Tag: Diocese of Trenton

Fr. Gerald Lyons – Diocese of Trenton

Father Gerald Lyons

Diocese of Trenton

Gerald Lyons Diocese of Trenton Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1967

Died: 1987

Assigned as follows:

  • 1962: Serving in the Diocese of Trenton
  • 1962: “On Duty Outside the Diocese,” North American College (Rome, Italy)
  • 1963-1965: St. Anthony’s Church (Trenton, NJ)
  • 1966-1969: “On Duty Outside the Diocese,” North American College (Rome, Italy)
  • 1970-1973: St. Veronica’s Church (Howell Township, NJ)
  • 1974: “On Leave of Absence”

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Gerald Lyons:

Fr. Gerald Lyons was ordained a priest in approximately 1967 and served in the Diocese of Trenton. He is not indexed in the Official Catholic Directory after 1974. According to a list maintained by Bishop Accountability.org, he was accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a girl when she was 4 to 5 years old from approximately 1964 to 1965.

At the time of the alleged sexual abuse, Lyons was assigned to St. Anthony’s Church in Trenton, New Jersey. The abuse occurred in the rectory affiliated with St. Anthony’s Church. Lyons reportedly would have the girl sit on his lap, and then he would reach into the front of her underwear, fondling her vagina.

The case was later settled in 2020 in the low six figures.

Lyons died in 1987.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton 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 Diocese of Trenton 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Msgr. Lawrence Donovan – Diocese of Trenton

Monsignor Lawrence Donovan

Diocese of Trenton

Lawrence Donovan Diocese of Trenton Horowitz Law

Ordained: Approx. 1937

Died: 1987

Assigned as follows:

  • 1938-1940: St. Mary’s Church (Bordertown, NJ)
  • 1941-1942: St. Mary’s Church (Perth, NJ)
  • 1943-1944: St. John the Evangelist Church (Dunellen, NJ)
  • 1945-1946: St. Joseph’s Church (Trenton, NJ)
  • 1947: St. Michael’s Children’s Home (Hopewell, NJ)
  • 1948-1949:  St. James the Less Church (Jamesburg, NJ)
  • 1950-1987: St. Joseph’s Church (Toms River, NJ)
  • 1981-1982: “Serra Club”
  • 1983: “Monmouth County Chapter”
  • 1984-1987: “Serra Club”

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Monsignor Lawrence Donovan:

Msgr. Lawrence Donovan was ordained a priest in approximately 1937 and served in the Diocese of Trenton. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to a list maintained by Bishop Accountability.org, he was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy on at least two occasions in
1946. At the time of the alleged sexual abuse, Donovan was assigned to St. Joseph’s Church in Trenton, New Jersey, where the boy served as an altar boy.

Donovan reportedly exposed his own penis to the boy, fondled the boy’s penis and testicles over the boy’s clothing, and sodomized the boy. The claimant passed away prior to the resolution of his claim. The case was settled on behalf of the claimant’s estate in 2020.

Donovan died in 1987.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton 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 Diocese of Trenton 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Joseph Farrell – Diocese of Trenton

Father Joseph Farrell

Diocese of Trenton

Joseph Farrell Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1974

Leave of Absence: 2021

Assignment History:

  • 1974: St. Joseph (Toms River, NJ)
  • Unknown: St. Bonaventure  (Lavalette, NJ)
  • 1983-1987: St. Mary of the Lakes (Medford, NJ)
  • 1987-1989: St. Ann (Keansburg, NY)
  • 1989-1995: Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St. Agnes (Atlantic Highlands, NJ)
  • 1996: Holy Eucharist (Tabernacle, NJ)
  • 1999 – 2021: St. Isidore the Farmer (New Egypt, NJ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Joseph Farrell:

In April 2021, a civil lawsuit was filed against the Diocese of Trenton, alleging that Fr. Joseph Farrell sexually abused a minor in 1989 while working at Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St. Agnes Parish in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. The victim, now a 44-year-old-man, claims that Farrell groomed him for sexual abuse and then abused him on more than 50 occasions while he was a student at the now-closed St. Agnes Catholic School.

