Jessica OrbonAug 29, 2018, 4:19 pmAug 30, 2018, 1:49 pm

In wake of sexual abuse, Catholics in Newark call for national day of reformation

Victim of abuse: ‘The truth needs to come out; we will not have fear’

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NEWARK – On Wednesday, Catholics from across the state, as well as former and current priests, held a rally in front of a church in Newark. The group called on the Catholic Church to create a national day of reformation to make changes to its policies in light of recent sexual abuse accusations coming out of Pennsylvania, presenting alleged victims in the thousands.

The center of the rally was member of the Archdiocese of Albany Father Desmond Ross.

Rossi said he was a victim of abuse as a seminarian and one of his abusers is still an active priest. Rossi's case has recently been reopened by Newark Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Tobin.

"The truth needs to come out; we will not have fear. The Lord will lead us. Trust the Lord and I have your back," Rossi said.

Tobin said it's important for people to see the human side of sexual abuse victims and their stories.

"I think that the Pennsylvania report put a horrific face on what had been done to children and the way it had been mishandled by bishops. I know Mr. Rossi and of Mr. Hoatson's work and I wanted to come and listen and get a face," Tobin said.

However, Bob Hoatson, a former priest and the co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, said he doesn't believe Tobin was ignorant when it comes to McCarrick's abuses. Road to Recovery helps victims of sexual abuse.

"When Cardinal Tobin said he was out of the country for 21 years, he was in the country for a long time before that and he was a buddy of Cardinal McCarrick's. So to say he didn't know anything about this, I don't buy it," Hoatson said.

There are several active investigations of sexual abuse in New Jersey, including at Seton Hall University's Immaculate Conception Seminary and St. Andrew's Minor Seminary.

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