A priest accused of violating a church policy of contact with minors has resigned rather than seek additional treatment, according to a statement from Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.
The Rev. Frank Gomez, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Bridgeport since 2015, was removed as pastor of the city’s largest parish, for what Caggiano said was violating the diocese’s policies on contact with children.
Gomez has been receiving treatment in Pennsylvania since July 19, but notified Caggiano of his decision to resign rather than undergo continued treatment at a Canadian facility that was suggested by a group of professionals caring for him, the Bishop said.
“Unfortunately Father Gomez informed me that he would not admit himself to Southdown and furthermore informed me that after discernment and consultation, he has decided to leave priestly ministry permanently,” Caggiano said in the statement.
In the statement or decree that effectively removes Gomez from the priesthood, the Bishop said concerns about Gomez’s behavior were brought to him earlier in the summer but did not include any illegal behavior.
"The violations to the code of conduct consisted of the following: Texting of minors over a significant period of time without parental knowledge or consent, offering gifts to minors without prior parental consent and some physical interaction that, while not sexual in nature, made both the minors and adults present uncomfortable," the Bishop wrote.
Gomez also served as the bishop’s secretary and was the head of the city’s 11 parishes.
The Bishop also announced, that in response to the national priest sexual abuse issue, he will lead a Holy Hour with Rosary and a Mass of Reparation and Purification on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Cathedral of St. Augustine, in Bridgeport.
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