Child abuse allegations made against priest in Danbury, diocese says
By Peter Yankowski
December 8, 2019
|Jaime Marin-Cardona, 42, a native of Medellin Colombia, is one of four men who will be ordained as a priest in the Bridgeport Diocese Saturday during a ceremony at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport.|
Photo by Karen Leffler
The Diocese of Bridgeport has stripped a priest of his job following allegations of abuse made to the state and as part of a parallel “ongoing investigation” by Danbury police.
The Rev. Jaime Marin-Cardona has been removed from his priestly duties and is prohibited from “engaging in public ministry,” Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said in a statement Friday, after the clergy’s Sexual Misconduct Review Board learned the state found the accusations credible.
The allegations against Marin-Cardona came to light in September, after the diocese received a letter indicating that “parents were concerned by Father Marin-Cardona’s contact with a family member who is a minor,” the bishop said.
The organization then contacted Danbury police and the state Department of Children and Families.
Marin-Cardona declined to comment when reached by phone Sunday.
“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,” Caggiano said.
“However, the police continued its investigation and based on information obtained, DCF and the Danbury Police both accepted the report for further investigation,” he added.
Danbury police Chief Patrick Ridenhour confirmed there is an investigation into the allegations, but said no arrest has been made yet.
The bishop said as soon as the allegations were known, Marin-Cardona was removed from ministry and ordered to move out of the parish “to an adult facility,” and was restricted from contact with any minors while the investigation was ongoing.
Marin-Cardona, originally from Medellin, Columbia, joined the Bridgeport Diocese nearly a decade ago, and most recently served at Saint Mary Parish in Bridgeport, Caggiano said.
He served at Our Lady of Guadalupe on Golden Hill Road in Danbury, and also previously worked at Saint Joseph Parish in Norwalk, and Saint Charles Borromeo Parish in Bridgeport, the bishop said.
News of the allegations comes at the heels of a sweeping report released in October that detailed how two Bridgeport diocese bishops failed to report instances of child abuse to law enforcement, and disclosed that 281 victims of abuse had been found dating back more than six decades.
Caggiano acknowledged that report in his statement on the investigations into Marin-Cardona, calling the new allegations “distressing in light of our diocesan efforts to move forward in healing and reconciliation after the release of Judge Holzberg’s Accountability Report.”
He said the organization remains “committed to building on the significant child protection programs already underway,” and to improving how it reports allegations of abuse to both police and the Department of Children and Families.
“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,” Caggiano said.