February 13, 2019
New Jersey’s five Catholic dioceses released the names Wednesday of more than 180 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.
The 57 credibly accused clergy members of the Camden Diocese – which covers South Jersey in its entirety – are all either now out of the diocese or deceased. Of the diocese’s 57 members, 39 clergy members had stops in Camden, 24 had stops in Cherry Hill, and 16 had stops in Atlantic City, among other parish assignments during their careers.
In a statement released Wednesday, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal — who last September established a statewide task force to investigate sexual abuse by clergy members — called the release of the 187 names “a positive first step towards transparency and 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,” Grewal said in his statement. “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.”
Grewal established the state’s task force after a bombshell grand jury report named more than 300 priests accused of sexual abuse across Pennsylvania.
Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden said in a statement “the darkest stain on the Catholic Church in the last century was the sexual abuse of minors by priests.”
Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton said in a statement that he releases his diocese’s list with “the greatest sadness and with a heavy heart,” and that the Diocese of Trenton’s preliminary list will be updated as more information becomes available.
Bishop James F. Checchio of Metuchen said in a statement that he believes “the measures we are now taking are part of the continuing process to build a healthy and transparent culture of life in our parishes and institutions.”
Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson said in a statement that releasing the list is important to “recognize the great harm done by persons who were supposed to represent Christ to the world and instead committed heinous acts against minors.”
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark said in a statement that he “expressed genuine sorrow and regret to the victims who put their trust in a member of the Church only to have that trust so profoundly betrayed.”
The phone number for New Jersey’s Clergy Abuse Hotline is (855) 363-6548.