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Reviled by Catholic leaders, this NJ activist has helped many victims of clergy sex abuse

Robert Hoatson Catholic Accolade

Title: Reviled by Catholic leaders, this NJ activist has helped many victims of clergy sex abuse
Author: Deena Yellin
Publisher: NorthJersey.com
Date: 28OCT2020
As an advocate for survivors of clergy sex abuse and a watchdog of the Catholic Church, Robert Hoatson is accustomed to provoking the wrath of Catholic leaders.

He’s also no stranger to the consequences of his nearly five decades of activism, including being fired from his job, suspended from the priesthood and treated with disdain by church colleagues.

So when Hoatson was recently informed that he’s receiving an accolade for his crusade from a Catholic institution, he was shocked.

“They called me out of the blue and said they now realize I was right and my work is crucial and they’re giving me this honor,” said Hoatson in disbelief.

The West Orange resident will be inducted next month into the Essex Catholic High School Hall of Fame, alongside a roster of some 200 Catholics who were honored for professional achievements and service to their communities.

Hoatson, a 1970 graduate of the school, will join ex-Yankees catcher Rick Cerone (class of 1972) and Martin Liquori (class of 1967), a record-setting runner who competed in the 1968 Olympics.

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