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Seton Hall University

Statement on Priest Abuses

You are undoubtedly aware of recent reports regarding sexual abuse and harassment suffered at the hands of Catholic priests, and the reported failure of many in the Church’s leadership to hold them accountable and to protect abuse victims. These reports have caused deep sorrow in our community and great pain to me personally, as well as to all Catholics and people of good will.

Among the many disgraceful incidents that have shaken our collective consciousness, we at the University are particularly concerned with recent accusations against Theodore McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Newark, and other priests of the Archdiocese. Some of these alleged incidents may have involved seminarians at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and the College Seminary at Saint Andrew’s Hall.

In response, University leadership has authorized an independent review of these allegations. Specifically, Seton Hall has retained Christine A. Amalfe of the law firm Gibbons P.C. in Newark, N.J. as special counsel to lead the effort and commission the independent review.

Seton Hall is committed to doing all it can to protect our students, seminarians and other members of the University community. We strive to ensure that our University is — first and foremost — a place where everyone feels safe and respected.

As an institution of higher education, we offer several resources for reporting, counseling and pastoral care should you or someone you know experience sexual harassment or abuse of any kind. Contact information is listed below:

  • Public Safety and Security: 973-761-9300
  • Counseling and Psychological Services: 973-761-9500
  • Campus Ministry: 973-761-9478
  • Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Karen Van Norman: 973-761-9076
  • Title IX Coordinator Lori Brown: 973-313-6132

We are grateful for the many members of the priest community, past and present, who have served our University since its founding in 1856. I ask that we all keep those faithful and selfless stewards of Jesus’ message of love in our thoughts and prayers.

Please join me in praying for the victims and all those affected by sexual abuse. Today is the feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In his encyclical on the Queenship of Mary, Pope Pius XII wrote: “Let all, therefore, try to approach with greater trust the throne of grace and mercy of our Queen and Mother, and beg for strength in adversity, light in darkness, consolation in sorrow; above all let them strive to free themselves from the slavery of sin.”

These are difficult days for all victims of abuse, and for our Church. Let us pray for the wisdom and courage to do what our faith demands, along with the grace and love we need to protect all God’s children.

Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D.

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