Father Velanmarukudiyil Christudas (Chris)
Diocese of Trenton/Camaldolese Congregation of the Order of St. Benedict
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.
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