Father John Morel
Diocese of Camden
Administrative leave: 1993
Assigned as follows:
- St. Aloysius (Newark, NJ)
- St. Lucy (Newark, NJ)
- St. Michael (Jersey City, NJ)
- Chaplain – Hackensack Hospital (Hackensack, NJ)
- St. Anthony of Padua (Newark, NJ)
- Holy Family (Union City, NJ)
- Nativity (Midland Park, NJ)
- St. Andrew (Westwood, NJ)
- Our Lady of the Assumption (Bayonne, NJ)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John J Morel:
In 1993, in a written statement to the Diocese of Camden, a man claimed that Father John J Morel abused him from 1973-1981. In 1994, Morel was named in a lawsuit against the Diocese of Camden that involved multiple plaintiffs alleging a massive cover-up of abuse by the Diocese of Camden.
In 1995, Morel pleaded guilty to harassment by touching and was sentenced to 6 months of probation and counseling, according to online reports. It is unclear from available records if the victim in this matter was the same one who made the 1993 report or a different one.
Morel was placed on administrative leave at the time of the accusations. It is unclear if he ever returned to ministry after that.
According to media reports, a lawsuit alleges that in the spring of 1969, a boy went over to his cousin’s home for lunch and was introduced to Morel by his aunt. Morel then allegedly invited him, who was 9 or 10 at the time, into a bedroom for “confession”. “Instinctively trusting Morel as a priest,” the suit alleges, the boy followed Morel to the bedroom, “where he was instructed to lie down. Morel then proceeded to sexually abuse him.
Another suit alleges that Morel sexually abused a boy in his family’s home from about 1963 to 1970 when he was 5 to 12 years old. Mark Drennan’s suit said Morel would ask Drennan to go to one of the bedrooms he shared with his siblings so Morel could hear confession.
However, Morel’s name does not appear on the Diocese of Camden’s February 2019 list of credibly accused priests, which means that the Diocese of Camden did not believe any of the allegations against him, including, apparently, the 1995 conviction. It is possible that he was eventually returned to ministry.
In 2019, Morel was included on the Archdiocese of Newark list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.
Morel died in 2016.
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