Woman says priest told her son to 'rot in hell'

The Rev. Roman Manchester

A woman said Wednesday she was infuriated when she learned a priest went on a tirade against her son in the middle of his religion class.

Dawn Joly's 15-year-old son Skyler accuses the Rev. Roman Manchester of Our Lady of Good Help in Burrillville of "snapping" on Monday night.

"All of a sudden he just snaps. (It) just clicked like that and then he said he hopes I rot in hell," Skyler Joly 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," Dawn Joly said.

Other teens told their parents the same thing. Some sent Dawn Joly Facebook messages saying their children were "scared" and though Manchester was "possessed."

The family said Manchester admitted to using the language, saying it was a tactic to get the children to go to church more often.

"When my son's father went to pick him up, he approached the priest and the priest said he was trying a tactic with the kids and yes he did say those things. He wanted to try something new to get the kids to go to church more," Dawn Joly said.

Skyler Joly had been attending religion classes since September and he said before the tirade on Monday, he thought he had a good relationship with Manchester.

"I would tell him some jokes in class, and he would laugh at them," he said.

Dawn Joly reported the issued to the parish and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

She said the parish told her to keep her son at home, teach him at home, or send him elsewhere. The parish also told Dawn Joly that Skyler was throwing expletives at Manchester and that he damaged some property. Dawn Joly said her son did do those things, but only after Manchester's tirade.

NBC 10 attempts to contact Manchester were unsuccessful.

Dawn Joly said she wants Manchester punished.

"It's emotionally damaging, and no child should have to go through that," she said.

She said she's upset that her son's Confirmation might be delayed.

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

The Diocese of Providence released a statement Wednesday that said it has spoken with Manchester about the situation.