Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, announced today that the Archdiocese of Newark and the Dioceses of Camden, Trenton, Paterson and Metuchen are committed to the establishment of a Victim Compensation and Counseling Program. The details and mechanics of this Program will be finalized after consultation with – and input from – all stakeholders, and will be released when they are available.
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. This will give victims a formal voice and allow them to be heard by an independent panel. The Cardinal said that 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. This initiative will expand on the current arrangement through which the Catholic Church in New Jersey already has provided some fifty million dollars in financial settlements to victims of abuse. The vast majority of these claims had been barred by the statute of limitations.
The Program also will be a resource to provide permanent funding for necessary counseling to those who have been victimized. Such counseling so often is needed to help in the healing of those who have been harmed.
Cardinal Tobin also announced 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. It is hoped that these steps will aid in the process of healing for victims, who are deserving of our support and prayers.
Statement of the Diocese of Camden regarding announcement on New Jersey Dioceses’ establishment of Victim Compensation and Counseling Program
Bishop Dennis Sullivan of the Diocese of Camden thanks Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, for unifying the responses of all dioceses in the State of New Jersey for the benefit of victims of clergy sexual abuse.
The Diocese of Camden has, for decades, created policies, procedures and preventative education for children and adults to directly address the horror of sexual abuse perpetrated against minors in South Jersey. The decision to unify the response of all dioceses in New Jersey is another step in these efforts.
The Diocese of Camden continues to comply with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) established with the Attorney General of New Jersey and all county prosecutors for reporting sexual offenses, including cases that occurred before 2002 when the MOU was enacted. Furthermore, the diocese continues to respond to all requests from the New Jersey Attorney General’s special task force on Catholic clergy sexual abuse.
The Diocese of Camden remains committed to responding to all credible accusations of sexual abuse, irrespective of any statute of limitations. Additionally, the diocese has made it an imperative to provide professional counseling for all those who seek it.
At the direction of Bishop Sullivan, the Diocese of Camden is undertaking a new review of all clergy personnel files in preparation for an announcement in early 2019, with the other diocese of New Jersey, of all clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse against minors.
The bishops, clergy and laity of New Jersey remain committed to ensuring a safe environment for all people.