A priest, who served for a short time in the 1960s at St. Francis Catholic Church in Brainerd, has been recently accused of past sexual misconduct with a minor child while he served at the church, it was learned Sunday.
Father Tony Wroblewski shared the news Sunday with parishioners at Mass. St. Francis received a letter dated Thursday from the Rev. Paul D. Sirba, the Bishop of Duluth. Sirba wrote the Diocese of Duluth were notified that a "notice of claim" was recently filed against Father Charles Joseph Gormly on behalf of his alleged victim who accused him of past sexual misconduct.
Gormly, who died in 1968, was born in Ireland and ordained for the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyo., but also briefly served in the Diocese of Duluth. Gormly worked in the Duluth Diocese as a priest from 1960-61 and served at St. Francis in Brainerd, St. Raphael, St. Lawrence and St. James in Duluth.
In Sirba's letter, he wrote: "I deeply regret the long-lasting and devastating effects of sexual misconduct on the part of clergy and am completely committed to assisting its victims and preventing any recurrence of these crimes. I ask you to join me in prayer for all those who have been wounded by sexual misconduct on the part of the clergy."
Since 1992, the Diocese of Duluth has had a sexual misconduct policy in place. Sirba encourages anyone who suffered sexual abuse by a clergy to report it to the civil authorities and to the diocese in Duluth at 218-724-9111.