Father Absalom Coutinho
Archdiocese of Newark / Diocese of Paterson
Permanently removed from ministry: April 20, 2002
Assigned as Follows:
- Holy Cross Catholic Church (Palmetto, FL) “on loan” from 1999 – 2002
- Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Wayne, NJ)
- St Jude Parish (Budd Lake, NJ)
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Boonton, NJ)
- Immaculate Heart of Mary (Wayne, NJ)
- St. Nicholas (Jersey City, NJ) – Archdiocese of Newark
Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Absalom Coutinho:
Fr. Absalom Coutinho arrived in the United States from his native India in 1970. He was ordained a priest in 1972 and served in the Archdiocese of Newark. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. In 1984, he began working for the Diocese of Paterson, and in 1998, he was sent to work in a ministry in Palmetto, Florida, indefinitely. However, he remained under the control of the Bishop of Paterson.
According to media reports, Fr. Coutinho was twice accused of sexually abusing minors. One incident of abuse is alleged to have occurred in 1977, when he worked at a Jersey City parish under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Newark. The second allegation accused Fr. Coutinho of abusing a minor female while assigned in the Diocese of Paterson. As a result, in 2002, the Bishop of Paterson suspended his priestly faculties indefinitely on account of two sexual misconduct allegations., the earliest of which dated back to 1976 when he was assigned to St. Nicholas in Jersey City.
In April 2018, Fr. Coutinho presented himself as an active priest in an article, “Just a Thought By Fr. Absalom Fr. Coutinho” printed in the newsletter of the Diocese of Marquette’s St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church of Bark River, MI.
Fr. Coutinho’s name appears on both the Diocese of Paterson and Archdiocese of Newark’s lists of credibly accused priests, published in February 2019. He is reported to have had “multiple” victims. Now in his seventies, he is believed to be residing in Sun City Center, a retirement community near Tampa, Florida.
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