Camden NJ Diocese settles abuse claims

Category: Catholic Sexual Abuse | M Garabedian

The Diocese of Camden has made financial settlements to resolve claims of Catholic priest sexual abuse involving parish priests in the 1950s and 1960s, a lawyer said Monday.

The payments took place after two men alleged they were sexually assaulted in separate incidents when they were children, said attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston. He gave no details but said each settlement was “in five figures.”

A Boston attorney says the Diocese of Camden has settled a claim that a priest abused a boy at the former St. Maurice Church in Brooklawn.

One man, now in his 70s, alleged that the Rev. Joseph Brennan sexually abused him from 1957 to 1959 at the former St. Maurice Parish in Brooklawn, Garabedian said.

The man was 12 to 14 years old at the time, Garabedian said.

The other, now about 60, said he was abused in 1966 by the Rev. Philip Mathews, who was assigned to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Berlin Borough.

Both priests are deceased.

The men did not sue over the alleged abuse, Garabedian noted. Instead, the lawyer sent “demand letters” to the diocese, which settled after investigating the claims, he said.

“The survivors should be proud of themselves,” Garabedian said. “By coming forward, they’ve empowered themselves and made the world a safer place for children.”

A Camden diocese spokesman said the policy of the diocese “is to settle every single credible claim of sexual abuse — no matter how old the claim might be, and regardless of whether the statute of limitations has expired.”

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