According to media reports, the victim states that Farrell would massage his shoulders after basketball games and offered to write letters of recommendation so he could get into a good high school. Farrell served as Pastor at the time of these alleged incidents. The Pastor allegedly rubbed the D.A.’s genitals when he was assigned to bring paperwork to the rectory and on at least one occasion performed oral sex on the boy, who was then 13 or 14 years old, according to the civil complaint.

The lawsuit then documents a series of incidents that Farrell allegedly groped him, performed oral sex on him, masturbated in front of him, and then raped him. Farrell allegedly told him that this is how boys get what they wanted and that he could help “fix” his grades. The man claims that when in 7th grade, he went to the school’s principal and told him that Farrell made him feel uncomfortable, but no reports were ever written up or dealt with.

In April 2021, Farrell, a pastor at St. Isidore the Farmer Parish in New Egypt, was placed on leave by the Diocese of Trenton after the suit was received.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton 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 Diocese of Trenton 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Leo Courcy Jr. – Diocese of Trenton

Father Leo Courcy

Diocese of Trenton

Leo J Courcy Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1962

Leaves of Absence/Sick Leave: 1965-1966, 1979-1980

Inpatient Evaluation/Treatment: 1967-1970

Removed: 1993

Laicized: 2009 

Assigned as follows:

  • 1962-1965: St. Anthony (Burlington, VT)
  • 1965-1967: Absent from Burlington Diocese on “Sick Leave”
  • 1966Don Bosco Home (Burlington, VT)
  • 1966St. Francis Xavier (Winooski, VT) 
  • 1966: St. Mark (Burlington, VT)
  • 1967-1970: Servants of the Paraclete (Santa Fe, NM) (inpatient treatment)
  • 1967-1969Holy Ghost (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1968-1969St. Pius X High School (Albuquerque, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1969-1970St. Francis Xavier (Clayton, NM)  (during treatment)
  • 1970: Unidentified parish(Amarillo, Texas) (during treatment)
  • 1969/1970: St. Anthony (Questa, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1970: Clayton High School (Clayton, NM) (during treatment)
  • 1971: St. John Vianney (South Burlington, VT) 
  • 1971: St. Mary (Cambridge / Johnson, VT)
  • 1971: St. George (Ottawa, ONT Canada)
  • 1971-1979: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1973-1974: Ottawa Archdiocese, Director of Education
  • 1974: Our Lady of Visitation (South Gloucester, ONT Canada)
  • 1974-75: Marist High School  (Bayonne, NJ)
  • 1977: St. Mary of the Assumption (Deal, NJ)
  • 1977-1979: Various assignments in Pensacola, Florida
  • 1978-1979: Pensacola Catholic High School (Pensacola, FL)
  • 1979-1980: Leave of Absence
  • 1979: Chaplain, unknown Queens, NY High School (believed to be Msgr. McClancy High School)
  • 1980-1984: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1984-1985: St. Frances de Chantal (Bronx, New York)
  • 1986-1989: On Duty Outside Burlington Diocese (whereabouts unclear)
  • 1988-1990: New York Archdiocese Parish Mission Team (Suffern, NY)
  • 1991-1992: St. Mary (Fishkill, NY)
  • 1992-1993: St. Augustine (New York, NY)
  • 1993-1997: Listed in Official Catholic Directory as “On Duty Outside Diocese”

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Leo Courcy Jr.:

The saga of Fr. Leo Courcy is a complicated one and, after an extended investigation, we have done our best to reconstruct what we believe is his trial of abuse across America. You may notice some assignments that are not listed and that is likely because there are big gaps in the publicly available information, particularly in the 1970s. For example, Courcy appears in a 1970 high school yearbook in New Mexico and then again in a 1978 yearbook in Pensacola, Florida. His whereabouts during that time are not entirely clear but he may have worked at other parishes and high schools in Canada or New Jersey, including in the Diocese of Trenton in the late 70s. 

Here is what we do know for certain: Leo Courcy Jr. served in Vermont for only approximately 3½ years. He remained a priest of the Burlington Diocese even though he rarely worked there after 1967. According to the Diocese of Burlington, Bishop Kenneth A. Angell revoked Courcy’s priestly faculties in February 1993, though the exact reason is not clear. However, media reports show him celebrating a funeral mass in the New York area well after that date. 

