Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Priest accused

Priest abused them as boys, 3 men say
Former Little Egg pastor accused of sexual assaults

10:27 AM, Feb. 22, 2011 | 35Comments
Three alleged victims of the Rev. Terrence O. McAlinden, left to right, Pat Newcombe, 43, of North Carolina (formerly of Pt. Pleasant), Bob Markulic, 56, of White Twp. (formerly of Sayreville), and Chris Naples, 39, of Bass River Twp. (formerly of Brick), held a press conference in front of St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church, held Monday, Feb. 21, 2011. / STAFF PHOTO: TOM
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ACCUSED: The Rev. Terence O. McLinden, 70
ACCUSER: In 2007, Chris Naples, 37, alleged the priest known as Father Mac "controlled and raped" him for more than 10 years. He brought his case to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office and posted his experience on TOPIX, an Internet site for those allegedly abused by clergy. Naples filed a lawsuit against McAlinden.
BACKGROUND: Naples met McAlinden at St. Theresa's Roman Catholic Church on Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor where he served as pastor and where Naples said the priest introduced him to his future wife, performed Naples' marriage ceremony and also baptized his children.

Zoom The Rev. Terrence O. McAlinden, pastor of St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church, stands at the gates to the Reservation Chapel by Robert Phillips of Philadelphia. / PHOTO: ASBURY PARK PRESS FILE ~LITTLE EGG HARBOR — Three men held a news conference Monday on the front lawn of St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church to accuse a former pastor of sexually assaulting them numerous times during their childhoods.

More than 20 people, some with signs, gathered at the church about 1 p.m. to listen to Chris Naples, Patrick Newcombe and Bob Markulic, who took turns talking about years of alleged abuse at the hands of the Rev. Terence O. McAlinden.

"I'm not going to stop at any length to see that you are defrocked and, if any laws permit, prosecuted. I spent many, many years in hell over this," the 43-year-old Newcombe said about the abuse that he said McAlinden started in 1980 and ended in 1985.

Naples, 39, of Bass River said little at the conference organized with Road to Recovery, which advocates for victims abused by priests, and Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. Naples filed a lawsuit in 2007 against McAlinden.

Now 70, McAlinden was removed from his position in the Diocese of Trenton in 2007 following Naples' accusations. He was relieved of his priestly faculties, meaning he cannot publicly celebrate Mass, wear clerical garb or present himself as a priest, diocese officials report.

"The Diocese of Trenton has vigorously and responsibly enforced its policies governing such cases — removing Father McAlinden from ministry; lending our full support and cooperation to law enforcement agencies investigating the allegations; offering counseling to the victim, and appealing to any other victims to come forward," Diocese spokeswoman Rayanne Bennett said in a prepared release.

McAlinden continues to collect a salary and benefits from the Diocese of Trenton, the diocese said. McAlinden resides in Little Egg Harbor and is employed as a real estate agent in Brigantine, Atlantic County. He did not return a call left at the real estate office Monday.

Diocese officials said they have reported the allegations made Monday by the three men to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. Newcombe also said he has reported the attack to the Prosecutor's Office.

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