Five Delbarton Monks and One Lay Teacher Accused of Abuse, SNAP Responds
Five more monks and one lay teacher who lived and worked at Delbarton School in New Jersey have been accused of abuse in new lawsuits, including one monk – Fr. Benedict Worry – who is believed to currently be living at the school. We applaud these brave survivors who brought these claims forward and are confident that their information will help prevent future cases of sexual abuse.
Delbarton School, operated by the Benedictine Order, notably fought against the Victims Rights Act recently, arguing that it was unconstitutional. We cannot help but assume that desperate attempt to overturn needed reform is because the Benedictines know that more lawsuits for cover-up and abuse will be filed against their order.
In a letter sent by Delbarton, the school and abbey argue that they are a safe environment because they have been accredited by Praesidium, Inc. In our view, this assertion is simply smoke and mirrors as Father Elias Lorenzo O.S.B., has worked at Delbarton and has lived in the very abbey where so many of the Benedictine monks have been accused over the years, has worked as a member of the Board of Directors of Praesidium. To us, that is the equivalent of an institution policing itself or the fox guarding the hen house. Fr Elias Lorenzo just last week has been elevated to Auxiliary Bishop of the Newark Archdiocese under Cardinal Tobin
In recent years, the school had admitted to knowledge of at least 13 monks having abused 30 students. We know that this is understating the extent of the abuse as we know one monk, Fr. Timothy Brennan, had admitted to abusing as many as 50 victims. Clearly, there is more to be uncovered at Delbarton.
We hope that secular law enforcement officials are looking closely at the Delbarton School. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has been doggedly investigating cases of clergy abuse and we encourage any victims or witnesses who are inspired by this news to come forward and make a report to AG Grewal’s hotline by calling 1-855-363-6548.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)