The Diocese of Bridgeport has learned that a lawsuit has been filed in Bridgeport Superior Court claiming the late Fr. Kiernan Ahern, a member of the Franciscan order, sexually abused a nine-year-old boy while serving as parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish in Bethel. Though the diocese has not received any notice of a lawsuit from Attorney Faxon and has not been formally served with a complaint related to a claim against the late Fr. Kieran, we are deeply disturbed by the allegations. The Diocese was not made aware of this claim at any time before learning of the lawsuit. The victim is not named.
Fr. Ahern, who served briefly in the Diocese, is included on the diocesan Credibly Accused Clergy list of Religious Order priests. He was removed from ministry in 1993 based on a single allegation and ultimately was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Though not a diocesan priest, he served at St Luke Parish in Westport (1986-90) and St Mary Parish, Bethel (1991-93). He passed away in 1997. Until the incident leading to his arrest in 1993, the diocese was unaware of any other allegations concerning Kieran Ahern related to minors. He was promptly removed from ministry at that time.
The Diocese of Bridgeport deeply regrets the suffering of victims of sexual abuse and we pledge to work toward healing and justice with survivors and their families. The diocese also maintains zero tolerance of child abuse through its Safe Environments policy and other actions to safeguard the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults. The diocese urges anyone with concerns or information concerning the sexual abuse of minors to come forward immediately by calling the office of Safe Environments at: (203) 416-1406, the Survivor and Witness Hotline: (833) 990-0004 or emailing • www.lighthouse-services.com/diobpt or https://www.bridgeportdiocese.org/safe-environments/incident-report-of-an-allegation-of-abuse-or-misconduct/ All calls are confidential.