WOONSOCKET — In a decree dated July 16, 2020, and issued from the Congregation for the Clergy, the Vatican has approved the decision of the Diocese of Providence to merge St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Woonsocket, R.I., with the neighboring All Saints Parish. The Vatican also affirmed the diocesan proposal to retain St. Charles Church building as a place of divine worship to be used on an occasional basis at the discretion of the Diocesan Bishop and the Pastor. The Decree emphasizes that the assets of St. Charles Parish now become part of All Saints Parish.
In issuing the Decree, the Vatican asserted that the appeal lodged against the diocesan decisions “has no foundation either in law or in fact and is rejected.”
In receiving the decree, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin said, “I am very grateful for, but not surprised by, the ruling of the Vatican to uphold our decision regarding St. Charles Borromeo Parish. Throughout this process we have documented very clearly the need to undertake these provisions and we followed exactly the requirements of the Code of Canon Law. I pray that those who have objected to these decisions will now work closely with their local pastors and devote their energies to the renewal of the Church in the Woonsocket area.”
The Diocese announced in February the formation of a special task force to study the long term use of St. Charles Church building and to offer recommendations to Bishop Tobin.