Courcy was laicized in June 2009, according to the Diocese of Burlington, while serving in NYC. It is not clear what prompted this action more than 15 years after the Diocese said Courcy was not able to work as a priest. 

There are numerous “red flags” in Courcy’s assignment history that would merit further investigation in a sex abuse lawsuit. For example, Courcy has several leaves of absence, which may be indicative of temporary removals and quiet transfers following allegations of sexual abuse. The assignment to the Servants of the Paraclete in 1967 very likely means that Courcy was the subject of at least one allegation of abuse around that time. It could also mean that he was the subject of repeated allegations as of 1967, because, in our firm’s experience, shipping an accused priest to the Jemez Springs, New Mexico treatment facility typically came only after repeated allegations and an inability to handle the matter quietly within the diocese. Of course, these questions would be answered with more certainty if either the Burlington Diocese or Archdiocese of Santa Fe provided full and complete disclosure of Courcy’s history, rather than the limited ones they each published in response to public pressure.

In 1994, according to media reports, a civil lawsuit was filed against the Burlington Diocese and Archdiocese of Santa Fe alleging that Courcy and Fr. Joseph Anthony Gallegos sexually abused an altar boy in New Mexico after Courcy’s treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete facility in Jemez Springs. According to media reports, the lawsuit alleged that Courcy left treatment at the facility and returned to ministry against the advice of at least one psychologist. 

According to media reports, in September 2017, Courcy was named in a lawsuit alleging that he sexually abused an altar boy in 1969 while serving as a priest at St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico. That same month, his name appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. 

In May 2019, Courcy was named in another lawsuit against the Servants of the Paraclete, alleging that Courcy sexually abused two boys during an overnight stay at the rectory of St. Anthony’s in Questa, New Mexico, in 1969. According to the suit, one boy was raped and the other molested. According to the lawsuit, the Servants had sent Courcy to St. Anthony’s as a supply priest four days after his arrival for his second round of treatment for child sexual abuse. 

In August 2019, Courcy‘s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Burlington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. While the Diocese included certain information about Courcy’s background in its disclosure, we have found that much of it is inaccurate and overall it is totally incomplete.  

In 2021, Courcy was named in a sexual abuse and coverup lawsuit filed by Horowitz Law against the Diocese of Burlington in Vermont.

Courcy is now in his 80s and believed to be living in the Syracuse, New York, area. To our knowledge, he has never been criminally charged for his sexual misconduct and is not a registered sex offender.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton 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 Diocese of Trenton 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. Kurt Munn – Diocese of Trenton

Br. Kurt Munn

Diocese of Trenton 

Kurt Munn Horowitz Law

Assigned as follows:

  • Holy Assumption School (Roebling, NJ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Brother Kurt Munn:

Br. Kurt Munn was originally a Franciscan brother who transferred to New Jersey from Michigan in 1972. He worked under the Diocese of Trenton but returned back to DeWitt, Michigan in 1979. 

According to media reports, in April of 2019, Kurt Munn was publicly accused of sexually abusing a boy from 1972-1979 while being assigned to Holy Assumption School in Roebling, New Jersey. The victim who came forward claimed that Munn began raping him when he was a 7-year-old altar boy and continued on until he was 17. He filed a report against Munn with the New Jersey State Police in 1996. 

Munn admitted to abusing the boy as well as over a dozen other unnamed victims, but the statute of limitations would not allow prosecution. 

The Diocese of Trenton confirmed in 2019 that they had received multiple allegations in 1998 and again in 2007 against Munn that related to his time at Holy Assumption. 

In December of 2019, six men total came forward with allegations of childhood sex abuse by Catholic clergy in South Jersey. They were able to sue the dioceses of Camden and Trenton under a new state law that allows civil actions for sex abuse claims previously barred by a statute of limitations. This new state law made it possible for the man who Munn victimized from 1972-1979 to open a new civil suit against him. 

