Tag: Cardinal Joseph Tobin

Cardinal Tobin Newark Archdiocese

Are Cardinal Tobin and the Newark Archdiocese Hiding Anything?

In Catholic circles, it is widely known that Cardinal Joseph Tobin is close to Pope Francis. He oversees the Newark archdiocese, a very large flock in the vast New York media market once headed by the now-disgrace-and-defrocked former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

All of this might lead one to believe that Tobin would work hard to be more forthcoming about abuse and cover-ups than other bishops who head dioceses with less troubled histories.

That does not, however, seem to be the case.

In a very short time, we at Horowitz Law have found a number of accused child molesting clerics who are or were in the Newark archdiocese but who are NOT on Tobin’s ‘credibly accused’ list. They include

—Sr. Andre, a Dominican nun who was accused in 1967 of sexually abusing a 12 year old girl. (Letters from the nun to the girl and the nun’s journals confirmed the accusations.)

She had worked in two other dioceses before Newark and was later transferred to Connecticut.


–Fr. Thomas M. Bennett, who worked at Blessed Sacrament Church (1960-1963) and Newark Catholic High School (1960-1963), both in the Newark archdiocese.

He was accused in a 2018 lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy multiple times in 2002-2003.

Born in Detroit, he attended seminaries in Columbus and Norwood (both in Ohio) and also worked in the Columbus diocese.


—Sister Alice Burnette, who was sued last year for allegedly restraining a 10-year-old girl at a Catholic school in Montclair NJ in 1971 while Fr. William Dowd raped her.

She belonged to the Sisters of Charity.


Fr. Kevin Bray, who was sued twice for abusing kids, in 2008 and again last year.

In the Newark archdiocese, he worked in Elizabeth (1975) and at the East Orange Veterans Administration Hospital (1993). In the Paterson diocese, he worked in Morristown, Ceder Knolls and at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. He was also at Sacred Heart parish in Wilmington for a year (1995).

Before he died in 2000, he belonged to a religious order known as the Benedictines.

—Fr. Joseph F. X. Cevetello, who was accused in a 2019 lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy during private preparation for First Communion in 1976 or ’77. At the time, the priest headed Our Lady of Mount Virgin in Garfield, NJ.


Fr. John B. Chaney, who was accused in lawsuits earlier this year of molesting three former students. In 2014, he was listed in by the Christian Brothers (CFC) as accused by at least two people (along with 49 other clerics). He worked at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell NJ.

The 2014 Official Catholic Directory shows Fr. Chaney living at a church facility in the New York archdiocese (where convicted abuser Br. Ronald Justin Lasik and accused Br. John Laurence Heathwood CFC are also listed as living). Earlier this year, he was reportedly living in a church facility in New Rochelle NY.


Fr. William S. Crouse, who (according to the Pennsylvania Attorney General in 2016) sodomized a 14-year-old boy in the late 1960s while in Montclair, NJ. He also spent time in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland Puerto Rico, Vietnam and Ethiopia

He belonged to a religious order known as the Sons of the Sacred Heart, or the “Verona Fathers.”


Br. John H. “Aloysius” Dagwell, who was sued for abuse last year, pled guilty to abuse in 1988 and is on a ‘credibly accused’ list by a religious order known as the Xavarians

He also worked Montvale, NJ, Ft. Lauderdale and Boston.


–Fr. Nelson C. Damasco, who worked in Jersey City at St Mary’s in the Newark archdiocese and is listed as ‘credibly accused’ of abuse by the San Diego diocese.

Originally from the Philippines, he was also a military chaplain stationed for a time at Fort Hood in Texas.


—Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who in separate lawsuits faces allegations that he abused two Jersey City altar boys (one six years old, the other 11 years old).

He was named Auxiliary Bishop of Newark in 1996, Bishop of Camden in 1999, and Bishop of Brooklyn in 2003.


Fr. Salvatore “Sal” DiStefano, who was placed on leave last year following reports of recent, unspecified complaints.

He was the chaplain of Oratory Catholic Prep in Summit, an all-boys school. Earlier, he had worked in New York.

This is, of course, a partial list. And it’s of course possible that one or more of these accusations will be proven to be false or a case of mistaken identity.

Still, it’s troubling that all of these alleged predators are missing from what should be one of the nation’s most thorough Catholic ‘credibly accused’ lists.

CardinalJoseph Tobin Sexual Abuse

Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin: You Call This ‘Transparency?

If you relied on Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin (Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark), here’s what you would know about one of New Jersey’s most prominent and prolific child molesting clerics:

Fr. Carmen Sita faced ‘multiple’ victims, was defrocked, worked at one parish in Jersey City and inexplicably also went by the name Fr. Jerry Howard.

That’s all that the information that Cardinal JosephTobin provides on his archdiocesan website.

But the Cardinal didn’t mention that Sita

–pleaded guilty to giving drugs to and abusing a New Jersey kid

–was accused of molesting at least four others there

–was sent to a New Mexico church facility for ‘treatment’

–while there, legally changed his name to Jerry Howard

–was sent, without warning, to a parish in the Jefferson City Missouri diocese

–molested several boys there, again, also giving them drugs

–was charged with abusing three kids

–was removed from his parish

–went on to work at two secular jobs in Missouri – Charter Hospital in Columbia and as a counselor in Fulton (again, apparently with no warning to others),

–pleaded guilty and

–is behind bars now.



