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.
"Bishop O’Connell has granted his request, effective immediately." The Star-Ledger has obtained copies of the text messages.
The phone number from which they originated — now disconnected — had been listed under Riedlinger’s name in public records.
The diocese notified the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office of the second complaint against Riedlinger immediately after O’Connell received it.
"There was no sexual contact, assault or abuse referenced in the complaints." The statement called Riedlinger’s behavior "deeply troubling" and said it is "in no way to be tolerated in the life and ministry of a priest." O’Connell declined to be interviewed for this story. Riedlinger, a 30-year-old Ohio native, could not be reached by phone and did not respond to a request for comment sent to his personal e-mail address.
In recent months, he has been living at the Villa Vianney retirement home for priests in Lawrenceville and tending to the needs of retired Bishop John M. On Monday, he was granted a leave from the priesthood.