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This could ruin someone’s life." Stephen Webster, one of those interviewed, was an 18-year-old seminarian at Seton Hall University when he met Riedlinger at a retreat in Long Branch four years ago.
Riedlinger, less than a year from ordination at the time, held himself out as a mentor, Webster said.
Matthew Riedlinger, formerly an assistant pastor at St.
Aloysius Church in Jackson, speaks with students at an outdoor ceremony in 2011.
"There was no sexual contact, assault or abuse referenced in the complaints." The statement called Riedlinger’s behavior "deeply troubling" and said it is "in no way to be tolerated in the life and ministry of a priest." O’Connell declined to be interviewed for this story. Riedlinger, a 30-year-old Ohio native, could not be reached by phone and did not respond to a request for comment sent to his personal e-mail address.
In recent months, he has been living at the Villa Vianney retirement home for priests in Lawrenceville and tending to the needs of retired Bishop John M. On Monday, he was granted a leave from the priesthood.
The authenticity of the texts was not in question, the official said. Matthew Riedlinger pushes retired Trenton Bishop John M.
But for more than a year, O’Connell refused to tell parishioners at St.Even then, the statement makes no mention of the fact that Riedlinger believed he was corresponding with a 16-year-old boy during sexually explicit conversations."Father Riedlinger has been the subject of two complaints to the diocese over the past few years regarding his participation in inappropriate cell phone text communication over a period of some years with adults," according to the statement, which was read aloud at weekend Masses.Al Della Fave, a spokesman for that office, confirmed the referral and said investigators conducted a review but ultimately closed the case."There were jurisdictional issues that prevented us from bringing any criminal charges," Della Fave said, declining to elaborate.