Father Brendan V. Sullivan
Diocese of Camden
Permanently removed from ministry: 2010
- 1960: St. Theresa (Runnemede, NJ)
- 1960-1961: Queen of the Apostles (Pennsville, NJ)
- 1961: St. Maurice (Brooklawn, NJ)
- 1963-1965: St. Joan of Arc (Camden, NJ)
- 1963-1965: Camden Catholic High School (Camden, NJ)
- 1965-1976: Blessed Sacrament (Margate, NJ)
- 1964-1978: Holy Spirit High School (Absecon, NJ)
- 1976-1978: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Absecon, NJ)
- 1978-1979: Our Lady of Grace (Somerdale, NJ)
- 1979-1982: Assumption (Atco, NJ)
- 1982-1987: St. Patrick (Woodbury, NJ)
- 1987-2004: St. James (Ventnor, NJ)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Brendan V Sullivan:
Father Brendan V Sullivan worked in over a dozen parishes in the Diocese of Camden from 1960-2004. In 2010, a man accused Fr. Sullivan of sexually abusing him in 1981, when he was just 14 years old. At that time, Sullivan was working at the Church of Assumption in Atco, NJ. Sullivan admitted to a reporter for The Press of Atlantic City that the incident occurred only happened once and that he knew the victim several years before it occurred. Although Sullivan retired in 2004, the diocese removed Sullivan from ministry in 2010, prohibiting him from serving as a priest. Sullivan died in 2011.
In 2019, a new law was passed in New Jersey extending the civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse. The new law now allows victims of child sex abuse to sue over alleged offenses until they turn 55 or within seven years of their realization that the abuse caused them harm. It also allows victims previously barred from suing their abusers and institutions two years to go to court.
Within hours of this law passing, a former altar boy filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden, accusing Fr. Sullivan of alleged sexual abuse that started in 1996 at the age of 7 and lasted until 2001. According to the suit, Sullivan was working at Saint James Parish in Ventnor City, NJ. He began grooming the victim by becoming his best friend, taking him out on his boat, and taking the altar boys swimming. Sullivan allegedly would also give the boys money and take them out to dinner.
The victim claims Sullivan began touching him inappropriately, including fondling, groping, touching his private areas, and removing the victim’s clothes and undergarments. He also claims Sullivan often exposed himself to the boy.
“It was a friendship at first, you know. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t a friendship,” Hoffman said. “That’s not a healthy friendship. There isn’t a friendship between a 65- or-70-year-old priest and a 9-year-old boy. My parents were cool with it, my mom not so much. I think my dad kind of just said, ‘Well, he’s a priest. He’ll be fine.”
Sullivan’s name is listed on the February 2019 Diocese of Camden list of credibly accused priests.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Camden in New Jersey. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. In October 2020, the Camden Diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection. The Court will resolve all claims of sexual abuse in this process but strict filing deadlines will apply and no late claims will be considered, so contact us today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.