Munn was able to leave the Franciscan order. In April of 2019, it was reported he was back living in DeWitt, Michigan, and has been active with the Knights of Columbus.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton 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 Diocese of Trenton 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Convicted Sex Offender, Father of Eight, Suddenly Released From Prison Early

Joseph Prioli Horowitz Law Joseph Prioli Horowitz LawJoseph Prioli Horowitz Law

 

 

 

It’s not clear why, but on May 5, 2020, an admitted child-molesting cleric from the Diocese of Trenton (New Jersey) was released from prison after serving only about half of his original sentence for sexually abusing a child. 

In 2017, Deacon Joseph J. Prioli was convicted in a Monmouth County Court on multiple counts of sexually abusing a child who was entrusted to his care.  He pleaded guilty and, in September 2017, he received a sentence of five years for his admitted crimes.  According to law enforcement, even before the criminal prosecution started, Prioli admitted to the current Bishop of Trenton, David O’Connell, that he sexually abused that victim. 

But on May 5, Prioli was suddenly and quietly released back into the public after serving about half of his sentence. He does not appear on the New Jersey sex offender registry and, even after a yearlong evaluation, he may never appear on any public registry of sex offenders.  It is unclear if Prioli is even under the supervision of a parole officer or if he was simply allowed to walk free. The Department of Corrections has issued no public statements. 

We hope that Prioli does not molest again, but, except for those reading this blog on our website, almost no one knows that a dangerous convicted felon now walks free in the open.  New Jersey Catholic Church officials have certainly made no such notifications to anyone.  

On one hand, we at Horowitz Law are grateful that the terms of Prioli’s sentence forbid him from ever living in a house with children ever again, including with his own eight children.      

On the other hand, we worry about those who are still vulnerable to sexual abuse – his other family members, his neighbors, and New Jersey Catholic parishioners who know Prioli through his church connections and may even believe he is innocent or ‘reformed’ and safe to be around children.  We also worry about those families who have no idea that a sex offender with the charisma of a trained cleric and teacher lives or works near them.  

Prioli was ordained a Permanent Deacon by the Trenton Diocese in 2005. Prioli was assigned to St. Catherine of Siena parish in Farmingdale and also served as a chaplain at the Christian Brothers Academy in Middletown for more than a decade. In his capacity as a Permanent Deacon at St. Catherine, he distributed Holy Communion, performed baptisms, weddings, and funerals, and also preached homilies during mass.  As a chaplain, he led morning mass with the students and provided counsel to vulnerable teenagers in search of guidance. 

Prioli also worked as a teacher at the Christian Brothers Academy for some time.  The second photo above shows him in a CBA classroom in 1990.

Prioli’s status with the Diocese of Trenton is unclear.  The Diocese has never publicly stated that it has severed ties with Prioli nor have Diocese officials ever suggested that they asked the Vatican to remove Prioli from the diaconate so he can never work in a Catholic parish leadership position again.  This means that Prioli could still truthfully tell people that he is still a Catholic cleric and a former teacher, positions that might render him automatically trustworthy to some unsuspecting parents.   

Prioli is now 52 years old.  According to his Department of Corrections profile, he is 5’6” and approximately 200 pounds.  His most recent mugshot (above) depicts him with facial hair that he may have since shaved off or modified.  

Prioli resided in Howell, New Jersey, until the time of his arrest and may have returned to that area following his release. 

We hope New Jersey journalists, citizens and Catholic officials will insist on learning why Prioli has been set free so early. And, even more important, we hope they’ll all spread the word about his whereabouts and his past, so parents will know to keep their kids away from him. 

We believe it’s especially important that staffers in the Diocese of Trenton and at the Christian Brothers Academy sound the warning bell about Prioli, because they are the ones who elevated Prioli to positions of influence and reverence among the Catholic faithful, and with that comes access to vulnerable children and their trusting parents.

