TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The Leon County Sheriff's Office is investigating child sex abuse allegations against a former Tallahassee priest and is urging victims to come forward.
Earlier this month, the Catholic Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee removed former Tallahassee priest Father Edward Jones as pastor of two churches in Wakulla County, following a credible allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor.
LCSO says they contacted church officials on two occasions and about potential victims. Investigators say, to date, no information about potential victims has been reported to them.
Now, they are urging anyone who believes they may have been victimized in this or any case, to come forward.
Jones was pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Crawfordville and Sacred Heart Parish in Lanark. The accusation against Jones stemmed from an incident that occurred 14 years ago, when he served as Parochial Vicar at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Tallahassee.
He served in the parish from 2003 to 2007.
If you believe you are a victim in this or any other case, you are asked to call LCSO at (850) 606-3600. They remind anyone in need of LCSO Victim Advocate services to call (850) 606-3487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Two churches in Wakulla County won't have their pastor on Sunday.
The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee removed Father Edward Jones after reportedly finding a credible allegation of sexual abuse.
To his congregations, he’s known as “Father Eddie.”
He used to serve at Blessed Sacrament in Tallahassee, but something happened 14 years ago when he was there that’s come to light this week.
A victim reached out to the diocese on Monday, accusing Father Edward Jones of inappropriate contact with a minor.
The diocese investigated the claim and found it credible.
Right now, this is the only allegation the diocese knows of against Father Eddie or any other serving clergy.
Still, the bishop of the diocese says abuse has no place in the church.
”I'm devastated and embarrassed and sometimes lost as well in the face of so much sin in the world, not just in this instance, but in all, we have to be people of hope," said Bishop Bill Wack of Roman Catholic Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. "We have to know how all of this ends. It ends in glory. It's just that we need to work harder to build up the kingdom of God here on earth."
Father Eddie served here from 2003 to 2007. The diocese says if anyone else has been abused by him or any other priest, they can, and should, come forward.
The diocese says it has priests who will fill-in at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Crawfordville and Sacred Heart Parish in Lanark.
The bishop says the diocese will also search to find a permanent replacement.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Tallahassee priest has been removed from his position at two local churches after allegations of inappropriate contact with a minor were found to be "credible."
According to the Catholic Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Father Edward Jones was removed as Pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Crawfordville and Sacred Heart Parish in Lanark.
The Catholic Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee received an accusation against Jones on Monday, alleging inappropriate contact with a minor involving Jones.
An investigation was then launched to determine whether or not this accusation was true. The allegations turned out to be "credible," according to officials, resulting in Jones' removal.
They say the accusation deals with an incident that occurred 14 years ago when Jones served as Parochial Vicar at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Tallahassee. He served in the parish for four years from 2003 to 2007.
Catholic Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee posted a statement on their website about the investigation:
"It is a priority in all of our parishes and schools to uphold the dignity of every person. We are deeply saddened when we learn of the alleged abuse of any vulnerable person. Bishop Wack expresses his sadness over the incident and offers the assistance of the Diocese to the victim and the victim’s family and friends who have over the years been affected by the inappropriate behavior. In light of this recent accusation, the Diocese wishes to appeal to anyone who has been abused by a priest to come forward. This Diocese is committed to stopping clergy abuse and appreciates your help in making that happen."
They encourage anyone who may have additional information to come forward to DCF by calling (800) 962-2873 or (800) 96ABUSE or local law enforcement.