Bishop Accountability


Priests with Substantiated Allegations: 25
Total Priests: 1,389 (calculated from percentage provided by diocese)
Substantiated Allegations: 43
Cost: $926,000 for victim counseling and settlements

See the Dallas Morning News database entry on Bishop John M. Smith. The June 2002 database examined the records of bishops and identified those who had allowed accused priests to continue working or had otherwise protected priests accused of sexual abuse. The database is relevant to the bishops' "Nature and Scope" study because the bishops who prepared the surveys for the study are in many cases responsible for the "scope" of the problem.

Trenton Diocese Announces Results of Sexual Abuse Survey
Information Included in National Study Released Today

TRENTON, N.J., February 27, 2003 – The Diocese of Trenton today announced it has released the results of its comprehensive survey of sexual abuse of minors by priests in the diocese over the past 50 years.

This information was provided to the study group at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, which was commissioned by the National Review Board established by the U.S. bishops. The results of the John Jay study, which aggregate the information for all dioceses in the country, were announced this morning at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

In addition, the National Review Board commissioned by the bishops in 2002 released the results of interviews with victims, parents, bishops and other interested parties from across the country.

For the study period from 1950 through June 2002, the review of records in the Diocese of Trenton found 43 substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors committed by a total of 25 priests. This number represents approximately 1.8 percent of the priests who served in the diocese over that period of time. The diocese has paid $926,000 in victim counseling and settlements.

The survey found that the majority of these acts were committed in the 1970s and 1980s and were actually reported to the diocese in the 1990s and through today.

Of the 25 priests found to have substantiated allegations, 16 were priests of the Diocese of Trenton and nine either belonged to a religious order or were priests from another diocese who were serving in Trenton.

For the 16 Trenton priests, five are deceased and 11 are no longer in ministry. For the nine others, the Diocese of Trenton removed them from their assignments, took away their priestly faculties within the Diocese of Trenton, and instructed them to return to their religious orders or native dioceses. The Diocese of Trenton also informed their superiors of the reasons for their removal from all ministry within the Diocese of Trenton.

“We are truly sorry for all the victims of abuse in the Diocese of Trenton and profoundly saddened for those who have been irreparably harmed because of these terrible acts perpetrated by members of the clergy over the past 50 years,” said the Most Reverend John M. Smith, Bishop of Trenton. “Reporting these numbers is another important step to continue the healing process and help restore trust as we move forward and implement new policies and procedures to protect our children.”

Bishop Smith will celebrate the 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 151 N. warren St., on Sunday, February 29, and will speak directly to congregants on the issue in his homily.

The Diocese of Trenton is the 20th largest diocese in the United States serving more than 750,000 Catholics in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties.



Steven Emery
908-872-2531 (cell)




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