Fr. Timothy J. Brennan – Diocese of Paterson

| Dec 3, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Timothy Brennan

Diocese of Paterson

Ordained: 1980

Removed: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • 1979-1994: St. Mary’s Abbey (Morristown, NJ)
  • 1992-1994: St. Mary’s of the Lake, Lakewood, NJ)
  • 1996-2018: St. Mary’s Abbey (Morristown, NJ)
  • 2019: Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Timothy Brennan:

According to media reports, in 1987, Fr. Timothy Brennan, a Benedictine, pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy at St. Mary’s Abbey on the Delbarton School campus in 1984. Prosecutors said he showed the victim pornography and urged him to masturbate in front of the monk. Court papers said the victim was between 13 and 15 at the time.

“I was embarrassed, and I blamed myself,” the victim said. “I didn’t really realize the extent of what had happened to me”.

Brennan was placed on one-year probation, charged a $30 fine, and was sent to Washington, D.C. for six months for treatment in a facility for clergy sex offenders. The case was resolved with a confidentiality agreement that came with a seven-figure settlement in 1988. The abbey promised publicly not to let him work with children or teenagers again. Brennan was later assigned to a Lakewood parish to work at a nursing home and a local hospital. He continued working in New York churches for over 10 years.

In March 2002, Brennan was in Rochester, New York when he was placed on leave amidst another sexual abuse allegation report. He was ordered into a Missouri rehabilitation facility for life.

In June 2012, Brennan’s accuser from Delbarton filed a civil suit. The case was settled in June 2014.

In July 2017, a New Jersey man filed a civil suit alleging that Brennan sexually abused him on more than 100 occasions when he was an altar boy and a student at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Linden from 1968 to 1971. The abuse started when he was 11 years old and continued until he was 14. According to the suit, Brennan plied him with pornography and masturbated in front of him. He sent the boy on missions to have sex with other students and had him report back.

“He constantly treated me like his favorite student or special friend,” the alleged victim said. “He never held back in the conversations we had, and his conversations with me were always about an explicit sex act or specific interaction with a certain person. He also contently told me that he was fantasizing about sex and that he would use me to complete his orgasm”.

In June 2018, the Benedictine order settled lawsuits with five men who claimed they were sexually abused by Brennan at Delbarton School. Settlements were also reached in December 2018 and February 2019, totaling seven settled suits. According to court documents, Brennan admitted to abusing 50 boys. As of February 2019, there are active suits from three men and one woman, claiming he sexually abused them at St. Elizabeth’s.

Brennan lived in a Catholic community in Missouri known for treating troubled clergy until his death in December 2019.

In October 2020, four new lawsuits filed Thursday accuse several New Jersey religious institutions of allowing a monk to sexually abuse children trusted to the care of Catholic schools.

Two of the new lawsuits against the Order of St. Benedict claim Brennan abused two children at the Delbarton School from 1984 to 1985, when the plaintiffs were 14 and 14 to 15 years old, respectively.

The other two suits name the order as well as St. Elizabeth’s and the Archdiocese of Newark. One plaintiff said the abuse at Brennan’s hands occurred at St. Elizabeth’s in 1975 when he or she was 14 and 15 years old. The fourth plaintiff alleges abuse at St. Elizabeth’s between 1974 and 1977 when he or she was 11 to 14 years old.

State court records show he has been accused of abuse in 16 lawsuits, including these four and three earlier this month. One man who settled with the order and St. Elizabeth’s in 2019 said Brennan sexually abused him more than 100 times at the school, groping him and masturbating in front of him.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Paterson. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Paterson, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Paterson now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.

Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.