FBI says interviews of priest, choir director were part of investigation of ‘an individual,’ not Catholics

The FBI said in a statement that interviews it conducted with three Catholic priests and a former choir director were “part of an investigation into an individual, not into the Catholic Church.”


The interviews, conducted at the request of the Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, were part of an investigation into the alleged financial misconduct of a former parish employee, the FBI said. The investigation “did not involve any inquiries concerning the Catholic Church, its doctrine, policies, or members.”

The FBI said the investigation was “unrelated to matters raised concerning the Diocese of Providence, the Catholic Church, or its doctrine, policies, or members.”

The FBI did not give details about the investigation or the crimes allegedly committed by the former parish employee. It said it is “inappropriate” to comment on any investigation while it is ongoing.

The statement comes after the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the FBI had interviewed three priests and a former choir director from the diocese. The Wall Street Journal said the interviews related to purported financial fraud involving the diocese, but there was no indication of wrongdoing by any of the individuals.

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