Father Matthew Riedlinger
Diocese of Trenton
Outpatient Treatment: 2011
Inpatient Treatment: 2012
Leave of Absence: 2013
Assigned as follows:
- St. Margaret, Seminarian Position (Spring Lake, NJ)
- St. Barnabas, Seminarian Position (Bayville, NJ)
- St. Aloysius Church (Jackson, NJ)
Summary of Sexual Misconduct Claims Involving Father Matthew Riedlinger:
“I had tried from the beginning to take concerted action, but also to get help for Father Riedlinger… But the more I have learned of his actions during and after outpatient and inpatient treatment, the more it has become clear that strong, brave, and permanent action must now be taken to protect others, particularly our youth.” – Bishop David M. O’Connell
In 2011, a young parishioner spoke out against Fr. Matthew Riedlinger for his inappropriate sexually charged dialogue with the church youth. The Diocese of Trenton did nothing in regards to the complaint. According to media reports, later that year, the same individual who was a young adult texted Riedlinger posing as a 16-year-old boy and reportedly received inappropriate “sexts” from the priest in return. During this text exchange, Riedlinger reported asked his texting partner about his sexual experiences, encouraged mutual masturbation, and asked for sex videos. In all, there were over 1200 text messages exchanged over a four-week period. The recipient sent a copy of the conversation to the Diocese of Trenton and Reidlinger was suspended from ministry but the Diocese of Trenton did not immediately disclose to its parishioners the reason for his removal. Riedlinger was working at St. Aloysius in Jackson at the time of the text exchange. Tne Newark Star-:Ledger reported that five young men provided similar accounts of sexual harassment by the priest. Four of the five were in their late teens or early 20s when Riedlinger began inappropriate and persistent sexual dialogues with them, they said. The fifth was in his late 20s.
According to a local news outlet, after first hearing complaints of Riedlinger’s misconduct in 2011 the Diocese of Trenton sent the priest to a treatment facility for outpatient treatment. However, Riedlinger’s inappropriate contact with minors continued. The Diocese then sent Riedlinger to inpatient treatment. Riedlinger’s misconduct reportedly continued during his treatment.
The Diocese of Trenton quietly removed Riedlinger from his position at St. Aloysius in 2012 and reported the matter of Reidlinger’s behavior to the local Prosecutor’s office. However, as his misconduct did not involve any sexual contact, assault, or abuse, prosecutors declined to charge him with a crime.
Riedlinger’s faculties to minister were permanently revoked in 2013, at which time his parishioners were finally told why he had been removed more than a year earlier.
In February 2019, the Diocese of Trenton released a list of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors, and Riedlinger’s name does not appear on that list.
Riedlinger now resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is now in his late 30s.
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