NEW JERSEY – Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the Archbishop of Newark, announced today that the Dioceses of New Jersey will soon release the names of all priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.
The Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey are under a complete review of files. The complete review is coordinated with the Attorney General of New Jersey’s ongoing task force to examine the issue of clergy abuse. The task force was launched in September.
“It is hoped that these steps will aid in the process of healing for victims, who are deserving of our support and prayers,” a press announcement released by the Archdiocese of Newark said.
The report comes after a two-year investigation into Pennsylvania’s Dioceses. That report found more than seventy years worth of evidence pointing to abuse cover-ups by clergy.
300 priests were implicated in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, including at least four priests who spent time ministering to Catholics in New Jersey.
In addition to the investigation, the Archdiocese of Newark is also establishing a Victim Compensation and Counseling Program. The details of this program are still be finalized, but the program will provide resources for victims of child abuse by clergy and employees of the Dioceses in New Jersey.
“This will give victims a formal voice and allow them to be heard by an independent panel,” the press release continued. “The Cardinal said the Program also will assure that victims who have not received any financial compensation will be paid, regardless of whether their claims meet the time requirement of the statute of limitations.”
Up to this point, the Catholic Church in New Jersey has provided fifty million dollars for financial settlements for victims of abuse. A majority of these claims were barred by the statute of limitations.
“The program also will be a resource to provide permanent funding for necessary counseling to those who have been victimized. Such counseling so often is needed to help in the healing of those who have been harmed,” the press release stated.
“We know people are unhappy and shocked and saddened by the events of this past summer,” Jim Goodness said in an interview this week. Goodness is the spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark. “This is one of ways we are trying to address this — with transparency and honestly to let everyone know we in fact take the matter very seriously and are taking action.”