News Article

Group Protests Bishop's Actions in Priest Sexual Texting

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. October 2, 2013

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A group that assists victims of sexual abuse is calling for the resignation of the bishop of the Trenton Catholic Diocese.

The Road to Recovery group claims Bishop David O’Connell waited more than a year to tell the parish of St. Aloysius Church in Jackson that assistant pastor Matthew Riedlinger was removed from his position for exchanging sexually explicit text messages with someone he thought was a 16-year-old boy.

Former priest Robert Hoatson is president of Road to Recovery. He says the parishioners should have been informed immediately.

“In 2002 the bishops with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth made a pledge that they would be open and transparent about all allegations of sexual abuse. This is another example where they have not been.”

Hoatson says the delay in telling parishioners about the priest’s behavior is troublesome.

“We could have been working on getting other possible victims of this man to come forward. They could have been in therapy.”

The diocese says the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office investigated and determined no minors were involved and no criminal acts were committed.

Reidlinger was sent to a treatment program and has been granted an indefinite leave of absence from the priesthood.

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