Fr. Timothy J. Brennan – Diocese of Paterson

Father Timothy J. Brennan 

Diocese of Paterson

Ordained: 1980

Removed: 2002

Died: 2019

Assigned as follows:

  • 1979-1994      St. Mary’s Abbey (Morristown, NJ)
  • 1992-1994      St. Mary’s of the Lake (Lakewood, NJ) 
  • 1996-2018      St. Mary’s Abbey (Morristown, NJ)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Timothy J. Brennan:

According to media reports, in 1987, Father Timothy J. Brennan, a Benedictine monk, pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy at St. Mary’s Abbey on the Delbarton School campus in 1984. Prosecutors said he showed the victim pornography and urged him to masturbate in front of the monk. Court papers said the victim was between 13 and 15 at the time. 

“I was embarrassed, and I blamed myself,” the victim said. “I didn’t really realize the extent of what had happened to me.”

Father Brennan was placed on one year probation, charged a $30 fine and was sent to Washington, DC for six months for treatment in a facility for clergy sex offenders. The case was resolved with a confidentiality agreement that came with a seven-figure settlement in 1988. The abbey promised publicly not to let him work with children or teenagers again. Father Brennan was later assigned to a Lakewood parish to work at a nursing home and a local hospital. He continued working in New York churches for over 10 years.

In March 2002, Father Brennan was in Rochester NY when he was placed on leave amidst another sexual abuse allegation reported. He was ordered into a Missouri rehabilitation facility for life. 

In June 2012, Father Brennan’s accuser from Delbarton filed a civil suit. The case was settled in June 2014. 

In July 2017, a New Jersey man filed a civil suit alleging that Father Brennan sexually abused him on more than 100 occasions when he was an altar boy and a student at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Linden from 1968 to 1971. The abuse started when he was 14 years old and continued until he was 14. According to the suit, Father Brennan plied him 2with pornography and masturbated in front of him. He sent the boy on missions to have sex with other students and had him report back. 

“He constantly treated me like his favorite student or special friend,” the alleged victim said. “He never held back in our conversations we had, and his conversations with me were always about an explicit sex act or specific interaction with a certain person. He also contently told me that he was fantasizing about sex and that he would use me to complete his orgasm.”

In June 2018, the Benedictine order settled lawsuits with five men who claimed they were sexually abused by Father Brennan at Delbarton School. Settlements were also reached in December 2018 and February 2019, totaling seven settled suits. According to court documents, he admitted to abusing 50 boys.

Father Brennan lived in a Catholic community in Missouri known for treating troubled clergy until his death in December 2019. In October 2020, seven new lawsuits were filed accusing several New Jersey religious institutions of allowing him to sexually abuse the children entrusted in the care of Catholic schools.

Two of the new lawsuits name the Order of St. Benedict alleging that Father Brennan abused two children at the Delbarton School from 1984 to 1985, when they were 14 and 14 to 15 years old. Two other recent suits name the order, as well as St. Elizabeth’s and the Archdiocese of Newark. One plaintiff said the abuse occurred at St. Elizabeth’s in 1975 when he or she was 14 and 15 years old. The fourth alleged victim claims the abuse happened at St. Elizabeth’s between 1974 and 1977, when he or she was 11 to 14 years old.

According to state court records, Father Brennan has been accused of child sexual abuse in 16 lawsuits including these most recent seven. One man who settled with the order and St. Elizabeth’s in 2019 said Brennan sexually abused him more than 100 times at the school, groping him and masturbating in front of him.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Paterson.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Paterson, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Paterson now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.