St. Joseph's Pastor Removed from Ministry Amid Child Sex Allegation from 1970s
By John Patten
October 29, 2013
St. Joseph's Church Pastor, Msgr. Raymond Cole, has been removed from ministry as charges of a late 1970s child sexual abuse case are investigated, NJ.com reported.
According to the report, churchgoers were informed of the matter during the weekend Masses, when a letter from Metuchen Bishop Paul Bootkoski was read. In the letter, Bishop Bootkoski said the matter is under investigation by the diocese, and concerns an allegation dating to the time when Cole was an associate pastor at St. Mary Parish in South Amboy.
Bishop Bootkoski said Cole "steadfastly denies the charges against him," but added canon law requires the removal of a priest under when allegations have been determined to have a "semblance of truth."
The allegations were reported to have been investigated by a retired Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office detective and a panel of lay people and priests, called the Diocesan Review Board, who interviewed Cole and the unnamed individual making the charge.
Bishop Bootkoski said the case would be forwarded to the Vatican, and is likely to result in a canonical trial for Cole.