Statement on Fr.. Marin-Cardona by Bishop Caggiano of Bridgeport
By Bishop Frank J. Caggiano
Diocese of Bridgeport
December 06, 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing to inform you that I have placed Reverend Jaime Marin-Cardona on Administrative Leave after being informed by state Department of Children and Families (DCF) that it has substantiated allegations of abuse after a lengthy investigation.
The Diocese of Bridgeport has fully cooperated with the investigation by DCF and with a parallel ongoing investigation underway by the Danbury Police Department.
The diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board has also met and accepted the determination of credibility reached by DCF. As a result, I have removed Father Marin-Cardona’s priestly faculties and prohibited him from engaging in public ministry.
Father Marin-Cardona has been a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport since 2010, with assignments at Saint Joseph Parish in Norwalk, Saint Charles Borromeo Parish in Bridgeport, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Danbury and, most recently, at Saint Mary Parish in Bridgeport.
The diocese initiated the investigation by sending a report to both the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Danbury Police in September 2019, when it received a letter indicating that parents were concerned by Father Marin-Cardona’s contact with a family member who is a minor.
At that time, I immediately removed Father Marin-Cardona from ministry, ordered him to move out of the parish to an adult facility and restricted contact with any minor during the investigation.
In the initial interviews, the parents as well as the victim indicated that no abuse had occurred, and as a result, DCF did not accept the report for further investigation. However, the police continued its investigation and based on information obtained, DCF and the Danbury Police both accepted the report for further investigation.
We are grateful that the parents came forward with their concerns, and we pledge to work with them in any way possible to bring about healing during this difficult time. Likewise, the vigilance of the parents and the pastor underline the importance of being aware of the warning signs of possible abuse and of diocesan Safe Environments Policies that are designed to protect children and lead to early intervention. The diocese is also grateful to the Danbury Police for their sensitivity and professionalism in handling the investigation.
This is deeply disturbing news for all involved, including you as parishioners. It is also distressing in light of our diocesan efforts to move forward in healing and reconciliation after the release of Judge Holzberg’s Accountability Report. However, the diocese remains committed to building on the significant child protection programs already underway and to further strengthen the procedures for immediate and transparent response to allegations and simultaneous reporting to both the police department and the Department of Children and Families.
Please know that you remain in my prayers, just as I ask yours during this difficult time.