In 1997, Condorson was accused of making unwanted sexual advances on a 24-year-old male parishioner. CNA has spoken with a New Jersey man who says he was the victim of unwanted sexual advances from Condorson in that year, while the priest was assigned to Holy Trinity Parish in Hackensack, NJ.
The man, who requested anonymity because of the nature of the allegations and citing fears of repercussions to his business, spoke with CNA about the incident, which he says occurred while he was vacationing in Cancun with Condorson, in late September or early October of 1997.
He explained that Condorson was a family friend. “He had never been physical with me” in an overtly sexual way before the incident in Cancun, the man said, though he recalled at least one episode of “rough house” play that was, he said, uncomfortable.
“Then, one night” in Mexico, “in a taxi — after drinking, it was 1 or 2 in the morning — he rested his head on my shoulder. I thought he was tired, or couldn’t hold his liquor. Then, he put his hand on my knee. I hit him in the head with my camera, which snapped a picture.” CNA has obtained a digital copy of the image, but has not seen the original or independently verified the identities of the two men depicted in it.
“When we got back to the hotel, he said, "that’s when it all started.”
The man alleged that once they were back in the hotel room, “[Condorson] started mumbling something about ‘please don’t judge me’.” He went on to say, “how much he loved me, how he wanted to kiss me — had always wanted to kiss me — always been in love with me.”
The man says he responded to Condorson with “complete silence.” He told CNA that Condorson asked him not to say anything about the incident, and that it took several weeks for him to confide in his parents what had happened while he had been on vacation. The parents had noticed his agitation and aloofness, especially around Condorson, who continued to call on the family at home.
The man says his family reported the incident to Bishop Charles McDonnell, an auxiliary bishop of Newark and the pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, where Condorson was stationed. The alleged victim's father, who also spoke to CNA on condition of anonymity, said that the archdiocese “fought us all they way to the end.”
Condorson left Holy Trinity eventually — in June of 1998, sources close to the episode recall — but only after the family of the man making the allegations threatened to sue. The family says they ultimately decided not to file a lawsuit. “I never wanted money,” the man making the allegations told CNA.
Bootkoski was vicar general of the Newark archdiocese when that allegation was reported.
A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Newark told CNA: “The Archdiocese investigated fully the allegation at Holy Trinity according to the protocols in place in the Archdiocese at that time for allegations of misconduct involving adults. The allegation could not be substantiated. The individual who made the accusation did state that nothing sexual had occurred. During that time, Fr. De Condorpusa underwent evaluation by competent professionals who were aware of the accusation. Those professionals concluded that there was no reason to limit or halt his ministry.”
The Newark archdiocese added that “since Bishop Bootkoski of Metuchen was Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Newark at the time of the allegation, the Diocese was aware of both the allegation and the results of the investigation.”
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The Diocese of Metuchen provided CNA with a statement saying that the alleged incident happened while Condorson was a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, and was investigated by that diocese.
“The Archdiocese had an investigation which included interviews with both Fr. Condorson and the claimant, both adults. As Vicar General, Bishop Bootkoski said he was informed of the investigation by the pastor of the parish and a former pastor, also a Vicar General for the archdiocese, who both had knowledge of the situation. Based on the testimony of the two men, at that time, Bishop Bootkoski says he was informed they had conflicting accounts of what had occurred, both lacking any hard facts. The claimant, who was an adult, and his family did not pursue the matter,” the diocese said.
In 2008, a New Jersey man wrote to Archbishop John Myers of Newark and to Bootkoski, alleging that in the summer of 1997 Condoron asked him for help with computer repairs in the Holy Trinity rectory. He said that after the work was completed, the priest “requested that I stay and have a glass of wine with him.”
“Father De Condorpusa sat next to me on the love seat and took off his collar and shoes. We briefly discussed the repair of his computer when suddenly he placed his arm around me and tried to kiss me. I was shocked, got up, and asked him what he was doing.”
“He said to me, ‘I thought you wanted it, I like older men,’” the man alleged.
The Archdiocese of Newark told CNA that “the only correspondence in the Archdiocese of Newark’s files during the year 2008 relates to Fr. De Condorpusa’s request for incardination into the Metuchen Diocese.”