NJ Priests Accused Of Sex Abuse To Be Named: Here Are 9 We Know
By Tom Davis
Leaders of the Catholic Church in New Jersey said they will reveal the names to help "aid in the process of healing for victims."
November 20, 2018
Leaders of the Catholic Church in New Jersey announced this week they will soon reveal the names of priests "credibly accused" of child sex abuse to help victims heal as more revealations have been made in recent months.
Indeed, at least nine members of the clergy with ties to New Jersey have faced allegations of child sex abuse in revent years. Nearly all of them were either sanctioned by the church, charged with a crime or both. Patch has the list below.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, the archbishop of Newark, announced Monday that the Roman Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey will undertake a complete review of their files so that, early next year, the names of all priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of minors will be made public.
The dioceses will undertake this action in coordination with the Attorney General of New Jersey's ongoing task force examining the issue of clergy sexual abuse. The revelation could be made by the end of the year.
"It is hoped that these steps will aid in the process of healing for victims, who are deserving of our support and prayers," according to a statement from Tobin's office.
In the same statement, the Archdiocese of Newark and the Dioceses of Camden, Trenton, Paterson and Metuchen said they are committed to the establishment of a "Victim Compensation and Counseling Program."
This program will provide the resources to compensate those victims of child sexual abuse by clergy and employees of the Dioceses in New Jersey whose financial claims are legally barred by New Jersey's statute of limitations, accordng to the statement.
Tobin 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 requirements of the statute of limitations.
Earlier this year, four Catholic priests with New Jersey ties were accused of child sex abuse in a scathing grand jury report released in Pennsylvania. The report, which took the grand jury years to compile and was released after a state Supreme Court battle, details the alleged widespread sexual abuse of more than 1,000 child victims by 300 "predator" priests in six of Pennsylvania's eight dioceses.
The grand jury alleged thousands of child victims were manipulated by priests, often with alcohol or pornography. In many cases they were raped, and in nearly every case they were brushed aside by church leaders "who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all," the grand jury report states.
The following priests with New Jersey ties are included in the report:
The Rev. John P. Connor (Francis of Assisi, Vineland; St. Mary, Gloucester, St. Rose of Lima, Haddon Heights; Paul VI High School, Haddon Township; Bishop Eustace Preparatory, Pennsauken.)
Rev. Augustine Giella (Holy Trinity Church, Hackensack; Our Lady of Sorrows, Jersey City; Church of the Epiphany, Cliffside Park; St. Catherine's, Glen Rock)
The. Rev. James Hopkins (transfered to the Diocese of Camden in 1973)
The Rev. A. Gregory Uhrig (worked as an assistant at St. Francis Cathedral in Metuchen in the 1985 and 1986 )
Here are the other members of the clergy with ties to New Jersey have faced allegations of child sex abuse in revent years:
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Newark, the founding Bishop of Metuchen and Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C., was removed from the ministry earlier this year after allegations that he abused a teen 50 years ago came to light, church leaders announced. The alleged sexual misconduct resulted in settlements.
Kevin Gugliotta, 55, of Mahwah was sentenced to 11 and a half to 23 and a half months in the Wayne County Pennsylvania Jail last year after pleading guilty to one count of dissemination of photos/film of child sex acts. He must also register as a sex offender for 25 years. He faced a maximum potential sentence of seven years.
Marukudiyil Velan, a former Visitation Roman Catholic Church priest in Brick accused of molesting two children, was acquitted on those charges by an Ocean County jury in 2014. However, a jury of six men and six women found Velan, better known as "Father Chris," guilty of criminal sexual contact with the children's mother.
The Rev. Romannilo Apura, 67, a priest at St. Martha's Catholic Church in Point Pleasant Boro, was charged in 2014 with engaging in sexual contact with a teenage boy in Trenton, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor's office. Apura was arrested at his residence at St. Martha Parish by detectives with the Mercer County Prosecutor's Special Victims Unit, said Casey DeBlasio, spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, in a news release. He eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual contact.
Former Wyckoff Priest Michael Fugee, who admitted to sexually abusing a township teenage boy in 2001, was defrocked in 2014, NorthJersey.com reported. According to the report, an archdiocese spokesperson said that the Vatican has returned Fugee to a lay state. He had been a priest for 20 years, the report said.