The photo was on the public website of The Monitor, a publication of the Diocese of Trenton.But their conversations soon morphed, Webster said."Wherever he is, he will be a danger to kids, especially boys," Schmalz said."If he did this with us, if he thought he was doing this with a 16-year-old boy, who else did he do it with?Even then, the statement makes no mention of the fact that Riedlinger believed he was corresponding with a 16-year-old boy during sexually explicit conversations."Father Riedlinger has been the subject of two complaints to the diocese over the past few years regarding his participation in inappropriate cell phone text communication over a period of some years with adults," according to the statement, which was read aloud at weekend Masses.After Schmalz forwarded transcripts of the text messages and other materials to O’Connell in August 2012, the bishop removed Riedlinger from the parish, placed him in an in-patient treatment program and later assigned him to restricted ministry away from children, the diocese confirmed.
"He would say, ‘Pray for me,’ but then he would text me when he was doing it, how he was doing it and when he was done," Webster said. And then you’re sexting over Facebook," Webster said.
"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.
Timothy Schmalz, 23, stands before the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D. Schmalz, originally from Howell, was an altar server at the shrine when he met the Rev.
Matthew Riedlinger, who has since been removed from ministry in the Diocese of Trenton.