For more information, visit our profile on Deacon Joseph Prioli: https://adamhorowitzlaw.com/tag/joseph-prioli/

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 cleric in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused in the Diocese of Trenton now have legal options to recover damages due to a new law temporarily suspending the statute of limitations for sexual abuse and assault.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

 

Fr. John Wadeson – Diocese of Trenton

Father John Wadeson

Diocese of Trenton/Society of the Divine Word

John Wadeson Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1969

Removed: 2014

Reinstated: 2015

Assigned as follows:

  • 1970: Divine Word Seminary (St. Mary’s) (Techny, IL)
  • 1971: St. Peter Claver (Ashbury Park, NJ) 
  • 1972-1973: Verbum Dei High School (Boys) (Los Angeles, CA) 
  • 1974: St. John the Evangelist (Los Angeles, CA)  
  • 1975-1978: Notre Dame High School (Riverside, CA)
  • 1979: Divine Word Seminary (Riverside, CA) 
  • 1981: Casa Guadalupe (Los Angeles, CA) 
  • 1982-1983: St. John the Evangelist (Los Angeles, CA) 
  • 1984-1986: Verbum Dei High School (Boys) (Los Angeles, CA)  
  • 1987-1995: St. Peter Claver (Ashbury Park, NJ)
  • 1996-2005: Unknown
  • 2006-2014: St. Charles Borromeo (San Francisco, CA)   
  • 2015-2017: On Duty Outside the Archdiocese 
  • 2018-2019: Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John Wadeson:

Fr. John Wadeson worked in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, the Diocese of Brooklyn (New York), and the Diocese of Portland in Oregon. According to a report from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, in 1992, Wadeson was accused of sexually abusing two children from 1973 to 1977, while he was working as a priest with the Divine Word Missionaries religious order. In February 2014, he was named in church records as a twice accused predator priest and was banned from working in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

In 2014, he was found working as a priest in Guam, reportedly since at least 2000. He had identified himself as an “Australian priest of the Archdiocese of Agana in Guam, Micronesia.” The Archdiocese of Guam directory indicated he was incardinated in the archdiocese but assigned to Neocatechumenal Center in San Francisco. Following the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) exposing his past in California, he was removed from active ministry in July 2014. The archdiocese admitted knowledge of the priest’s past allegations in 2000. Wadeson denied all allegations and the day after his removal, he left Guam, possibly to San Francisco. The Archdiocese of San Francisco withdrew privileges later that month.

According to media reports, in April 2015, the Archdiocese of Agana fully reinstated Wadeson after the Archdiocese of Los Angeles reviewed his case and said since there was no settlement or conviction Wadeson was “a priest in good standing”.

“Although Fr. Wadeson has not been convicted of abuse, the fact that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has banned him from the ministry is just causing Apuron to remove the cleric immediately. We fear that Apuron is putting Guam’s children at direct risk and protecting a credibly accused predator instead of protecting his flock,” a SNAP press release stated.

Wadeson’s current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton 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 Diocese of Trenton 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Benedict Worry – Diocese of Trenton

Father Benedict Worry

Diocese of Trenton

Benedict Worry Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1987

Removed: 2012

Assigned as follows:

  • 1987-1988: Unknown
  • 1989-2017: St. Mary’s Abbey (Morristown, NJ) 
  • 1996-1997:  Campus Ministry for the Diocese of Trenton (Princeton, NJ)
  • 1997: St. James Church (Pennington, NJ) 
  • 1998-2010: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church (Linden, NJ) 
  • 2004-2008: Deanery: Little Flower Parish (Union County Southeast, NJ) 
  • 2012: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church (Linden, NJ) 
  • 2013-2019: Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Benedict Worry:

Fr. Benedict Worry was a member of the Brothers of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (F.S.R.). He worked in the Diocese of Reno in Nevada and taught at Manogue High School from 1974 to 1978 as director of the CYO program. In 1987, he was ordained a Benedictine priest and taught at Delbarton School, a private college prep school for boys, run by the Benedictine monks, in Morristown, New Jersey for 18 years. He was also the chaplain for the Linden Police Department.

According to media reports, in January 2012, Worry was removed from assignment and sent to St. Mary’s Abbey after an allegation of sexual misconduct with an individual was reported in the 1990s. In March 2012, four alleged abuse victims filed a civil lawsuit against Delbarton School and St. Mary’s Abbey. In June 2012, another man joined the existing lawsuit to allege abuse in the 1980s by Worry. 

According to media reports, the amended complaint said Worry “sexually assaulted, sexually abused and/or had sexual contact” with the accuser “on numerous occasions”. In one instance, after a night of heavy drinking with the monk, the accuser said he woke up to find Worry fondling him. At the time, the victim was 16 years old. 

