Louis Edward Gelineau

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The Most Reverend
Louis Edward Gélineau
Bishop Emeritus of Providence
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Providence
In office January 26, 1972—June 11, 1997
Predecessor Russell McVinney
Successor Robert Edward Mulvee
Ordination June 5, 1954
Consecration January 26, 1972
Personal details
Born (1928-05-03) May 3, 1928 (age 88)
Burlington, Vermont

Louis Edward Gélineau (born May 3, 1928) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Providence from 1972 to 1997.


Louis Gelineau was born in Burlington, Vermont, to Leonidas and Juliette (née Baribault) Gelineau; he has an older brother, Robert.[1][2] After attending St. Joseph's Elementary School and Cathedral High School in Burlington, he studied at St. Michael's College for two years before beginning his studies for the priesthood at St. Paul's University in Ottawa, Ontario, from where he later obtained a Licentiate of Sacred Theology and a Bachelor of Philosophy.[3] He was ordained a priest on June 5, 1954,[4] and then served as assistant pastor at All Saints Parish in Richford (1954–1956) and at St. Stephen Parish in Winooski (1956–1957).[1]

Gelineau was sent to further his studies at the Catholic University of America in 1957, and later earned a Licentiate of Canon Law in 1959.[3] Returning to the Diocese of Burlington, he was named assistant chancellor of the Diocese and secretary and master of ceremonies to Bishop Robert Francis Joyce. He also served as director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and assistant chaplain at De Goesbriand Memorial Hospital.[1] He became chancellor of the Diocese in 1961 and was raised to the rank of Papal Chamberlain by Pope John XXIII. In 1968 he became vicar general of the Burlington Diocese and a Prelate of His Holiness.[1]

On December 6, 1971, Gelineau was appointed the sixth Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, by Pope Paul VI.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on January 26, 1972 from Bishop Joyce, with Bishops Bernard Joseph Flanagan and Edward Cornelius O'Leary serving as co-consecrators.[4] In 1988, Gelineau declared that removing a feeding tube from 48-year-old Marcia Gray, a comatose Rhode Island woman, "does not contradict Catholic moral theology," but emphasized that he "in no way supports or condones the practice of euthanasia."[5] He also opposed a 1985 ordinance for the city of Providence to protect homosexuals from discrimination in employment, housing, credit and access to public accommodations. He said, "Homosexual acts are contrary to God's command and contrary to his purpose in creating sex. To give support to this proposed legislation may easily be interpreted as supporting the homosexual lifestyle."[6] Later, in 1995, when the Rhode Island Senate passed a gay rights bill, Gelineau stated, "If [proposed legislation] seeks to afford protection from unjust discrimination, which is not now afforded under our laws, then those laws should be changed."[7]

Gélineau has long been accused of various forms of sexual misconduct. According to a 1997 deposition by Robert Cadorette,[8] Gélineau, while assigned to a Vermont orphanage in the 1950s, molested Cadorette as a boy several times and attempted to drown him later. In a 1997 deposition, he denied any sexual misdeeds with an altar boy in 1994.[9] Also, it is alleged that he was arrested by Massachusetts Highway Police for soliciting sex at a truck stop, with both police and a chaplain witnessing the incident. This led to his well-known moniker "truck stop Louie." [10]

Gelineau was also criticized for his management of sexual abuse allegations in the Providence Diocese.[11][12]

After a 25-year-long tenure, Gelineau resigned as Bishop on June 11, 1997.[4] He became chaplain at St. Antoine Residence in March 2004.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Most Reverend Louis E. Gelineau". Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. 
  2. ^ "Descendants of Elie (Elie the Jew) Juiellineau". Family Tree Maker. 
  3. ^ a b "Depositions of Louis E. Gelineau, Bishop of Providence". Timothy J. Conlon, Esq. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Bishop Louis Edward Gelineau". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. [self-published source]
  5. ^ Steinfels, Peter (1988-01-12). "Bishop Sees No Moral Issue If Feeding Ends in Coma Case". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "Providence Bill To Aid Homosexuals In Doubt". The New York Times. 1985-09-01. 
  7. ^ Dunlap, David W. (1995-05-20). "Rhode Island's Senate Sends Gay-Rights Bill to Governor". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ "Deposition of Robert Cadorette" (PDF). bishop-accountability.org. 21 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Bishop Louis Edward Gelineau". bishop-accountability.org. 21 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "A Tale of Two Bishops". RichardSipe.com. 21 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Carroll, Matt (2002-03-21). "Providence bishop ignored son's abuse report, mother says". The Boston Globe. 
  12. ^ Ericson, Jody (January 1997). "Bye-bye, Bishop". Providence Phoenix. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Russell McVinney
Bishop of Providence
Succeeded by
Robert Edward Mulvee