Within the last year, an increasing number of New Jersey dioceses have released lists of Catholic priests “credibly accused” of sexual misconduct. The number of credibly accused priests is approaching 6,000 nationwide. ProPublica has compiled these lists into a searchable database. For the first time, individuals can view one source that combines names from approximately 180 diocesan lists.
In response to the ongoing clergy abuse crisis, many Catholic dioceses and almost two dozen religious orders throughout the country have released their own lists of clergy members credibly accused of sexual misconduct. The standards used to determine if a priest should be included on these lists varies by diocese. There is no uniform definition of “credibly accused” used by the Church, allowing each diocese to determine under what circumstances to add clergy members.
Survivor advocacy groups urged for the creation of a centralized database to eliminate the need to search individual databases to find specific priests. In the past, dioceses transferred or relocated priests suspected of abuse, making it difficult for survivors to locate their abusers. Eliminating the need to search individual diocesan databases allows more survivors to seek the justice they deserve.
ProPublica’s comprehensive list includes priests named on lists provided by several New Jersey dioceses. Among the 200 New Jersey priests are approximately 30 priests from the Paterson and Trenton dioceses and almost 60 priests each from the Camden and Newark dioceses. Over 10 priests from the Metuchen diocese also appear on the compiled list. Along with the accused offender’s name, the list includes the nature of the offense and the number of allegations made when information is available.
With recent changes to New Jersey’s statute of limitations, individuals who experienced the trauma of sexual abuse as children can file a civil lawsuit to hold sexual predators responsible for their misconduct. Survivors may be entitled to compensation. To protect your right to bring a claim against a clergy member for sexual abuse, contact an experienced clergy abuse lawyer to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.
If you or your loved one is a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, the experienced Camden clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar are here to help. We will work to protect your right to hold abusive priests, their superiors, and the Catholic Church responsible for the pain they have afflicted. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly represent clergy abuse survivors and their families throughout New Jersey. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 856-470-9777 or submit an online inquiry form.