EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Three local priests have been named in a list of "credibly accused clergy" published by the Diocese of Metuchen. The priests are among the 188 named statewide in a disclosure made of criminal pedophiles in New Jersey's Catholic Churches. In keeping with a promise made by the Bishops of New Jersey, Bishop James F. Checchio has released the names of 10 diocesan priests and 1 permanent deacon whom have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor since the founding of the diocese in 1981. In doing so, he joined his fellow bishops from New Jersey, who have simultaneously released the names of clergy from their dioceses. On this list are priests who have served at Immaculate Conception Parish in Spotswood and St. Bartholomew's in East Brunswick.
The first Bishop of Metuchen, Theodore McCarrick, is currently involved in a Church trial by the Holy See for the abuse of a minor when he was a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. McCarrick was later beset with multiple accusations of abuse by seminarians and novice priests.
Father Michael Cashman is the most prominent among the three, having served at Immaculate Conception in Spotswood, Our Lady of Peace in North Brunswick and Sacred Heart in New Brunswick among other placements in the diocese. According to New Jersey Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP,) "Fr. Cashman baptized one of ex-Gov James McGreevey’s two children and offered the benediction at his inaugural. But in 2002 he was accused of having molested a mother and her two teenage children in Old Bridge, a daughter and son, over a period of several years. The church paid $145,000 to the victims along with another woman, who accused him of improper conduct. A church court in 2009 found him guilty of abusing a child in the 1980s, and he was removed from the ministry and defrocked in 2014."
Patrick Kuffner is also named in diocesan list. Kuffner served at St. Bartholomew's in East Brunswick. He is currently under criminal investigation, facing multiple accusations for actions he took before he became a priest in 2002. Kuffner "has been accused by three individuals of sexual abuse while they were minors," according to a letter from Bishop James F. Checchio of the Diocese of Metuchen to the parishoners of Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Parish.
Thomas Ganley has been arrested and charged with multiple criminal counts in the sexual assault of a child who was between the ages of 14 and 17. He is currently the subject of an active investigation for the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office and the New Jersey State Attorney General. According to the Diocese of Metuchen, Ganley had been assigned to, among other parishes, St. Cecilia, Monmouth Junction; St. Matthew, Edison; Immaculate Conception, Spotswood; Our Lady of Fatima, Piscataway; and Sacred Heart, South Plainfield. Ganley has been removed from the priesthood.