A recent report released in New Jersey identified over 300 clergy members credibly accused of sex abuse. Three New Jersey nuns appeared on the list. A former Paramus Catholic female student accused a member of the Sisters of Charity for clergy abuse that allegedly occurred in the late 1960s when she was fifteen. She received a settlement from the order as an adult in her 40s. Two men filed a suit against the Archdiocese of Newark and the nuns’ order, Pallottine Sisters, alleging both physical and sexual abuse while they resided at the Sacred Heart Orphanage in Kearny in the 1940s. Due to the statute of limitations, the case was thrown out of court in 2011. Since the nun in question was deceased, and the orphanage had been closed since the 1950s, it was hard to prove the allegations as well. The family of a woman accused a former nun at the Siena Catholic Church who purportedly abused their daughter in the 1960s. Although the family reported the incidents, and the nun was dismissed from her post, the family never filed a suit against the nun or other parties. Despite many years of counseling, the survivor committed suicide in 1989.
New Jersey dioceses do not include allegedly abusive nuns on their lists of credibly accused clergy members. The reason for this is that individual orders oversee nuns and not the dioceses. Failing to include every credibly accused clergy member, however, may limit the ability for clergy abuse survivors to get closure or pursue justice for the trauma they have experienced.
If you or someone you love dealt with clergy abuse as a child, our New Jersey clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar will dedicate their efforts to crafting a strong case on your behalf. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, please call us at 215-557-0099 or contact us online. From our offices in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.