BRIDGEPORT—The Rev. Frank Gomez, pastor of the city’s largest parish and right-hand man to Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, has been put on leave for violating the diocese’s sexual abuse policies, diocese officials confirmed Thursday.
Gomez’s removal was announced earlier this week to parishioners at St. Charles Borromeo Church on East Main Street where he has served as pastor since April 2015.
“Late last month, I met with some members of Saint Charles Parish, who raised some concerns about Father Gomez’ behavior over the last six months that involved boundary violations with minors. While there was no accusation of any immoral or illegal actions on the part of Father Gomez, he had clearly made some decisions that violated the diocesan code of conduct with regards to safe environment policies,” the bishop stated in a letter to St. Charles’ parishioners.
“I immediately spoke with Father Gomez, who admitted that he had made some poor choices and indicated that he had been experiencing some personal difficulties, further exacerbated by a demanding workload. Therefore, Fr. Frank was assigned to take up residence at a healthcare facility for clergy to address certain personal issues while stepping away from active ministry,” the letter states.
The bishop stated that the diocese’s inquiry into the did not reveal any illegal or immoral conduct on Gomez’s part.
It comes just days after the bishop, in an open letter to parishioners of the diocese stated he has been made sick to his stomach regarding the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing years of alleged abuse by priests there.
In February, Caggiano appointed Gomez the head of the city’s 11 parishes and St. Margaret Shrine as part of a diocese reorganization.
“May you become another sign of unity and fraternity in the diocese,” the bishop said during the installation ceremony.
The Rev. Gomez was born and raised in Puebla, Mexico, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Bridgeport, on May 16, 2009.
Bishop Caggiano appointed him pastor of Saint Charles Borromeo Parish, the largest parish in the city, in April 2015. He also serves as the Episcopal Master of Ceremonies/Secretary to the Bishop of Bridgeport.
St. Charles Parish was founded in 1902. It is now the home of a large Spanish-speaking, Brazilian, and Haitian community. The upper church, dedicated in 1925, seats 1,400 worshippers, making it one of the largest in the diocese. It is located at 1279 East Main Street in Bridgeport.