The Diocese of Camden has permanently removed retired priest Father Brendan V. Sullivan from ministry following a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.
The allegation was made to the diocese by an adult male who said Sullivan abused him in 1981 when he was 14 years-old.
Father Sullivan, 75, was permanently removed from ministry on February 23 and he may no longer function or present himself as a priest, a process called for in the “Essential Norms for Diocesan Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons.” The Norms were approved by the U.S. bishops in 2002.
In accordance with its policy of reporting all allegations of sexual abuse of minors to law enforcement—no matter how long ago the abuse is alleged to have occurred—the diocese has reported the allegation to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, the county in which the abuse occurred.
Assistance and professional counseling has been offered to the victim through the diocese’s Victims Assistance Program.
Sullivan was ordained in 1960 and served in ten South Jersey parishes: St. Theresa, Runnemede (1960), Queen of the Apostles, Pennsville (1960-1961), St. Maurice, Brooklawn (1961), St. Joan of Arc, Camden (1963-1965), Blessed Sacrament, Margate (1965-1976), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Absecon (1976-1978), Our Lady of Grace, Somerdale (1978-1979), Assumption, Atco (1979-1982), St. Patrick, Woodbury (1982-1987) and St. James, Ventnor (1987-2004). He also served on the faculty at Camden Catholic High School (1963-1965) and served as vice-principal (1964-1973) and principal (1973-1978) at Holy Spirit High School. He retired from full-time ministry in June, 2004.
The diocese has not received any other allegation of sexual abuse against Sullivan. The last known abuse of a minor by a priest of the diocese occurred 15 years ago.
Editor’s note: The Diocese has established a special toll-free number (800-964-6588) to facilitate the reporting of abuse allegations. For a list of county prosecutors and the local offices of the Division of Youth and Family Services and for information about the diocese’s programs for the protection of children and young people, see www.camdendiocese.org