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Statement of the Diocese Of Metuchen on Rev. A. Gregory Uhrig

August 15, 2018

Diocese outlines details related to priest named in PA Grand Jury Report,
confirms Reverend A. Gregory Uhrig is a priest in good standing

August 15, 2018, Metuchen, NJ – Reverend A. Gregory Uhrig, 71, a priest of the Diocese of Metuchen, is among those identified in the extensive Pennsylvania grand jury report.  While he was alerted in May of his inclusion, he was forbidden by the Grand Jury to speak on this serious matter before the release of the report Aug. 14.

The following is a summary of the handling of the allegation, which was previously reported to parishioners of the Diocese of Metuchen at the time of his leave and subsequent return to ministry:

▪  An allegation was made in 2010 by an individual who claimed that Father Uhrig had sexually abused her when she was a minor, in 1978, when he was serving as a priest in the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania.  Father denied this allegation.

▪  This is the only such claim ever brought against Father Uhrig.

▪  At the time that this allegation was made it was reported to law enforcement authorities in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  

▪  Father Uhrig was placed on leave from priestly ministry in October 2010 and prohibited from engaging in any ministry of any kind until the matter was fully investigated, determined and resolved.  

▪  The allegation was investigated for the Diocese of Metuchen by a retired investigator from the sex crimes unit of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and it was also examined by the Diocesan Review Board. 

▪  A canonical trial was held and the allegation was found to be not proven. The results of the trial were sent to the Holy See’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in Rome which, after review, accepted the canonical court’s decision and declared it a closed matter.

A canonical trial within the Church is overseen by a panel of three judges. The accused has the services of an advocate, who assists in the defense. The promoter of justice prosecutes the case.  Witnesses are called to testify and other forms of evidence are gathered, such as testimony or other letters that might have been written. The advocate and promoter of justice submit written arguments of their side of the case. The judges then review the evidence carefully, deliberate together, and issue a verdict.

◦  Canonical trials normally are not conducted in the home diocese of an accused priest, as was upheld in this instance.

▪  In April 2013, Father Uhrig was reinstated by Bishop Bootkoski as a priest in good standing in the  Diocese of Metuchen.   He now serves in the Office of Ongoing Faith Formation for adults, and also ministers to retired priests of the diocese.

The Diocese of Metuchen urges anyone who was abused by any clergy member or representative of the Church to report the violation directly to law enforcement regardless of how much time has passed.  Survivors may also choose to call our Diocesan Response Coordinator at (908) 930-4558 to report an offense or arrange for counseling assistance.

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View or download statement (PDF)

View or download reinstatement letter (PDF)

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