Father Mark Dolak
Diocese of Metuchen
Suspended and Removed from ministry: 1998
Assigned as Follows:
- Our Lady of Peace (Fords, NJ)
- Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi (Metuchen, NJ)
- St. Thomas Apostle Church (Old Bridge, NJ)
- St. John the Evangelist (Dunellen, NJ)
- St. Matthias Catholic Church (Somerset, NJ)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Mark Dolak:
Father Mark Dolak was ordained a priest in 1979 and served in the Diocese of Metuchen. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to media reports, the first allegations of child sexual abuse made against were brought to light in 1990 by a young woman who claimed Father Dolak started abusing her at the age of 13. She claimed the abuse had been going on for almost a decade in the rectory of St Francis of Assisi in Metuchen, where Father Dolak was serving at the time.
When the victim tried resolving it at the parish level, she was told things like she and Father Dolak should sit down and try to “work things out.” The Diocese of Metuchen’s only solution was to have Father Dolak transferred around multiple times.
At the time of her abuse, Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was recently defrocked by the Vatican for his own sexual abuse of seminarians (including minors), was the rector of the Cathedral and would have been responsible for supervising Father Dolak.
In 1991, the Diocese of Metuchen settled the legal claim of the first victim, and agreed to pay her $15,000 with no admission of guilt. It was not until two more abuse allegations came out against the priest that he was finally removed from the ministry in 1998.
According to many news outlets, including the New York Times, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen agreed to pay $800,000 to 10 people who said that diocese priests had sexually abused them. This case was brought to court in 2003, a few years before the original case had been brought against Father Dolak. The settlement was approved by Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski and covered five different priests at the time. Father Dolak’s name was a part of the accused priests list. Just like the 1991 case, there was no admission of guilt from any of the priests listed, nor from the Diocese of Metuchen.
According to online documents, Father Dolak most recently worked as an acute family care support specialist for Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey. After the Diocese of Metuchen released its list of accused priests in February 2019, a Monmouth spokesperson told media that Father Dolak no longer worked there, but did not provide his departure date, or the reason for his departure.
According to media reports, in April 2019, the Diocese of Metuchen announced that Father Dolak had been laicized (removed from the priesthood) by the Vatican.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Metuchen in New Jersey. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Metuchen now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.