Area Priest Accused Of Abuse
A Fort Wayne priest is on administrative leave after a sexual abuse allegation was made against him.
According to a statement from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Fr. Joseph Gaughan was accused of sexually abusing a minor while serving at St. Anthony de Padua parish in South Bend over 20 years ago.
Gaughan is currently listed as the pastor at Most Precious Blood parish in Fort Wayne.
The case has been 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, according to a release from diocesan officials.
The diocese considers the allegation to be credible, and has told authorities in South Bend. Officials also stress that Gaughan is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
According to an article earlier this year in Today’s Catholic, Gaughan is a Fort Wayne native and was ordained in 1994. He graduated from what was then Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and was going to be a teacher.
He told the magazine he felt called to the priesthood and enrolled at St. John’s Seminary in Boston. St. Anthony de Padua parish was his first posting as a priest and he served there for more than five years.
Gaughan then served at St. Vincent de Paul parish in Fort Wayne for six years, and has been at Most Precious Blood for the past 14 years, according to the article.