Ousted Trenton-Area Priest Accused of Molesting More Boys

By Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
The Trentonian
February 21, 2011

TRENTON Father Terence O. McAlinden, who was ousted from the Diocese of Trenton's ministry in 2007 on allegations he sexually abused a Catholic boy, is now being publicly accused of molesting at least two more boys several decades ago.

Patrick Newcombe, 43, of North Carolina and formerly of Ocean County, and The College of New Jersey alum Bob Markulic, 56, of Warren County, on Monday came forward with allegations they were abused by Father Mac.

Newcombe and Markulic announced their allegations in front of Saint Theresa's Roman Catholic Church in Little Egg Harbor Township a church that McAlinden helped build in a community that remains largely supportive of Father Mac despite him being evicted from the ministry.

McAlinden, who is said to be 70-something, was removed from the Diocese of Trenton's ministry in 2007 when Chris Naples, 39, of Burlington County, reported that McAlinden sexually abused him over a number of years.

Father Mac was closely involved with Trenton's Catholic Youth Organization in the 1970s and "had access to thousands and thousands of children," Markulic said of McAlinden. "We want him defrocked."

Describing him as a "pedophile," Markulic said McAlinden lives in a Little Egg Harbor house near Saint Theresa's. Markulic also voiced displeasure with McAlinden still carrying the "priest" title. "Almost three years now and they still don't have him defrocked," Markulic said.

The diocese said the case against McAlinden has been reviewed and that "instruction has been elicited from the Holy See for possible canonical action, which could include an ecclesiastical trial and permanent removal from the clerical state, (also known as laicization), in which Father McAlinden would cease to be a priest."

The Diocese of Trenton said Naples in 2007 was the first alleged victim to report McAlinden for alleged abuse.

But in Monday's press conference, Newcombe said he reported his alleged abuse to a Trenton diocese monsignor in 1989 well before Naples came forward in 2007 and Newcombe said he was awarded a settlement in 1992 that paid him to keep his mouth shut. According to Markulic, Newcombe is no longer obliged to remain silent.

The Diocese of Trenton on Monday maintained its position, saying, "There is nothing in any of the records, including correspondence from Mr. Newcombe and his representatives, that makes any reference to Father McAlinden. The context and content of the conversation Mr. Newcombe may have had with the diocese about Father McAlinden 20 years ago remains unclear."

Diocese of Trenton spokesperson Rayanne Bennett also said McAlinden "is expected to face a canonical trial within a few months, though it is not clear at this time how the new allegations will impact the timeline. That trial could lead to Father McAlinden's permanent removal from the clerical state also known as defrocking or laicization."

Alleged victims Naples, Newcombe and Markulic on Monday joined forces with the Rev. Robert Hoatson's Road to Recovery group and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests to speak out against Father Mac in front of the Little Egg Harbor church he once led.

Markulic told The Trentonian he will soon officially report his abuse allegations to a church investigator and predicted more alleged victims will come out of the woodwork to accuse McAlinden of sexual abuse that allegedly occurred a long time ago.

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