Father Joseph McGarvey
Diocese of Camden
Leave of absence: 1993
Removed from ministry: 1993
Assigned as follows:
- St. Joseph (East Camden, NJ)
- St. Cecilia (Pennsauken, NJ)
- St. Mary (Gloucester, NJ)
- St. Joseph (Woodstown, NJ)
- St. Ann (Elmer, NJ)
- St. Mary Magdalene (Millville, NJ)
- St. Maria Goretti (Runnemede, NJ)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph McGarvey:
According to media reports, in 1993, three men came forward to allege that Father Joseph McGarvey abused them when he was their pastor at St. Mary Magdalene’s in Millville. They filed a lawsuit against McGarvey and the Diocese of Camden that same year.
In the lawsuit, the three victims, one of whom became a priest himself, said McGarvey gave them alcohol and presents and took them on trips to Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where he and another priest, William O’Connell, abused them. The assaults began in the late 1960s when the boys were 12 to 15 and ended in 1972, according to the suit.
The victim who later became a priest reported the abuse to the diocese in 1986. A church official wrote a memo about his accusations against McGarvey, but apparently did not forward it to his superiors. Instead, it remained in a confidential file, and then-Bishop James T. McHugh said he did not discover it until 1993, the year the three men filed their lawsuit.
The Diocese of Camden settled the suit for a total of $384,000 and permanently removed McGarvey from ministry.
McGarvey’s name appears on the Diocese of Camden’s February 2019 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.”
McGarvey died in 2010.
According to a list maintained by Bishop Accountability.org, Father McGarvey was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a 5 to 6 year old boy at least twenty-five times from approximately 1977 to 1978 . At the time of the alleged abuse, Father McGarvey was assigned to St. Mary Magdalen Church in Millville, New Jersey, where the boy was a student at the affiliated St. Mary Magdalen School.
The sexual abuse by Father McGarvey occurred inside St. Mary Magdalen Church and in the rectory affiliated with the church. Father McGarvey reportedly fondled the boy’s penis and testicles, skin-on-skin, and Father McGarvey inserted his finger into the boy’s anus.
The claim settled in 2020.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Camden in New Jersey. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. In October 2020, the Camden Diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection. The Court will resolve all claims of sexual abuse in this process but strict filing deadlines will apply and no late claims will be considered, so contact us today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.