The diocese said Riedlinger was given special permission to wear clerical garb in public to help Smith. Aloysius in January of this year, after Riedlinger’s removal, said he had heard rumors but did not know the extent of the complaints. " Schmalz, a Howell native now studying at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, carried out the sting with his college roommate, who said he, too, was besieged by Riedlinger’s relentless sexual chatter.The photo was on the public website of The Monitor, a publication of the diocese. Parishioners have told him Riedlinger was a well-liked priest, Bambrick said, calling the situation "sad for everyone involved." "This is one of those tough situations," said Bambrick, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse and a member of the group Catholic Whistleblowers, formed earlier this year with the aim of holding the church and its bishops more accountable for abuse cases. The roommate spoke on the condition that The Star-Ledger use only his first name, Ryan, because his family has business dealings with a Catholic diocese.Al Della Fave, a spokesman for that office, confirmed the referral and said investigators conducted a review but ultimately closed the case."There were jurisdictional issues that prevented us from bringing any criminal charges," Della Fave said, declining to elaborate.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said authorities also were concerned because the operation had been conducted by a civilian."It was twisted." Webster said he repeatedly told Riedlinger to stop but that the behavior persisted for a year, until the teen cut off contact altogether. "It’s a disgrace." Once, Schmalz and his roommate thought they might be priests, too.Now 22, Webster said the experience contributed to his decision to abandon the seminary. Schmalz, a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy in the Lincroft section of Middletown, and Ryan, now a student at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, were regular altar servers at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.The authenticity of the texts was not in question, the official said. Matthew Riedlinger pushes retired Trenton Bishop John M.Smith in his wheelchair during a priest's funeral in Burlington County earlier this month.
This could ruin someone’s life." Stephen Webster, one of those interviewed, was an 18-year-old seminarian at Seton Hall University when he met Riedlinger at a retreat in Long Branch four years ago.