Father Joseph E. Shannon
Diocese of Camden
Removed from ministry: 1990
Assigned as follows:
- Assumption (Wildwood Crest, NJ)
- St. Bridget (Glassboro, NJ)
- Sacred Heart (Camden, NJ)
- St. Mary (Williamstown, NJ)
- St. Anthony of Padua (Camden, NJ)
- St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral (Camden, NJ)
- St. John (Collingswood, NJ)
- St. Joan of Arc (Camden, NJ)
- St. Michael (Cedarville, NJ)
- Sts. Peter & Paul (Turnersville, NJ)
- St. Patrick (Woodbury, NJ)
- Chaplain, Underwood Memorial Hospital (Woodbury, NJ)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph E Shannon:
Father Joseph E Shannon has been accused of child sexual abuse by four separate victims on four separate occasions. Each victim has filed suits against Shannon and the Diocese of Camden.
The first victim said Shannon first attacked him when he was 12, awakening him in the bedroom of his Blackwood home and performing oral sex on him. The victim said he and Shannon continued to have sexual contact for 15 years. Shannon acknowledged under oath that he had sex with him, but claimed the victim had initiated it when he was 18 years of age. The first victim later sued the diocese and received a $100,000 settlement.
In another suit, a second victim testified that Shannon sodomized him at his family’s vacation home in Brigantine, New Jersey in the late 1960s when he was 12 or 13 years old.
A third accuser said Shannon plied him with alcohol and assaulted him when he was 12 years old in the rectory of St. Joseph’s in Camden, New Jersey in 1971. The second and third victims shared in the large 2003 settlement with the Diocese of Camden.
In 2012, a fourth victim came forward and filed a lawsuit alleging Shannon molested him when he was a child. The victim said he was assaulted as a first-grader at St. Anthony of Padua’s parish school. He claimed to recall the abuse in February 2010 after seeing someone who reminded him of Shannon.
The suit was settled, but the terms were not released to the public.
Two of the victims were brothers and as of 2020, there is a case pending alleging that their sister was raped by Shannon when she was 13 years old.
Shannon’s name appears on the February 2019 Diocese of Camden list of credibly accused priests. According to Bishop Sullivan, the list, “includes those who admitted to the abuse, those who were found guilty after a trial in the church courts or the civil courts, and others against whom the evidence was so overwhelming as to be virtually unquestionable.”
In 2013, Shannon died at Vianney Retreat House.
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