Msgr. Joseph Punderson – Diocese of Trenton

Monsignor Joseph R. Punderson

Diocese of Trenton


Ordained: 1976

Assigned to Holy See: 1995

First credibly accused: 2004

Removed from Ministry: 2018

Assigned as follows:

  • Christ the King (Manville, New Jersey)
  • St. Mary (Trenton, New Jersey)
  • Sacred Heart (Trenton, New Jersey)
  • Vice Chancellor, Diocese of Trenton
  • Morris Hall, Chaplain (Lawrenceville, New Jersey)
  • Apostolic Signatura, Vatican (Holy See)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Msgr. Joseph R. Punderson:

According to media reports, in 2004, Msgr. Joseph Punderson was accused of sexually abusing a child in the late 1970s.  At the time the allegation was made, Punderson was working at the Holy See as a senior official of the Vatican’s highest court.  The Diocese of Trenton ultimately found the allegation to be credible after an internal investigation, but the Vatican took no steps to restrict Punderson’s work.  

According to a news agency, Punderson offered to resign his Vatican post, but was told that was unnecessary despite the allegation being found credible.  

Punderson continued in his position at the Holy See and retired voluntarily in late 2018.  

In February 2019, the Diocese of Trenton published a list of priests it found had been the subject of credible allegations of sexual abuse.  Punderson’s name appears on that list.

According to a Diocese of Trenton statement, Punderson is no longer permitted to present himself publicly as a priest.  He is still living and is now 71 years old.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Trenton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or