“It is not acceptable for any member of the clergy to use any app or website in a way that is inconsistent with Church teachings and their own religious vows.”
The Archdiocese of Newark says it will investigate the possibility of clerical sexual misconduct, in response to questions from The Pillar about the use of location-based hookup apps at several parish rectories in the archdiocese.
While a spokesperson told The Pillar it is “not acceptable” to use apps “inconsistent with Church teaching,” the archdiocese has also expressed concerns about the “morally suspect” collection of app signal data.
“The inappropriate use of any app or communication tool would pose a concern in any circumstance and for any community. Although the use of such an app, and its use in a specific location, does not provide direct evidence of any specific activity, the Archdiocese of Newark takes seriously all complaints of misconduct or abuse by members of the clergy, religious, lay staff and volunteers of the Archdiocese,” Maria Margiotta, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Newark, told The Pillar on Friday.
“It is not acceptable for any member of the clergy to use any app or website in a way that is inconsistent with Church teachings and their own religious vows. Similarly, it is inappropriate for anyone to use an app or website in a way that is inconsistent with Church teachings,” Margiotta added.
The Pillar contacted the Newark archdiocese after a review of commercially available app signal data showed patterns of location-based hookup app use at more than 10 archdiocesan rectories and clerical residences during 2018, 2019, and 2020. There are 212 parishes in the Newark archdiocese.
The analysis of commercially available signal data obtained by The Pillar, which was legally obtained and whose authenticity The Pillar confirmed, shows evidence that both homosexual and heterosexual hookup apps were used in parish rectories or other clerical residences with a frequency suggesting, in several cases, residence in those locations.