More than 180 N.J. clerics named as accused abusers
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's five Roman Catholic dioceses listed more than 180 priests today who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors over a span of several decades, joining more than two dozen other states that have named suspected abusers in the wake of a landmark grand jury report in Pennsylvania last year.
The lists released identified priests and deacons who served in the dioceses of Camden, Trenton, Metuchen and Paterson and the archdiocese of Newark. Many priests on the lists are deceased, and others have been removed from ministry.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the archbishop of Newark, which listed 63 former priests, said in a statement that he hoped the disclosure "will help bring healing to those whose lives have been so deeply violated."
Camden's diocese listed 56 priests and one deacon; Trenton's diocese named 30 priests; the Paterson diocese listed 28; and Metuchen's diocese named nine plus two others who are currently the subject of civil investigations.
State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal formed a task force in the fall to conduct a criminal investigation into sexual abuse by clergy in the state, shortly after a Pennsylvania grand jury report identified over 300 predator priests and more than 1,000 victims in that state.
"While this is a positive first step toward 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," Grewal said in a statement.
Newark's list includes Theodore McCarrick, a former Newark archbishop who served as Washington, D.C., archbishop from 2000 to 2006. McCarrick was removed from public ministry in June.
The lists released by the diocese don't include details about specific allegations or when they are alleged to have happened; rather, any details about the named priests and the crimes of which they are accused come from court records or previously published reports.
Several priests who served in the Newark archdiocese have been accused of molesting boys as part of their volunteer work with Boy Scout troops, according to published reports. Others named in the release were arrested, convicted or pleaded guilty and were returned to service after probation or treatment, according to court records and published reports.