New Jersey dioceses name nearly 200 clergy accused of sexual abuse

David Madden
February 13, 2019 - 12:19 pm
Roman Catholic priest
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UPDATED: 2 p.m.

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CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey Catholic churches have released the names of almost 200 priests and deacons deemed to be "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors with cases dating back decades.

The Diocese of Camden has reported 57 cases. Of those, 38 of the accused from Camden to Cape May are dead. The rest are no longer in ministry, although two cannot be accounted for.

In the Diocese of Trenton, which includes Burlington County, another 30 are being reported, 17 of whom have passed away, and 13 of whom have been removed from their priestly duties.

Camden Bishop Dennis Sullivan will address the laity via a video to be played at masses this weekend.

The top Catholic official in the state, Newark Archbishop Cardinal Joseph Tobin, released a video online after naming 63 men in his archdiocese whose accusations were found to be credible.

"It is our sincerest hope that this disclosure will help bring healing to those whose lives have been so deeply violated," the cardinal said. "We also pray that this can serve as an initial step in our efforts to help restore your trust in the leadership of the Catholic Church."

An independent panel will consider compensation claims from victims.

RELATED: 5 NJ Catholic dioceses finance compensation fund for abuse victims

"While no degree of financial compensation can adequately address the suffering endured, we want this to be a genuine expression of our remorse and our desire to comfort and compensate those victimized by this abuse," Tobin added.

The Diocese of Paterson released 28 names, and the Diocese of Metuchen released 11.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has been looking into the history of priestly sex abuse for months. Grewal issued a statement after the church’s release:

"In September 2018, I established a statewide task force to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic dioceses of New Jersey. I am pleased to see that our task force’s grand jury investigation has prompted the dioceses to finally take some measures to hold predator priests accountable.

"While this is a positive first step towards transparency and accountability, I hope this spirit of openness continues during the course of our ongoing investigation and in response to our requests for records and information."

"Despite the recent actions by the dioceses, our investigation remains ongoing. because no institution or individual is immune from accountability. We know from the hundreds of calls that we have received over our tip line that there are many others who were abused as children and as adults, both by diocesan clergy and clergy members in various religious orders.  The investigative work of the task force continues so that we may assure that all survivors of clergy abuse are heard and all abusers and institutions are held accountable for their acts. To this end, we anticipate taking criminal action wherever appropriate and releasing comprehensive information at the conclusion of our investigation.

"We urge survivors and others with information to contact our toll-free tip line, 855-363-6548, which is staffed by trained professionals on a 24/7 basis."