Local deacon resigns after molestation charges
A deacon at St. Thomas More Church has resigned from the church and Diocese of Phoenix Diocese after being accused of sexual abuse of a minor.
Ron Gonzalez, 62, assisted at St. Thomas More Parish since 2003 and was officially assigned to the parish in January 2011. He was named parish manager in May 2013.
Gonzalez resigned from the church Aug. 14 and the Diocese of Phoenix stated that, “Gonzalez’s faculties to function in the ministry within the Diocese of Phoenix have been revoked and he is no longer employed by the parish.”
The alleged incidents stem from events in Texas and Pennsylvania, 15 to 20 years ago, prior to Gonzalez moving to Arizona.
The diocese said that there have been no reported allegations or incidents of any wrongdoing at St. Thomas More or elsewhere within the diocese.
Gonzalez was a chaplain for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA. from 1983 to 1999, and a supervisory chaplain for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the Diocese of Phoenix from 1999 to 2010.
Father Jim Turner, head of St. Thomas More Church, said in a letter to his congregation that, “We have absolutely no reason to believe that (Gonzalez) has engaged in any inappropriate behavior while serving at St. Thomas More or in the state of Arizona.”
Turner said he shared the information with the church staff and everyone was devastated by what had transpired.
“I remain grateful for the gifts and talents (Gonzalez) shared with the members of our parish community even as I am saddened and shocked by this sudden turn of events,” Turner wrote.
Gonzalez was out of the state and could not be reached for comment.