A priest who once worked at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Padanaram is among those added to the list of “credibly accused” clergy in the Diocese of Fall River last week.
The diocese said the Reverend John Gomes, who retired from St. Mary’s in 2012, is accused of sexually abusing a minor.
The alleged abuse happened “decades ago” and did not occur at St. Mary’s or involve the parish, Reverend David Frederici said.
Gomes also served in Fall River, Somerset and Taunton, according to the diocese.
The news comes just weeks after the Diocese of Fall River announced that another former St. Mary’s pastor, the Reverend Rodney Thibault, had been placed on administrative leave following an investigation into alleged misconduct.
“We are again painfully reminded that human beings, in the Church, in government or in society at large, are not perfect and are in fact capable of horrible things,” Frederici said in a statement to the congregation. Sainte Marie.
He added that all clergy, staff and volunteers are required to submit to a criminal background check, sign a code of conduct and participate in regular training on child protection and youth.
Following the “credible accusations,” the Diocese of Fall River said Gomes was prohibited from providing spiritual direction, wearing office attire or representing himself as a priest.
Anyone with concerns about the conduct of a priest, staff member or volunteer affiliated with the Diocese is encouraged to contact Director of Environmental Safety and Victim Assistance Carolyn Shipp at (508) 985-6508 by sending an email to [email protected]