(Feb. 15. 2019) Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio today released the names of more than 100 priests in his parish who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a child. His actions follow those of several bishops across the country who have chosen in the last few months to lift the veil of secrecy in the Catholic Church’s ongoing epidemic of abuse.
Related: Brooklyn Diocese suspected abusers named.
The Brooklyn disclosure is one of the largest to come from an individual diocese. The Brooklyn diocese is also among the largest in the nation; it includes Brooklyn and Queens, where more than 1.5 million people identify as Catholic.
The most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio announced in a 2/15/2019 statement:
“We know this list will generate many emotions for victims who have suffered terribly. For their suffering, I am truly sorry. (Many victims) have told me that more than anything, they want an acknowledgment of what was done to them. This list gives that recognition and I hope it will add another layer of healing for them on their journey toward wholeness.”
Bishop DiMarzio follows dozens of other bishops in the United States in deciding to publish the names of suspected abusers. The latest round of Catholic administration confessions began last summer with a shocking Pennsylvania grand jury report which documented seven decades of accusations.
Earlier this week, bishops of the five Catholic dioceses in New Jersey released the names of nearly 200 priests who have been credibly accused. Last month, the Jesuit province of the northeastern United States identified 50 accused priests. Many had served in the order’s schools in New York City.
Bishop DiMarzio had promised last year that his diocese would release the names of priests who were credibly accused, though his accompanying letter also states that not all of the accusations against the accused have been proven.
Many Accused are Deceased
The diocese said that more than 40 of the named clergy members died or resigned before the accusations were found credible. Most of the priests named – nearly two-thirds – have since died, leaving their reckoning to a higher power. Two of the total of 108 listed clergy were deacons.
The Brooklyn diocese included a graph which showed that cases of suspected abuse peaked in the 1960s and 1970s. Many of the allegations were reported after 2002, showing once again that many of the abused do not come to terms with their abuse and report it until decades after the fact. New York state has taken steps to help those long-grieving victims.
New York Law Changes to Help Victims
Last month, New York legislatures changed state law to allow victims of clergy abuse a longer grace period in which to file potential civil claims against their abusers. Many of those victims who, for years had believed the statute of limitations on their potential claims had passed, may now have another chance to seek justice in civil court.