officio member of the board at the school. I have moved to immediately restrict Fr. White’s ministry and to provide for the pastoral care of the congregation that he currently serves. I have no information that leads me to believe that there have been any incidents of abuse at St. James, Bedford, but it is imperative that we employ all the safeguards that are available to us while the investigation of the Rhode Island State Police continues and while the formal ecclesiastical discipline process involving Fr. White unfolds. The Diocese of Central Pennsylvania is committed to upholding our policy of Zero-Tolerance of any adult sexual misconduct and/or child abuse by any member of the clergy, staff persons or volunteers.
If there are those in our diocese who have a need to talk about this or any related incidents, please know that I am ready to listen and respond in a confidential pastoral manner or make provisions for appropriate care.
Image of St. George’s School Chapel by Christine Riggle/Flickr