Deacon Under Investigation in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee
(For Immediate Release February 8, 2023)
A Catholic deacon from the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee is being investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families. SNAP urges the Diocese to be completely open and transparent about the nature of the complaints against the deacon.
Michele Kenaga, principal of Little Flower Catholic School in Pensacola, recently posted a letter notifying the parents and guardians of children at the school of this development. She wrote, "On Thursday, February 2, Little Flower Catholic School received a complaint from three students regarding Deacon Tom Gordon. It is currently being investigated, and we will let you know when more information is available. At this time, Deacon Gordon is not serving in ministry until we receive the outcome of the investigation. The protection and safety of our children are of the utmost importance to all our families at Little Flower Catholic School and Parish."
The Diocese also provided a statement to WKRG News 5 saying, “Sexual misconduct by church clergy, employees and volunteers violates human dignity and the mission of the Catholic Church. The spiritual well-being of all victims, their families, and others in the community is of particular concern to the Church.”
We consider it a great sign when affected students report their concerns to people that they trust, and those people act on those concerns. However, we call on Church officials from the Diocese and administrators at the church and school to be completely transparent with parishioners and the public as to the nature of the three complaints.
We also encourage anyone who may have seen, suffered, or suspected wrongdoing by Deacon Gordon or any other staffer in the Diocese to come forward and report to law enforcement. Speaking out is the first step on the road to healing.
CONTACT: Gene Rosenquest , SNAP Leader Florida (407-668-1801 [email protected]) Sally Zakhari , SNAP Leader Florida (407-758-4874 [email protected]) Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manage,( [email protected], 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)