New Jersey Abuse Survivors Group Asks Newark Roman Catholic Archbishop to Release Names of Church's Child Molesters

By Michaelangelo Conte
The Journa
September 7, 2010

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) asked Roman Catholic Archbishop of Newark, the Most Reverend John J. Myers on Aug. 27 to release the names of priests who are "proven, admitted or credibly accused" child molesters.

The letter written by SNAP members mentions the Rev. Eugene O'Brien, a Jesuit priest who was assigned to St. Peter's Prep in Downtown Jersey City in 1959, before being transferred to Fordham Prep School in the Bronx where he served from 1960 to 1980.

"We beg you to do this, to act like a compassionate shepherd, not a cold-hearted CEO," states the letter, which was hand-delivered to Archdiocese offices on Aug. 27 by SNAP's New Jersey State Director Mark Crawford.

"Two months ago, Pope Benedict (XVI) pledged to 'do everything possible' to prevent further child sex crimes. Yet many Catholic officials continue to ignore and conceal credible reports about predator priests," the letter says.

SNAP's letter says O'Brien was "'outed' as a credibly accused predator priest" by an October 2008 New York Times article that noted allegations brought by a man who claimed he was molested by O'Brien in the 1970s at Fordham Prep. The accuser won a $25,000 settlement in 1997, according to the story.

O'Brien was never charged criminally and could not be reached for comment.

Jim Horan, the vice president for planning and principal giving at St. Peter's Prep, said O'Brien was at St. Peter's Prep for the 1959-60 school year and taught Latin, English and religion. Horan added that there is no longer anyone at the school who worked with O'Brien.

O'Brien is a Jesuit priest and is not affiliated with the Archdiocese. Calls and an e-mail to the Jesuit Provincial office in Manhattan were not returned. Archdiocese of Newark spokesman Jim Goodness said he was aware the letter had been delivered and declined further comment.


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