The Pastor of St. Catharine Parish in Holmdel has been accused of the sexual abuse of a minor, according to the Catholic Diocese of Trenton and Bishop David O'Connell.

The Diocese said they received the allegation of sexual abuse on March 17, 2019 against Reverend Monsignor Gregory D. Vaughan who has been the pastor at St. Catharine's since 2013.

The alleged abuse dates back to the late 1970's and early 1980's when Monsignor Vaughan was a parochial vicar (assistant parish priest) at St. Ann Parish in Keansburg.

Upon receiving this allegation, the Diocese immediately reported it to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

"Following our own interviews with the victim, the Diocese has determined that the allegation is credible. In the interest of protecting the victim’s privacy, the Diocese will not disclose further details of the alleged abuse.This is the first and only allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Msgr. Vaughan reported to the Diocese," The DOT said in a statement.

Monsignor Vaughan has denied the allegation, according to the Diocese.

As a result of finding the allegation credible, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has removed Msgr. Vaughan from ministry, effective immediately.

The allegation is also being reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

Since his ordination in 1972, Monsignor Vaughan has served his priestly ministry exclusively in the Diocese of Trenton, with assignments at St. Ann in Keansburg, St. Charles Borromeo in Cinnaminson, St. Mary in Middletown, St. Raphael in Hamilton and St. Catharine in Holmdel.

Monsignor Vaughan formerly served the Diocese as vicar for Catholic education (CCD) chancellor, vicar general, moderator of the curia and director of vocations.

The Diocese of Trenton plans to post this notice in all the parishes where Monsignor Vaughan had served over the years.

"We ask the faithful of the Diocese to remember in prayer all those impacted by this alleged abuse, and all victims who have been harmed as children by abuse of any kind."

The Diocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused as a minor by a representative of the Church to report the abuse to the appropriate law enforcement agency, and to the Diocese through its abuse hotline: 1-888-296-2965 or via email at abuseline@dioceseoftrenton.org.

A request for comment to the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office has not yet been returned.

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