February 20, 2018
A priest of the Diocese of Des Moines has been suspended indefinitely following an allegation of a serious violation of boundary issues related to unwelcome advances toward an adult.
Immediately after hearing of the allegation early Tuesday morning, Bishop Richard Pates had law enforcement notified in Council Bluffs. He also suspended Father Carlos Pineda Gomez, who serves as parochial vicar of Corpus Christi Parish in Council Bluffs. While suspended, Father Pineda may not engage in public ministry including celebrating Mass or sacraments, nor may he go to the parish office, St. Albert Catholic Schools or the parish religious education program.
Before further action is taken with Father Pineda, an investigation into allegations will be taken by appropriate authorities.
The diocese encourages anyone with allegations of abuse by clergy to contact their local police department or diocesan Victim Assistance Advocate Sherry Knox at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or 515-286-2028. She can assist the person with making a complaint, receiving support and counseling services.
“On behalf of the Diocese of Des Moines, I wish to extend my prayers and sincere apology to any person who has been victimized,” said Bishop Richard Pates. “During this Lenten season, I ask you to keep in your prayer all victims of abuse, the Corpus Christi Parish community, and Father Pineda.”
Father Pineda was ordained by Bishop Pates in December 2016. Before ordination, he served a pastoral year at St. Patrick Church in Council Bluffs and as a transitional deacon was assigned to Christ the King Parish in Des Moines. After ordination, he was assigned to serve Corpus Christi Parish in Council Bluffs.
The Diocese of Des Moines includes 80 parishes in 23 counties in central and southwest Iowa.