No criminal charges were filed due to the statute of limitations.

In 2020, Worry was accused in a lawsuit against the Delbarton School filed under the NJ Child Sexual Abuse Act of abusing a 15-year-old boy from 1978-79.

As of 2020, Worry is believed to still be residing on campus. Worry’s current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton 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 Diocese of Trenton 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Velanmarukudiyil Christudas – Diocese of Trenton

Father Velanmarukudiyil Christudas (Chris) 

Diocese of Trenton/Camaldolese Congregation of the Order of St. Benedict

Chris Velanmarukudiyil Christudas Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1986

Removed: 2012

Assigned as follows:

  • 1987-2000: (San Francisco, Australia and India)
  • 2001-2014: Church of the Visitation (Brick Town, NJ)
  • 2015-2019: Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Velanmarukudiyil Christudas (a/k/a Chris Christudas):

Fr. Velanmarukudiyil Christudas, more commonly known as Chris Christudas, is a native of India. He reportedly spent three years traveling through India with Mother Teresa ministering to lepers. He served as visiting priest at Church of the Visitation in Brick Town, New Jersey, a parish operated by the Diocese of Trenton, beginning in 2001.

According to media reports, in July 2012, Christudas was arrested and charged with criminal sexual contact (improper touching) of both an adult woman, as well as her minor child, and with endangering the welfare of the child. He was accused of grabbing the 13-year-old boy’s genitals and fondling his mother’s breast during a visit with the family.

The woman reported the incident to police as soon as the priest left her home. An investigation concluded Christudas befriended the family before his visit. Detectives found probable cause to make the arrest and file charges. He denied the allegations. The Diocese of Trenton removed his ministry privileges. 

In July 2014, the woman filed a civil suit. In January 2015, a jury convicted Christudas of having criminal sexual contact with the mother but acquitted him of all charges related to her children. Criminal sexual contact is a fourth-degree crime and carries no assumption of incarceration. The priest maintained his innocence before receiving his sentence of two years probation. 

“The reality is, that you did do something wrong,” Superior Court Judge James M. Blaney said. “You were in a position of trust, a sacred trust, a spiritual trust. … You took advantage of your position as a priest and violated that trust. That’s wrong.”

The civil suit is still pending.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton 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 Diocese of Trenton 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Vance Zebulon Thorne – Diocese of Trenton

Father Vance Zebulon Thorne

Diocese of Trenton/Society of the Divine Word

Vance Zebulon Thorne Horowitz LawOrdained: 1954

Removed: 1987

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • 1954: Unknown 
  • 1955-1957: Holy Ghost (Jackson, MI) 
  • 1958-1959: St. Leo’s (Los Angeles, CA) 
  • 1960-1961: St. Mary’s (Vicksburg, MI)
  • 1962-1971: St. John the Baptist (Waco, TX)
  • 1972-1980: St. Bartholomew’s (Little Rock, AK)
  • 1981-1986: Holy Ghost (Jackson, MI) 
  • 1987: Tougaloo College (Tougaloo, MS) 
  • 1988: Unknown
  • 1989: Divine World Seminary (Bay St. Louis, MS)
  • 1990-2004: Society of the Divine World (Bordentown, NJ) 

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Vance Zebulon Thorne:

Fr. Vance Zebulon Thorne was a priest of the Society of the Divine Word. He worked in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as well as the dioceses of Austin, Jackson, and Trenton. According to media reports, at least three civil suits and two criminal indictments were filed in Mississippi in 1986 and 1987. One plaintiff claimed abuse by Thorne from 1980 through 1986 beginning when he was 14 years old. The alleged abuse occurred at Holy Ghost church in Jackson, Mississippi. Another plaintiff alleged abuse at the same parish when he was a 9-year-old student at Holy Ghost School. 

According to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ report in 2004, Thorne was accused of sexual abuse in the early 1970s.

In March 2019, Thorne’s name appeared on the Diocese of Jackson’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. It noted an allegation reported in 1986, and that he was removed from the diocese in 1987.

Thorne died in 2004.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton 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 Diocese of Trenton 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.