Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden

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Diocese of Camden

Dioecesis Camdensis
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - Camden, New Jersey 01.JPG
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden.svg
Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Camden
Country United States
TerritoryNew Jersey South Jersey
Ecclesiastical provinceMetropolitan Province of Newark
- Catholics (including non-members)

475,000 (34.5%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedDecember 9, 1937
CathedralCathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Current leadership
BishopDennis J. Sullivan
Diocese of Camden map 1.png

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden is a Roman Catholic diocese of the Latin Church in New Jersey, United States, consisting of 62 parishes and about 475,000 Catholics in the southern New Jersey counties of Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem.

The Bishop of Camden presides from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Camden, although most major ceremonies are held at Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Blackwood. Some liturgies are held at St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, Camden.

Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan has been bishop of the diocese since 2013.

The oldest parish is St. Mary (Gloucester City), which was founded in 1848.


Pope Pius XI erected the Diocese of Camden on December 9, 1937, taking its present territory from the Diocese of Trenton and designating the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Camden as its cathedral. The new diocese had 75 diocesan priests and 11 priests of religious communities to serve approximately 100,000 Catholics in 49 parishes and 31 missions, plus thirty elementary and five secondary schools.[1]

Following completion of its construction in 1952, St. Joseph Church in Camden was declared to be a pro-cathedral because the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was too small for cathedral functions.

On April 2, 2008, Bishop Joseph A. Galante announced the closing of roughly half of the parishes in the diocese. This followed a previous announcement of the closing of various Catholic schools. The Diocese of Camden was led by Bishop Galante until his resignation was accepted on Jan. 8, 2013.

Sexual abuse scandal[edit]

On February 13, 2019, all of the Catholic Dioceses based in New Jersey released the names of clergy who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing children since 1940.[2] Of the 188 listed, 57 were based in the Diocese of Camden.[2] Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark and metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical province that encompasses Diocese of Camden, also acknowledged that the alleged acts of abuse committed by the clergy listed were reported to law enforcement agencies.[2] On February 9, 2020, it was reported that all five Catholic dioceses across the state of New Jersey, which includes the Diocese of Camden, had paid over $11 million to compensate 105 claims of sexual abuse committed by Catholic clergy.[3] Of these 105 claims, 98 were compensated through settlements.[3] The payments also do not involve 459 other sexual abuse cases in these dioceses which are still not resolved.[3] On July 31, 2020, the Diocese of Camden suspended future payments to alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse, citing the financial impact stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.[4]

On August 20, 2020, four new lawsuits were filed against the Diocese of Camden involving three priests who were alleged to have committed sexual abuse while teaching at high schools run by the Diocese.[5] One accused priest, Rev. Kenneth L. Johnston, had served as principal of Gloucester Catholic and St. James high schools.[5] Two of the four new lawsuits were also filed against Rev. Eldridge Evans, a former teacher at St. James High School.[5] Another lawsuit alleged sexual abuse by the Rev. Gerald P. Clements, who taught at Camden Catholic High School.[5] All three priests are dead.[5] On December 1, 2020, it was revealed that the Diocese of Camden was among more than 230 sex abuse lawsuits filed within a period of one year against New Jersey Catholic Dioceses.[6]


On October 1, 2020, the Diocese of Camden filed a bankruptcy petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. The diocese cited civil liability arising from abuse settlements and difficulties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic as the primary sources of financial distress.[7]


The following are lists of bishops and auxiliary bishops of the diocese and their years of service, followed by other priests of this diocese who became bishops (shown here is their service in this diocese):

Camden Diocesan Center

Bishops of Camden[edit]

  1. Bartholomew J. Eustace (1938-1956)
  2. Justin J. McCarthy (1957-1959)
  3. Celestine Damiano (1960-1967), Archbishop (personal title)
  4. George H. Guilfoyle (1968-1989)
  5. James T. McHugh (1989-1998), appointed Coadjutor Bishop and later Bishop of Rockville Centre
  6. Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio (1999-2003), appointed Bishop of Brooklyn
  7. Joseph A. Galante (2004-2013)
  8. Dennis J. Sullivan (2013–present)

Former auxiliary bishop[edit]

Other priests of the diocese who became bishops[edit]


High schools

School mergers and closures[edit]

Sacred Heart School was a Catholic elementary school (grades K-8) located in Mount Ephraim, New Jersey for 50 years, from 1947 to 1997. It was presided over by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden before closing in 1997 as the result of low enrollment and a pending merger. Students were transferred to Annunciation BVM School in Bellmawr, New Jersey.[8][9]

Annunciation School was subsequently closed by the diocese at the end of the following 2007–08 school year and was merged into the St. Francis de Sales elementary school in Barrington on its site as a new school, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.[10] This merged school lasted only one year. It closed after the 2008–09 school year in the face of further declining enrollment and rising costs.[11]

On April 17, 2020, the Diocese of Camden announced plans to close five of its schools at the end of the 2019–2020 school year, including football powerhouse Saint Joseph High School in Hammonton, Wildwood Catholic High School in Wildwood and three elementary schools.[12][13] However, Wildwood, along with Cape Trinity Catholic School, were both saved after agreeing to merge.[14]

Ecclesiastical province[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Diocese History page on the web site of the Diocese of Camden.
  2. ^ a b c, Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for;, Ted Sherman | NJ Advance Media for (2019-02-13). "N.J. Catholic dioceses release names of 188 priests and deacons accused of sexual abuse of children". nj. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  3. ^ a b c "Price tag for priest sex abuse in New Jersey? $11 million and climbing". KYW. 2020-02-09. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  4. ^ Roebuck, Jeremy (July 31, 2020). "Camden's Roman Catholic diocese suspends payments to clergy abuse victims, citing COVID-19 financial stress". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e
  6. ^
  7. ^ Roebuck, Jeremy; Farr, Stephanie (2 October 2020). "Camden's Roman Catholic diocese declares bankruptcy, citing COVID-19 costs and priest abuse claims". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  8. ^ Smith, Patricia (27 April 1997). "Families Lament Plan To Close Sacred Heart Some Have Sent Children To The School In Mount Ephraim For Three Generations". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  10. ^ Staff. "In the fall, different schools will open", Catholic Star Herald, June 19, 2008. Accessed August 25, 2013. "Annunciation, Bellmawr, will merge with St. Francis de Sales, Barrington, for a new school, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, at the Barrington site."
  11. ^ Staff. "Catholic school in Barrington is shut down", The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 18, 2009. Accessed August 25, 2013. "Just one month after saying that Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Regional School in Barrington would reopen next year, the Diocese of Camden announced yesterday that it was closing the school for good. Bishop Joseph Galante explained in a letter that the school - in operation for just one year - had suffered an enrollment decline so steep that five pastors whose parishes sent children to Sacred Heart had urged him to close it."
  12. ^ "Five Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Camden to close at end of school year". Diocese of Camden. 17 April 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  13. ^ Yates, Riley (17 April 2020). "5 N.J. Catholic schools to close, including South Jersey football powerhouse". Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  14. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°55′33″N 75°07′11″W / 39.92583°N 75.11972°W / 39.92583; -75.11972