Pastor of parishes in New Middletown and Lowelville resigns over sexual relationship
The Rev. Lawrence Frient, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish, New Middletown, and canonical pastor of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Lowellville, has resigned after the Diocese of Youngstown received new information concerning an inappropriate sexual relationship with an adult married woman.
The diocese announced the resignation Saturday.
When the relationship was first reported to the diocese in July 2007, Frient assured the diocese that it was above board and maintained that his behavior was professional at all times, a news release on the resignation says.
On May 30, 2018, Delphine Baldwin-Casey, victim assistance coordinator for the diocese, was presented with new information that was not known in 2007, and that information was found credible. The relationship between Frient and the woman ended in 2010, the release says.
“What has happened is unacceptable,” Bishop George V. Murry said.
“These actions violate the promise he made at his ordination and the sacred bond of marriage. This news is very difficult to hear since Father Frient was present at some very important moments of people’s lives. People truly valued his ministry.”
Frient stated that “I have failed to remember my commitment as a priest, and for that I cannot apologize enough. I know that my actions have caused pain to so many people. I apologize and ask for forgiveness.”
The release said the diocese is committed to ensuring those serving parishioners are fit for ministry.
“Bishop Murry knows this news is very difficult, and he offers his assurance of prayers, solidarity and transparency,” the release says.