Cardinal Tobin denies knowledge of ‘gay subculture’ in Newark

Newark, N.J., Aug 20, 2018 / 07:00 pm (CNA).- In an Aug. 17 letter to the priests of Newark, Cardinal Joseph Tobin has said he has not been told by priests about a “gay sub-culture” in the Archdiocese of Newark.

The letter was written in response to a CNA report published the same day, in which Newark priests described their experience in seminary and ministry in the archdiocese. Tobin’s letter specifically addressed allegations, included in CNA’s report, of sexual misconduct on the part of two priests.

CNA’s article included testimony about homosexual activity in the Archdiocese of Newark, from six priests who spoke to CNA on the condition of anonymity. The priests’ experience spanned across several decades under the leadership of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and Archbishop John J. Myers.

CNA reported that, in 2014, Fr. Mark O’Malley was – according to multiple sources – removed from his position as rector of the archdiocesan college seminary, and placed on medical leave following an incident in which he was accused of hiding a camera in the bedroom of a young priest.

Cardinal Tobin’s letter, which surfaced on the internet over the weekend, addressed the matter directly.

“In April 2014, Father Mark O’Malley, who was serving at St. Andrew’s College, experienced a serious personal crisis for which he received a psychological evaluation and subsequent therapy. In April 2015, he was deemed fit for priestly ministry. He hopes to serve as a hospital chaplain.”

CNA also reported last week that Fr. James Weiner, currently pastor of the parish of St. Andrew’s in Westwood, NJ, was under renewed investigation by archdiocesan authorities. Weiner was identified as the previously unnamed man referred to in the allegations of sexual assault made by Fr. Desmond Rossi, now a priest of the Diocese of Albany, NY.

Rossi has alleged that, in 1988, he was sexually assaulted by two transitional deacons. In 2004, Rossi received an out-of-court settlement of approximately $35,000.

Recently, Rossi said that his allegation was found “credible” by an archdiocesan review board but that no action was taken.

Tobin’s letter confirmed that Weiner’s case had been examined by a review board in 2003 “even though it did not involve an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.” The cardinal also confirmed that he had ordered the matter reopened earlier this month because of “new information and out of an abundance of caution in these most difficult times.”

This weekend, the bulletin at Fr. Weiner’s parish carried a notice that Cardinal Tobin’s office had indefinitely delayed the ceremony formally installing Weiner as pastor of the parish because of a scheduling conflict. Tobin had been scheduled to install Weiner in the post on Sept. 15.

Addressing reports of harassment and active sexual behavior by some priests, both in the seminary and in the archdiocesan presbyterate, Cardinal Tobin said that “no one – including the anonymous ‘sources’ cited in the article – has ever spoken to me about a gay subculture in the Archdiocese of Newark.”

Tobin began his letter by acknowledging the ongoing scandal of sexual abuse in the Church, following the allegations against Archbishop McCarrick and the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report. The cardinal said that these events “have shaken and saddened the bishops and priests of the Archdiocese of Newark.”

Turning to the CNA report, Tobin said that while there was “much more to communicate about these open wounds,” he was writing the letter in response to “allegations of misconduct” against the two priests of the archdiocese, Weiner and O’Malley.

The cardinal closed his letter by expressing his hope that CNA’s sources were not actually priests of the archdiocese. However, CNA confirms that the sources for the story were priests of the Newark archdiocese, along with one priest member of a religious order.

The Archdiocese of Newark declined to offer comment or respond to questions from CNA regarding the letter.

Tobin’s letter concluded by encouraging priests to refer media inquiries to the archdiocesan director of communications.

Added Cardinal Tobin, “I repeat my willingness to meet with any brother who wishes to share his concerns regarding allegations in the press or personal experience in our local Church.”

7 Comments

  1. Of course, Cardinal “Nighty-Night-Baby” Tobin knows nothing. He never knows anything about clerical homosexual rapists and abusers. He does not want to know and will never know. Why? Because he is part of the problem. That is why Pope “Who-Am-I-To-Judge?” Bergoglio made him a cardinal and put him in Newark (until New York or Washington opened up). Everyone knows that. He is fooling no one. Resign and get out!!! And that goes for your puppet-master too.

  2. LOL! He didn’t know, never been told, dosen’t know nothin’, born last night.
    “Nighty-night, baby”….we wern’t born last night either, your eminence.
    The party is over, cardinal. Bet on it.

  3. Bishop Tobin allowed an lgbt Mass in the cathedral that included know active couples who were according to the nytimes allowed Communion if their conscience so dictated. Tobin is a large weight lifter also. No priest of a hetero inclination will be consulting with him anytime soon…unless they bring Steven Seagal for a bodyguard. And notice how placing a camera in a young priest’s bedroom is a serious personal life crisis requiring only one year of therapy…and the priest is back as chaplain in a hospital where some patients can’t move enough to protect their body parts. Is Joseph Heller writing for Bishop Tobin? Newark is Catch 22.

  4. Of course all priests “should refer all media inquiries to the archdiocesan director of communications”. That is so that he can give HIS absolute assurance that there is absolutely no evidence of any form of sexual abuse or harassment going on at all. The Archdiocese of Newark is as “pure as the driven snow”.

  5. “CNA reported that, in 2014, Fr. Mark O’Malley was – according to multiple sources – removed from his position as rector of the archdiocesan college seminary, and placed on medical leave following an incident in which he was accused of hiding a camera in the bedroom of a young priest.

    Cardinal Tobin’s letter, which surfaced on the internet over the weekend, addressed the matter directly.

    “In April 2014, Father Mark O’Malley, who was serving at St. Andrew’s College, experienced a serious personal crisis for which he received a psychological evaluation and subsequent therapy.””

    If what CNA reported about Father O’Malley is true, then Cardinal Tobin’s letter most assuredly did *not* “address the matter directly.” Hiding a camera in another priest’s bedroom is not a “personal crisis.”

    • Exactly. I got caught speeding in south Jersey shore area and that was not a personal crisis until two cops surrounded the car because their computer told them I was from Jersey City. I thought the younger cop on the passenger side was ready to draw…you’d think I was doing a drive by at the sea gulls. O’Malley got caught like many a voyeur. One year of psychotherapy though made him so well he could be put near immobile patients.

  6. “I repeat my willingness to meet with any brother who wishes to share his concerns regarding allegations in the press or personal experience in our local Church.”
    That’s very sweet….however, I think it might be more useful to just go to the authorities and the press, at this point.

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