FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — The pastor of a Fort Wayne church is facing allegations of child sex abuse that occurred two decades ago that are now surfacing.
The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend says that Rev. Joseph Gaughan, who is the pastor of Most Precious Church on 1515 Barthold St. is being "credibly accused" of sexual abuse of a minor.
The alleged abuse happened more than 20 years ago while he was the associate pastor at Saint Anthony de Padua Parish in South Bend.
Officals say they were notified of the allegations against Gaughan last week on Dec. 10.
As of Monday afternoon, Rev. Joseph Gaughan was no longer listed on the parish's website as a staff member and was placed on administrative leave.
The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend says it "stands firm in its commitment to investigate any allegation of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy and to listen to and support anyone who has been abused."
If you or somoene you know might be a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the Fort Wayne-SouthBend clergy you can contact Mary Glowaski, Victim's Assistance Coordinator by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 260-399-1458.
You can also call Rev. Mark Gurtner, Vicar General at 260-399-1422.
Here is the full statement released to FOX 55:
"On December 10, 2019, the Diocese of Fort-Wayne South Bend received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor which has been lodged against Father Joseph Gaughan. Father Gaughan most recently served as the pastor of Most Precious Blood Parish in Fort Wayne.
However, the abuse is alleged to have occurred over 20 years ago while he was the associate pastor at Saint Anthony de Padua Parish in South Bend. The Diocese has determined the allegation to be credible and has informed civil authorities.
The case is being sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in Rome for adjudication. As required by canon law, Father Gaughan has been placed on administrative leave.
Please know, however, that Father Gaughan is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. The Diocese is following the Church’s required protocols from the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People for responding effectively, appropriately, and compassionately to all allegations of sexual abuse of minors.
We are committed to providing a safe environment for all people, especially the young and vulnerable. The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend extends our heartfelt prayers to all who are affected by this news."
The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office has confirmed that their Special Victims Unit will investigate this case.