So Cardinal Tobin left out far more information about Fr. Sita (or Fr. Howard) than he provided.

This egregious misrepresentation of course led us to spend a few more minutes looking at the Newark Archdiocese ‘credibly accused” list.

We found more of the same deceit:

Fr. Michael Charles Fugee faced one accuser, has been defrocked, and worked at five locations (a hospital chaplaincy and parishes in Newark, Rochelle Park, Wycoff and Short Hills), according to Tobin.

Tobin deliberately leaves out these facts about Fr. Fugee:

–he worked at a second Newark parish,

–he worked a parish in Colt’s Neck,

–he held several other Newark church assignments (the Holy Childhood Association, Missionary Union of Priests & Religious, Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests),

–he was found guilty of aggravated sexual contact, was sentenced to a lifetime of parole and was ordered to register as a sex offender,

–when that conviction was overturned on appeal, Fugee signed an agreement that he would never again work unsupervised with children and would undergo sex offender therapy,

–but a few years later Fr. Fugee was back in ministry, as a hospital chaplain,

–was then ousted when hospital officials complained they’d not been told of his past,

–was also given chancery assignments,

–years later, he had been helping with overnight teen retreats and hearing teens’ confessions, and

–after parishioners’ expressed outrage, finally resigned from active ministry.



As if these two horrific cases aren’t enough, consider these two:

Fr. Michael “Mitch” Walters, who faces “multiple” credible allegations and has been “permanently removed” from ministry, Tobin tells us.

Tobin doesn’t mention, however, that Fr. Walters was also accused of being part of a ‘sex ring’ with former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Or that at least five men have settled lawsuits charging that Fr. Walters molested them as kids.


Fr. Peter M. Walsh is ‘credibly accused,’ Cardinal Joseph Tobin reveals, but insists that people refer to the Order of Friars Minor for more information.”

With a few clicks on a keyboard, we find that Fr. Walsh was in fact:

–convicted on five counts of child endangerment – for exposing himself to children – in Lyndhurst NJ and

–is on the New Hampshire diocese’s ‘credibly accused’ list.



Can the deception get worse? Sadly, yes. These two priests can be found nowhere on Archbishop Tobin’s website:

–Fr. Harry Dean Walker, who has been defrocked for reportedly abusing in Maryland but went on to become the Director of the Youth Action Center in Newark and youth pastor at Faith City.



–Fr. Kevin Bray, who is accused of abuse and twice worked in the Newark archdiocese (East Orange, and Elizabeth). He also worked in two other dioceses (Paterson NJ and Wilmington DE), lived in Florida and was a military chaplain.


We at Horowitz Law won’t hold our breath waiting on Cardinal Joseph Tobin to make these corrections or additions to his ‘credibly accused’ list.

It’s a rare day when a Catholic official says “Oops. Sorry. We forgot to tell you about a few predator priests.”

And it’s even more rare when one says “Yea, you caught us. We thought we could keep a few predator priests hidden. But now that you’ve pointed out my deception, I’ll promptly add them to our ‘credibly accused’ list.”

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey.  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 Archdiocese of Newark now have legal options, but filing deadlines will 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.

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It Can Be Overwhelming — The Ever-Shocking Revelations of Horrible Deeds by Church Officials

It can be overwhelming, the ever-shocking revelations of horrible deeds by church officials. Just this week, here are a few cases we learned about:

–In Florida, a priest who didn’t tell police about “numerous” abuse reports is now in the St. Augustine diocese at Santa Maria Del Mar parish in Flagler Beach.

(He’s Msgr. Michael Servinsky, formerly of the Altoona Diocese in Pennsylvania.)



–In France, the charismatic Catholic founder of a global network of non-profits serving adults with physical and intellectual disabilities “is accused of sexual misconduct with six women who sought spiritual direction from him.” He also reportedly participated “in a shadowy group with ties to a priest accused of sexual and spiritual abuse, lies related to what (he) knew about that priest and allegations from women who say (he) engaged in similar behavior over several decades.

(He’s Jean Vanier, formerly with a group called L’Arche.)


–In Australia, a three-year research project identified 16 child sex abuse networks (NETWORKS, not individuals) that operated for more than six decades. They involved 99 Catholic priests and other clerics.

–That same investigation found that the pedophile rings were “facilitated and reinforced by church hierarchy, including five successive archbishops of Melbourne (including) George Pell (himself appealing against a conviction for child sex abuse).”

And that “clergy pedophile rings shared behavior patterns with criminal gangs, the Mafia, terrorist cells, corrupt police, drug dealers and money launderers.”


–In Italy, Yolanda Martinez’ son had been sexually abused by Fr. Vladimir Resendiz Gutierrez, a Legion of Christ priest. And Cardinal Valasio De Paolis made this incredible offer: her family would receive 15,000 euros from church officials “but in return, her son would have to recant the testimony he gave to Milan prosecutors that the priest had repeatedly assaulted him when he was a 12-years-old. He would have to lie.”


–In New Jersey, Cardinal Joseph Tobin has been told – after five inexcusable years of delay – the verdict of a so-called Vatican ‘trial’ against an accused predator priest, Msgr. George Trabold.

But inexplicably, Tobin refuses to tell anyone what that verdict is.


That’s just a handful of stories, over the last few days, focusing on just one denomination.

There has been, and is, a lot of selfish, reckless, secretive and devastating wrongdoing out there.

Join us in exposing it, preventing it, and bringing comfort to those who suffer because of it.